We pick the brains of models day in and day out, constantly prying into their medicine cabinets and kitchen cupboards in an attempt to uncover their elusive model secrets. In these endeavors, we hear a lot about eating clean and avoiding sugar, but rarely do we hear diet tips from a model who also happens to have her degree in nutritional science. That's exactly what we found in Alicia Rountree. The Mauritian model (she's got the island hair and bronzed glow to prove it) is also a certified nutritionist and restaurateur (she has to be able to put her knowledge into practice, right?), and today she's sharing her secrets with us.
My first piece of advice when embarking on a healthy journey is to get rid of any unhealthy food you may have in your pantry, fridge, freezer, and in your cupboards. Like the saying goes, out of sight, out of mind. I know that if I have cookies at home, I will eat them or keep thinking about them. Sound familiar?
Now on to what should be tossed. Step one is to throw away processed frozen meals or dinners. They're packed with sodium and sugar—not great for the waistline, plus they can lead to bloating.
I also suggest steering clear of carton juices from the supermarket. They contain a high sugar content and are very acidic. Cereals are full of preservatives, too, and it's not just kids' cereals that are the problem. You may think you are being healthy with granola, but the truth is, most of the time it's full of sugar. Unfortunately, chips or cookies will need to go for their fat content—save these for special occasions.
So now what to replace them with? Keep reading to see what ingredients I always keep stocked in my pantry.
I like to keep raw coconut water for rehydrating after a workout, cold-pressed green juice, and veggie juices—just be careful that there isn't a lot of fruit in there. If you are making them yourself, stick to mostly veggies. I like to use plenty of lemon juice to offset the taste of the veggies.
Instead of chips, I like to stock up on gluten-free crackers. There are so many great-tasting ones, packed with herbs and seeds for extra flavor. They have the same satisfying crunch of a chip without the high fat content.
For breakfast, oatmeal and coconut yogurt are true winners. Make sure you buy the steel-cut oats that take a while to cook, not the instant variety, which is packed with sugar. Top your steel-cut oats with fresh fruit and a sprinkling of cinnamon.
Always buy organic fruit—they are more expensive but you are saving your body from pesticides. If you are on a budget, you can buy organic frozen fruit (and veggies for that matter). Berries are great frozen, and they are perfect to add to any smoothie for the extra vitamins and antioxidant boost.
Pink Himalayan Salt
My favorite salt to cook with is pink Himalayan salt. It's less salty, helps balance pH levels in your body, and lowers blood pressure.
Sprouted Nuts and Seeds
Lastly, if you like to snack on nuts and seeds, don't get the roasted or salted ones. Get the sprouted versions instead. You can buy them in bulk at Whole Foods and most health food stores.
Healthy Cooking Made Easy:
Next, meet the elimination diet, the healthy detox Alicia Rountree swears by.