A Clean Start: 5 Foods to Fuel Your New Year

A Clean Start: 5 Foods to Fuel Your New Year

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

An overused quote, sure, but one that holds so much truth.

All foods, all medicines, and all drugs affect our overall consciousness and how we experience the world. Whether it’s a handful of fresh-picked berries, a pint of stout beer, or a laboratory engineered pill-capsule, it’s all medicine, acting as a specific type of fuel to run (or drain) your body. You truly are what you eat, so the quality of fuel you put into your mouth directly converts to the quality of energy you experience day-to-day.

This article is all about listening to your body. Really, right now take your eyes off the page for a moment and notice what the hell is going on. Does your stomach feel tight or relaxed? How is your posture? Do you feel heavy and tired or energized and alert? When we tune into our bodies, we get clues that can help us bring our being back into balance.

Tuning into your physical body is one of the best ways to improve your health. It doesn’t require pills, copious amounts of exercise, or a huge change in lifestyle. By bringing awareness to the subtle changes of your body throughout each day, cutting out junk food, ice cream, excess meats, etc. becomes so simple. The heavy, bloated, lethargic aftermath you experience will no longer be worth the temporary satisfaction.

Bringing awareness to the subtleties of body takes practice, but the results are so rewarding. You’ll notice patterns and specific emotions that result from certain foods. You’ll notice foods that increase anxiety, foods that send you into a food-coma, and foods that fuel you to play outside and experience life! The more you listen, the better you’ll be able to properly nourish your unique body.

One of the best ways to begin cleansing and energizing the body is by choosing foods that are alive, ones that the earth has provided naturally for us. Raw and living foods have all of their nutrients intact and in turn help you feel more alive. Here’s a list of some of my favorites, all of which can be found at your local health-foods store. Listening to your body is a 100% organic process, unique to you and your lifestyle, so get creative and enjoy the journey!

TFW 1.8.15 Kale

Courtesy of Alex Burlison
The nutrient-dense Kale, pictured here at a farmer’s market on the west coast, can help protect against heart disease.


Not only is kale packed with fiber, but its large volume of Vitamin K and calcium act to support bone health. Kale contains Vitamin C and B6, manganese, and potassium, which according to WebMD, all team up to help protect against cancer, heart disease, vision problems and infection. Kale salads are one of the easiest things to prepare, and you really can’t mess them up! Massage some chopped kale and your favorite veggies with a homemade dressing or raw oil.


I keep hearing more and more about maca powder, and for good reason. Maca is a natural root from Peru but is typically consumed as powder. It is an aphrodisiac, increasing libido, stamina, strength, and overall energy for both males and females, according to Aimee Hughes’ book, “The Sexy Vegan Kitchen.” Further, many studies, including one conducted by Victoria University, showed that maca reduces anxiety and depression. Try blending maca in smoothies, or try mixing it with a nut-butter and spices to make raw-maca balls.

TFW 1.8.15 Coconut Oil

Staff Photo Ashleigh Price
Coconut Oil, pictured here at Ozark Natural Foods, contains medium chained fatty acids (rather than long-chained), which are burned quickly and increase metabolism.

Coconut Oil:

One of the easiest ways to transition into a healthier and happier body is by switching from regular cooking oils to coconut oil. Unlike other oils, coconut oil contains medium chained fatty acids (rather than long-chained), which are burned quickly and increase metabolism, based on a study published by the osteopathic department at the University of Michigan. They also found that coconut oil helps the body more easily absorb other nutrients, helps control diabetes, and contains monolauric acid, which helps fight various fungi and viruses. Its uses are widespread, and with its natural sweetness, it can be used topically as a moisturizer for hair or skin.

TFW 1.8.15 Stuffed Dates

Staff Photo Ashleigh Price
Pitted and stuffed dates can make for a delicious snack.


Another sweet option, dates are Mother Nature’s perfect dessert with little fat and no cholesterol. According to Hughes, they naturally energize the body, support endurance and vitality, and can curb processed-sugar cravings. Dates are loaded with 23 types of amino acids, boost the overall immune system, and protect the teeth against decay. Consume raw, blended into smoothies, or pitted and stuffed with cashew-butter and sea salt for an extra special treat (see photograph).

Courtesy of Alex Burlison Carrots contain a healthy dose of beta-carotene, which can help improve eye health. Cutline5

Courtesy of Alex Burlison
Carrots contain a healthy dose of beta-carotene, which can help improve eye health.


Extremely easy to source even through the winter, carrots are one of the best ways to get beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is an organic compound found in orange-pigmented fruits and vegetables, which according to WebMD improves eyesight, skin health (especially for those who easily sunburn), and heart function. Carrots are packed with antioxidants, Vitamin A and C, and help boost your overall immune system. Try juicing carrots with ginger, shredding them raw and adding a sauce for a carrot-spaghetti, or cooking them into your favorite winter stew.

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