The first three letters of the word "diet" say it all. D-I-E! When you deprive yourself of certain foods, you make them all the more enticing in some ways. Think of Adam and Eve in the garden. They probably weren't all that into apples (or whatever fruit it was---the Bible doesn't actually say). But once God said that they could have all the fruit from any of the trees except ONE, all hell broke loose…literally!
So the best way to thrive and, yes, even lose weight, is the opposite of deprivation: it's to actually nourish yourself. Eat the best food you can and you will find that you are so satisfied you won't be tempted to eat junk or "cheat". (This works in so many realms, by the way! Think about your schoolwork. If your head is full of knowledge, you don't need to look at your classmate's answers during the pop quiz. If your marriage is strong, you won't give that hottie with the body a second glance.)
Therefore, rather than telling you what foods you should avoid, I'm going to tell you in today's post what you CAN eat and why. Here are 4 simple categories of foods to choose from:
1. Animal foods - All healthy people groups around the world have some sort of animal food in their diet. This category includes everything from fish, beef, chicken, and pork, to organ meats, bone broth, and raw milk and cheese products. You may already eat plenty of these foods, but don't forget that the source matters. Buy the best quality antibiotic- and hormone-free meats you possibly can. They literally have a different chemical composition than the meat from big factories, and your body will be the better for it. Also, feel free to stretch yourself! If you're not ready to try brains (shudder), try liverwurst, a "gateway" organ meat that is available at stores like Whole Foods.
2. Grains, legumes, and nuts - Does it ever seem to you like every person on the planet is gluten-intolerant? I understand why. There are enzyme inhibitors found in grains, legumes, and nuts that strain our digestive system. We all can benefit by preparing these foods carefully to make them easier on our systems. I'm still learning how to do this myself. Methods include soaking, sprouting, sour leavening and culturing and fermenting.
3. Vegetables and fruit - These foods are a rainbow of delights that brighten our plates and give us needed vitamins and minerals. It's easy enough to grab a banana or an apple in the morning for a mid-day snack, but it's harder to get those vegetables in on the regular, isn't it? I have friends that are big into the smoothie craze. They make power-packed drinks with kale and lemon and ginger. Find a friend who's good at this or give it a whirl yourself! (Get it?) Personally, I put tons of veggies into my homemade soups to make sure I get heaping amounts of veggie goodness into my system. I also toss together salads for a quick nutritious side with my lunch or dinner.
4. Fats and oils - Yes, they deserve a category all to themselves. Have you heard of the Bulletproof coffee craze? (Read about this fad in this NY Times article here.) I'm not advocating this diet, but I under the satiety that Dave Asprey experienced when he added significant amounts of butter to his coffee and his life! No wonder he lost weight. You may see weight loss, too, by making the simple switch to healthier oils and fats (butter from pastured cows, coconut oil, olive oil) from the usual conventional, partially-hydrogenated oils.
A lot of the above material I gleaned from a little Weston A. Price booklet entitled "Healthy 4 Life." (You can print out their PDF or order a copy here.) I don't get any renumeration from WAPF for promoting their materials, by the way. I'm just a fan of their simple, straightforward life-giving thoughts on eating simple straightforward and nourishing food.
Hope this post was helpful! Let me know if you're into dieting or if you've found any of the above foods to be satisfyingly yummy and helpful for maintaing a healthy weight!