Healthy and enjoyable eating is key
NO ONE needs vitamin pills or other supplements
The RockYourBody Food Pyramid
Here’s my ultimate list of how to eat – for a healthy life and delicious meals EVERY day:
|Rarely or never||Sugar | Sweets | Alcohol | Simple carbs: white flour, bread, etc. | Fast-food | Processed foods, containing sugar, cheap fats, etc. | Inflammatory oils: sunflower, corn, soy, grape-seed, sesame, safflower|
|Little||Sugary fruits | Whole-grain bead & pasta | Rice | Potatoes |
Wine, preferably red | Curd cheese, hard cheese like Parmesan | Red meat: organic or grass-fed | Milk: organic or grass-fed | Oats
|Some||Whole fruits with pulp | White meat: organic or free-range | Healthy oils: coconut, black cumin, argan | Sheep or goat dairy | Yoghurt & kefir | Gluten-free grains: quinoa, buckwheat, millet, amaranth | Dark chocolate with > 85% cacao|
|Moderate||Legumes: chickpeas, lentils, beans | Nuts & seeds | Fish | Organic eggs | Nightshade vegetables: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant | Fermented foods: sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, kombucha | Green smoothies with pulp|
|All you want||Vegetables, especially green & leafy | Berries | Avocado | Organic spices: garlic, ginger, turmeric, black pepper | Organic plant protein: chia, almond, rice, pea, pumpkin seed, hemp, linseed | Omega-3 rich oils: linseed, fish, avocado, macadamia|
Healthy eating dos and don’ts
What to eat
- Hot water or tea right after getting up in the morning – to re-hydrate and get the juices flowing
- A healthy breakfast within 30-60 mins of waking up – to activate your metabolism
- Prefer natural, fresh and unprocessed foods – to avoid unhealthy fats, carbs, synthetic flavors and additives
- Focus on plant-based ingredients (aim for more than 80%) – for more energy like you won’t believe
- Lots of still water (at least 2 liters a day for starters) and herbal tea – to stay hydrated and prevent hunger
- Eat colorful! Vegetables and fruit with different colors are rich in different nutrients – the more colorful you choose them, the greater the range of nutrients you get
- Prefer complex/slow carbs (legumes, vegetables) over simple carbs – to avoid body fat
- Try pasta made from legumes (chick pea, lentil, bean pasta) or the asian zero carb konjac shirataki noodles
- With every carb dish, reduce the carbs to 25% (or less) and go for 75% of vegetables on the plate (plus some protein)
- If carbs have to be on the plate (as an exception, not permanently) – schedule a workout right before the meal (to transform carbs into muscle mass instead of body fat)
- Eat lots of healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, linseed, nuts and fish) – to increase metabolism, fat loss and protein absorption
- If any, use butter from grass-fed cows
- Use healthy oils with a high smoke point for cooking (coconut, macadamia or avocado oil)
- Add precious oils after cooking (olive, linseed or fish oil)
- Try vegetable protein sources – almond, chia, pumpkin seed, linseed, rice, pea or hemp protein can be delicious
- Try vegetarian meat alternatives
- If any meat, only buy grass-fed, free-range or organic – the health benefits compared to cheap industrial meat are enormous
- Just organic, whole eggs (don’t leave the yolk out – it contains most of the essential nutrients)
Groceries and cooking
- Prefer freshly harvested and frozen vegetables and fruit – over food that has been ripening in dark trucks for days or weeks
- Use maximum oven temperatures of 180° C (356° F) to avoid acrylamide – especially when preparing starch-rich foods (potato-based, corn-based or cookies)
What to stay away from
- refined cereals or flour
- soft drinks with sugar or artificial sweeteners
- joghurts and other dairy sweetened with sugar
- pressed fruit juices without pulp (high in fructose)
- all foods containing cheap fats and trans fats (processed, deep-fried, fast food, margarine, snack foods and packaged baked goods)
- sunflower, corn and safflower oil
- cheap dairy products from industrial production
- processed meat (sausages, bacon, etc.) at all and very little red meat (to reduce cancer risk)
- industrial meat or dairy – most contain antibiotics, pesticides, growth hormones and inflammatory Omega 6 fatty acids, and the animals have been raised in intensive mass animal farming and may have been fed with genetically modified feed
Pantry and freezer suggestions – What you should always have in stock
Overcoming temptation – the pre-emptive strike
The KEY for a healthy diet in my opinion is:
Step 1: Making temptation impossible – get rid of all the bad stuff
First order of business: Clean ALL the unhealthy stuff (come on, you know EXACTLY what it is) out of your pantry, cupboards, fridge, freezer and ALL of your secret hiding places – and give everything to your „favorite“ neighbor (haha) 😉
In that way you will never get caught in a situation where you’re REALLY hungry – and the only thing available is some sugary, carb-rich, fatty or otherwise highly processed, unhealthy stuff.
(And for your cheat days – always buy everything ON the actual cheat day – and eat it right away) 😉
Step 2: Preparing for when the hunger comes – stock up on the good stuff
Always have a choice of your favorite healthy foods at home – foods that are ready to eat (or can be prepared in a minute) and that you could eat every day. I’ll show you my favorites in a second.
Foods to stock
Here’s a list of what I always have
Berries (strawberries, raspberries
Meal suggestions and tips
- Avocado, tomato and cucumber salad, topped with fried or hard-boiled eggs
- Curd cheese with low-sugar berries, lemon juice and vanilla
- Cottage cheese with cucumber, tomatoes & roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds
- Cereal (without added sugar) with berries
Benefits of a plant-based lifestyle
- Plant-based foods are high in vitamins (antioxidants) and other highly beneficial secondary phytochemicals
- They are low in saturated fats
- Their high fiber content leads to a healthy digestion and gut microbiota
- If compared to other foods, per 1000 kcal plant-based foods have a much higher nutrient content
- Their nutrients lead to reduced risks of obesity, cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases
More energy and better health – with plant based foods
More and more people are considering strongly reducing or cutting meat and dairy from their everyday diets – and replacing them with plant based foods. Having done this myself for almost 2 years, I can say:
A plant based diet makes a difference you won’t believe – until you try it!
There are various valid reasons for cutting meat and dairy from your diet:
- Due to health concerns and medical recommendations
- Because you care about animal welfare and high quality food
- Because you want to reduce the environmental impact of your diet (did you know that producing 1 kg of beef needs about 15000 liters of water? Whereas 1 kg of tomatoes needs just 180 liters?)
Processed meats – why you should completely avoid them
(and any meat that is not from grass-fed animals)
Processed meats (including ham, salami, sausages and hot dogs) have been scientifically linked to cancer, diabetes, cardio vascular and other life-threatening diseases.
The World Health Organization has classified them as a Group 1 carcinogen. This means that there is strong evidence that processed meats cause cancer.
Red meats have been classified as a ‘probable’ cause of cancer.
Experts from 10 countries reviewed more than 800 studies to reach these conclusions. They found that eating 50 grams of processed meat every day increased the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%.
Industrially produced meats (red and white) are full of antibiotics, growth hormones, pesticides and other harmful substances.
Meat causes acidosis
Acidosis is increased acidity in the body’s cells, blood and other body tissues.
It is caused by an acid lifestyle (stress), coupled with an acid diet (sugary foods, refined grains, lots of meat and dairy).
Acidosis causes inflammation all over the body. Inflammation then leads to chronic pain, the clogging of arteries and cancer (just to name a few of the most dangerous outcomes).
Thus, inflammation is the leading cause of the most life-threatening sickness and diseases.
Is any meat safe?
You still like to eat meat and dairy products from time to time? Go for grass-fed and ethically raised!
Not only do animals that are fed with grass (or whatever is species appropriate) and ethically raised outdoors live a happier life. Their meat also is totally different from that of industrially raised animals fed with concentrated feed (that is used to maximize growth and minimize costs)!
Industrially produced meat and dairy contains (among the above-mentioned antibiotics and pesticides) high amounts of omega 6 fatty acids – leading to increased inflammation in the human body).
Meat and dairy from grass-fed animals is totally different. It contains high amounts of the healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Those reduce inflammation and have other highly beneficial effects on our health and immune system.
While you’re at it – if you don’t want to go for a 100% vegetarian or vegan diet yet: Why not at least boycott industrially produced meat (cheap meat from supermarkets) and switch to meat from grass-fed, organic and ethically raised animals!
The connection between carbs and body fat
Low-glycemic vs. high-glycemic foods
When you eat carbohydrates, your pancreas produces insulin. This hormone enables you to digest sugars and starches.
The release of insulin is sometimes called an insulin spike. Depending on the type of carbs (and the amount) you eat, this spike can be quick and high, or slow and balanced out over a longer period.
Simple carbs (like the ones in sugar, white bread, pasta, pizza, etc.) provoke higher insulin secretion.
Complex carbs (like the ones in legumes (chick peas, lentils, beans) and most vegetables lead to a low and more balanced insulin secretion.
The former provides energy quickly, but leaves you craving for more shortly afterwards. The latter provides sustainable energy over a long period of time, leaving your hunger satisfied.