Inevitably people make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, join a gym, and set other personal goals. Unfortunately we all know where most folks end up: they hit the gym, eat right, and are enthusiastic about this lifestyle for about…2 months. One of the biggest problems is that they are receiving bad information as to what is healthy for them. Fluffy info like “fat is bad” “eat heart healthy whole grains” and “spend an hour on the treadmill everyday” is simply not healthy nor sustainable. Plus it’s not FUN. If you want to change your looks, health, and lifestyle, you need to get rid of the bad stuff. No, I don’t mean one of those silly commercialized “detox”s, but if you want to think of it that way, this is your KITCHEN DETOX.
In looking to start the year off right (and look better than you did in your teenage years), first thing’s first. Clean out your kitchen! If you think a crack addict is going to rehab with drugs laying around the house, you’re sorely mistaken. The same goes for food! You need to resign yourself to the fact that you do NOT have the self control to not touch the stuff. Get rid of it. If anything is open, throw it out. If it hasn’t been opened yet (oh, this box of crackers that somehow survived months of being on the shelf?) donate it. Your body literally processes refined carbs and sugar as a drug and yes, you are addicted. When I tell people they need to get rid of grains in their diet, the inevitable response is “I couldn’t do that.” Yes you can. I used to have pasta every night for dinner, I did.
In looking to get rid of things, this is just a few things that I can think of off the top of my head that you probably have lying around. You basically want to get rid of things containing grains, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, veg/corn oil, soy, and dairy:
bread (yes, even whole grains)
crackers (you didn’t really think Wheat Thins would MAKE you thin, did you?)
cereal (yes, even things like cheerios)
soda (should be a no brainer)
iced tea (same)
potato chips or any of those snacky foods
leftover holiday desserts/cookies/cake
butter (if veg/corn oil is an ingredient)
soy anything (tofu, etc)
Why do you want to get rid of these things? Because they are all sources of unhealthy inflammation, and/or sugar that will spike your insulin levels. No matter what commercials or Women’s Health tells you, whole grains are not the best thing for you and tofu is not a good substitute for meat. Sorry to be blunt, but it’s the truth.
So Chris, I can get rid of this stuff (unwillingly, but you’ve convinced me that it will cause inflammation and send me on a Type II Diabetes track) but now what do I buy?
Good question theoretical reader. Essentially you should buy meat, fish, veggies, fruit, nuts/seeds, and good fats. I have a couple of good rules to follow in my post Nutrition, Fitness, and Health 101 and Robb Wolf has a shopping list here. Will you have to learn how to cook? Yes. Will it be good for you and can it be fun (getting other family members involved and spending quality time together?) Yes. Everyday Paleo has great recipes as does Mark’s Daily Apple and Whole9. Oh and there is that thing called Google. Not sure if you’ve heard of it. The fact is that there are a ton of people in your position who aren’t sure how to make the switch with food, but a lot of these folks blog, write, and podcast their way to try and convince you that 1.) it’s do-able and 2.) it’s worth it.
What are your thoughts on doing a Kitchen Detox?
For those of you that have done this, tell us about your experience