Avoid Your Enemies, Know Your Allies
By Vesanto Melina and Brenda Davis, Registered Dietitians
In the quest for blooming health and vitality, we have enemies and allies in the realm of food. Our enemies lurk on every street corner and entice us. It takes a little planning to surround ourselves with allies that protect us and support our physical and mental health. Below are listed foes and friends (from The Raw Food Revolution Diet by C. Soria, B. Davis, and V. Melina). Raw plant foods are definitely allies! Yet how do we replace foods that undermine our health with others that support our well being? Is this practical? Would it taste good? What would our meals and snacks be like?
Cherie Soria is an inspiration; now in her mid 60’s, she is slim, gorgeous, and with three black belts in karate. See her at free events at Karmavore in New Westminster (Raw Foods for Health, Beauty, and Longevity, April 12, from 1 to 2 pm) and at Banyen Books (April 13 from 6:30 to 8 pm). Cherie offers a one day workshop on Saturday April 14 that is packed with delicious raw foods, practical tips, and good nutrition at Tao Organics in North Vancouver, 800.816.2319 or firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a lot piled into a single day!
Let’s see which foods would steer us down the road to poor health so we know what to avoid, and then which items truly nourish us.
Top 10 Diet Enemies
- Refined starch products, meaning processed foods made with white flour such as breads, pastries, cookies, pies, crackers, etc.) These and the refined sugars listed next are the carbohydrate-rich foods to eliminate. Note that there is no need to avoid the carbs in fruit, veggies (such as yams), lentils, and whole grains (such as quinoa!)
- Products made with white sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, glucose and other sugars.
- Processed foods containing partially hydrogenated fat or lard, such as crackers, cookies, margarine, microwave popcorn, pies, and pastries.
- Deep-fried foods such as fried chicken, fried fish, French fries, and onion rings.
- Salty, fried snack foods: potato chips, corn chips, and cheezies.
- High salt convenience foods: ramen noodles, macaroni and cheese in a box, canned and pre-packaged stews, soups (check labels).
- Processed meats: Spam, corned beef, luncheon meats, and bacon.
- Fatty meat: spare ribs, pork chops, hamburger, etc.
- Dairy products such as cheeses (and cheese laden pizza), cream, ice cream, sour cream, whipping cream, whole milk.
- Calorie-laden beverages: alcoholic drinks, fancy coffees, and milkshakes. Soda pop is a top source of calories for many, without nutritional value.
Top 10 Diet Allies
- Water: the winner as a beverage
- Green leafy vegetables, including kale, collards, Chinese greens, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, mixed wild greens; also broccoli.
- The full spectrum of non-starchy vegetables from asparagus to zucchini: carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, and turnips.
- Fresh fruits: berries, apples, citrus fruits, peaches, plums, pineapple, melons, mango, papaya, grapes, pears, kiwi fruit.
- Legumes of all kinds: green peas, mung bean sprouts, sprouted lentils and cooked beans
- Intact whole grains, sprouted or cooked such as buckwheat, kamut, oat groats, quinoa, and rye.
- Seeds: flax, hemp, pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame.
- Nuts: almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews hazelnuts, walnuts, unsalted and without added oil.
- Herbs and spices: basil, marjoram, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, and turmeric.
- Higher starch vegetables: squash, sweet potatoes, yams, potatoes, corn.