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5 Tips for Clean Nutrition

Dear Dr.Kim

Can you give me some guidance to help me clean up my nutrition?

D.L. Victoria

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Dear D.L.

Great question. There is no shortage of information about food and it can be hard to cut through the clutter and know what to focus on. It is important to remember that food should be nourishing and navigating your choices should not create stress. Ideally if you do it well most of the time, then the rest of ‘the chips’ can fall where they may. A good place to start is bolstering foods that are nutrient dense and drawing down on things that (potentially) burden health. Here are some suggestions that can help you get started.

1. Avoid food chemicals: Read labels and be mindful of what you are putting in your body. If you can’t pronounce it then you probably shouldn’t be consuming it as food. As one clever poster stated … there is no such thing as junk food; there is junk and there is food. When it comes to pesticides, remember that pesticides can be applied to the roots and not just the skin of plant-sourced foods and so while washing is important, knowing how your food has been treated is worth thinking about.

2. Organic Fruits and Vegetables: While buying Organic will indicate that the fruits and vegetables are free of pesticide treatment and genetic modification, in many cases the farming practices of domestic organic farmers could provide a more nutrient-rich fruit or vegetable. Fruits and Vegetables derive their vitamin and minerals from the soil in which they are grown. Farming practices can impact the nutrient quality of what is being produced. Taste the disparity between organic and non-organic carrots. When produce tastes better it usually indicates that it is richer in plant pigments, phytonutrients, vitamins and/or minerals.

3. Local: When food is produced locally, it tends to be fresher and have less environmental impact. Fruits and Vegetables are highest in vitamins and minerals when they are picked around being ripe. Fruits and vegetables that are shipped from afar have been picked before their nutritional peak. I am loving the movement to even more backyard growing and creative food production that has evolved out of the global health crisis.

4. Food sourced from animals is best when it is grass-fed and preferably antibiotic and hormone-free: In this day of antibiotic-resistant bugs, hormonal cancers, and genetically modified food, it is important to limit your exposure to these burdens. Like anything, just aim to do a good job here and don’t set your sight on being perfect.

5. Consider what you can make from scratch: Use herbs, kelp, Bragg’s, lemon juice, oils and vinegars, where desired, to bolster food flavor. Look up marinades, salad dressing and sauce recipes so that you can customize what suits your palate and limit added flavor enhancers and preservatives.

I hope these eating tips help you navigate your nutrition and nourish from within.

“Health from the inside out.”

Dr. Kimberly McQueen BSc, ND is a Naturopathic Physician in Victoria, BC. In addition to her clinic work she has been a consultant to the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence, Camosun College, and Rugby Canada. Kim currently works with Rowing Canada, providing Sport Performance Nutrition support. P:778.433.4935 and Kim McQueen is one of the Co-founders of the nourishing Supershake, Rumble.