I don't subscribe to any one specific "dietary philosophy" but I like to pull bits of wisdom from several (gluten free, Paleo, Whole30) that ring true to me. This list is based on several of the principals from Weston A. Price and the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.
1. Eat a Variety of Locally-Grown Organic Fruits & Vegetables
Find a local farmer's market (HERE), grab your backpack and a friend, and make a morning of it! They are usually loads of fun and stocked with more than just fruits and veggies. I especially like Hope Farmer's Market in Austin because they usually have grass fed meat, artisan crafts and live music too.
2. Cut Out All Packaged & Processed Foods
Within reason, of course... I love my coconut and almond butters. I mean the Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cheetos and Little Debbie's cakes. Even the packaged rice cakes, granola bars and other "health foods" that tout how healthy they are... cut them out too. Clean out your fridge and pantry tonight!
3. Eliminate All Refined Sweeteners
These should go out when you cut out all processed foods.
Examples: Sugar, Agave, Dextrose, Fructose, High Fructose Corn Syrup
Replace in small quantities with: Raw Local Honey, Grade A Pure Maple Syrup, or Stevia
Sugar cravings are the result of excess sweets, not enough quality saturated fats, inadequate animal proteins, mineral deficiencies (see #8 for bone broth recipe), and additives like MSG & artificial sweeteners in the diet.
4. Make Your Own Salad Dressing & Sauces
Here's a super easy recipe: In a jar mix 4 parts olive oil to 1 part apple cider or balsamic vinegar. Flavor with stone ground or dijon mustard, garlic, herbs & spices, blue cheese, raw honey, ginger, cilantro, parsley or lemon… get creative! This is also a good marinade for meat and chicken.
My Green Goddess Dressing Recipe.
5. Switch To Coconut Oil, Grass Fed Butter, and Ghee
Hydrogenated oils (i.e. margarine), trans fats & vegetable oils are all highly processed and extremely damaging to your health. Saturated fats, like butter and coconut oil are essential to maintaining healthy cellular communication, brain function, strong immunity, hormonal balance, managing blood sugar, and inflammation. Trans fats interfere with every function in the body and promote cancer and heart disease. Read my post, Making Sense of Cooking Oils.
6. Eat Good Fats
Make sure your diet contains sufficient high quality, organic grass-fed animal products and some raw organic dairy. Animal proteins are the only proteins that contain the vital activators Vitamins A and D. Good fat does not make you fat! Examples: avocado, nuts & seeds, coconut, WILD caught fish like salmon, olive oil
7. Read the Ingredients Label. Forget the "Nutrition Facts"
Nutrition facts are totally subjective and often misleading. Just because it has a lot of fat does not mean it is unhealthy. And vice versa, just because it is low in calories doesn't mean it is healthy. Read the ingredients! If there is more than 5 ingredients you should beware. General rule of thumb, if your grandmother wouldn't recognize all the ingredients it's probably suspicious. Stick to the basics.
8. Learn to Make Bone Broth
Good broth will resurrect the dead; fish broth will cure anything. Utilize properly prepared broths liberally as an excellent mineral source. Bone broth recipe and more info from Weston A. Price HERE.
9. Put Lacto-Fermentation to Work for You
No, sorry that doesn't mean head out for a 6 pack of your favorite brewsky. Lacto-fermented foods, like dill pickles, sauerkraut and kimchi, are essential for digestive health and immunity. Check out my recipe for fermented probiotic drinks, kombucha and water kefir, HERE.
10. Eliminate Toxic Metals, Chemicals & Additives
Examples: Household cleaners, prescription medications & antibiotics, nonstick cookware, antiperspirants, antacids, canned foods, bleached white flour, fluoridated toothpaste and dental treatments, cigarettes, silver dental fillings, vaccinations, large fish (sword/tuna), aspartame, synthetic supplements, pesticides, birth control pills, IUD, hydrogenated oils, commercial peanut butter, imitation dairy (Coffee Mate Creamer), and last but not least MSG
Instead: Check out the cooking, cleaning & beauty products in the Wild Acorn Wellness Store.
11. Reduce Stresses to the Physical Body
Do this by minimizing your exposure to/use of caffeine, microwaves (Use the oven! It takes a little longer but it's worth it.), drugs, fluorescent lighting, cell phones (I know, I know. At least try!), high heels, destructive relationships and negative people. A little yoga will also help to reduce stress.
12. Practice Forgiveness
We are made up of a physical, spiritual, and emotional body. Focusing on what we want and where we are going from a positive and joyful perspective is key to our health. There is no greater healer to the physical body than the offering of love to yourself and others. Read my blog, How Have a Better Day, Everyday.