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Spring Clean Your Diet // deliciousobsessions.com Follow Me on Pinterest

{Please welcome my good friend Lydia to the site today! Lydia is a Nutritional Therapist and the author of the Divine Health from the Inside Out site. If you’ve followed my site for any amount of time, you know that Lydia is not only a close friend, but she is also my NTP and has been helping me make great progress on my healing journey. She is an INCREDIBLE woman who really knows her stuff when it comes to health, especially the role minerals play in our bodies. Please give her a warm welcome to the site and stop by Divine Health and say hello!.}

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by Lydia Shatney
Divine Health from the Inside Out

Spring is finally here! It’s a great time to do a little spring cleaning for your body and detoxify from the long winter. Spring is the BEST time of year to fine-tune your health. Traditionally, it’s a season that many cultures do fasting, detoxing and cleansing. The weather inspires us to naturally desire a cleansing in our bodies, not to mention more fresh foods are available again.

Everyone wants vibrant health, increased energy and a clearer mind. Are you ready to refresh yourself?

Only you can change your life and work to obtain the health that you so desire and deserve. However, if you are like most people today you are probably thoroughly confused when it comes to choosing a health or diet plan. You’ve been bombard by the overwhelming amount of fad diets and mainstream information and much of them contradict each other. Are all carbs bad? Should I eat all raw? Do I need to become a vegan? Is a high-protein diet the best choice? Should I follow the blood type diet protocol? The list of questions like these could go on and on.

I’m here to tell you that there is a way to ease your concerns and obtain your goals. There are several key foundations we all need to understand in order to iron out what a healthy, nutritious diet really looks like. Let’s discuss.

What Is A Healthy Diet?

Nutrition is a science focused on the interactions between living organisms and their food. It also includes the study of the biological processes used in consuming food and our body’s ability to use the nutrients found in food.

Nutrients are the chemical substances contained in food that are necessary to sustain life. There are 6 classes of nutrients that our body requires to function optimally, those are:

Water – Water is the most important nutrient in the body, it is about 60% of our body composition. Water helps to transport nutrients, regulate body temperature, remove wastes, flush toxins, lubricate joints, improves oxygen delivery to all our cells, enables cellular hydration, moistens oxygen for easier breathing, cushions bones and joints, absorbs shocks to joints and organs, prevents tissues from sticking, improves cell to cell communication, maintains normal electrical properties of cells and empowers the body’s natural healing process.

Proteins – Proteins compose about 18% of our body. Proteins are the building blocks of the body. Our body uses and assembles 50,000 different proteins to form organs, nerves muscles and flesh. Proteins are responsible for building enzymes, antibodies, hemoglobin, hormones. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. All proteins are a combination of 20 amino acids. 10 of these are essential, meaning the body cannot produce them, therefore we need to consume them from our food. 10 are nonessential and can be synthesized by the body.

Fats – Fats compose about 15% of our body weight. Fats provide a source of energy for the body. They are the building blocks for cell membranes and hormones. They are required for the absorption of the fat soluble vitamins; A, D, E and K. Fats are required for the adequate use of proteins, serve as a protective lining for the organs of the body, play a role in slowing the absorption of food for proper energy regulation and last but not least, they make food taste great!

Carbohydrates – Carbohydrates compose about 2% of our body. They provide fuel for the brain, a quick source of energy for muscles, help regulate protein and fat metabolism. Carbohydrates provide a source of fiber which helps with eliminating waste materials, help fight infections, promote growth of body tissue such as bones and skin, lubricate the joints.

Vitamins – Vitamins compose less than 1% of our body. They function as coenzymes or helpers in metabolism, are essential for growth, vitality and health. Helpful for indigestion, elimination and resistance to disease

Minerals – Minerals compose about 4% of the body. Minerals are provide solely by food sources, they are not produced by the body. They act as co-factors for enzyme reactions, maintain pH balance and osmotic pressure, facilitate the transfer of nutrients across cell membranes, maintain proper nerve conduction, contract and relax muscles and regulate tissue growth.

Knowing that we require all of these classes of nutrients for optimal health we will know what to look for in an optimal diet. That said, each of us will be different in what components of each class that we will tolerate. We all need to work to find what foods we tolerate and which we don’t rather than look to any one diet to tell us what we should and shouldn’t eat.

Spring Clean Your Diet – Here’s How!

The most important changes you should make to optimize your diet right away are as follows:

1. Water

Make sure your water is filtered to avoid harmful substances that will also affect the health of the gut. Water improves oxygen delivery to our cells, aids in waste removal, improves cell to cell communication (including neuron communication) and absorbs shock to joints and organs. The body can produce 8% of our needed water supply itself. The remaining 92% must be ingested. I personally avoid tap water because of its fluoride, chlorine, and traces of pharmaceutical drugs. I like to drink filtered spring water which is rich in minerals. I don’t recommend distilled water nor reverse osmosis water because it is stripped of its minerals and can potentially throw off electrolyte balance. Read my post about The Role Of Water In The Body.

2. Good Fats

Good fats are required for the absorption of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. They slow down absorption (it is a good idea to pair a fat with a simple carbohydrate to avoid blood sugar dysregulation). They provide a source of energy and aid in energy regulation. Good fats satiate our body and satiate our brain; our brain is primarily made of fatty acids; fatty acids are needed to create neurotransmitters and cholesterol. Good fats are found in animal fat, and are a precursor to every steroid hormone in our body including all our sex hormones.

Sources of Good Fats: A good rule of thumb is to have about 30% of your daily calorie intake come from good quality fats (again, we will all vary on this percentage it’s just a starting point). A balance of all fats is important including omegas 3, 6, 9 and saturated fats. A good source of omega 3 fatty acids, as many of you probably already know, is fish. Many nuts and seeds are rich in omegas 3, 6, and 9, make sure you soak your nuts and seeds before consumption, as this aids in nutrient absorption and digestion. Good sources of saturated fats include cold pressed coconut oil, grass fed butter, and other animal fats from pasture raised, grass fed animals. Check out my articles What Are Healthy Fats?, What Are Healthy Cooking Oil/Fats?, and What Fats Should You Be Consuming for more information.

3. Proteins

Proteins are very important as they make up many, many molecules in our body, which are necessary for life, some of which include: Enzymes are important in all metabolic reactions that occur in our body, antibodies are necessary for immune function, hormones regulate many functions in our body, hemoglobin carries oxygen in our blood stream. When we consume proteins our body digests them and breaks them down into amino acids which it can use individually or rearrange to make other proteins. As mentioned above plain amino acids, modified amino acids, and chains of amino acids can all act as neurotransmitters.  I encourage you to read my articles about Choosing Healthy Meat, Dairy & Seafood, & Why Organic Pasture Raised Meat Is Worth The Price to learn more.

4. Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide a source of fiber, a quick source of energy for the muscles, along with fats and proteins, carbohydrates help lubricate our joints and promote growth of body tissues, they are also a quick source of energy for the brain.

Sources: Consumption should be of only unrefined carbohydrates and the majority should be complex carbohydrates and not a large amount of those being the starchier carbohydrates. Unrefined means the way the carbohydrate occurs in nature, an example would be: raw honey, not processed in any way. Complex carbohydrates include vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. It is important to properly prepare your grains and legumes by soaking or sprouting them before cooking. This rids these foods of enzyme inhibitors making the nutrients within them easier to absorb. Consumption of refined carbohydrates and sugars has been shown to deplete various nutrients and can lead to depression. Want more info? Check out these posts: Greens Glorious Greens and Soaking & Sprouting Grains Nuts & Seeds.

To learn more about nutrient-dense, real foods I suggest checking out the following websites:

Now, here’s where we take the spring cleaning a little bit further. Let’s say, you are already consuming real, nutrient dense foods – you’ve got that part covered. Yet, you still feel the need to do a little house cleaning so to speak. You want to take your health and healing further. When healing, our body thrives on foods that are simple to digest as well as nutrient dense. A little dietary reconfiguring might be necessary for most of us in the spring time. Here are some keys to do a little spring cleanse.

Keys To Deeper Cleansing

They say it takes 21 days to make a habit. My encouragement to those wanting to spring clean their health is to make a plan and schedule 21 days to stick to a clean eating detoxifying plan. Each week you can add a different focus.

1. Ditch the Food Sensitivities & Common Inflammatory Foods – Often the foods we are sensitive to are the ones we least want to live without – this is a strong indication of a hidden unrecognized food allergy. Find the foods like that in your life and that is a good place to start elimination. Many people crave the foods they are allergic or sensitive to. Not all food ‘allergies’ or sensitivities present like a true anaphylactic allergy – hidden allergies/sensitivities take longer to manifest a reaction – it can take 24 hours to 72 hours to show up making it very difficult to identify the offending food. People with hidden allergies have many chronic health problems that they probably do not associate with any particular food. Symptoms can include:

  • hyperactivity: wild, unrestrained
  • talkative behavior: explosive, stuttering, constant
  • inattention: disruptive, impulsive
  • short attention span
  • restless legs, finger tapping
  • clumsiness: uncoordinated, tremors
  • insomnia or nightmares
  • nervousness: irritable, upset, short-tempered
  • high-strung, excitable, or agitated behavior
  • moodiness or depressed behavior: tired, weak, weary, exhausted, or listless
  • easily moved to tears or easily hurt
  • high sensitivity to odor, light, sound, pain or cold
  • nose: year-round stuffiness, watery nose, sneezing, nose-rubbing
  • aches: in the head, back, neck, muscles or joints (“growing pains” or aches unrelated to exercise)
  • belly problems: bellyaches, nausea, upset stomach, bloating, bad breath, gassy stomach, belching
  • bladder problems: wetting pants in daytime or in bed, need to rush to urinate, burning or pain with urination
  • face: pale color, dark eye circles, puffiness below eyes
  • glands: swelling of lymph nodes of neck
  • ear problems: repeated formation of fluid behind eardrums, ringing ears, dizziness
  • excessive perspiration
  • low-grade fever
  • chronic inflammation anywhere in the body
  • proneness to allergies
  • resistant to weight loss (even with exercise and good diet) 

2. Power Up on Healing Nutrients – Your body needs protein to heal. Bone broth is very protein sparing and loaded with amino acids. A good option for those who have trouble digesting meat. Well-cooked or boiled meats are better tolerated when digestion is impaired and best paired with some fat or broth. Bone marrow is also very nourishing. Fresh, pastured eggs are an excellent source of protein. Fats are also very healing and nourishing. Fats provide us with vitamins A, D, E and K, Omega 3s and more. These nutrients are critical to heal.

Vitamin A rich foods such as butterfat, egg yolks, liver and other organ meats, seafood and fish liver oils are key. Vitamin A stimulates the secretion of gastric juices needed for protein digestion. Protein, minerals and water soluble vitamins cannot be utilized by the body without vitamin A from animal sources. It is very difficult to make the conversion of carotenes from plants into vitamin A, making vegetable sources of ‘vitamin A’ in carotene form not an ideal source of this vital nutrient.

Vitamin D rich foods are needed for calcium absorption. Vitamin E rich foods are important for tissue repair and healing. Increased ingestion of polyunsaturated oils requires a greater amount of vitamin E in the diet. Again, foods like; butterfat, eggs, liver, organ meats, marine oils, seafood, nuts, seeds and even some legumes (properly prepared and only if tolerated).

3. Green Your Diet – Dark, leafy greens pack a nutritional punch that’s hard to beat. They are some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Loaded with calcium, folate, iron, vitamin K, potassium and other minerals the body needs as well as carotenoids. The nutrients available through greens are easily assimilated and more ready to absorb than through supplements. (It’s no wonder Popeye downed his spinach!) Greens are also very alkalizing to the body. So eating lots of greens can help to keep overall pH of the body normalized. Greens include; beet greens, bok choy, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, pac choi, swiss chard, spinach, tat soiand turnip greens. It is important to purchase organically grown greens to avoid high-nitrate commercial fertilizers. It is also helpful to know that greens should be cooked or fermented if you have any kind of thyroid issues. The more tender of the greens, such as spinach, tat soi and pak choi can be enjoyed raw as well as cooked. Chard and beet greens, if young can also be eaten raw if desired, though the stems should be cooked. As for the tougher more hardy greens like collards and kale, you will need to cook them thoroughly in order to make them digestible

Dark, leafy greens pack a nutritional punch that’s hard to beat. They are some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Loaded with calcium, folate, iron, vitamin K, potassium and other minerals the body needs as well as carotenoids. The nutrients available through greens are easily assimilated and more ready to absorb than through supplements. It’s no wonder Popeye downed his spinach! Greens are also very alkalizing to the body. So eati…

Read More at divinehealthfromtheinsideout.com/2012/02/greens-glorious-greens/ © Divine Health

4. Replace Those Minerals – Minerals are sorely lacking in the modern day diet and are easily depleted further by stress. Lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach (read more about hydrochloric acid here) make it difficult for us to obtain enough minerals. Lack of mineral rich water is another modern day problem. The best sources of minerals in our diet come from mineral-rich water, nutrient dense foods, herbal teas (like this one), bone broth and quality sea salt. Even small amounts of clay is a traditional practice that can get more minerals into the diet and help bind toxic materials and move them out of the body.

5. Ditch the Sugar – If you really want to take your health further – ditch all forms of sugar for 21 days. Not even whole forms of sugars like raw honey or maple syrup, even avoid the sweeter fruits and dried fruits. Sugar causes inflammation – remove the sugar and we find we have more energy, think more clearly, sleep more soundly, lose weight and even have better digestion. Not to mention, get our hormones back into balance. Do you crave sugar? If so, it could be a good time to get those cravings under control (check out 3 Reasons You Crave Sugar).

Want more information, guidance and encouragement for your personal health journey?

A Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis & Game Plan provides a comprehensive step by step guide to get you started on where you want to be with your health. I cover metabolic health, sleep, exercise, a dietary template and how to gently detox the body. Learn the exact supplements to implement that are right for your body currently. It’s all here for you – come on over and find your best health this spring! Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis – What It’s All About!

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Knowledge is power! When we know better, we do better! Are you confused about what steps to take to gain the health you truly desire? Do you need guidance and practical information so you can make concise decisions that get you results? A Hair Analysis & Game Plan will empower you with the knowledge necessary to take actionable and measurable steps to make changes for your well-being. Let a mineral analysis guide you to your goals! Get Started Today!

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About Jessica Espinoza

Jessica is a real food wellness educator and the founder of the Delicious Obsessions website. She has had a life-long passion for food and being in the kitchen is where she is the happiest. She began helping her mother cook and bake around the age of three and she's been in the kitchen ever since, including working in a restaurant in her hometown for almost a decade, where she worked every position before finally becoming the lead chef. Jessica started Delicious Obsessions in 2010 as a way to help share her love for food and cooking. Since then, it has grown into a trusted online resource with a vibrant community of people learning to live healthy, happy lives through real food and natural living.

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