My 60 Second Dietary Checklist

“Those who think they have no time for healthy eating, will sooner or later have to make time for illness”

One question I often get asked is “What do you eat?”

I’ve realized that this question can be difficult to answer because while some people are eager to know every last detail, others seem to just prefer the cliff notes.

Finally, I’ve been able to decipher what people REALLY want to know, which is:

“Can you please provide a short list of what you deem to be the most relevant dietary guidelines, so I can compare it with my dietary choices and easily see where there is room for improvement? Also, if you could decorate your list with links to relevant resources, just in case I’m inclined to learn more, that would be fantastic.”

Sure thing. How about we make like a sprinter and do it in 60 seconds or less?

Ready, Set, Go!

  1. Eat Whole Foods — Always choose fresh, whole foods like meat, vegetables and fruit. If it does not have a mother or come from the ground, put it back.
  2. Avoid Fast Food — For an on-the-go alternative, I’d recommend using a smart phone to find a local health food store. Most have a prepared food section where it is easy to find a healthy meal that is as time efficient as any fast food option.
  3. Fall In Love With the Local Farmers Market — Food quality is important so I’m very careful about where I shop. Farmers Markets are great because the board of directors are often obsessive about only sourcing the highest quality food. I say let them do the work for you, simply use localharvest.org to find the best market in your area.
  4. Ditch Dirty Dairy — If you’re like me, and you insist on the health benefits of butter, make sure you are sourcing dairy that comes from organically raised cows that have been grass-fed AND grass-finished.
  5. Fill Up On Fermented Foods — It is very important to keep your microbiota in working order.
  6. Go For Good Fats — Don’t get fooled into thinking that a low-fat diet is nutritionally intelligent, cell membranes desperately need fats to be able to repair themselves properly and you should be happy to oblige.
  7. Avoid Artificial Sweeteners Like The Plague — Artificial sweeteners have been found to promote abnormal neurological function, weight gain and certain types of cancers. For a health-conscious sweetener, organic honey or organic maple syrup would be two of your best options.
  8. Less Is Usually More — Whenever buying packaged food, remember that less ingredients usually signifies a healthier product.
  9. Invest In Cod Liver Oil — This is one of the only supplements I consistently purchase. Cod liver oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D (which is especially beneficial for those of us who spend most of the winter indoors).
  10. Drink More Water — It is important to note that coffee is not water. Neither is diet soda. I deem green tea as acceptable, but only if it is unsweetened. Drinking a big glass of water first thing in the morning is one easy way to accomplish this goal.
  11. Limit Processed Carbohydrates and Vegetable Oils — This clip from the documentary Fat Head is a personal favorite of mine.
  12. Choose Real Whole Grains — When I do eat grains, I try my best to avoid gluten and make sure to select grains that are in their whole form (quinoa, wild rice, etc.).
  13. Stop Drinking Sugar — Sugary beverages contribute 400 calories per day to the average American’s diet. While I love to drink a homemade green smoothie in the morning, I find it wise to bypass shelf stable fruit juices, soft drinks, and/or pumps in my latte.

Time’s Up!

What dietary guidelines do you abide by? Feel free to add to the discussion in the comment section below.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Richard Leo’s story.