If your kitchen is anything like mine, it is full of process foods, junk food, canned and frozen food....in general...unhealthy stuff. I am going to clear out my kitchen between now and January 1st. Below I am going to give you guidelines for what to throw out and what to keep. I am going full force into this new chapter in my life. If you are wary of throwing out everything on the list, take it a step at a time. Start small. Don't try to make all the changes right away.
- NO white flour. White flour is the worst type of flour. First, they take the beautiful brown whole grain designed my God to nourish and flourish our bodies and the remove the wheat germ and bran. Then they bleach it white with chemicals similar to Clorox bleach. Think about that the next time you go to bite into a nice sandwich made with white flour. Think about the bleach going into your system. White flour is a diabetics worst nightmare. One slice of white Wonder bread is equal to a cup of pure table sugar to a diabetic. To top it off, the manufacturers turn around and try to sell us the wheat germ and bran as health foods with a high dollar price. Kinda of stupid isn't it.
- NO white sugar. Think about what happens to a car when you put sugar in the gas tank. It kills the engine. It is doing the same thing to our bodies. Our bodies will actually go into a state of detoxification when we give up the sugar. God created natural forms of sugar found in raw fruits, vegetables, honey and molasses. These natural sweetners provide fuel for the cells of our body. To get white sugar, the sugar canes and beets are put through 14 processes. White sugar causes the immune system's capability to decrease by as much as 50%. When it enters the bloodstream, it takes on the forms of carbonic acid, acetic acid and alcohol. Acetic acid literally burns up our cells. Sugar has been known to contribute to depression, fatigue, irritability, hypoglycemia, diabetes, hyperactivity, and violent outrages. The average American consumes 120 pounds a year of white sugar.
- NO artifical sweetners..These fake sweetners actually do more damage than good. They are artifical...there is not one grain of anything God made, natural in these. They can lead to severe headaches, stomach aches, joint pain, and other health issues.
- NO fake foods...Somehow the marketing magic we see today has convinced us that we are safe eating foods that are "fat free, sugar free, and artifically flavored." You would do better to eat the packaging than the food actually in them.
- NO white potatoes, rice or corn....these are three foods that are carbohydrates but turn in to sugar very fast in our bodies and tend to make us tired, overweight and unhealthy. Red potatoes, brown rice, and whole grain pastas are best.
- NO sodas...diet or otherwise. These drinks are empty calories with no nutritional value whatsoever. They diet varieties are infused with "fake" sweetener. The carbonated water in these drinks cause our stomachs to swell, which in turn leads to eating more to fill the hollow spot.
It only takes 5 to 30 days to reverse the curse, depending on how severe the internal damage is. Within 30 days, you can start to turn your body around. You can speed up your metabolism, get your cells healthy, renew your tastebuds, and even change your outlook.
So, now to clean out the kitchen:
- Remove all white flour..switch to unbleached flour, whole wheat flour, brown rice flour or spelt flour. These are all good alternatives. Whole wheat bread flour is also a good substitute. It helps make your baked goods fluffier and isn't bleached. Wheat bran, oat bran, are also great ways to get your fiber in. Just add a tablespoon or so to your food, and whalla you have fiber. It is tasteless and you won't even know. If you aren't sure how to substitute these flours in a recipe, I will post some exchanges later on.
- Remove all white sugar...replace it with honey, molasses, Stevia, Blue Agave, pure maple syrup, and birch sugar, also know as xylitol are all fine. You can also use pure fruit juices, applesauce, or other pureed fruits to sweeten baked goods.
- Remove anything with MSGs, saturated fats, fake fats, hydrogenated oils. Switch to using olive oil or canola oil. Your body needs fats in order to function properly. You need to eat foods containing monounsaturated fats that are found in plant based oils. These fats raise the heart healthy HDL cholesterol while lowering the bad LDL. You can also use polyunsaturated fats too, but limit them.
- Remove any sodas, sweetened drinks, sugary drinks....Water is your best friend. If you don't have a filter on your faucet, get one. Even those of us with well water need a filter. You need to drink at least two quarts of filtered water daily. Water helps flush out toxins, cleans our colon, removes fat, and hydrates out body.
- Remove all junk food. This includes cookies, candy, cakes, pies, chips, dips, and anything that is not "natural". These are harmful to your body. When you load up on these things, there isn't any room for good food. These foods also have no nutritional value.
- Switch from high fat, whole milks, cheeses and yogurts to natural products. I use 2 % milk, I try to buy 2 % cheese and fat free yogurt. I am going to be using alot of vegetarian and vegan products also. This can get a little expensive, but the price is worth my health.
Now let's move on to what you should have in your pantry and refridgerator/freezer
- Canned/shelf stable goods
Beans--cannellini, kidney, great northern, chickpeas, black beans, pintos, and lentils. These are good to have on hand, but the dried ones you cook yourself are better. They haven't been proccessed.
Chunk light tuna and salmon
Diced tomatoes--if you have a farm or produce market in the summer around you, buy in bulk and can or freeze fresh tomatoes for the rest of the year. Again, no processing.
Low sodium chicken broth, beef broth, and /or vegetable broth. Sam's club carries a great soup base that comes concentrated and lasts forever. I use it for soups, stews, and recipes calling for broth.
Silken tofu---I know...you are saying..yuck...tofu...actually it is very tasty and full of protein. I will be posting some recipes using tofu. Don't knock them until you try them.
CONDIMENTS AND FLAVORINGS
Spices of any kind are healthy and flavor foods without adding alot of stuff you don't need. They also help to eliminate alot of salt from the foods you will be cooking.
Oils: extra virgin olive oil, canola, and sesame oils are the best.
Vinegars: balsamic, red wine, cider, rice.
Tamari--which is an alternative to the high sodium soy sauce
Chile garlic sauce
Reduced Fat mayonnaise. I use a vegan type of mayo which has no eggs or anything. It's very good.
Dijon mustard and dry mustard
Salsa: check the lables though for MSG, sugar, and sugar alternatives
Ketchup...use sparingly. I have tried the reduced sugar, reduced sodium kinds and they are not good.
Worchestershire sauce..this is great on meat.
Dried herbs. These will do but the fresh variety has so much more taste. For soups and stews, buy the fresh herbs, trim them and snip them to fit in to an ice cube tray. Fill them with water, freeze and bag. When you need an herb for a stew or soup, just pop in an ice cube.
Fresh ginger. This spice is amazing. It can be used for oriental cooking, as well as other recipes you may have that needs a little pop.
Garlic...My everyday herb. We love garlic and it is good for you. You can buy it fresh, already chopped or minced in olive oil, powder form or garlic salt.
Sea salt...There are many varieties out there but I prefer Real Salt. I get it in one pound bags and I love it. It actually has a sweet taste to it and is much better than regular table salt.
Black pepper...try using the peppercorns that you must grind. The flavor is much richer.
GRAINS AND LEGUMES
Whole wheat pastas..you can find these in any grocery store now. But make sure to read the labels. It must be 100% whole wheat or whole grain. They will try to trick you.
Brown Rice, basmati rice, jasmine rice...these are all excellent forms of rice to use. No more processed white rice. Uncle Ben's makes a great boil in the bag brown rice.
Barley..a great substitute for rice
Old fashioned rolled oats..these make great baked goods, meatloaf, stuffed peppers, and just a great breakfast cereal.
Whole wheat couscous....I had never tried this before last year. It is a very small grain and it delicious. It cooks fast too
Bulgur wheat...a great substitute for a binder in foods
Cornmeal..you can use this to make polenta. Polenta makes great lasagna, a foundation for casseroles and even "pie" crusts.
Plain dry whole wheat bread crumbs...or make your own. Save the heels of your bread in the freezer until you have about 10-12. Place them in the foodprocessor and grind until the consistancy of crumbs.
NUTS AND SEEDS these are great protein alternatives
Walnuts, pecans, almonds, pine nuts, dry roasted unsalted peanuts, sesame seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds.
Natural peanut butter...you most likely will have to get this at a natural grocery. It is plain ground peanuts or almonds or cashews. You can also make it at home by placing your nuts in a processor, adding a little sea salt and sweetner like honey or molasses and grinding until you get the peanut butter.
BAKING AND DESSERT BASICS
Corn starch...used as a thickener in place of flour
Turbinado sugar, raw sugar, sucnant...these are all natural sugars
Baking powder and soda--aluminum free
Vanilla extract, or other flavors
Unsweetened cocoa powder
Low fat milks or soy milk
Low fat or fat free plain or vanilla yogurt...watch the ingredients for the fake sugars
Non dairy sour cream
Cheeses...parmesan, romano, sharp cheddar, colby, but watch the fat levels
Eggs or egg substitues
Lemons, limes, fresh fruits and vegetables
Salad dressings...watch the labels for sugars and fake ingredients
Frozen all natural fruit concentrates
On this journey, I will not be eating alot of meat. But if you are a meat eater, that's fine. My meat will consist of chunk light tuna, salmon, tilapia, orange roughy, chicken breasts, and very very lean pork loin. If I eat any red meat, it will be 96% lean ground sirloin, or very thinly marbled steak. No bacon, sausage, ham, smoked pork chops....nothing with alot of fat.
In my next post, I will post some exchanges, tips and a couple of recipes. I will also list the first 5 days of the plan and what you will be eating.
Thanks for joining me on my journey.