Eliminate Toxins and Stress
There is a connection between what you eat, how you live life and how you feel. For example, our immune system fights stress and toxins created by our environment and diet. When this system is overwhelmed, it can damage our metabolism and lead to weight gain and certain diseases.
Get Rid of Bad Foods
Cool inflammation by quitting toxic foods and eating an allergy-free diet for just seven days. Avoid foods with refined sugar and flour, trans fats, hormones and pesticides, as well as gluten, dairy, eggs, corn and yeast.
Add Good Foods
Your body thrives on whole foods -- fresh vegetables and fruit, whole grains and beans, nuts and seeds and lean animal proteins. It's that simple! Organics have higher levels of nutrients along with weight- and disease-fighting chemicals called phytonutrients.
The phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals in vegetable broth will help keep your body pH balanced, and boost detoxification. Flax seeds, fiber, magnesium citrate and vitamin C can keep your bowels clear and prevent toxins from getting absorbed back into your body.
Reduce inflammation with a low allergy protein shake made with berries and omega-3 fat-containing flax and borage oil. For the protein powder, go to your local health food store and ask for one with rice protein.
While you can't entirely eliminate stress, you can try a wonderful antidote. Draw a hot bath and sprinkle in Epsom salt, baking soda and lavender oil to help lower stress hormone levels. Soak for 20 minutes before bed.
Take time each day to reflect on what works and what doesn't in your life. Notice how changing your diet and lifestyle for just one week makes you feel. Now write it down and connect the dots between your diet, your behavior and how you feel.
Enhance Your Success
Adding a few supplements daily can boost your results. Seek out a good multivitamin, omega-3 fish oil capsule, calcium/magnesium/vitamin D3 combo and a probiotic. Combine that with 30 minutes of walking or some simple relaxation exercises.
Make the Changes Permanent
Continue eating whole foods, avoid processed foods and other toxins, and make a habit out of relaxing and reflecting. You can gradually add gluten, dairy, yeast, eggs and corn, but pay attention to which foods cause you problems and avoid them for good.
Top Health Food Shockers
Most granola bars are simply candy bars in disguise, with very little fiber, lots of processed carbs, and a ton of sugar. You're better off making your own healthier version from raw oats, chopped almonds, coconut flakes, raisins and a dollop of raw organic honey.
No yolks in your omelettes? That's just utterly unnecessary. The yolk contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which are crucial for eye health. Egg yolks are also an important source of phosphatidylcholine, a nutrient that boosts brain health. Worried about your cholesterol levels? Consider this: Half the fat in the yolk isn't even saturated.
You'd think eating penned salmon would be the healthier way to go, but the farm-raised fish are pumped full of antibiotics and are lower in nutritional value than their wild relatives. In addition, wild salmon get their red color from an antioxidant in their natural food source, krill. Farmed salmon get their color from dye.
Most supermarket cereals are fiber lightweights and are also loaded with sugar. The best cereals are old-fashioned oatmeal, and a few standouts like Fiber One and All-Bran. Check the labels and choose cereals that have fewer than 5 grams of sugar and more than 5 grams of fiber per serving.
The only thing fro-yo has in common with real yogurt (the plain, non-frozen kind) is that they're both white. The frozen stuff doesn't have live cultures, which help maintain digestive health and the nonfat varieties are a mix of chemicals and artificial sweeteners. You're better off with a serving of organic ice cream.
Along with olive oil, canola oil seems like a healthy standout. But conventional canola oil goes through a caustic refining process that creates some trans fats. Unless it's cold-pressed and organic, stay away.
It's sweet, refreshing and a favorite among kids. But most apple juice is nothing more than sugar water with apple flavoring. One cup of apple juice has no fiber, 117 calories and 27 grams of sugar. And most people consume way more than a cup at a time. Stick to fiber-rich apples and skip the juice.