The nutritional value of the foods you eat determine the composition of your cells, blood, bone marrow and hormones. Everything consumed becomes a building block of your body, meaning all the foods you eat are reflected directly in both your internal health and external appearance.

Unfortunately, most people are walking around overweight, bloated, inflamed and starving for nutrients.

Although the human body continually replaces billions of cells daily, you cannot expect it to reflect health and youth, and be fit, and lean if you’ve been feeding it a steady diet of “dead” toxic foods.

Truth is, whatever you currently stock your refrigerator and cupboards with is what your body will be made of next week! For some, that’s a very scary scenario…but also the perfect motivating factor towards improving their diet.

The reality is, a youthful, fit body at any age requires fresh, natural produce to supply quality protein, good carbohydrates and healthy fats – all mandatory nutritional requirements.

A balanced “clean” diet of whole fresh food (local if possible) –  fruits and vegetables, raw nuts and seeds as well as organic meats, fresh fish, free range poultry and eggs are key. They provide our bodies with the nutrients needed to function healthily, and boost our energy levels rather than depleting them of vitality.

How you look, feel and the level of health you experience begins at the grocery store, so it’s important to keep your head in the game when you shop.

The choices you make eventually play out in your body, affecting every level of your life, not only your physical body, but your mental attitude as well. Start focusing when you shop and get rid of distractions. Put your cell phone away and start paying attention to what you automatically reach for. Become aware of how many foods you grab out of habit that are not “clean” foods and begin replacing these foods with healthier options.

Processed and chemically treated foods contribute nothing towards your health and must go. Additives, flavorings, coloring’s, sweeteners and added hormones (used to increase shelf life) should be eliminated altogether or kept to a minimum. Be cautious of harmful oils, added sugars, too much salt and unneeded calories.

Long List – Leave it

Long labels are your first clue to “stay away.”

The longer the list, the more manufacturing “mischief” has occurred. Natures finest doesn’t need a list of ingredients to hide behind. One ingredient items are best, in their purest state and nutrient rich. You can be creative and combine them together at home. This way you’re in total charge of what goes into the process.

Be wise and be wary. Understand that manufacturers pay top dollar for prime real estate where they display their fancy packages. All of this is preplanned to “tempt you into buying.” They know what words to use and what colors to display, in other words, they know what buttons to push. It’s a whole science and your health is their last concern, while padding their pocketbooks is their first.

With all the multi-media devices at our fingertips it’s super easy these days’ plan ahead. Draw up a grocery list before heading out and follow it closely. Be wary of socially popular terms like “organic.”

Organic does not automatically translate to nutritious. After all, you can fill up on organic candy all day long organic yes, nutritious no. Believe me, those in charge of food sales are aware of what terms are currently “best sellers” and use that knowledge to their full advantage. But no one fools the educated and prepared shopper.

Eating well is empowering. It improves our health at the level of our genes and reduces any risk of major chronic disease by as much as 80 percent. How’s that for a return on your investment?

Turns out, the adage “we are what we eat” is true. The food and water we consume and the air we breathe nourish our bodies and provide the building blocks for our cells. Our food choices affect our appearance, moods, weight, energy levels, aging process and the overall quality of our health and well-being.

The best way to stay healthy and fill ourselves up is to focus on nutrient-dense whole foods. They provide the fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals, minerals and vitamins needed to combat most diseases while creating balance and optimum health.

Eat well – feel well. Eat poorly – feel poorly. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that.

Here’s some great healthy sugar and gluten free recipes:

For exciting, healthy and sugar free recipes check out the newest addition to my recipe library:

“50 Desserts With Hidden Veggies”….

For more tools and resources from Carolyn Hansen to assist you in attaining your health and fitness goals and achieving the success you desire in life, please visit: