January 14th, 2014
The beginning of the new year is more than a symbolic time for starting over. It’s an opportunity to clean up your diet and eliminate foods that are causing you to feel tired, distracted and unhealthy.
We talked with Certified Nutrition Educator, Cassandra Mick, about the importance of cleaner eating. Cassandra is an advocate of “whole food cleansing,” a way of shaping your diet to help your body function at its best. She offered up some great tips that are easy to implement into any healthy lifestyle. Consider this a roadmap to cleaner eating in 2014.
Add a lemon twist. Begin every morning with 16 ounces of warm water and squeeze of lemon. It will get the digestive juices flowing and help your body rehydrate after sleep.
Get your greens. Add a hefty dose of leafy greens to your diet. Spinach, kale, parsley and arugula are all great sources of vitamins A and C, as well as fiber. Mix them with fruit in your morning smoothies and add more leafy green salads into your diet. Here’s our favorite green smoothie recipe to get you started.
Go against the grain. Gluten, found in wheat, rye and several other grains can cause swelling in joints, as well as problems with digestion in many people. Minimizing foods that contain gluten can alleviate swelling, clear mental fogginess and help your body to absorb nutrients properly. Check the Pacific website for a list of all our gluten free foods.
Embrace good fats. The fats found in foods like avocado, salmon, olives and fish oils are all fats that your body needs to function properly, but many of us avoid fat all together. Let some of the good fats in and you’ll see the benefits in your joints, your skin and your hair. Try this avocado date shake at breakfast and you'll feel satiated all morning long.
Power up. Our bodies need protein to maintain muscle and repair tissues and cells after regular workouts. Foods like fish, eggs, and poultry are great sources of lean protein that will supply your body with the building blocks it needs. Vegetarians, Pacific Black, Pinto and Refried Beans are easy to prepare and very high in protein.
Minimize the moo. Many of us become intolerant of milk proteins and lactose as we age. Embracing more non-dairy beverages like Pacific Almond, Hemp Hazelnut or Rice milk will give you the creaminess you want in coffee, cereal and smoothies, without the milk proteins that may irritate your stomach.
Bid sugar adieu. Sugar is a highly addictive food that represses our immune systems and robs our bodies of energy. Eliminating, or at least cutting back on the refined white sugars can bring down inflammation in your body and help improve your mental focus. Several of Pacific’s non-dairy beverages are unsweetened for those who are watching their sugar intake.
H 2 O, Yeah! Our bodies need water every day, and more than you think. A good rule of thumb for the amount you should be drinking is to take your weight and divide by two. If you weigh 130 pounds, for example, drink 65 ounces per day.
Above all, Cassandra stresses that flexibility is the key to cleaner eating. Find a dietary roadmap that works best with your lifestyle. If “cleansing” every day is too limiting, try whole food cleansing one day a week, one week a month, or work “treat days” into your weekends. Over time, your body will let you know what works best for you. For more tips on clean eating, visit Cassandra’s blog.
The ideal nutritional blueprint for your unique body can boost your energy, heal your digestion and help you shed unwanted pounds.- Cassandra Mick