by Rick Liva, ND
Think Ahead, Plan, Shop, Prepare & Cook Meals at least 4x/week, eat your leftovers for lunch. This is a must for consistently good diet.
Attempt to drink a minimum of 8 ounces of pure water, either distilled or spring, five (5) to six (6) times per day. No more than 8oz. with a meal as more may dilute digestive juices.
Consume two (2) to three (3) cups of fresh or frozen vegetables daily. Consume a medium to large sized raw salad daily (no iceberg lettuce) or at least every other day. Eat 1⁄2 to 1 cup of raw food each day such as red peppers, carrots, celery, cucumber, snow peas, kale leaves (not the stem), arugula, watercress.
EAT CABBAGE FAMILY FOODS OFTEN - Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, green or red cabbage, arugula, bok choy, Swiss chard, collards, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, rutabaga, turnips, turnip greens and watercress. Have 1-2 cups of any of these 3-4 x a week. Use a variety not the same ones all the time. Best to steam OR sauté and not boil.
Consume one (1) to two (2) pieces of fresh, whole fruit per day. No fruit juice or limit to 4oz/day.
Make every effort to consume 1 1/2 to 2 cups of cooked whole grains (brown rice, barley, oats, NON-GMO cornmeal etc) 2-4x/week. Additionally, consume whole grain or whole grain sprouted bread, 1-2 slices 3-4 times per week. Pasta should be limited to one (1) small serving per week and complimented with two servings of vegetables and a salad to ensure adequate intake of fiber.
Consume 1-2 cups of cooked beans (red beans, white beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, etc.) 3 times per week. It is OK to use canned beans, just rinse before use to remove the salt.
Consume 1-2 small handfuls of unroasted, unsalted nuts daily. Walnuts, almonds, filberts, pecans, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Little or No peanuts.
Limit consumption of flesh foods (beef, pork, chicken, fish, lamb) to a 4oz serving three (3) to four (4) times per week OR a 4-6 oz serving once daily . Limit eggs to two (2) to six (6) per week.
Learn to eat a wide variety of all types of foods. Avoid eating the same few foods over and over.
Oils: Use olive, canola or sesame oils in cooking as needed. Olive oil is much preferred, use it liberally. Avoid the use of sunflower, safflower, corn or peanut oil.
Dairy Products: Butter, Cheese, Cheese Substitutes, Milk, Milk Substitutes, use all of these in very small quantity. Yogurt (full fat plain is preferred) may be used more liberally. 1+ cup per day is OK.
Foods to avoid: Caffeine, Soda, ALL Fried Food, Hydrogenated Oils, Preservatives, Colors & Additives, Processed lunch meats, Dried Sulphured Fruits, Roasted or Salted Nuts , White Rice and/or White Flour Products, “Accent”, or MSG, aspartame. Best to avoid alcohol or use in small amounts. READ LABELS.
Foods to eat very sparingly: Coffee, Sugar treats of any sort, eat 1-2 small sugar treats/week at most.
Other Suggestions: Eat slowly and chew each mouthful 15-20 times. Eat only when hungry. Eat to 80- 90% full, avoid overeating, under eat at each meal/snack. LEARN TO LIVE WITH SOME LEVEL OF HUNGER IN BETWEEN MEALS. Avoid eating when upset, bored, angry, stressed, etc. No food 2-3 hours before bedtime.
Dr. Rick Liva, RPh, ND, is a Naturopathic Physician and the Managing Director at the Connecticut Center for Health, as well as the Chief Medical Officer and Director of Quality at Vital Nutrients in Middletown, CT.