When your first came in contact with all this information around a healthy lifestyle and healthy eating especially you might ask yourself how to start. Well I guess there’s no one fits all solution but there are basic steps from which you can choose. And I recommend you doing whatever feels easiest for you and not start with the hardest parts. That will disencourage you and you will stop before you really started. So start implementing more and more easy things and see the progress you made. Later you can get to the “harder” steps and implement them but often they don’t seem so hard anymore once you started with easier things that helped to detox and heal you which eventually might change your taste buds and cravings.
One of the smallest but greatly impacting changes you can do is start drinking lemon water. When something alive like lemon juice is added to the water that actually changes the energetic structure of the water so that your body is much more able to recognize that as something hydrating. So lemon water has the capacity to flush out much more toxins and deeply hydrate your cells. We are exposed to so many thousands of different chemicals 24/7 we need ways to get rid of them.
When speaking of water it’s also important to recognize that tap water is not clean water. It is contaminated with many harmful substances like hormones (women taking the pill over decades, it has to go somewhere), pharmaceutical residues (from almost everyone taking a pill here and there and prescription drugs), traces of heavy metals (through the piping system) and in some areas even fluoride is added (a toxic substance, even Wikipedia says that, look at the pictograms) and of course you always find residues of pesticides like glyphosate, herbicides and fungicides in tap water. You don’t want these substances in your body so get yourself a reverse osmosis filter. They don’t have to cost thousands of euros/dollar you can even built them on your own like I did. I just bought the instruction manual and the parts and could build it on my own. But of cause you can buy one if you don’t like working on that on your own.
The next easy step is so eat more of the healthy foods you already like. For me that was definitely fruits! Maybe you love bananas or mangos or pears or melons, berries, oranges, pineapples or whatever than just eat more of that especially in the morning. Since fruit is digested so quickly you should best eat them on an empty stomach for example for breakfast. So just start with eating a bunch of your favourite fruits in your day you can eat your normal breakfast afterwards if you want. But you might eat less of that because you already ate a pile of fruit. Or maybe you like tomato salad very much or guacamole or green beans with potatoes, whatever it is, start eating more and more of it for a good start.
A very nice option for all the sweets lovers out there is nicecream! It is basically frozen fruit, mostly bananas, put in a blender. You can add a bit of water for the consistency and dates if you want it even sweeter. And on top you could even add a bit op peanut butter for a peanut butter nicecream. Believe me you will love that as it tastes really nice and sweet, is very healthy and can be eaten daily (maybe not with peanut butter daily) and has enough calories to get you full for a greater period of time. Often we are craving shitty foods in the evening when we haven’t eaten enough throughout the day so make sure you eat enough calories for lunch and early afternoon like this nicecream and you won’t get that hard craving (or even none at all) later in the evening.
Of course salad is always a nice start to a healthier living but many of us don’t like them because of how we use to eat salad. It should never be boring. Try to be creative and implement different toppings like avocado, olives, hemp seed, dried tomatoes (rinsed in water some minutes before, makes a better consistency), fresh greens like parsley or chive, sprouts and last but not least a great dressing. I like to blend together dried tomatoes, zucchini, a bit of an onion, clove, tomato, dates and lemon juice and spices like smoked pepper for a very delicious sweet sour and savoury dressing. And for the start you can of course put some side dishes to your salad. Just eat it together with (or better before, because it gets digested very quickly) your normal dinner, so you will eat a bit less of that and a bit more salad.
In general try to eat more fresh raw foods (this often feels easier to do in the morning so start with that) and also unprocessed cooked or steamed vegetables in order to replace the unhealthy things you normally would eat. And don’t overwhelm yourself that doesn’t happen overnight. It is okay, if you eat crappy foods here and there as long as you slowly reduce their amount. You can do this 🙂
A toxic world
We live in a world where more and more people are getting chronic illnesses. Starting with diabetes, cancer, autoimmune diseases and all the smaller itches we consider already as normal – constipation, fatigue, brittle nails, receding or grey hair in our twenties? And even with all our technological improvements and research we should think it would help in making us healthier and living longer – but our anticipated average life is slowly decreasing! How is that possible?! Why are we doing all the research on illnesses if we are getting more and more ill and even have a shorter lifespan in the outcome?
Maybe we are not living that healthy after all. Maybe our modern ways of eating, living and even medical treatments are actually harming our health and so shortening our life. Where in detail does this all come from? Let’s take a look:
We are nowadays in contact with over 700,000 toxic chemicals on a daily basis. Our cloth, our furniture, cars and cleaning agents are full with toxic materials that are harmful for our bodies. That “new car smell” or when you buy new cloth? – Formaldehyde. In every step of the production of clothes are used so many different varieties of chemicals that it’s hard to keep up. Or how could you explain that lead (a toxic heavy metal which can lead to permanent brain damage, especially and that young age) is found in baby bibs? Phthalates where found in clothes like jeans – chemicals linked to cancer and damage to the reproductive system. Our cosmetic products are full with toxic materials – aluminum in deodorants, lead in eye shadow, PEG compounds in creams. These ingredients are known to be carcinogenic.
Have you ever read the full list of adverse effects on a package insert? Better not… you’ll find the most hilarious or horrible things on it: headache pills that lead to headache, antibiotics that can cause disability, cytostatic agents (that are used in chemo therapy) are known carcinogens. Yes you read right: Some drugs have the exact disease they are supposed to treat as a side effect! Apart from all the other side effects that the chemicals cause in your body. So why taking them at all? Because the doctor said so? Or health organizations? I think we need to question that…
Many different varieties of pesticides, fungicides and herbicides (glyphosate being the most known) through our food intake. And even if you go fully organic you still might get exposed to that because they are so widely sprayed that they are transported by the wind and contaminate the groundwater (which you will later on have in your tap water). But of course it’s better to avoid the main part by buying organic! But there chemicals are just the small amount you’ll get when you buy the whole food. When you buy instant meals or eat out you get a whole lot more. When you order for take away your food often is stored in aluminum or styrofoam trays which can emit aluminum atoms (heavily linked to Alzheimer’s) or styrol (which is toxic to the central nervous system) into our food. So much for the packaging now for the actual food. Processed foods contain a large variety of ingredients which already have proven negative effects on our health. Why they are still sold? Food companies make billions of dollars with that stuff so they of course won’t give that up easily and we all know how influential lobbies are on politicians. Anti-caking agents in salt are very small hard particles (which themselves are not particularly toxic) which cut open your arteries from the inside. You are of course not bleeding to death instantaneously but your body has to repair that every time you eat salt containing that. And how can you know what salt is used when you buy a precooked meal? This is not obligatory to list on the label. Monosodium Glutamate which is added to many processed foods is addictive and can cause many different health conditions such as asthma, depression, obesity, diabetes, and heart irregularities. Benzoates which are added to soda or condiments for example cause cancer and thyroid damage. Furthermore foods contain potassium bromate, artificial sweeteners like aspartame, butylated hydroxytoluene, nitrates and nitrites just to name a few which are all causing serious diseases. A more detailed list can be found here.
What to do instead?
So with all that information in mind what can we do to reduce or best avoid those toxic chemicals? The bad news first: It’s almost impossible (nowadays) to avoid all of them completely. But to calm you down: Our bodies are really magicians when it comes to deal with toxic substances. They only get into trouble when it’s such an overwhelming amount as we have it today! So it’s already very helpful and healing for our bodies to eliminate as many toxins as possible even when there are still some remaining.
- First step: Buy ORGANIC!
I know you will be tired of hearing that because it’s so “trendy” right now. But it makes such a HUGHE difference! Not just that the levels of toxic chemicals are lower and the levels of antioxidants higher even the structure of the plants is different!
But buying organic does not only apply for food also for your clothes or even furniture. Try to buy organic cotton or hemp clothing and bed sheets. That’s the stuff you have on your skin all day long.
- Second step: Use more natural products.
There are already many brands out there who sell better cleaning agents or natural cosmetics. You can even make your own! I have my own laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent powder, rinsing agent, deodorant, tooth powder and insect spray. Just google what you want to make on your own with the word ‘diy’ after it and you’ll finds lots of recipies.
- Eat as unprocessed as possible.
This is the most crucial step to my mind because you really are what you eat. So how can you be healthy and happy if you only eat toxic crap? How can you avoid toxins if you don’t even know what is all in your food? Have you ever read the ingredients list at a restaurant or at McDonald’s? When you prepare your own food you know what’s in there. You know everything is organic and fresh (if you ever worked at a restaurant you would be shocked about the quality of the food – but after it’s cooked it looks okay, so why bother). But when you make your own meals with as natural and unprocessed ingredients as possible you will have the lowest concentration of toxins in your food.
I know that all sounds like a lot of work and money at first. But in the end lots of the things are in fact cheaper, especially when you make a lot of things on your own weather it’s cleaning agents or food prep. And it can also be fun trying out those new things particularly with having your best health in mind!
What is the ideal diet for you?
Especially with healthy food and also a lot in the raw food scene, everyone tells you something different about what is best to eat. High Carb, Low Carb, much fat, little fat, always raw or only raw till 4?
Who do you listen to?
In my opinion – even if many people probably don’t see it that way – there is no one ultimate diet for everyone, especially not for every phase or situation in life.
For me there are two main pillars for healthy eating:
Firstly, „cruelty free“, meaning no destruction in the production of our food, whether through the slaughter of animals, deforestation of the rainforest, and excessive use of pesticides, fungicides and herbicides that kill everything, whether it is weeds, soil bacteria or insects. I know it is difficult to avoid all this completely, because spraying is also used in organic farming. But you can at least limit it a bit and it is a first step in the right direction.
My second principle is to use everything as unprocessed as possible in its natural state. Ingredients like sugar, oil and extract flour, which are all isolated substances. Sugar in a banana, mango or pear, which is very healthy for us, has nothing to do with the white crystal sugar obtained from highly cultivated sugar beets. The extracted sugar is completely free of the vitamins and minerals that the aforementioned fruit would provide you with at the same time as the sugar. As a result, the sugar binds minerals in the body and thus releases them from the places where they are actually needed – e.g. bones, teeth, hair. This is why it is often referred to as „mineral thief“. The same applies to oil and extract flours. These contain only the empty macronutrients such as fat and carbohydrates, but almost completely free of the original comprised vitamins and minerals.
Everybody is different and needs a different approach for healing
Apart from these basic pillars, I think that you have to decide very individually and adapted to your own body, which is the ideal nutrition for you. Some people tolerate fruit all day long as a fruitarian very well, while others lack the hearty meals in the long run. Or if one should only eat mono food or, for example gourmet raw food, also a lot of mixed food depends on the respective situation and also how long one is on the path of healing. Especially when changing to raw food it is very important not to be driven crazy by all these dogmas. As long as you eat less animal, poisonous (= heavily sprayed) and highly processed foods like sugar, oil and flour, you are on a very good path, don’t let yourself be driven crazy! I have often made the mistake of thinking ‚all or nothing‘. But especially when it comes to a change in diet, this is completely the wrong way to go. There may be a few people who like to leave out everything cooked overnight immediately and it is of course such people that we always want to orientate ourselves towards – it just sounds too tempting to switch immediately from processed industrial food to healthy raw food – but you should always remember that this is not the majority. Many (who perhaps don’t talk and write about it) have slowly but surely approached the topic and step by step brought in more and more raw food. And generally speaking, it is of course much better if you „only“ replace one conventional cooked meal with a raw food salad two or three times a week at the beginning or eat only fruit in the morning than if you don’t change anything at all and continue to eat bread with jam and cheese for breakfast every day and hamburger, pizza or steak for lunch.
It’s also no use if you’re fed up with the great barley grass or celery juice if you’re completely disgusted by it and don’t like the taste at all. We should always listen to our own feelings and do not have to act completely against our (momentary) taste of our body. Compulsion is useless! In time you will find out that the healthier option will taste better and better, but for the beginning orient yourself on the healthy things that you already like. Eat your fill of tasty grapes, honeydew melons or mangoes. Make yourself a juice in which you initially mix very little green, but more carrot, apple or cucumber, which is sweet and very mild in taste. Do what is good for you and tastes good, and don’t judge yourself because you don’t like pure wild herb juice or raw foods salad only with green leaves and nothing sweet in it.
Be easy on yourself on your path of healing
For example, I didn’t really like celery for a long time, let alone would have liked to drink the juice of it, but now I like it very much and love the fresh taste of celery juice in the morning! Now it does me good, but if I had drunk it when I found the taste repulsive, it would not have been good for me especially I wouldn’t have lasted long. Our body shows us when the next step is to make an even healthier change. Just stick with it and forgive yourself for small „missteps“!