Let’s talk about C.R.A.P!
One of the first things you can do is cut all the crap out of your diet. It’s a really small change and it makes a huge difference to how you feel and how you look.
By this I mean fizzy drinks and yes, all of them: Waters, colas, lemonades and other carbonated juices.
By cutting out the average 2 fizzy drinks a day (UK), you can save yourself up to 400 calories and you may be able to reduce the chances of obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndromes and cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure amongst others.
What should I drink instead?
- Herbal tea – This will give you a natural boost without caffeine and counts towards your 8 glasses of water a day.
- Water – Will hydrate you, keep you focused and help keep hunger at bay.
- Not from concentrate juices – As an occasional treat these juices are full of vitamins and minerals.
White sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, fructose, and ALL artificial sweeteners are included here.
Studies suggest that because refined sugar is basically an empty calorie like alcohol, it should be consumed in moderation. Personally I’d get rid of it all together and here’s why:
- It leaches minerals and vitamins from the body.
- It is tough on the digestive system, often causing bloating and discomfort.
- It is linked to type two diabetes.
- It creates an acid environment in the blood stream, which will give prevalence to certain types of cancer. It also means the body is over working to try and alkalise the blood. (Cancer cannot grow in alkaline environments. Read acidosis theory.)
But I really like sweet things!
That’s ok. There are loads of ways to sweeten your food without adding refined sugar. Some natural sweeteners include maple syrup, molasses, stevia and agave. I like to add fruit to sweeten things. For example on my porridge I’ll add a chopped banana and some raisins. Fruit sugars will also give you more quickly available energy. I love to have a banana smoothie before a good workout.
I’m really talking about sweeteners and food flavourings here, with the most notable being aspartame. This is the sweetener used in squash and diet drinks. It has been known to cause immediate effects such as headaches, mental confusion, dizziness and seizures. It also forms harmful chemicals in the body such as formaldehyde which leads to metabolic acidosis and can cause kidney failure and blindness as well as creating an environment where cancer cells can thrive.
My advice? Stay well clear, always and forever.
Any food which has been canned, boxed or bagged is classified as processed food. For example an apple is not a processed food, but an apple pie is.
Processed foods are bad for your health because they often contain high levels of fat, salt and sugar. Over consumption can lead to obesity, high blood pressure and cancer.
I’d say treat yourself to occasional (once a month) processed treat, but in the meantime try and make things from scratch. See what you think of this kidney bean burger:
- A tablespoon of olive oil
- Two large handfuls of cooked kidney beans
- 5 cloves of peeled garlic
- Blend all the ingredients in a food processor
- Lightly fry in olive oil
Serve with a large, fresh salad.
So there we have it. Cut the C.R.A.P and start your journey towards a healthier you.