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1. Instead of soft cheeses or cream cheese, try nut-based cheese. There are many on the market now, but my favorite is Kite Hill, made of almond milk (click for homemade almond milk recipe here). Kite Hill uses traditional cheese making methods so it tastes more like the real thing. You can find it in many grocery stores. Here in Chicago, you can find it at, Carnival Grocery, Treasure Island, Whole Foods, and Fresh Thyme.

2. Instead of processed or even whole wheat bread, purchase grain free bread. There are a few options on the market, but my absolute, hands-down favorite is Simply Trudy. Although at $13.99 a loaf, it’s pretty expensive, but to me it’s well worth the price to feel better. There are three flavors, regular, caraway and raisin. My family loves them all. You can use the code “simpleandwell” for a 15 % discount. The bread will be delivered directly to your door. We keep ours in the freezer and take out four slices at a time to thaw. It’s like coveted gold in our home!

3. Grain Free seems all the rage these days, but remember, removing all grain will make you feel better from an inflammatory perspective. I usually go grain free when I do a quarterly cleanse every season. Another of my favorite product lines that I highly recommend is Siete Foods Grain Free Tortilla Chips and Wraps. They are an amazing substitute to flour or corn based tortillas. I wrote a blog post on the girl who started the company and her family who supported her in an “all-in family dietary household change.” This helped Veronica stay the course of fully healing her autoimmune condition.

4. Mayonnaise lurks in most of our refrigerators and our family found Chosen Foods brand Avocado Oil Mayo. It does not have soybean or other inflammatory oils as do other mayonnaise brands. This switch is an easy no brainer since I doubt that you’ll taste much difference. We all need to take a closer lens to the ingredients in our foods, but consuming “the right fat” is critically important for our joints, muscles and brain health.

5. Another switch that would be good to make is not buying regular crackers. My husband and I love Dr. in the Kitchen Flax Crackers. Our favorite flavor is the raisin and currant. They are also grain free. As far as brown rice crackers, which are not highly inflammatory but still a grain that is low on the glycemic index spectrum, we like Lundberg brand, the thin square ones in the blue package. As far as a more traditional looking cracker, we also like the Sesemark brand. Just watch the quantities. In my younger years, I would eat a whole sleeve of rice cakes and think I was eating healthy, but wondered why I felt bloated and had a stomachache.

6. Instead of ice cream try So Delicious brand coconut ice cream. It is creamy and delicious and is a great dairy substitute. When you are already making many food changes, it seems the last to go may be the sugar you are consuming. I do caution you to watch the quantities and grams of sugar in your diet as well. A good rule of thumb is to stay under 30 grams. However, most people don’t look at the sugar in dressings, ketchup, fruit or drinks. It is important to watch those as well.

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