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Now, many of you know that I have been helping people heal from the inside out, lose weight, gain energy, feel amazing, and live their BEST LIVES for over 20 years now! From all of my doctoral training, postgraduate education, extensive continuing ed, mentorship, and personal clinical work, there is one thing I know for sure: If you want to get the type of results I mentioned above, there are 4 foods that you absolutely MUST ELIMINATE from your diet starting RIGHT NOW. Here they are.....

Number 1: Gluten.  Since the realization of Celiac disease, as well as the impact of gluten on Chron’s, Colitis, IBS, etc., the hype around going gluten-free, has exploded. Yes, it is trendy. Just take a look at the shelves of your favorite grocery store or Whole Foods Market. There’s hardly a product out there that you can’t get in a gluten-free form: crackers, pasta, cereals, pizza, ice cream cones. . . you name it. But I’m not just advising eliminating gluten from your diet so that you can keep up with the Jones. The truth is, most people just downright feel better avoiding gluten.  

Here’s why: gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, rye, and barley.  It has an inflammatory effect in the body. We generally feel yucky when we have excess inflammation in the body- achy, irritable, and fatigued. Yuck. But as if that wasn’t enough, there’s more. Inflammation causes the adrenal glands to produce a hormone known as cortisol. Cortisol is a fat-storing hormone. So, increased inflammation leads to increased cortisol, which in turn leads to increased fat storage. And all the diet and exercise in the world won’t make a dent if the body is in fat-storing mode.

Number 2: Soy.  Soy is definitely one to avoid.  First of all, most soybeans are what are called GMOs, or genetically modified organisms. You’ve probably heard the hype about all of that as well. . . If not, click here for a quick run down, or just take my word that they are nasty little buggers, and for that reason alone soy should be avoided.  

But there’s more to this story as well. Soy also contains plant-based estrogen known as phytoestrogen. These phytoestrogens mimic the hormones which naturally occur in your body and create hormone imbalances.  Hormone imbalances can be responsible for excess weight, difficulty sleeping, menstrual issues, irritability and depression, low sex drive, reproductive difficulties, and digestive distress. Furthermore, estrogen, like cortisol, is a fat-storing hormone.  And last, but not least, soy has a very similar structure to wheat and therefore can cause inflammation in the body, just like gluten does.

Number 3: Dairy.  Now, just like you, I was raised drinking milk with every meal. Heck, my grandparents were dairy farmers, for crying out loud! But the truth is that most of the dairy products available today are processed to the point that they are totally void of any nutritional benefit.  And, much like gluten, most people just feel better when they don’t consume dairy. Wonder why? You guessed it! Dairy can cause inflammation!

If you’re concerned about Vitamin D, better sources to consider are cod liver oil, deepwater wild-caught fish, and eggs, and all your calcium can be obtained through leafy greens, broccoli, or a good quality whole food supplement.

But if you just can’t stay away, small amounts of organic, grass-fed dairy is usually tolerable for most people. This includes grass-fed yogurt, raw organic cheese, and organic pasture butter.

Number 4:  Sugar.  Are ya’ll ready to “boo” me off the stage yet? Listen, I know it's impossible to avoid all sugar, and so I'm not going to ask you to do that. Keep eating yummy fruits, raw local honey, unprocessed maple syrups, and coconut sugars! The sugars that are most harmful are added or processed sugars such as corn syrups, white refined sugar, brown sugar, agave, and fructose not occurring in its natural fruit form.  Sugar causes an increase in the hormone insulin which is. . . you guessed it, a fat-storing hormone like cortisol and estrogen. What’s more, consuming sugar creates fluctuations in your blood sugar that look like a spike and then a drop. This takes the pancreas on one heck of a roller coaster ride, puts added stress on your liver and adrenals, and can make you feel fatigued, nausea, and irritable to boot.

There you have it! Now you know the 4 foods to eliminate from your diet if you want to feel great, look great and BE GREAT! And it’s just like they say, once we know better, we can do better. So start today!

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