Eating Clean - What to do and what not to do

As a mum on a journey to discover what could be causing my child’s health issues, I did extensive research on the effects of foods on children. Over a series of many articles I have outlined ways certain foods, as well as toxins in our environment, can have negative effects on our children and their learning. 

In reality, it affects us all. The same principals apply to adults as well. Here is a summary. 

My article titled Allergies, Asthma, ADD/ADHD & Autism: What can I do naturally to help my child?, is essentially a roadmap through the process to being and eating clean. These are the steps our family followed. 

1. Seek out specialists and run specialty tests. 

Look for doctors who specialize in biomedical treatments and supplementing nutrients. Look for deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fatty acids. Supplement those that are deficient. 

2. Identify allergies and sensitivities. 

Completely eliminate or treat anything that shows up as an allergen or you are sensitive to. 

3. Decrease intake of toxins. (Food, skin, hair, clothes, air) 

Eat clean. (See details in previous articles: What are we really feeding our children? & Strategies to Eat Clean). Drink filtered water. Be sure the air in your home is clean. Avoid perfumes in soaps, shampoos and laundry detergent and chemicals in cleaning supplies. Use natural remedies for colds, flu and minor pain. 

4. Change diet. Gluten Free, Casein Free, Corn Free, Soy Free and Sugar free. Free from artificial ingredients and food additives. 

Avoid processed foods, GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) and food treated with pesticides. If sensitive, eliminate gluten, dairy, corn, soy and sugar from your diet. (See two previous articles mentioned as well as Why Eat Gluten and Dairy Free & Sugar – Effects on Children). Avoid meat cured with nitrates and nitrites. Take probiotics daily. 

5. Feed a healthy brain with whole organic foods and good fats. 

Avoid the processed food aisles. Eat mostly whole foods that include plenty of vegetables and good fats such as fat from organic meat, nuts or eggs, organic coconut or olive oil as an example. The brain needs good fats to function properly. Avoid bad fats such as polyunsaturated fats. 

There are many “Don’ts”. Don’t eat this, don’t drink that... 

Avoid allergens because they weaken your immune system. Don’t eat processed foods with food additives, artificial dyes or flavors because they have been stripped of their nutrients and have been linked to neurological effects. GMOs (genetically modified organisms) have not been studied long term and the effects are unknown. Gluten and dairy sensitivities are linked to a wide range of brain disorders such as autoimmune, digestive and neurological disorders as well as many other diseases. The effects of sugar on the brain and the digestive system are damaging. These topics are all discussed in detail in previous articles. 

Some say that it is too much to remember. You empty your cupboards of cereal and processed food filled with additives and food dyes, then realize that everything else seems to have sugar in it. It seems overwhelming and difficult at first. 

It’s simple really. Don’t focus on what you can’t have, focus on what you can. (See article titled Strategies to Eat Clean

Eat mostly whole organic foods. As a naturopathic doctor once told me, “Eat foods that used to be alive.” This includes meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts and seeds. For meals, think meat and two vegetables. Fruit for dessert. Nuts, seeds and raw vegetables for snacks.  

Pay attention to every food choice. Nobody’s perfect. At first aim to eat clean 50 percent of the time and gradually increase it 90 percent of the time. It eventually becomes a lifestyle. It can change you and your family’s life in a positive way. It did ours.