Masters of Health Magazine January 2017 - Page 18

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“Dr. Hyman, over and over I find myself making unhealthy choices,” a reader writes. “

Even while I am at home, I reach for something that I know is going to make me feel like crap. When dinner time comes around, I get so overwhelmed and end up making pasta or pizza. Please help me make better decisions about what I put into my body.”

Well you are not alone, my friend! This is a challenge that so many of us deal with on a day to day basis, and the only way around it is to do a kitchen makeover. Bringing fresh energy and fresh food into the kitchen and purging it of all of the foods and items that make us sick and unhealthy is an important step to making better choices and overcoming food cravings and addictions.

The cure for what ails us — both in our bodies and in our nation — can be found in the kitchen. It is a place to rebuild community and connection, strengthen bonds with family and friends, teach life-giving skills to our children, and enrich and nourish our bodies and souls.

We need to break the addiction cycle and halt your cravings – likely the same cravings that have sabotaged your weight loss efforts in the past. Why not stack the odds in your favor by removing the items that have kept you trapped, sick and miserable? Or, to put that a better way: Why not set yourself up for optimal success by making your kitchen a happy, hopeful place filled only with vibrant, real, whole foods that will nourish your body and genuinely feed your soul?

If you make your kitchen a safe zone, with only foods that nourish rather than harm, then you will automatically make the right choices. If you fill it with crap, you will eat crap, no matter how much willpower you have.

How to Purge Your Kitchen

Here are my four easy-to-follow steps to start your purge:

Step 1: Reclaim your kitchen by replacing anything that is questionable with real, fresh, whole foods without labels. A fresh avocado or a kiwi doesn’t come with a nutrition facts label or a bar code or an ingredient list. The questionable items are those that come in boxes, jars, cans and other packaging. In other words most convenience foods. It’s important to first shift your focus away from the often misleading nutrition “facts” list (which is mostly designed and developed under huge food industry lobby efforts to confuse and confound your efforts to eat healthy) and instead rely on the ingredients list. When reading through the ingredients, look for items which you don’t recognize, can’t pronounce, are listed in Latin or aren’t items you would normally have in your cupboard. Beware of foods with health claims on the labels.

These claims usually signal a marketing ploy to make you think they’re good for you when they’re really just healthy pretenders. Things like sports beverages, energy bars and even multigrain breads (which often contain high fructose corn syrup) fall into this category.