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What are some easy tips/tricks to eating healthy? Come share :)

waviewavie Posts: 237Registered Users
I hope I'm not making too many threads. On my quest to eating healthy, I've found that there are several little easy tricks to eat healthier. For example:

1) Instead of having fruit juice (I'd always have a cup of juice with every meal), I cut fruit and have it right next to me whenever I crave juice
2) Cut out pop. Entirely.
3) Switch to whole wheat - so much healthier, it makes a big difference
4)Use peanut butter or olive oil instead of butter/cream cheese/animal fats
5) Replace cereal with a bowl of oatmeal, drizzled with honey for breakfast every day
6) Replace Ice cream with yogurt/frozen yogurt.
7) Replace potato chips with popcorn

Any others? :D
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Comments

  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,059 Administrator
    Carrot sticks, sliced up cucumbers, and celery eaten with salsa instead of tortilla chips. Crunchy, spicy and low fat/cals.
  • nikskenikske Posts: 556Registered Users
    What speckla said, eat vegetables as a snack. In between meails, eat fruit as a snack, make sure to eat at least 3 pieces of fruit a day.

    Eat less meat. Twice a week is enough.

    Eat eggs for breakfast (no may or salt or use celery salt instead, not because it's necessarily healthier, but because one tends to use less of it), since they'll prevent hunger and provide a lot of protein.

    Avoid anything processed that says "light" or "low fat" (ie chips, cookies etc etc). Sounds weird, but sugar substitute makes you hungrier and low fat usually has a lot of other bad stuff (such as sugar or salt) to compensate for the lack of fat.
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  • waviewavie Posts: 237Registered Users
    I love that idea speckla! So simple...but I never thought of it. :)

    Another one I thought of -
    if you really crave candy, like I sometimes do, reach for gum instead. Sure, it's not exactly healthy but it's much more low-cal and keeps your mouth occupied for a while.
    Hair type: 2C-3A, very dry, extremely low porosity, med elasticity, insanely thick kinky-wavy.
    HGs: Trader Joe's Nourish spa conditioner, Epsom salt rinse, Joico K-pak conditioner
  • aliquotaliquot Posts: 227Registered Users
    nikske wrote: »
    Avoid anything processed that says "light" or "low fat" (ie chips, cookies etc etc). Sounds weird, but sugar substitute makes you hungrier and low fat usually has a lot of other bad stuff (such as sugar or salt) to compensate for the lack of fat.

    I have to disagree. There are absolutely no peer-reviewed scientific articles with evidence for artificial sweetener making you more hungry.

    I for one have a HUGE sweet tooth and rely on my double chocolate Vitatop muffins every morning for my daily fix of chocolate. They are very high in fiber and only 100 calories.

    Here are my tips:
    -Avoid excess salt and sugar
    -Eat whole fruits and veggies as opposed to juices, etc.
    -Go for lean meats, ground chicken breast is a great substitute in anything containing ground beef!
    -If you really want something at a restaurant that you know is horrible for you, ask for them to wrap up half of the dish before even bringing it to the table so you won't eat the whole thing and you can enjoy it again the second day.
    -Greek yogurt is absolutely delicious and packs tons of protein to keep you full longer (f.a.g.e. is my absolute favorite!)
    -Keep track. I've lost 50 pounds so far just by counting my calories. I plan everything I am going to eat that day in the morning and it makes it so much easier to stick to. I plan in 3 meals and two snacks!
    -Keep snacks on hand. If you are starving by the time dinner comes, it is more likely you are going to overeat. I keep craisins and fiber bars in my purse just in case I'm out longer than I plan or something else comes up.

    And to piggyback off of above, vegetables are also really good with hummus on them.

    I'm sure I have more that I will think of later...
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  • aliquotaliquot Posts: 227Registered Users
    Here are two more things I thought of...

    -Make your own "ice cream" with just a banana! All you have to do is slice up a banana and put it in the freezer for about an hour. Then you put it in the blender and voila! It actually becomes creamy and delicious and pure banana-y goodness! You can also add things to it like a bit of peanut butter or vanilla extract or something else delicious! Just make sure the banana is very ripe, otherwise the ice cream will taste "green".

    -If you do want to use ground beef, buy the leanest one you can find, if you can afford it. Usually the leaner it is, the more expensive. Otherwise, buy whatever you can find and after you brown it, drain off all the fat, put the meat into a colander and RINSE it under the sink. Check out how much better you can make your regular old ground beef by rinsing it: /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fhealthy.hillbillyhousewife.com%2Fgroundbeef.htm" class="Popup
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  • 2poodles2poodles Posts: 2,480Registered Users
    Try not to buy/eat any processed foods - choose, as much as possible, whole real food. Avoid things with ingredients that you can't pronounce/don't recognize. And try new fruits and vegetables every so often - there seem to be "new" ones available all the time!
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  • sleepyjesssleepyjess Posts: 297Registered Users
    Try and cut out as much added sugar as you can. But indulge every now and then! I stick to the "one dessert a day" rule - or, really, one sweet thing a day. So I don't deprive myself, but my sugar intake is limited.

    Be cautious of high fructose corn syrup and too many preservatives. Become the annoying label-checker. Also, look at the recommended serving size on the packaging and try to stay within that limit.

    Don't buy things you know are bad for you! If they aren't in the house, you can't snack mindlessly. Along that same line of thought, never grocery shop when you're hungry, because you buy way too much food, and let's be honest, when I'm starving in a grocery store, I'm not going to the carrots, I'm going to the garlic breadsticks.

    WHOLE GRAINS. Actually, whole foods in general. Get as close to the foods' original form as you can.

    Cook! Don't buy too much already prepared food. If you take the time to make your own food, then you know what is going into it! And you become a better cook. AND you can save the leftovers! A win-win for everyone!

    Also - eat slowly. Savor the food, unless it's mushrooms, which are - let's be real here - kind of disgusting. Maybe only to me. Anyway, you want to allow your stomach 20 minutes to send "I'm full" signals to your brain, and if you eat faster than that you risk overeating. And no one likes that bloated "too full" feeling.

    Eat dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate when you can. Actually, dark chocolate (in small amounts) is supposed to be good for you. Antioxidants, I think? Anyway, I have three pieces every day.

    Green tea! If you drink three or four cups a day, they say it can help speed up your metabolism to burn around 80 extra calories! I don't know if this is true, but green tea has many other proven benefits, so it can't hurt.

    Lots of water.

    Six small meals a day, instead of three large ones. Helps your metabolism speed up.

    My mom tells me that combining certain foods is supposed to increase their benefits - I don't know the details on this one, but if you look it up, maybe you'll find some info. My mom did say that if you eat whole grains with fat, it is supposed to reduce the drawbacks of the fat. I'm pretty foggy on this one, but like I said, maybe investigate it more. Maybe I will and I'll come back and edit this once I get a more substantial answer.

    Another mom-tip: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. From a book she read called In Defense Of Food by Micheal Pollen. I hope I spelled his name right.

    It also wouldn't hurt to watch Food Inc. It's a good documentary about the food being produced today. A little long, but good.
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  • BekkaPooBekkaPoo Posts: 3,861Registered Users
    100 calorie snack packs are not your friend, but I'm sure a lot of people fall for it because of the marketing. Again it goes back to the whole processed food thing. For 100 calories you can have, as an example, a few apple slices and light/low cal cheese instead.

    See: What's Really In This: Shortbread Cookie 100-Cal Snack Pack / Fitness
    "The challenge is to be yourself in a world that is trying to make you like everybody else."
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  • waviewavie Posts: 237Registered Users
    That's great advice, BekkaPoo! On one site it was actually named "the worst snack of 2010".

    Another great snack, especially if you need something filling, is oatmeal with a bit of peanut butter mixed in. So yummy! It's great for breakfast too, pretty low-calorie (about under 300) and filling, due to the protein, whole wheat and fiber.
    Hair type: 2C-3A, very dry, extremely low porosity, med elasticity, insanely thick kinky-wavy.
    HGs: Trader Joe's Nourish spa conditioner, Epsom salt rinse, Joico K-pak conditioner
  • Bridal.WreathBridal.Wreath Posts: 65Registered Users
    Research, research , research! I cannot say enough about it! Research helps, but make sure your research is reliable. One book that I think that everyone should have (I'll admit to having it), is Eat This, Not That. It gives you an eye opening idea of how the food is and what to avoid.

    Cut down on the sugar and salt intake, this includes those nasty dietary sugars. Sugar is bad for you, and dietary sugar is even worse! Salt retains water, which makes you gain weight. Please remember, you do need salt and sugar in your diet, you just need to cut down on it.

    Cut out the soda, even if it is diet. It contains high amount of sugar and, if you think that diet soda is better, research has proven that it is actually worse than regular sugar. Instead, opt for milk, tea, or water. As for juice, look for juice that is 100% pure orange or apple juice. Don't do for anything that is a mix. Chances are, it will be higher in sugar.

    Add more variety. As they say, variety is the spice of life! This is a good way in order to get a lot of your nutrients in.

    When at a store, park the farthest away from the door that you possibly can. Also, if there is a place nearby, consider walking instead of driving.


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  • BekkaPooBekkaPoo Posts: 3,861Registered Users
    Spices.. make sure you season your food well. You can cut the fat, the sugar, and the portions, but to make up for that, there are seasonings that you can add to your foods that have little to no calories and make your meals much more satisfying. For example, with my oatmeal I will usually add in some anise seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, and raisins, then a small spoon of brown sugar. The anise really brings out the sweetness which means I use a lot less sugar than I would without it.

    Another way for me personally to make sure I get my veggies and fruit is to be part of an organic veggie buying co-op.. I have to get back to that as soon as possible!
    "The challenge is to be yourself in a world that is trying to make you like everybody else."
    "...rationality is not necessary to sell things.."
    My staples: Mane n Tail (cowash), Garnier Fructis Sleek n Shine (leave in condish), Grapeseed oil or shea butter (sealing), Organic Root Stimulator Elasticitea (leave-in condish & light hold)
  • aliquotaliquot Posts: 227Registered Users
    Cut down on the sugar and salt intake, this includes those nasty dietary sugars. Sugar is bad for you, and dietary sugar is even worse! Salt retains water, which makes you gain weight. Please remember, you do need salt and sugar in your diet, you just need to cut down on it.

    Sugar and dietary sugar are the same thing. Dietary means something you eat. Not "diet" sugar like aspartame. I think you mean sugar substitute or artificial sweetener. Or alternatively you could use wording like nutritive sugar (table sugar, etc) vs. non-nutritive sugar (artificial sweetener).

    Salt DOES make you retain water, however the weight you "gain" from it is not fat. It is water, obviously. So the gain is only superficial and just mildly irritating to see on the scale. Water can make your weight fluctuate up or down by a few pounds every day, but it isn't fat.
    Cut out the soda, even if it is diet. It contains high amount of sugar and, if you think that diet soda is better, research has proven that it is actually worse than regular sugar.

    Diet soda does not contain nutritive sugar. Most artificial sweeteners by scientific definition aren't even technically sugars at all. They are structurally similar enough that your taste buds interpret them as "sweet", but your body is not able to break them down for use as energy. There is absolutely no scientific evidence that artificial sugars are worse than nutritive sugars. If you'd like to search a huge database of peer reviewed scientific literature - PubMed home. There IS evidence that artificial sugars do not help you feel full, but if you're drinking a diet coke, I don't think you're looking to be feel full, you're looking to quench your thirst.
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  • NaturalistaNaturalista Posts: 5,491Registered Users
    1. Cut out High fructose corn syrup.
    2. Try to plan your meals/snacks as much as possible. Having stuff prepared and ready to eat often prevents diet pitfalls.
    3. Drink more water.
    4. Drink before and during eating. Many people inhale their food and then drink after it all, but filling up some of that space with liquids helps you feel fuller and eat less.
    5. Amp up the fiber to make yourself feel fuller.
    6. Sounds stupid, but read your food labels and keep a diary of what you're eating. Just cause it's in trader joes, whole foods, or vegan/vegetarian doesnt automatically make it healthy.
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  • Myradella3Myradella3 Posts: 2,481Registered Users
    Count something and write it down. Count calories or carbs or fat grams or WW points or whatever works for you. Writing it down (the journal was a great idea) helps keep you focused.

    Keep it simple though. Don't try to keep track of too many variables. That could get confusing.
  • waviewavie Posts: 237Registered Users
    Is there a certain food pyramid you guys follow?

    I've been following Harvard's new one:
    large_05212008_harvardpyramid.jpg

    but of course there's the FDA one too:

    food_pyramid.jpg

    The thing that worries me most, and the biggest difference IMO, is dairy - Harvard actually puts it way up top, saying 1-2 servings is enough. So, I've been leaving it out a lot, but perhaps I shouldn't be. I just add milk to coffee or a couple sprinkles of cheese to my lunch and call it a day.

    How many servings do you think is healthy?
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  • Myradella3Myradella3 Posts: 2,481Registered Users
    I follow my own pyramid - fresh veggies everyday if possible, no sweets or red meat, little fried foods. Once or twice a week, I allow myself Baked Lays but I include them in my calorie count.

    I think the Harvard pyramid is more informative. I really like that it suggests exercise as a foundation for your eating. I like to work out in the morning. If I skip the gym, I know I really have to watch what I eat that day. I have a banquet tonight so I know I have to do something more than walk my dog for 20 minutes.
  • Fluffy01Fluffy01 Posts: 271Registered Users
    1.) Cut the GRAINS! Grains offer no nutritional value to your body. Your body is evolved over millions of years and grains didn't come into existence until about 1 year ago in the grand timeline of existence. They rob your body of precious nutrients and minerals. The fact that the government and highly prestigious schools recommend them is a sham because it's a multi-billion dollar industry...especially the corn farmers. (yes, corn is a grain so is rice)

    2.) Whole unprocessed foods only
    Meat/veggies/fruit/nuts/seeds/fats (butter, olive oil, coconut oil)

    3.) Simpler is better. No need for fancy dishes. Butter in pan, steak in pan, eat.
  • curlylauracurlylaura Posts: 8,352Registered Users
    If you don't buy it, you can't eat it. Basically don't buy any 'unhealthy' foods. I am a great believer of everything in moderation.


    Please excuse errors, I'm psoting on my phone ;)
    Fat does not make you fat. It's actually pretty important.
  • aliquotaliquot Posts: 227Registered Users
    Fluffy01 wrote: »
    1.) Cut the GRAINS! Grains offer no nutritional value to your body. Your body is evolved over millions of years and grains didn't come into existence until about 1 year ago in the grand timeline of existence. They rob your body of precious nutrients and minerals. The fact that the government and highly prestigious schools recommend them is a sham because it's a multi-billion dollar industry...especially the corn farmers. (yes, corn is a grain so is rice)

    I would LOVE to see these statements backed up by some actual data.

    If by "nutritional value" you mean energy, then you are completely wrong. Grains have calories (aka energy, 4 cals per gram, the same as protein), therefore they have nutritional value. If you mean "nutritional value" in terms of vitamins/minerals, brown rice, for example, is a good source of B vitamins (thiamin and niacin), iron, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, and magnesium. It also contains unsaturated fats shown to help lower cholesterol.
    3a/b in Piscataway, NJ
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  • Fluffy01Fluffy01 Posts: 271Registered Users
    Your wish is my command:

    The Definitive Guide to Grains | Mark's Daily Apple

    Why Grains Are Unhealthy | Mark's Daily Apple

    Grains, Stress and Irritable Bowel Syndrome | Mark's Daily Apple

    Is Rice Unhealthy? | Mark's Daily Apple


    And all food has calories but not all food equals energy. I mean think about it...you whork down a pound of spaghetti and ice cream sundae....you should have all the energy in the world by your estimations...yet you feel like crap. And calories don't equal nutritional value as per the ice cream sundae as well.

    And while brown rice may be a source of B vitamins and the like, you'll get more for your money with meat and veggies. If you input the nutritional data into one of those Fitday calculators, meat and veggies will win out nutritionally every single time.

    Finally unsaturated fats do not lower cholesterol. Saturated fats do. They raise your HDL and lower your triglycerides when consumed absent of grains and sugar.

    The movie Fathead is a good one to watch to learn more about this. He basically eats less than a 100g of carbs a day at McDonald's/Burger King/etc. and lowers his cholesterol, weight, and BMI. He then omits all the grains and processed sugar in his diet and lowers it even more.

    Unfortunately, the USDA, American Heart Association, etc. have fed us all a bunch of bologna about what is "healthy" and what contains "nutritional value" and what lowers our cholesterol. Think about it....they make millions off their labels put on "good for you" cereals like Trix and Coco Puffs. If everyone knew the truth about grains, their millions would cease to exist because no one would buy cereal ever again.

    Some books that also explain more about what I'm talking about, so you don't think I'm just a Mark's Daily Apple nut....

    Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes
    Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes
    Protein Power by Dr. Michael Eades

    And there's a lot more....just PM me if interested.
  • aliquotaliquot Posts: 227Registered Users
    Thanks for the effort, but I meant peer-reviewed, scientific, published evidence. PubMed home

    I don't disagree that carbs aren't the best way to spend your calories (or $$), I just disagree with the way you stated it. Of course everything about eating total crap makes you feel like crap is true, but I believe everything in moderation. I also feel like crap if I can't have cake on my birthday, but I'm not going to have cake every day. I believe every food has its place, all molecules have their positive AND negative affects.

    Also, not all grains are created equal. Brown rice =/= cocoa puffs. Clearly there are other factors at play (SUGAR) than just the fact that there is "grain". And those labels on food absolutely mean nada, you're completely right, they don't even have any regulations on what gets those stamps of "approval"!

    However, you have it backward about saturated fats. Unsaturated fats (for example: omega-3 fatty acids which I'm sure you heard of in fish) help lower LDL (the "bad" one) levels/cholesterol/triglycerides.

    Association of serum n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated f... [Am J Clin Nutr. 2009] - PubMed result
    "CONCLUSION:Serum n-6 and n-3 PUFAs are inversely associated with triglycerides across populations."

    What can we expect from omega-3 fatty acids?

    n-3 fatty acids reduce arterial LDL-cholesterol de... [Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2009] - PubMed result

    Cholesterol, Triglycerides, and Associated Lipopro... [Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 1990] - PubMed result

    Saturated fatty acids and risk of coronary heart d... [Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2010] - PubMed result
    3a/b in Piscataway, NJ
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  • Fluffy01Fluffy01 Posts: 271Registered Users
    Well as I explained before you aren't going to find many government funded studies on this. The government a long time ago decided to only fund the studies that benefited them. This was because we had a president (can't remember which one, see movie Fathead) that promoted the Pritikin diet, which is a mostly vegetarian diet. He made it clear that he would only fund studies by scientists that proved what he wanted to hear. And from then on, that's how it has been not only because of him but because of the food lobbying groups as well (corn and wheat namely).

    Here are two studies that were in the MDA articles earlier:

    Nondigestible Carbohydrates and Mineral Bioavailability

    BioMed Central | Full text | Agrarian diet and diseases of affluence - Do evolutionary novel dietary lectins cause leptin resistance?

    And I actually was able to find two studies from your government site, but I hope you understand now why there aren't many.

    Insulin-Like Activity of Concanavalin A and Wheat Germ Agglutinin

    Do dietary lectins cause disease?


    As for the saturated fat issue, here's Marks answer on that: Is Saturated Fat Healthy? | Mark's Daily Apple

    Saturated fat doesn't raise your LDL...carbs and sugars do. Now I will completely agree with you that Omega 3's are good for you. I take four a day, however, it's not because why you say exactly. Carbs and sugars raise your LDL...but not the one the doctors are testing for. They raise your VLDL, which is the dense kind that causes artery disease. This is because of the omega 6's they contain, which is why we take fish oil, to balance out the Omega 6 ratio. A 1:1 ratio of Omega 6 and 3 is ideal. However, now we have grain fed cattle, grain fed chickens, etc. not to mention all the grain in our diet, which has skyrocketed our ratio more in favor of Omega 6, which promotes inflammation of our arteries. Therefore, we take the fish oil to undo the damage caused by the grains.
  • aliquotaliquot Posts: 227Registered Users
    It isn't a "government funded" site. It is just a database of all the studies and research done by research labs across the country, in both university settings and privately owned laboratories (both of which get funding from various sources). I've never worked for the man and I have a paper on there (In vitro and in vivo effects of West Nile virus pr... [J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2010] - PubMed result). The website just is a collection of all of the published, peer-reviewed journals out there to make them easily searchable. These Journals are NOT run by the government, they typically are edited and the papers reviewed simply by other scientists in the field.

    You can find the same articles on places like Google scholar or Web of Knowledge - Science - Thomson Reuters. Or just go to the journal websites directly (most famous, high-impact biology ones are Nature, Science, and Cell).
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  • mellowgirl09mellowgirl09 Banned Posts: 188Banned Users
    wavie wrote: »
    I hope I'm not making too many threads. On my quest to eating healthy, I've found that there are several little easy tricks to eat healthier. For example:

    1) Instead of having fruit juice (I'd always have a cup of juice with every meal), I cut fruit and have it right next to me whenever I crave juice
    2) Cut out pop. Entirely.
    3) Switch to whole wheat - so much healthier, it makes a big difference
    4)Use peanut butter or olive oil instead of butter/cream cheese/animal fats
    5) Replace cereal with a bowl of oatmeal, drizzled with honey for breakfast every day
    6) Replace Ice cream with yogurt/frozen yogurt.
    7) Replace potato chips with popcorn

    Any others? :D

    If you like juice try juicing. It's yummy and super healthy and you can sneak veggies into too. Green smoothies are great too. It makes your skin glow.
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  • discobugdiscobug Posts: 404Registered Users
    Tosca Reno--eating clean, this has changed how I eat and how I look at food. She has a book with great tips and recipes too.

    Eating 6 smaller meals with high proteins and veggies/fruits, it really works!

    I pack my lunch bag for the day with the following foods:
    -hard boiled eggs
    -nuts (peanuts or almonds or pistachios--unsalted)
    -grains-granola
    -yogurt
    -fruit: raspberries, grapes, banana, apple or whatever is in season
    -veggies: sugar snap pea pods, carrots, peppers, tomatoes

    I notice at lunch time I can hardly eat that much, I eat less than half of what I used to b/c I'm full from all the good stuff. Eat every few hours--that way you regulate your metabolism and you don't get overly hungry and then overeat.
    Allow yourself an induglence, small and weekly.

    Oh yeah, and eat good quality calories (ones that produce energy and fuel for your body and that your body can use quickly) and also eat foods that come from the ground or are grown--stay away from anything articificial or processed. Just a rule of thumb for me. I do eat meat, but usually chicken or turkey.

    This has helped me to lose 20 pounds and two sizes; plus I swim 4 times a week for about 45 min. and lift weights moderately. Working hard and rethinking your eating really works. I know it sounds cliche, but it's true!
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    Leave In/Styling: KCCC, Darcy's Botanicals, SS
    Favorites (HG): KCCC; spiral solutions jelly; darcy's botanicals, FSG
    No-No's: castor oil, beeswax, glycerine, silicones
    LOVE: aloe vera, agave nectar, shea butter, flax seed gel; good DT's once a week
    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fpublic.fotki.com%2Fdiscobug71%2F" class="Popup
    password: curly
  • curlylauracurlylaura Posts: 8,352Registered Users
    I've been meaning to ask about the Eat Clean book. It sounds like my kind of food. It's going in my Amazon basket.
    Fat does not make you fat. It's actually pretty important.
  • katblackkatblack Posts: 74Registered Users
    Fluffy01 wrote: »
    1.) Cut the GRAINS! Grains offer no nutritional value to your body. Your body is evolved over millions of years and grains didn't come into existence until about 1 year ago in the grand timeline of existence. They rob your body of precious nutrients and minerals. The fact that the government and highly prestigious schools recommend them is a sham because it's a multi-billion dollar industry...especially the corn farmers. (yes, corn is a grain so is rice)

    2.) Whole unprocessed foods only
    Meat/veggies/fruit/nuts/seeds/fats (butter, olive oil, coconut oil)

    3.) Simpler is better. No need for fancy dishes. Butter in pan, steak in pan, eat.
    That's what I'm talking about:)