Food to be Good

Food to be Good

Okay PEOPLE, this is important: Without good health, life sucks.

The premise of The Marshall Plan is Being GOOD to be Bad. My book is for newbies. Four years after it’s publication food trends change, we’ve aged and our needs change. If whatever you are doing now is not working it’s only going to get tougher as the years go by. 

The good news, eating healthier is #TRENDING and getting easier. I’ve found the more Good I am during the week, the more Bad or splurges I can make on the weekend. The rule of thumb is Good 80% of the time, Bad 10% with a little 10% leeway. The other premise of TMP is YOU DECIDE what foods float your boat, good or bad. 

If you are one of those finicky tastebud people who do not like vegetables or this and that, stop reading, now. Some healthy foods are an acquired taste, and somethings, like swigs of apple cider vinegar, ACV as health professionals say, might never be a joy but the benefits outweigh the sourpuss. So why not start with ACV. Bragg’s organic, raw unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar is the mainstay of ACV. You can search it’s many uses but primarily, ACV encourages good stomach bacteria or flora, thus reducing belly bloat, and stabilizes blood sugar. You can sip in in tea, but why prolong the agony? I take a swig (like a shot glass) before bed and/or first thing in the morning when feeling the need. Rinse with water afterwards to protect the enamel on your teeth. 

Sipping warm lemon water first thing in the morning is also touted as a multi-benefit digestion reset before breakfast, (a.k.a. breaking fast, on an empty stomach) improving organ function from liver to skin to name but two. Warm lemon water boosts your immune system; add ginger, cayenne pepper and/or turmeric should your tastebuds allow, especially if you feel the onset of a cold or flu. 

Raw sliced ginger is another master preventing many ailments. Again, good for digestion, antioxidant rich, good for preventing or reducing colds. You will find it in many fresh raw juices, stir fry dishes and it is most effective sliced from the root, yet fresh and raw is the most pungent of the flavors. I didn’t like ginger until a fat farm chef encouraged me to take a bite while declaring it’s health benefits. Now I’m a pro at getting down a nibble; nibble being the operative word.

Portion size matters for everything, and applies to food as medicine too. Small portions are okay! No ones suggesting you eat an inch of ginger root, or a bowl of fermented veggies, which for many is another acquired taste. When my yoga guru friends first started talking about fermented vegetables like kimchi or sauerkraut, I thought heck no (even though one’s young daughters were eating it). Fermented cabbage is not the only option. There are several mixes available with carrots and beets adding a little sweetness, and a variety of flavors. Trending and a bit pricey at Whole Foods and the like, you do have to experiment to find what tastes you prefer. When I’m being very Good, I try to eat fermented veggies at breakfast. Remember, portion size matters; I’m talking about a tablespoon or two, sometimes mixed with diced avocado, sprinkled with a little chia or flaxseed.

Some days, I may eat a half a ruby red grapefruit instead. The acidic properties also help reduce bloat. I limit to one grapefruit per week, (that’s two halves) because some reports claim grapefruit interferes with hormone balance, and we certainly do not want to interfere with hormone balance. Studies are never conclusive, so hence, moderation is key. 

Turmeric is the 2017 Superfood and I say, turmeric on everything! Why not? I first began adding turmeric powder to veggies, seafood & chicken as an anti-inflammatory to relieve joint and muscle aches. Studies claim it can strengthen the immune system to fight colds & flu and reduce cancer risks. Turmeric reportedly helps boost your mood and cognitive function among other finds. There are turmeric teas and recipes to use the turmeric root (similar to ginger root) in addition to powder (splurge on organic powder). So worth repeating: turmeric on everything! Why not?

Not a fan of juicing regimes, (but I do love fresh green juice as a snack per day, with as little fruit as possible), there is a morning juice that during desperate times helps kickstart a healthy eating routine, reduce bloat and drop a few pounds. Note this concoction has many of the good ingredients we’ve discussed. It is designed to do for seven days but I typically can follow it for three or four days. You decide. It all depends on how Good you want to be. 

For 4, 5, or 7 days in the morning on an empty stomach:

Juice 1 1/2 fresh orange, 1 lemon, 1 Tbsp olive or coconut oil, 1 clove garlic, 1 inch fresh ginger. Sprinkle cayenne powder, turmeric to taste. Add ice, blend, drink. It’s an acquired taste – it gets better. 

Eat grapefruit and green apples until noon, or other alkaline, low sugar fruits like organic berries. 

Lunch & dinner eat clean lean protein and lots of green vegetables (raw, steamed or sautéed). Poaching seafood or chicken is cleanest, grilling or baking with light oil and seasoning is good too. Ideally no alcohol or a glass of wine if necessary. I make an effort to abstain M-W or Th each week.

Based on TMP Good to Be Bad philosophy, I try to do this morning juice M-Th or Fr, then take a break on the weekends. It’s a lot of morning prep. You can dice the garlic & ginger ahead of time, and you can blend a few nights of juice ahead. (I hate all this prep early in the morning with NO COFFEE.) Once I’m at a happy place with my “reset” I might enjoy coffee 45 minutes to an hour after drinking the juice. If I’m starving I may eat lunch after 11am rather than noon.

Garlic is another root veggie that packs a wallop of good benefits, good for your heart, bones, anti-inflammatory, cancer prevention and cognitive recognition. I feel like garlic is the grandfather of superfoods, we’ve known that for a long time. If it’s news to you, add it where you can. Note: some people have difficulty digesting garlic so proceed with caution.  

Vegetables are carbohydrates! This is covered in the book and will hold true forever but it is worth repeating. Even if you followed the 30:30:40% rule, vegetables are complex carbohydrates that aid in digestion. Try to add veggies to every meal. And if you’re really trying to be Good, plant based, moderate portion dinners aid your mission. 

If you have time, especially in the mornings, grazing is a good way to allow your stomach to digest the healthy properties if you choose to try more than one of these tactics. 30-45 minutes in between doses seems reasonable. 

There are millions of fresh whole foods that suffice as Food as Medicine, contributing to wellness. These are simply some of my current, basic strategies for everyday life. The internet is a wealth of information (pun intended) to learn about foods that support preventative or corrective health needs. If you have questions about sequencing, or other recommendations, please email me or start a dialogue on my Facebook page, The Marshall Plan: Being Good to Be Bad. Let’s share the wealth of good health! 

The Short List

Fermented veggies

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