Dietary Guidelines Tips
Follow these tips to make the most out of your new food plan! The suggestions under "Step It Up" are optional. They are for those patients that are either already easily following the foundational guidelines of this plan or want to go “all in” from the beginning. If you are new to making dietary changes or are already feeling overwhelmed by the recommendations, do not feel obligated to incorporate these suggestions now.
NON-STARCHY VEGETABLES AND FRUITS
- Add a side salad to lunch and dinner to boost your vegetable intake.
- Incorporate vegetables into your breakfast by making a green smoothie or adding leftover dinner veggies to an egg omelet.
- Precut veggies such as carrots, bell peppers and cucumbers for easy snacks and salad toppers.
- Use the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” lists to save money on organic produce if needed (ewg.org).
- Purchase “in season” fruits fresh and “out of season” fruits frozen to increase flavor and save money.
- Beware of portion sizes of dried fruits. Their small size can make them easy to over consume.
- Choose wild berries over farmed. They are lower in sugar and higher in antioxidants and phytonutrients.
STEP IT UP
- Aim to eat at all the colors of phytonutrients every day (a combination of fruits and vegetables).
- Eat 3-5 servings of blue/purple phytonutrients every week for a boost in brain health.
- Increase your vegetable intake to 10-12 servings per day.
- Consume all organic product, regardless of “clean” lists which can still contain chemicals.
QUALITY MEATS AND FATS
- Purchase meat at your local farmers market or join a CSA program. This can often save money and ensure the quality of your meat is as advertised.
- Increase overall protein intake with our paleo protein powder, pea protein powder or collagen powder.
- Make your own marinades out of approved vegetables, herbs and spices.
- Reduce toxins by avoiding aluminum foil and charring when grilling meats.
- Increase your fat intake if your energy feels low.
- Store your oils in dark, glass bottles and keep them away from light and heat (do not store in cabinet directly over the stove). Some seeds, such as hemp and flax, need to be refrigerated.
- Oils go rancid (most within 6 months) – smell them before you use them.
- Add a scoop of hemp or chia seeds or nut butter to your morning smoothie.
STEP IT UP
- Add organ meats, which are loaded with vital nutrients, to your diet.
- Target at least 2 grams of EPA/DHA every day for optimal brain and nerve health.
GF GRAINS, STARCHY VEGETABLES AND LEGUMES
- Easily limit gluten-free grains by replacing your usual selections with vegetable alternatives such as cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles.
- Note any digestive distress after consuming gluten-free grains. Some people do not tolerate certain grains well and may have to remove them from their diet.
- Choose nutrient dense root vegetables instead of white potatoes.
- Choosing organic is even more critical with high glycemic produce as these items are sprayed with more pesticides than lower sugar produce.
- Avoid canned beans if possible. if using them, choose those packaged in BPA free cans.
- Note any digestive distress after consuming legumes. Some do not tolerate legumes well and may have to remove them from their diet.
- Home made bean dip with vegetables makes an easy and filling snack. Do watch portion sizes with dips.
STEP IT UP
- Consider removing grains, starchy vegetables and legumes from your diet completely for 30 days to further reduce inflammation. You can then systematically reintroduce them to your diet and note your body’s reaction to them. Talk to Dr. Zitt for further instructions.
- Ferment beans after cooking to further increase digestibility.
- Enjoy the natural taste of foods without added sweetness. Salt, citrus, herbs and spices can give a dish the flavor it needs without sugar.
- Replace refined sugars in baking recipes with natural sugars (may not be a 1:1 replacement).
- Choose dark, organic honey for a richer flavor and greater health benefits.
STEP IT UP
- Only consume sugar in the form of fruits, vegetables and gluten-free grains (following the above recommendations for these categories).
GLUTEN, SUGAR AND DAIRY FREE
- Avoid packaged foods and restaurant meals. These almost always contain some form of sugar, gluten, dairy or all three!
- If you must eat a packaged food, thoroughly read the ingredient label. Gluten, dairy and sugar can be hidden in many forms. Choose “certified gluten-free” products to be safe.
- If you are craving cookies or crackers, make your own at home with diet approved ingredients. Eat these home baked goods sparingly.
- Instead of relying on gluten-free “swaps”, try new recipes that are naturally gluten-free.
- Satisfy sugar cravings with whole fruit which contains fiber to lessen the glycemic impact on the body.
- Make your own BBQ sauce and ketchup without the unnecessary sugar.
- Use non-dairy milks such as almond or coconut milk. Choose organic, unsweetened varieties without carrageenan.
- Replace butter with ghee. Watch for negative side effects. It is rare but not everyone will tolerate ghee well.
- Canned coconut milk and cream (in non BPA cans) can be used in a wide variety of recipes and is preferred over cartooned coconut milk.
- Replace cream and sugar in coffee with unsweetened dairy-free milk and stevia.
- Boost your coffee’s impact. Make “keto” or “bulletproof” coffee by blending with coconut oil or ghee and MCT oil (known as “keto” or “bulletproof” coffee).
- Make your coffee a full meal by blending it with Designs for Health PurePaleo chocolate protein, spinach, ice and almond milk for a mocha or with Designs for Health PurePaleo vanilla protein, spinach, ice and a dash of cinnamon for a latte.
- Mix a 1:4 ratio of fruit juice to carbonated water for a refreshing drink with much less sugar.
- Replace traditional soda with carbonated water.
- Post exercise, replace sports drinks with a homemade electrolyte drink. Combine pure coconut water, the juice from an orange, the juice from ½ a lemon, a tablespoon of raw honey or maple syrup and ¼ tsp real salt.