When you hear the word “detoxification,” you probably think of a regimen involving an altered meal plan and something to support your liver, gastrointestinal system and to help you lose weight. Yes, these ideas about detoxification are correct! However, it’s also important to detoxify your kitchen!
Overall health begins with what we put in our body – it’s our foundation. However, our cabinets and refrigerators are often filled with overly processed, sugar-laden, nutrient-poor foods. If your kitchen is filled with only healthy, nourishing foods, it’s hard to make the wrong dietary decision. If it’s not there, you won’t eat it.
Following are a few steps that will help you with this detoxification process:
- Schedule the time! Set aside 45minutes-1hour. If you need to put a reminder on your calendar or on your phone, do so. You may need more or less time depending on how much ‘junk’ you have hidden. It will also take time to scrutinize the labels of the foods for things like excess sugar and foods additives.*Rather than throwing foods away, plan to donate to a local food pantry!
- Read the labels! Your goal is to replace anything unhealthy with fresh food that does not include a label or ingredient list.
- Ditch these foods Obvious sugar culprits are easy to spot, but watch for hidden sugars that lurk in salad dressings, processed foods, drinks, and even “healthy” foods like cereals and wheat. Unfortunately, sugar goes by many names; it may be called organic cane juice, honey, agave, maple syrup, cane syrup, or molasses. There are about 257 names for sugar, most made from corn with names that you wouldn’t recognize like maltodextrin and xanthan gum, which make you fat and addicted. Also look at salad dressing, barbecue sauce, and ketchup, which usually have high-fructose corn syrup. Don’t be afraid of fat; fat doesn’t make you fat! However, the wrong kind can cause a serious metabolic mess. Pitch any highly refined cooking oils like soy and corn, fried foods you may have in your freezer, and margarine or shortening. These have dangerous trans fats that cause inflammation and can lead to heart disease. Look for words like “hydrogenated fat” (an alias for trans fat).
- Get rid of ALL artificial sweeteners! (aspartame, NutraSweet, Splenda, sucralose, and sugar alcohols — any word that ends with “ol,” like xylitol or sorbitol). Stevia may be better than aspartame but only whole plant extract, not Pure Via and Truvia, which are made by Pepsi and Coke and are chemical extracts of stevia. Please remember, any sweetener can make you hungry, lower your metabolism, create gas, and store belly fat.
- Any questionable food or ingredients. Look at spices and seasonings that may contain maltodextrin, autolyzed yeast extract, and even high fructose corn syrup. Try to shop for whole and/or fresh seasonings and spices.
Now that you’ve successfully cleaned out your kitchen, in our next post, we’ll discuss what to add back to your refrigerator and pantry for optimum health.
Here are items that can stay or be loaded up on at your next visit to the store for your detoxification.
- Non-starchy veggies are freebies; eat as many as you like! Limit fruits as they increase your insulin levels and stick with berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc). When possible, choose organic, seasonal, and local produce. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list and instead choose from the “Clean Fifteen” list featuring the least contaminated options. Also, make sure you’re buying unseasoned or unsweetened varieties. You may want to visit your local farmers market or community-supported agriculture (CSA) for good seasonal selection. You can find the one closest to you at www.localharvest.org.
- Dry Foods. These staple foods usually have a longer shelf life and include raw or lightly roasted nuts and seeds, legumes, quinoa, and gluten-free grains.
- Herbs, spices, and seasonings. You’ll want to have a range of pantry ingredients, including seasonings and spices. As always, buy organic when you can; you only use a little of some of these, and therefore, tend to last a long time so you get a lot of value from them. Among our favorites include extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin coconut butter, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and seasonings, and spices. Remember to read labels to ensure they don’t contain hidden ingredients such as sugar, gluten, or other additives.
- Fresh foods. Get in the habit of keeping your fridge and freezer stocked with these items. When selecting beef or meat, choose grass-fed, hormone-free, or organic, when able. The USDA mandates that all poultry is raised without hormones, so look for the terms “antibiotic-free” or “organic” when buying poultry. Refer again to the Environmental Working Group’s “Meat Eater’s Guide” to choose meat that’s good for you and good for the planet.
Do You Have Concerns About Detoxification?
If you have any questions about your diet or about detoxification, call Optimum Health Rehab at 877-704-1761 or fill this form to schedule a complimentary consultation at one of our convenient locations in Alpharetta, Buford, Cumming, Grayson, Dacula, Hiram, Morrow, Dalton, Suwanee, or Woodstock.Nutrition & Healthy Eating