Guide For Transitioning To A Healthier Diet


By: Gaia Staff  |  February 23, 2010

At this point, most of us know what foods are healthy. The challenge is no longer in finding the best health-promoting foods, but rather conveniently incorporating them into the diet on a daily basis without overextending our time budget. What then is the best route to take when aiming to integrate more healthy foods into the diet by replacing the less-healthy options?

A common approach when transitioning to a new way of eating is to eliminate certain non-health promoting foods. However, the most effective way to seamlessly adopt a new eating plan is to include more health-promoting foods as opposed to eliminating the less healthy. This is a practical solution that works on a physiological level as well as a psychological one.

Physically, this approach is ideal in that it allows time for the body to detoxify itself. Healthier foods generally have more fiber, more chlorophyll and are often enzyme rich. These three components of healthy food will, however, take the body a bit of time to adapt to. By slowly adding foods that are rich in these nutrients, the body will grow used to them and actually begin to expect and even desire them over time.

Psychologically, adopting this “inclusion” approach is a sound strategy. Mentally knowing that you can still eat some of the foods you’re trying to wean yourself off of in the early stages of the new diet is a comfort to most. Simply starting a program that is less restrictive (and therefore not as daunting) will have a greater chance of being embraced and will eventually becoming routine.

One of the most effective ways to begin making the transition is to incorporate key cleansing foods in a form that is appealing. Whole food smoothies are the best way to do this. Blended with one’s choice of fresh fruit, they can accommodate most everyone. As mentioned, the key active ingredients for transitional purposes are fiber, chlorophyll and enzymes. As with any nutrient, fiber is best obtained from a whole food source. Both soluble and insoluble sources of fiber are important. Hemp, flax, greens and vegetables are a superior source. Whole grains are also a reasonable choice and sprouted are the best. Chlorophyll rich foods are the green ones — the darker the better. From basic lettuce to more exotic algae such as chlorella, spirulina and even phytoplankton, they are tremendously healthy.

Enzymes are prevalent in raw food. Simply by incorporating more raw foods (such as fruit and vegetables) into your diet will ensure that your enzyme needs are covered. However, stress and the over consumption of refined foods can cause enzyme production to sharply decline. But the addition of fresh raw fruit is a good first step.

Other good whole food sources to add to a smoothie include coconut water, which is extremely rich in electrolytes, and a seed called Salba that is high in protein and essential fatty acids, including omega-3.


 

Brendan Brazier

Brendan Brazier is a professional Ironman triathlete and a two-time Canadian 50 km UltraMarathon Champion.  He is the bestselling author of Thrive Fitness and The Thrive Diet and the creator of an award-winning line of whole food nutritional products called VEGA.   
Having appeared on CTV and CBC in Canada and on NBC, ABC and FOX in the United States, Brendan has become a sought-after speaker.  He is a guest lecturer at Cornell University and teaches an eCornell course called “The Plant-Based Diet and Elite Athleticism.” Brendan was chosen as one of the 25 Most Fascinating Vegetarians by VegNews Magazine, the Top 40 Under 40 most influential people in the health industry by Natural Food Merchandiser and has been nominated twice for the prestigious Manning Innovation Award for creating Vega.   Brendan’s intentions of spreading the word of an ethical, environmentally friendly, and healthy lifestyle through plant-based foods have taken him across North America, speaking at events such as the Chicago Green Festival and the United States Humane Society Gala.  Brendan was also invited to address US Congress on Capitol Hill, where he spoke of the significant social and economic benefits that could be achieved by improving personal health through better diet.  Spanning the whole month of October of 2008, Brendan was a keynote presenter on a cross-Canada university speaking tour called “Students for Sustainability.”  Speaking at 21 universities, along with others such David Suzuki and Stephen Lewis, the tour went coast to coast offering practical environmental-preservation solutions to students. It was Canada’s largest environmental tour. Among Brendan’s other achievements are his active involvement with initiatives such as a new exploratory adventure movie on health and wellness, Back from the Edge, and a photo feature alongside the likes of Barack Obama and Bill Maher in the charity book A Rare Breed of Love (Simon & Schuster) recently featured by Oprah Winfrey.
Brendan lives in Vancouver and Los Angeles.
Website: www.brendanbrazier.com
Facebook: Brendan Brazier
Twitter: @Brendan_Brazier


 

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