Transitioning into a healthier diet can seem overwhelming when you’re first starting out. Though I admire people who are able to jump in full throttle, this definitely wasn’t the case for me. My transition was (and still is) a growing one that comes with a lot of time, research and patience. As your own health journey progresses, you’ll begin to peel back the layers of nutrition and body function but in the meantime you’ve gotta start somewhere right?
The list I’ve created below is intended for those who are brand new to health and need a push in the right direction. These were the exact 5 things I initially committed to when I first started and they have since inspired me to dig deeper into wellness. I wouldn’t necessarly say they’re all EASY things to do/give up, but I can guarantee you’ll feel and look a lot better when you do.
1. Cut Out Soda
This was the first thing I gave up almost 7 years ago when I decided I needed to make healthier decisions for my body. Even if you know absolutely nothing about health, it’s pretty obvious that soda offers zero nutritional value. The average soda can/bottle contains roughly 35-40 grams of sugar which according to the American Heart Association is the maximum healthy amount an adult should consume for the ENTIRE DAY.
Diabetes, Obesity, High cholesterol and so many more health conditions can develop overtime from consuming these processed sugary beverages but sugar isn’t where the toxicity stops. A ton of other toxic chemicals make up soda such as Methylimidazole, high fructose corn syrup, sodium benzoate and many more cancer causing agents.
2. Switch Out Your Dairy Milk
The truth is we were lied to y’all. Milk does NOT do the body good and there are far better ways to strengthen our bones. Way before I went plant based or even gave up meat for that matter, I switched my dairy milk for Almond milk. Dairy milk (and all dairy really) has been proven to cause more inflammation in the body, chronic digestive issues, poor skin, mucus build up, cancer causing conditions and a ton of other issues. If giving up dairy completely isn’t realistic for you at the moment atleast get rid of the milk in your fridge.
Almond Breeze was the brand I transitioned to and is easily accessible in almost every grocery store. Not only does it taste awesome, it actually gives you more calcium per serving than milk. My son is four, has never consumed dairy milk and is above average in development and growth. Don’t believe the propaganda guys, you don’t need milk.
3. Eliminate Red Meat
Ideally you wouldn’t eat meat at all but this list isn’t about what I wish you would do, it’s about what you realistically would. Before I became completely plant based I went a few years of gradually eliminating meat and here’s how the order went down. First, I gave up red meat for a few years and only ate chicken and fish. Next, I gave up chicken and only ate fish for a few years. After that, I gave up fish and all meat for 2 years but was still consuming dairy. After learning more and feeling great, I finally made it to the point of being able to go fully plant based.
Red meat (beef, pork, lamb etc.) was the first thing I gave up because it is undeniably the worst of them all. After an extensive case study, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC),
“classified processed meat as a “definite” cause of cancer, or a Group 1 carcinogen – the same group that includes smoking and alcohol. The agency made no specific dietary recommendations and said it did not have enough data to define how much processed meat is too dangerous. But it said the risk rises with the amount consumed”
In addition to this, our bodies aren’t even designed to digest it so do yourself a favor and at least part ways with red meat.
4. Hell no to High Fructose Corn Syrup
Reading labels when you’re first starting out can be super overwhelming. Are these ingredients ok? what is this “acid”? The list goes on. Truthfully, the back of your label should be easy to pronounce and simple but if there’s only one ingredient you start to avoid let it be High Fructose Corn Syrup. This still is literally genetically modified posion and can be found in damn near everything if you aren’t carfeul.
First of all don’t let the word “corn” throw you off – this stuff definitely isn’t naturally derived. To put it short it’s essentially a manipulation of enzymes originating from corn starch to creat a high heat tolerant simple sugar.
Well, that’s a mouth full.
Basically it’s a cheap, generic and even more unhealthy alternative to sugar. It’s accredited for increasing the obesity rates in America and has also shown to increase blood pressure, cholesterol, heart rate, cause diabetes, cancer and cognitive issues such as ADHD.
5. Buy Organic when you can
I know, I know – you think it’s going to be too expensive. But truth be told, there are so many places you can buy organic food for CHEAP now a days! Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and even Super Target believe it or not all carry really great priced organic options now. But here’s why eating organic is important.
Organic food contains fewer (if any) pesticides, herbicides and chemicals that are popularly used in conventional agriculture. This is the cheaper route to go for mass production but it comes at the expense of our health. Consuming pesticides was never apart of our intended digestive capabilities as humans and the long term effects are alarming. If it isn’t feasible for you to purchase everything organic right away than I urge you to atleast follow the “Dirty Dozen” Rule.
The “Dirty Dozen” are the top 12 produce/food items sprayed with the most pesticides in agriculture. You should atleast be buying these 12 items organic in your home:
2. Leafy Greens (spinach, kale etc.)
Hope this list helps you out a bit and of course I’m always here to help with any questions!
Til next time,