A clean-eating meal plan is an integral part of any healthy lifestyle or detox cleanse. As they say, “We are what we eat” and GIGO (garbage in, garbage out)! However, this is often easier said than done. Why? Because the process is as much psychological and emotional, as physical and intellectual. “We are what we eat” is really a two-way street. As our diets not only build our bodies but also reflect our minds. Overhauling both then means deprogramming many of our societal norms, ingrained habits, emotional triggers, and pop-cult Zeitgeist. In practice, this personal evolution is an ongoing journey of steadily replacing denatured junk food with more diverse, nutrient-dense, natural foods. Although, keep in mind that it is not necessary to literally replace each of these items one-for-one, per se.
For example, shifting to a more plant-based diet does not mean one must find copycat imitations of animal products that look, taste, and are named similarly! Beef does not have to be replaced with “veggie beef.” Milk does not need to be replaced with a white “nut milk” fortified with calcium.
Instead, why not just reboot from scratch, before mass agriculture and the whole industrial revolution?
As a healthy, well-rounded diet is much like a rainbow – vibrant, colorful, full spectrum, and fulfilling! And our original, primal lifestyles were really the best reference point for this, not our modern, standard American diet (SAD).
Fact is, way back before vast, Edenic forests were replaced with sterile concrete and lawns worldwide, our primitive ancestors didn’t have to try hard to eat clean and healthily. They simply had no other choice.
All of their food was unavoidably hunted and foraged locally fresh, whole, organic, and non-GMO without pesticides, herbicides, or other artificial chemicals! Their untainted, sustainable food was better for both them and the planet. Whereas today, we now find ourselves in the opposite position.
So, how do we get back to Nature?
Well, there are many paths to the summit, and there is always ongoing debate as to which ones are actually the best. However, a safe place to start is probably where most of them all overlap.
For example, plant-based diets, the Paleo Diet, Weston A. Price Foundation diet, David Wolfe’s Color Code, raw foods, alkaline diets, anti-inflammatory diets, and even the USDA food pyramid, all recommend adequate servings of organic fruits and vegetables. And there are many ways to do this. But perhaps one of the easiest is by visually adding a new color of the product spectrum to your palate (pun intended) each week, with a little science-backed, artistic license!
For example, red, orange, and yellow produce typically contain carotenoids, a large group of powerful, antioxidant pigments including α-carotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lutein, lycopene, zeaxanthin, etc.
There are numerous health benefits of these compounds, however, all animals (including us) cannot manufacture carotenoids ourselves. Therefore, we must obtain them through our diets.
Now, tomatoes are famously high in lycopene and carrots in beta-carotene. However, the “crystalline” forms of beta-carotene and lycopene found in papaya are actually 3X more bioavailable than either of them!
Not to mention, papaya is also high in lutein, zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthins, Vitamins C, E, and K, folate, choline, potassium, fiber, and calcium. And of course, it is perhaps most widely-renowned for papain and chymopapain, proteolytic enzymes that help digest protein for you. Which makes it one perfect, nutritional powerhouse to jumpstart your new, healthy-eating meal plan today!
Now, the great thing about a sweet, buttery fruit like papaya is just how versatilely it can be used and consumed. It tastes great no matter how you slice it!
One can simply eat it as-is. Blend it into a protein shake to aid digestion or make a tropical smoothie with graviola and soursop for a more medicinal punch. Juice it for a detox juice cleanse.
Or for a parasite cleanse, spice up any dish with some anti-helminthic, anti-amoebic, papaya seed powder. The possibilities are really endless, here!
So, bon voyage, bon appétit, and let your health foodie journey begin now!