Welcome to the fifth installment in our XY Wellness Diet series! Our focus today is on local, fresh foods.
If you have not already done so, before proceeding further, we encourage you to review our previous installments:
- XY Wellness Diet Overview
- XYW Diet Part 1: Anti-inflammatory Foods
- XYW Diet Part 2: Cancer-fighting Foods
- XYW Diet Part 3: Immune System Boosting Foods
- XYW Diet Part 4: Low Glycemic Foods
When it comes to your diet, there are foods that will boost your ability to fight prostate cancer, just as there are foods that will actively fuel the disease. Eating right every day will help you in your fight. It is not a question of “if” you can do it, but of how quickly and effectively you can make these new habits a way of life. We’re going to show you the ropes. The rest is up to you.
Let's now explore six simple "rules of thumb" to help you make local, fresh, and CaP-savvy food choices.
Rule #1: Keep It Simple
This is seriously not difficult. Eating with the season means local, fresh, frequently organic, whole foods. Just keep the following in mind:
- Whole foods are better than processed.
- Fresh is better than canned or frozen.
- Local is better than flown in.
- Organic is normally better than conventional.
Rule #2: Lighten Up
There will always be tradeoffs, particularly during the winter months. For example, we would rather see you select a frozen, organic package of raspberries than a fresh, but conventional carton of the same. Do your best, and lighten up: no one is expecting perfection. We are expecting that you make smart choices for you, after weighing the tradeoffs. And have some fun with it, after all food is cuisine, not just medicine.
Rule #3: Get Some Skills
First of all, educate yourself. Get to know the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen. You should also get to know your way around the kitchen. And lastly, you need to learn how to navigate a menu: good restaurants are more than happy to accommodate reasonable requests, particularly those based on dietary restrictions.
Rumor has it that nothing is sexier to a woman than a man who can cook. Just ask your wife or girlfriend. And know that if you buy great ingredients, your task, as a sexy home chef, is simply to not screw them up. For example, with fresh, seasonal vegetables, your goal is to threaten them, not bludgeon or drown them.
Instead, master basic techniques and a few great recipes. In no particular order, here are just a dozen highly recommended cookbooks for you to consider. Pick a few up. And as always, keep it simple, and keep it fun.
- Chez Panisse Vegetables by Alice Waters
- How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman
- Fast Food My Way by Jacques Pepin
- Simple Pleasures by Alfred Portale
- Living Raw Food by Sarma Melngailis
- The New Spanish Table by Anya von Bremzen
- Veganicom by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero
- The Essential Mediterranean by Nancy Harmon Jenkins
- The Balanced Plate by Renee Loux
- Field of Greens by Annie Somerville
- Thrive Foods by Brendan Brazier
- The Union Square Cafe Cookbook by Danny Meyer and Michael Romano
Rule #4: Have Some Fun With It
Think beyond the grocery store. Get over to your local “farmers’ market” whenever you can. It is a social event, as much of life should be. You are not only supporting your local economy, but you are bringing home freshly picked foods that are richer in nutrients than produce that has been flown in or has been sitting on a shelf.
Speaking of the social aspects of food, make dinnertime an event, an opportunity to connect with friends and family over great food. The nutritional value may be on your plate, but the overall nurturing value is around your table. Unplug from your day for an hour, and plug back in to what matters most.
Find some great restaurants that focus on local, fresh, seasonal ingredients. They are everywhere, and they are your home away from home. Get to know them, and let them get to know you. The XY Wellness Diet is not difficult to comply with, even when away from home. All good restaurants will happily be your ally in your quest to eat in a healthy, CaP-savvy manner.
Rule #5: Be Smart
Don’t eat crap. Like art, we know what crap is when we see it. So do not try to beat the system. After all, it is your system and you are the one who pays the price.
For example, a gluten-free, organic cupcake is still filled with sugar and therefore crap. And local, fresh, organic broccoli when dipped in batter and deep-fried has in the process been transformed into crap.
Once again, no one is expecting you to be perfect. Just make smart choices, and do not knowingly kid yourself that “free range” crap is somehow better than other forms of crap. Have you had more than enough of this crap talk? Then let's move on.
Rule #6: Mix It Up
Variety is critical in order to avoid falling into old or new bad habits. Try new and different foods. Expand your culinary horizons, and never allow your taste buds get bored. Remember that the XY Wellness Diet isn’t really a “diet” at all. It is a new approach to clean eating and better living. So keep it varied, and keep it exciting.
Done right, you will never feel deprived. Done right, you will instead feel stronger and confident that you are giving your body the nutritional foundation necessary for a well-functioning immune system. As a component in the overall XY Wellness Approach, your new dietary habits will be both pragmatic and enjoyable. You will discover the pleasures of preparing and feasting on true cuisine.
Remember that we are on a journey together to reclaim, rebuild, and renew your post-diagnosis health. You don’t have to do everything perfectly at all times. Life just doesn’t work that way. That said, let’s minimize our mistakes because our priority is always to be to beat this disease. Don’t make your fight against prostate cancer more difficult than it needs to be by not controlling the one thing that you have complete control over: what you put into your body. Be smart, and be successful.