Start Somewhere: 10 Easy Food Upgrades

It’s easy to go into auto-pilot at the grocery store and head for our usual foods. Much easier than worrying about what you “don’t eat.” Eating healthy can be daunting but if you take it one food at a time it’s easier. We compiled a list of 10 foods to start with, but you don’t have to swap them all at once. Start with the ones that seem the least daunting.

Make the upgrade on your next trip to the grocery store. Out of all the foods on this list which ones seem the easiest to upgrade? Start there!

1-Don’t Eat Soy

Soy has often been hyped as a health super food, but this food is highly inflammatory and usually highly processed. Soy is a phytoestrogen which can mimic your natural hormones throwing off your hormonal balance.  The majority of soy bean foods found in grocery stores are GMOs which are horrible for you.

Upgrade to Other Veggie Protein Super Foods

If you are looking for a good vegetable protein, there are lots of options. Spirulina which has a mighty protein punch because it’s 60-70% protein and a tablespoon has 6 grams of protein.  An ounce of Goji berries has 20% of our daily protein needs. Hemp is another great source of protein that is also anti-inflammatory. Don’t worry you won’t get high – hemp doesn’t have THC. Other options are chia seeds and flax seeds. So many to choose from.

2-Don’t Eat White Sugar

Sugar is an anti-nutrient offering little in the way of nutrients and vitamins while robbing your body of nutrient stores. This highly inflammatory food is a major contributor to high obesity rates and declining health. The average American eats 146 pounds a year.  It’s hidden in many processed foods under names like corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, maltose and more.

Upgrade to Xylitol, Honey, Maple Syrup, or Stevia

It’s easier to give up sugar is you have a healthier substitute that will satisfy your sweet tooth without the harmful effects of sugar. Xylitol is a great choice because it can be easily substituted 1 part for 1 part in recipes and it has many health benefits. Other good choices are honey, maple syrup, molasses, and stevia.

3-Don’t Eat Conventional Mayonnaise

Regular mayonnaise is usually made from soy bean oil which is bad for you and its typically genetically modified soy beans. You will also find high fructose corn syrup, modified food starch, and hidden chemicals like herbicides and pesticides.

Upgrade to Soy-Free or Make Your Own

There are so many options. Look for soy-free options with minimal ingredients like avocado mayonnaise. You can also make your own which is surprisingly easy! There are also vegan options that are egg-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and soy free to make them allergen-friendly!

4-Don’t Eat Low Quality Balsamic Vinegar

Most balsamic vinegars are just white vinegar with caramel coloring and no healthy bacteria. Feel robbed by the fancy sounding vinegar? I do

Upgrade to Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar has so many benefits with healthy bacteria and anti-inflammatory components. It regulates blood sugar while reducing GERD, acne, and candida. Shop for good raw, organic apple cider vinegar with cloudy, spider web looking mass in the middle. That’s the good bacteria, right there!

5-Don’t eat Wheat Bread

Wheat is full of gluten. Gluten is the glue that makes your bread hold its shape and it’s also the sticky protein that causes inflammation, leaky gut and other illness. Yuck! GMOs are also a frequent offense of foods in this category.

Upgrade to Gluten-Free Bread

Skipping the gluten can be one of the fastest ways to cut inflammation and disease in your body. Commercial bakeries add even more gluten than traditional bakeries. Gluten-free bread like the ones from Sami’s Bakery are a great way to still enjoy a sandwich without any of the gluten. There are many great brands but there are lots of bad ones too. Look for one with a short ingredients list to find gluten free and healthy.

6-Don’t Eat Regular Pasta

Regular pasta is typically made with wheat. You will even frequently find it in sauces. Many people don’t know how many places this inflammatory food is. Cut the inflammation and the inches by cutting the gluten.

Upgrade to Spaghetti Squash or Vegetable Noodles

An easy swap is spaghetti squash or vegetable noodles. Like zoodles which are made from zucchini! They are even fun to say. Now is the time for zoodles!

7-Don’t Eat Table Salt

Let’s be clear- salt is good for you, but table salt is toxic. It’s highly processed which removes all the beneficial minerals. To process it they bleach it and use the toxins sodium ferrocyanide, aluminum silicate, and ammonium ferric citrate. You may also often find dextrose or MSG which are used to stabilize iodized salts. Lots of bad stuff with no good stuff.

Upgrade to Sea Salt or Himalayan Pink Salt

Salt is an essential nutrient and the second most essential nutrient next to water. Real salt contains 50 natural occurring trace minerals like potassium, calcium, iodine and zinc.  It helps regulate body functions, is critical for cell function, and is important for maintaining fluid balance in the body. You need salt to be healthy. Make sure you are getting the good stuff in the form of sea salt or Himalayan pink salt.

8-Don’t Eat Hydrogenated and Partially Hydrogenated Oils

Skip the vegetable oils and soybean oils that are very inflammatory. These are linked to cellular congestion which leads to cancer, chronic fatigue and neurotoxin syndrome.

Upgrade to Grapeseed, Coconut, and Avocado Oils

Good fats are essential to hormone production, cancer prevention, brain development, mental clarity and getting rid of inflammation in the body. And they taste good! Use grapeseed, coconut and avocado oils which have better stability for cooking than other oils. You can also use good old-fashioned bacon grease (from antibiotic-free pork of course). Then all your food tastes like bacon.

9-Don’t Eat Conventional Meat

Factory farmed meat is full of hormones, antibiotics and other chemicals you don’t want to ingest. They will add anything to make the animals fatter and bigger to produce more meat to sell. This manipulation of meat products is not good for your body. The conventional meat is inflammatory and bad for your health.

Upgrade to Grass-fed, Organic Meats

This is a great place to Start Somewhere because many meals include a meat. To avoid the extra chemicals, upgrade your meat choices. Eating meats labeled all-natural means there is no preservatives or chemicals added in the processing of the meat which is good compared to conventional practices.   Eating grass fed is better than all-natural but there can still be herbicides and pesticides on the grass they eat. There is also the potential for use of antibiotics.

Eating organic, fully grass-fed meats is best. Organic farms are highly regulated, so you know you are getting a quality food. Choose organic and you will avoid the chemicals.

10-Don’t Eat Milk Chocolate

Milk chocolate is highly processed with heat and added sugars. The processing takes away all the benefits that you get from real, pure cacao. The added sugar and milk destroy make this food horrible for you.

Upgrade to Dark Chocolate or Cacao

You didn’t think we were going to tell you to totally skip the chocolate, did you? That would be mean! Real chocolate is so good and good for you! It helps balance hormones and is full of nutrients. Now real chocolate or cacao is bitter so sweeten it with xylitol or approved sweeteners.

Start Somewhere and Find Easy Upgrades

What do you think? Were there foods on the list that you haven’t upgraded yet? Did any of them seem like an upgrade you could make? Change can be hard for all of us. Start with the ones that you can easily upgrade and work your way to more foods. Once you get started it will get easier and before you know it your whole pantry will be upgraded! The faster you get started the faster you will be on your way to better health!