Kitchen & Shopping

Removing the “contraband”

After you’ve had your last S.A.D. meal (Standard American diet), it’s time to clean out the fridge and the cupboards of all processed foods as well as any foods that contain meat, dairy, eggs, or fish. This includes cheese, yogurt, and cows milk. Look out for tricky items like Worcestershire sauce that have hidden ingredients like anchovies.

01-before-after-kitchenAYou might be wondering what to do with all of this food. Should you store it in your extra fridge in the garage? No. That will send a message to your brain that this is a temporary experiment. If that’s the way you feel, you’re not ready to make this commitment.

My recommendation is to give it to a friend, relative, co-worker, or charity. Some say that’s like giving poison to a friend. I say it’s avoiding waste; whether or not you give them the unhealthy foods, they’re likely going to keep buying them. That is, until they have the good fortune of being enlightened.

Let’s go shopping

Refer back to your plan for all those routine meals that you’re going to prepare at home. Buy the things that you’re going to need: brown rice, wild rice, black beans, red beans, lentils, whole grain oatmeal, quinoa, etc. Most of these items have a very long shelf-life and are your building-blocks for healthy meals.

You’re going to be spending a lot of time in the produce aisle, where there are no “Nutrition Facts” labels on the food. This section is where you’ll get to buy your favorite fresh fruits and veggies that you’ll pair with all those starches to create some fabulous meals.

Don’t forget snack foods! Some of our favorites include fruit and carrots and celery for dipping in your homemade hummus.

One tip is to remember to shop mostly along the perimeter of the store, where the majority of the fresh and frozen foods are located. The center aisles are usually packed with processed foods.

Remember the shopping cart test: take a look in your cart; is there anything inside that might derail your efforts? If it’s in your cart, it’s going to end up in your stomach at one point or another. Having these items around will make it more difficult to eat 4Leaf.

But what about cost? I’ve heard that eating this way is expensive. You will find that you’ll be saving money in the long run, even before considering your reduced cost of healthcare. I save $10 or more every time I dine out and I can prepare a 600-calorie home meal for less than $5. When you get many of your calories from grains, legumes, and potatoes, instead of from high priced meats and cheeses, you’ll see what I mean. My mixture of rice and beans costs $2.90 for 2,000 calories.–J. Morris Hicks

CAUTION. Eating this way may quickly decrease your need for medications. You should tell your physician what you’re doing. If he/she is unfamiliar with or skeptical of this eating-style, please direct him or her to and

Nutrition Certificate