what to have in refrigeratorIf you’re like most people, your refrigerator probably harbors a few deep, dark secrets. I visit most all of my clients’ houses, and inevitably poke around in their fridge. It’s always hilarious to me how many excuses I hear them shriek out when I start looking, such as: We don’t eat that! That’s for my mother in law that comes to visit! Or, I haven’t touched that in weeks! That was before we started following your program. To which I reply, well then if you’ve committed yourself to improving your diet and lifestyle, why keep those items lurking around? That is part of the old programming. It’s time to get rid of the old stuff to make room for the new, which supports your goals.

Everything you see in your space should be supportive of your goals and reflective of how you want to live. I understand that you may share space with a spouse or someone that eats differently. Perhaps you can share with them why you think they would they would be so much better off without these items. If they are not open to change right now, maybe group the items together on one shelf, so you can separate them from the foods you are focusing on to improve your life and health, and as a natural consequence, your beauty and weight.

But the truth is, many people have health hazards hidden in plain sight on their refrigerator shelves! Oh how I love to stand in front of a new client’s fridge with a huge garbage bag, and throw out toxic item out of toxic item. Take a look in yours, and rid yourself of these 12 items, which can harm your health.

1. Dairy

dairy productsMany people believe that dairy products (milk, sour cream, cheese) play an important role in the diet because they contain calcium. But the fact is that in nature, dairy is not designed to be consumed by humans (and many ask why is my stool green?)  If you go against the laws of nature (despite dairy being a big, profitable business), various health issues can arise.  In The China Study, Dr. T. Colin Campbell found that dairy not only didn’t contribute to bone health, but that its consumption correlated with higher rates of osteoporotic fracture. This is because dairy consumption creates a state of acidity in the body. In order to neutralize this acidity, the body pulls salts from the bones, weakening them.

Likewise, a significant portion of the population poorly tolerates the sugar in dairy (lactose), and the protein found in dairy (casein). Additionally, dairy may contain rGBH, a hormone that can increase risks of certain cancers.

Instead, stock your fridge with nut milks such as unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk.

2. Non-organic eggs

non-orgaic eggsWhile I don’t personally eat eggs, I do feel that local, organic, free-range, fresh eggs are a viable protein source for people who choose to eat animal proteins. That being said, conventional eggs are often several weeks old before they reach grocery store shelves. Likewise, they may contain antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, and strains of salmonella and other bacteria.

If you do eat eggs, choose local, organic, free-range eggs from a local farm or your farmer’s market.

3. Mayonnaise

mayonnaiseMayonnaise frequently contains soybean oil, which very often comes from GMO soybeans. In fact, in the United States, about 87 percent of soybean crops are genetically modified. Genetic modification is relatively recent in human history (it came into practice in the mid-1980s), so there is little research about the long-term effects. Still, early rodent studies are worrisome, linking GM foods to sterility and infant mortality.

Just look at mayonnaise. It is gloppy and looks like cellulite. Do you want to put that in your body? Really. Think about it. Is there any doubt this high fat, clogging “food” wouldn’t make your body look gloppy as well?

Instead, opt for organic, sugar-free mustard.

4. Ketchup

ketchupKetchup contains high-fructose corn syrup, and it many contain other chemicals, as well. HFCS (which may also be called corn sugar) contains high concentrations of fructose. In the small amounts found in fruit, which also contains fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants, fructose can be processed efficiently in the human body. In large concentrations, such as in HFCS, however, fructose is very difficult for the liver to process. This results in multiple problems, including a fatty liver, high triglycerides, and disruption of the body’s normal appetite signaling system. Fructose consumption has also been linked to type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

5. Margarine and/or butter

MargarineMargarines may contain trans fats, and many contain chemicals you just don’t want in your body. Butter is high in saturated animal fat, which can damage your heart and is just pure fat. Both may contribute to excess calories you don’t need in your diet, as well as poor blood lipid profiles. Instead, cook with a small amount of coconut oil or vegetable broth.

6. Commercially prepared salad dressings

prepared salad dressingsThese dressings may contain dairy, chemicals, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, and genetically modified ingredients such as soybean oil. Instead, make your own salad dressing from organic raw apple cider vinegar, a small amount of extra virgin olive oil (or skip it), and herbs/spices.

7. Deli meats

deli meats

Even low-fat deli meats may contain ingredients that are hazardous to your health. In order to make them more palatable, manufacturers often inject deli meats with a salt, sugar, and chemical solution that enhances the flavors. Other chemicals may serve as preservatives and color fixatives.

Consider a hummus or avocado sandwich instead, which is far healthier than a chemical-laden deli meat sandwich. Please don’t eat chemical sandwiches!

8. Bacon and processed meats

baconProcessed meats such as bacon, sausage, and frankfurters are hazardous to your health. In fact, one study showed that processed meat consumption resulted in a 67 percent increase in the risk of pancreatic cancer.

9. Yogurt

Types of yogurtMany people operate under the belief that yogurt is the exception to the no dairy rule because it contains probiotics. While probiotics are a good thing, getting them in a dairy product is counterproductive (see dairy, above). Yogurt is still made from pasteurized dairy, it still contains lactose, high amounts of casein, and all the other dairy components.

Instead, have some Probiotic and Enzyme salad, buy raw sauerkraut, or try some coconut milk yogurt, all of which don’t have the potential health hazards of dairy consumption.

10. Tofu

tofuWhile many people consider tofu to be a healthy alternative to meat, I have grave concerns about the health of soy products. As I mentioned above, about 87 percent of soy in the United States is genetically modified. Soy is linked to a number of health problems including certain cancers, thyroid disorders, and impaired fertility.

Fermented soy products like tamari, miso and tempeh are not considered problematic as the allergenic proteins can be deactivated in the fermentation process.

I find the reason people think they have to eat soy is as a protein replacement for meat. Please read my protein discussion in The Beauty Detox Solution. You don’t have to “replace” the meat with a hunk of tofu. If you eat a whole-food, plant-based diet, you will get plenty of protein.

11. Juice

juiceJuice seems like it could be healthy, but it’s actually loaded with sugar. It is also lacking in fiber and high in calories. Because juice can spike your blood sugar, it can also cause you to have cravings and overeat. Instead, have whole, fresh fruit.

Commercial juice is also the P word- pasteurized, which destroys many natural benefits and nutrients.

12. Soda

sodaThere’s just nothing good about soda. Not only does it create an acidic metabolic state in your body, but it’s loaded with chemicals and contains HFCS (regular soda) or artificial sweeteners (diet soda). Both have been shown to cause weight problems. Skip the soda! Have water instead. Train yourself to give it up, and over time you will be okay with it not in your life.  I promise. I’ve had a diet soda intervention with many a client.

What to Keep in Your Fridge (and cupboard)

Shopping listReady to stock your healthy fridge? Keep these items on hand.

  • Leafy greens
  • Healthy veggies
  • Fresh organic fruits
  • GGS (Glowing Green Smoothie)
  • Probiotic and Enzyme Salad
  • Raw, unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar
  • Organic, free-range, local eggs (if you choose to eat animal protein)
  • Avocadoes
  • Raw almonds
  • Chia
  • Unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • Quinoa

Unleashing that inner chef in you, try out my latest recipe – quinoa stuffed peppers!

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New York Times Bestseller and Nutritionist