These foods can help heal you
- Mel’s weekly food pick:
Organic Valley Ghee
- Mel’s weekly recipe pick:
Last week you learned the most empowering Universal Truth you could ever know as it relates to making food choices to support your health: What you feed your body most, it will crave.
Next up is Universal Truth #4: Some foods can heal you.
I am totally pumped to offer you this truth because it will give you the opportunity to really put your body to the test and discover for yourself, the incredible transformation that occurs when you begin craving these foods. And to think…all you have to do is eat them, and eat them often.
So what are they?
I call them “Earthfoods.” They are the foods we all know we should be eating more of: single ingredient, unprocessed, health-empowering, nutrient-rich foods from the earth. Simply put, they are the foods your body was designed to eat and truly longs for. They are powerful beyond measure and include vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, avocados, legumes, herbs, spices, cacao, green tea and many others.
In addition to healthy blood sugar, the payoff of eating a steady diet of Earthfoods is a body that is satiated to the core. These foods won’t cause you to raid the refrigerator looking for more food an hour after you’ve eaten them. Moreover, you aren’t likely to feel the need to overeat them because they are so nourishing. They reduce chronic inflammation in your body (which is the driving force largely responsible for diabetes, cancer, and heart disease), give you energy, help your brain function at optimal levels, and provide a sense of clarity and focus.
You will feel so good on a steady diet of Earthfoods that after awhile, you’ll begin to notice two things:
- First, you can’t believe how crappy you were feeling before. Think about it, if you’ve always felt a certain way, you have no way of knowing how bad you really feel, because you have nothing to compare it to. Or maybe it was such a gradual shift towards feeling crummy that you didn’t even notice the subtle differences over the years. Then you just blamed it on “getting old”.
- The second thing you’ll notice after eating a steady stream of nature’s Earthfood is, when you stray off course and processed foods begin to sneak back into your life, your body doesn’t like it. It shows you by perhaps the manifestation of little aches and pains, elevated blood sugar, stomach discomfort, skin problems, digestive issues and even brain fog.
I’m always delighted when someone tells me that, after eating a few chicken wings or a couple of slices of pizza at a party, they suffered a stomach ache or some other uncomfortable, non-life-threatening side effect. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not happy they are in pain, but rather a bit tickled because I know these are signs they’ve made a shift in their body. They’ve trained their body to crave the good stuff and reject the rest.
A serving of Earthfood is any one of the following:
- 1 cup vegetables (choose mostly non-starchy for better blood sugar control)
- 2 cups leafy greens
- ½ cup fresh or frozen fruit (berries are the most powerful!)
- ½ cup cooked lentils or beans
- ¼ cup nuts
- 1 tbsp. seeds
- 1 tbsp. fresh ground nut or seed butter (peanut, almond, cashew, sunflower butter)
- ½ of a small avocado
- 1 tsp. dried or 1 tbsp. fresh herbs or spices
- 1 tbsp. cacao
- 1 tsp. matcha tea
Meal Planning 101: Forming “PeaceMeals”
I only have one rule when it comes to meal planning, and I think you’re really going to like it!
Simply choose a minimum of three Earthfoods servings per meal. Three is the magic number to turn any meal into a “PeaceMeal”. I find that when too many rules are applied to meal planning, it just complicates what should otherwise be a fun, nurturing experience. Surely anyone can choose three Earthfoods to make a meal! For example, adding one cup of lightly sautéed vegetables and two tablespoons of fresh basil to your morning omelet and serving it with a half cup of fresh blackberries on the side will give you three Earthfood servings. Eat a serving of Caulimash with your dinner (see this week’s recipe below) and you’ve already earned your three servings!
The beauty of adding Earthfoods and taking nothing away, is that you are consciously choosing to put three powerful ingredients into your body, which will make you think twice about the other components of that meal. For example, for dinner, if you are roasting up a beautiful tray of Brussels sprouts (Earthfood) and planning to serve them alongside a nice fresh piece of wild salmon and a salad made with greens (Earthfood), sunflower seeds (Earthfood) and fresh raspberries (Earthfood) it is unlikely you will wash it down with a soda or have an ice cream sundae for dessert. Do you see what I mean?
Take a look at the following three sample meals to see how easy it is. The number beside each food indicates the number of servings of Earthfoods it provides.
BREAKFAST: Three-egg omelet made with:
- 1 cup of sauteed vegetables: 1
- 1 tbsp. fresh basil: 1
- Served with 1 cup of fresh blackberries: 2
LUNCH: Organic chicken salad made with:
- 1 cup of chopped celery and red cabbage: 1
- ½ cup cooked lentils: 1
- 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro: 1
DINNER: Salmon fillet with a side of:
- Wild rice pilaf made with ¼ cup walnuts: 1
- 2 cups roasted Brussels sprouts: 2
A note on portion sizes:
My thoughts on portion sizes? They are a guide. That’s it. They illustrate a reasonable amount of food that should satisfy you. Notice the emphasis on the word should. The portion size that is best for you may change from meal to meal and yours is probably different for mine. Factors such as activity level, illness, and temperature can all affect your appetite. This is where really listening to your body is of the utmost importance.
To determine how much food is required to satisfy you at any given meal, let hunger and satiety be your guide. Think back to when you were a small child— when you were hungry, you ate. When you had just enough, you stopped eating…no matter how much food was left on your plate. Eating should be a relaxing activity, so enjoy your food, go with the flow, and pay attention to your body and what it’s trying to tell you.
I challenge you to turn at least one meal every day into a PeaceMeal. I think you will find it a simple, sustainable, and powerful way to elevate the nutritional quality of your meals without having to do a complete 180. Give it a try…I know you can do it. Oh, and by the way, in case you were wondering…you are worth it!
Although I am a firm believer in the freedom of choice, it would be unethical for me not to mention the deleterious effects of certain “foods” and fake ingredients on your health. I will share three of these substances in my next post: Universal Truth #5: Some foods can harm you.
Mel’s weekly food pick:
Organic Valley Ghee
Ghee is a form of clarified butter, meaning the excess water and milk solids have been removed, resulting in a decadent, deep, rich, and nutty flavor unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. Seriously, it’s that good! Even better, Organic Valley Ghee is lactose and casein-free, making it easier to digest by those with a dairy intolerance. And because it comes from the milk of pasture-raised cows, it contains a fair amount of omega 3 fatty acids too.
Ghee has a high smoke point, so it is ideal for high-heat cooking. How do I love ghee? Let me count the ways 🙂 :
- To cook eggs.
- To saute vegetables.
- To roast Brussels sprouts.
- Mixed and melted in my Caulimash.
- To sear meats.
- Melted over popcorn.
- As a substitute for butter or oil in cooking.
Ghee is shelf stable once opened, so you may want to store it in your pantry for ease of use. Once refrigerated it becomes a little tough to scoop out!
Mel’s weekly recipe pick:
One of the most important questions I ask myself when choosing a food to eat or recipe to prepare is: how long will this food keep me satisfied?
Unfortunately, when it comes to regular white potatoes, my answer is: not very long! Because of their high glycemic index, white potatoes have a strong impact on your blood sugar. This spike in blood sugar is followed by a subsequent dip, causing hunger to return sooner than it should.
Enter cauliflower mashed “potatoes”, or what I like to call Caulimash. 100% pure cauliflower- seasoned with garlic powder, sea salt, pepper, fresh chives and ghee. The taste is pure heaven on earth! And, because cauliflower has a low glycemic index, it will not cause undesirable effects on your blood sugar. Bonus! An extra bonus…cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, meaning it has the power to reduce inflammation in your body.
This past Thanksgiving I made this recipe of Caulimash for my family in place of traditional mashed potatoes and everyone loved it! In fact, my mother (who is VERY hard to please when it comes to food), asked if she could take some of the leftovers. Score! 🙂
Serve it alongside a nice piece of grass fed beef with some roasted carrots and I swear you’ll never miss the spuds. You could also prepare a little extra and add it to your scrambled eggs on Sunday morning. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!