So What CAN You Eat? 6 Foods For Optimal Health
After my last several articles, I've gotten many comments asking, "So what do you eat"?
So I wanted to share with you what’s in my grocery basket and walk you through a typical day of meals.
But I'm nervous! I'd almost be more comfortable sharing a photo of myself naked. When it comes to food, people (especially MBG readers) are very opinionated as to what they feel is the right way to eat. I don't believe that there is only ONE right way to eat! We're all unique and what's right for one may not be right for another.
I am, however, confident that the way I eat is right for my body to function optimally.
In my functional medicine clinic, I teach people to listen to their body and learn what's right for them. People travel from around the county to see me, often after having been seen by multiple doctors who cannot figure out what's "wrong" with them. Many have autoimmune diseases and multiple medical diagnoses, and I find that a similar way of eating is the best approach for the majority of my patients.
I understand first-hand how nutrition can play a vital role in our health: At age 32, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, Graves, in which my body was attacking my thyroid, causing it to be over reactive. Three years ago, I went gluten and dairy free and my thyroid antibodies dropped. And over a year ago I went grain and legume free and my thyroid antibodies are now negative. I follow what I call The Myers Way and eat the following:
I eat a ton of broccoli, kale, Swiss chard, lettuce and spinach. Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, zucchini and asparagus top my list as well. I love anything green except okra or mustard greens.
My primary starch comes form sweet potatoes and squash.
Celery, cucumbers, beets and carrots tend to be the bases of my homemade juices.
I shy away from potato, tomato, eggplant, or peppers, as they tend to be inflammatory for me so I only eat these in very small amounts.
I love berries because they are low in sugar and full of antioxidants. I use raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries in my smoothie most every morning. When I need a change, I use mango, papaya, peaches, or bananas, though they are higher in sugar so I use them less often. I typically toss an apple in my green juice in the afternoon.
I stay away from dried fruit because of the high sugar content. I also avoid citrus fruits, as they are inflammatory for me.
Primarily I eat organic chicken breast, wild Alaskan salmon, and shrimp. Once or twice a week I will have grass-fed beef.
There are plenty of other quality animal protein sources that are typically non-inflammatory for most people, such as turkey, bison, lamb, quail, duck and venison. However after being a vegetarian for 27 years, I have a not ventured that far quite yet.
Fats & Oils
I love avocados and coconut oil. Avocados are simply amazing in just about anything: salads, smoothies, soups, guacamole or plain. I add coconut oil to my smoothies and I use olive oil on salads. I cook with them both.
Nuts & Seeds
I tend to eat mostly almonds, walnuts, pecans, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp hearts and pumpkin seeds. All are great in smoothies, salads, and soups or as a quick snack. Remember: peanuts are not really nuts (they're legumes) so I don’t eat them.
Herbs, Spices, Condiments, and Sweets
My favorites herbs and spices are ginger, garlic, turmeric, cumin, rosemary, basil, oregano, curry, shallots, cinnamon, nutmeg, apple cider vinegar, and balsamic vinegar.
Organic 85% dark chocolate is my go-to sweet.