There are a multitude of diets to choose from, or exercise programs that run the body ragged. The simple truth is that our bodies weren't meant to eat Lean Cuisine meals or to be engaged in hours and hours of intensive exercise. If a person examines the evolution of our body from the caveman days, they would see that the body thrives off of whole foods, clean meats and exercise that involves lots of walking.
Fast forward a few thousand years, and as a society, we are stuffing our bodies full of inflammatory food-like products that make a person sick, fat and depressed. The key to fat loss, optimal health and joy is so simple, it's easy to overlook.
Eat whole foods that are plucked from the earth. Foods that do not come in a package, can, bag or jar, and automatically the inflammation will dissipate in your body, freeing up space for your liver to begin processing fat. The best part, you can eat all you want, as long as it's clean whole foods.
No longer is a deprivation mentality of dieting or extreme exercising required. By pivoting our thinking, we can create a healthy relationship with food. One that creates a foundation of values based on fueling the body, and giving it health through whole foods, rather than limiting the amount of calories a person eats.
To help you with this clean eating journey, I have compiled a list of the top 6 inflammatory foods along with substitutes that allow you to eat many of the foods you enjoy, but with ingredients that give you health, rather than take it away.
1. Processed Sugar
Swap out processed sugars for raw honey, organic maple syrup, liquid stevia or fruit.
Swap out table salt for sea salt or pink Himalayan salt. By eliminating processed and packaged foods, you will significantly eliminate the amount of daily sodium intake.
3. Wheat Flour
Swap out wheat for almond flour or coconut flour. While these two flours do come in a bag (unless you make them on your own with a food processor), they are minimally processed are a great substitute for baking many foods that typically contain wheat.
4. Certain Oils
Swap out highly processed oils such as vegetable oil, canola oil, safflower oil, partially hydrogenated oil (just to mention a few) for high-quality omega-6 and omega-3 oils. The best source for oils are from extra-virgin coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, hemp seeds, chia seeds, avocados or avocado oils.
5. Cow Dairy
Swap out cow dairy for that of sheep or goat. Around the age of 1.5-2 years, our bodies significantly decrease in the amount of digestive enzymes created that specifically help to digest dairy. The molecular make-up of the sheep and goat dairy is more easily digested in the human body. Another reason cow dairy does not work as well is because the feed is typically made up from genetically modified corn and soy which creates inflammation in the cows. This is then passed on to us when we eat cow dairy. Last, casein is used in much dairy and many people are highly sensitive to it. When shopping for sheep and goat dairy, read the ingredients so that you can chose a dairy product free of casein.
Swap out alcohol for water, bubbly water, Kombucha drinks (without added sugar), tea or cold pressed juices. Alcohol tops the list of most inflammatory and toxic foods, and with a pause from the holidays, it seems like a reasonable time to take a break in order to regain and experience the most optimal and vibrant health.