Chronic inflammation is contributes to an improper functioning of the immune system. By eating clean, we can help diminish the inflammation response that is often exacerbated by stress. Foods that cause inflammation can lead to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and of course weight gain.
Foods to avoid or limit:
Sugar, salt, processed foods, fried foods, commercially produced meat, alcohol, dairy, sauces/seasonings, caffeine, refined carbohydrates, and artificial anything.
Foods to include:
Fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts, legumes, meat that is organic/hormone free, meat substitute, almond/rice milk.
· Buy organic, NON-GMO, and hormone-free foods
· Keep a food journal! This way you are able to keep track of your light days so that you may allow yourself to indulge at times.
· Fill up before your meal! Eat an apple or cup of broth based/veggie soup before a meal to help keep from overeating.
· Drink 8oz glasses of water a day so you do not mistake your thirst for hunger
· Steaming, grilling, broiling, and baking are easy ways to cook without adding unnecessary fats.
· Fill your plate with 2/3 vegetables to create bulk and limit calories.
· Cook using spices instead of seasonings to add flavor without sodium.
· Add some spicy heat to your food to help you slow down when you eat so you feel fuller.
· Switch from coffee to tea. Green, white, and black teas are high in flavonoids and have great health benefits. Plus, it’s easier to wean yourself off the high levels of caffeine in coffee than just going cold turkey.
· Eat the rainbow! Eat as many fruits and vegetables as you like without worrying about calories.
· Go Greek! Greek yogurt has the same benefits as regular yogurt but packs more protein and less sugar.
· Buy things that say “whipped” such as whipped peanut butter, cream cheese, cottage cheese, etc. These contain fewer calories than the non-whipped versions.
· Drink your protein! Replace one or two meals a day with a high protein shake made from either whey or pea protein.
· Limit sugar in juice by watering it down or try drinking soda water with a splash of juice.
· Plan meals ahead of time.
· Keep a protein bar with you wherever you go as a quick, healthy option.
· For a fast meal, grab an organic frozen entrée and add extra veggies to it.
· Wrap it up! Make a sandwich in whole grain tortilla to save calories or use it to spruce up your leftovers for a whole new meal experience.
· Use cooking spray vs butter and always use olive oil or coconut oil when you sautee.
· Just say NO! Don’t let other people sabotage your efforts. If you are going somewhere to eat you can check the menu ahead of time and stick to a plan when ordering. If you are going to a party or gathering, eat before you go so that you do not sit around the appetizers and eat out of boredom.