Avoid Empty Calories
Add Nutrient Dense Foods
Avoid Refined Grains
Rice, noodles, pasta, bread, crackers, biscuits, cereals.
Avoid Fruit Juice
Juices can be great for packing lots of nutrients and quick absorption if you are out of time. Juices can spike blood sugar so may be appropriate on occasions (athletic performance). Always drink fresh, ideally cold pressed with no added sugar, additives or preservatives.
Avoid Alcohol, Soft Drinks
Try to stick to one type of alcoholic drink. Cocktails are usually the most sugary.
Limit Grains, Beans & Legumes
unless sprouted & fermented
Grains, beans and legumes contain antinutrients such as phytate acid and enzyme inhibitors to prevent us from absorbing minerals and nutrients contained in them. Read this.
Avoid Low Fat Dairy
Fats with all the fat soluble nutrients in the original food is remove and replaced by sugar empty of nutrients. Why would you want to lose these valuable nutrients for sugar which makes you fat.
Avoid Peanut Butter, Highly Processed Chocolate Spread
It may sound surprising. Peanut is actually a legume not a nut. If you really like peanut butter, go for organic with minimal additives.
Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
Xylitol, maltitol, sorbitol, commonly found in chewing gum and calorie free beverages.
Avoid Refined Vegetable Oils
Highly processed corn, canola and soybean oils are stripped of the original nutrient. They can cause oxidative damage under high heat, and unsuitable for cooking. Read my blog on cooking oils.
Avoid Processed, Deep Fried Food, Pizzas, Cookies, Pies, Cakes
Plenty of these in the supermarket aisles of frozen pizza, baked goods, cookies, biscuits and crackers. Lots are made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, which are essentially trans fats.
Add Starchy Vegetables, Fresh Fruits
Sweet potato, yams, squash, parsnips, carrots, beets, pumpkins, banana, apple, any whole pieces of fruits with all the pulp and fibre - not juices.
Add Root Vegetables, Berries, Natural Sweeteners, Dark Chocolate
As above, plus maple syrup, honey, coconut nectar, stevia, monk fruit sugar.
Berries are lower in sugar than most fruits.
Dark chocolate with 70%+ cocoa content is ok. Don't over-consume any of these.
Add Kombucha, Sparkling Water with Herbs & Spices
As above. Spice up your sparkling water or coconut water with herbs (basil, mint, rosemary) and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla).
Add Ancient Grains, Nuts & Seeds - Chia, Flax, Hemp
Amaranth, quinoa, teff, buckwheat (soba noodles), chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashew, hazelnut, coconut flakes.
Add Grass-fed, Pastured Dairy or Non-Dairy Alternatives
High quality dairy comes with fat-soluble nutrients like vitamin A, D, E and K. If you are lactose intolerant, try coconut milk or yoghurt or even goat's milk and yoghurt.
Add Honey, Maple Syrup, Stevia, Monk Fruit, Coconut Nectar
These are also sugar but contain plenty of micronutrients beneficial for your gut bacteria that are not present in sugar alcohols or artificial sweetener.
Add Grass-Fed Ghee, Unrefined Coconut, Olive, Avocado Oils
These oils contain a range of saturated, mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids, as well as lots of soluble vitamins and nutrients essential for our body functions and health. Saturated fats are more suitable for cooking under heat.
Add Whole Foods: Avocado, Nuts & Seeds, Olive Oil, Oily Fish
These are foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids that are anti-inflammatory and support heart and brain health.