What is “Eating Right”?
We all know we should “eat right” to be healthy, but unfortunately, a lot of folks don’t know what that really means. I’ve been studying the notion of “eating right” for a few years now and each year I’ve gained more and more knowledge about what a healthy, or what I like to call an “optimal” diet, really is. During my cancer recovery, I really dug into what eating right means and found a set of core principles.
To keep things simple, I’ve outlined some basic universal principles for eating right. I find that keeping it simple increases the likelihood of application.
Eat whole foods. Whole foods are foods that have not been processed or are minimally processed. Whole fruit, unprocessed vegetables, unrefined grains like brown rice, beans, whole grain flours, quinoa, millet, steel cut oats are all whole foods. White sugar, white breads, cookies, most crackers, chips, most pastas, and breads are made from processed flours are not whole foods. These items have been stripped of most nutrients and fiber and provide very little nutrition. Subsequently, these food cause you to eat more because of they are bereft of the nutrients your body needs.
Kick processed foods. What you don’t eat is almost as important as what you eat! Most processed foods are full of toxic additives and preservatives. Research has shown that the food additives listed below are toxic to the body and cause a host of health problems including multiple sclerosis, lupus, diabetes and obesity (to name just a few). Read labels and AVOID these foods additives without exception.
High Fructose Corn Syrup (corn sugar)
Trans Fat (hydrogenated oil)
Mono Sodium Glutamate (MSG, also called “natural flavoring” or yeast extract)
Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal and Spoonful); Skip Splenda too!
Artificial food colorings
Don’t drink liquid candy! An average can of soda or even a sports drink has about 10-15 teaspoons of processed sugar or artificial sweeteners and hundreds of calories. If you have a ravenous gourmet latte/coffee habit (i.e. Pumpkin Spice Latte), your getting 49 grams or 10 teaspoons of sugar per cup! That is more than many deserts! Excess sugar in the body is stored as fat. Additionally, refined sugar contains no fiber, no minerals, no proteins, no fats, no enzymes, only empty calories. And worse, sugar significantly weakens the immune system and strips your body of other vital nutrients including calcium. Substitute whole foods like dried dates, raisins or raw coconut nectar in place of toxic, refined sugar.
Eat more fiber while reducing and eliminating meat and dairy. Don’t believe the hype that says fiber tastes like cardboard! Eating fiber can be delicious. Fiber cleanses your body of toxins, keeps you regular and will save you many visits to the doctor’s office. Fiber is in fruit, vegetables, legumes (beans), nuts, seeds, and whole grains! Fiber in nowhere to be found in meat and dairy products, but you will find plenty of cholesterol, saturated fats, hormones and toxins. Dairy is known to increase inflammation in the body and should be avoided altogether. When planning your meals, plan for 50% green vegetables, 25% whole grain/starchy vegetable and 25% plant-based protein.
Dr. Ruby’s Green Power Smoothie- Yield: 1-2 servings
1 cup of pure water
2 cups of spinach OR 2 large leaves kale
1 medium/small avocado
1 mango, peeled
1 orange or 2 Clementine’s
2 tablespoons whole flax seeds or hemp seeds
Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth
Dr. Ruby’s Shredded Beet Jicama Salad with Lime Dressing
3 medium beets, peeled, shredded (medium to fine shreds, smaller is better)
1 medium jicama, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices (julienne)
1 teaspoons raw coconut or agave nectar
1 teaspoon brown rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Juice of 2 large limes
1/4 cup mint leaves (cut in 1/4 inch ribbons)
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
Peel beets and then shred with a grater or food processor; Peel and slice jicama.
To prepare the dressing: Mix lime juice, rice vinegar, agave nectar, mint leaves and cayenne in a bowl, whisk well.
Pour over beets and jicama; mix until well coated.
Top with sunflower seeds. Enjoy!