10 Simple Steps to Eating Whole Food August 01 2014, 0 Comments
It is easy for someone to say "you need to eat real food", or "get rid of all the junk food". But if you are use to using a lot of packaged food or if your on a restricted budget it can all be a bit overwhelming. Where do you start? What about all the stuff already in your kitchen? Can you use any packaged foods? These are just a few of the questions and stumbling blocks to moving towards a diet rich with real whole foods. Its ok, take a breath and know there are some simple steps you can use, to ease your transition to a real food diet. Just do it one step at a time!
Simple Steps to Real Food
1. Know what real food is ~ Real food is fresh fruits, fresh vegetables; real whole milk, butter, yogurt; real grains; meats like chicken, pork loins, lamp chops and hearty soups made with bone broths. It is what your ancestors would recognize as food. It is not packaged cereals, lunch meats, pre packaged meals or frozen pizza. You can take any real food and adjust as needed to your preferred diet. Raw food, vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and Paleo all use real food.
2. Know what your are already eating ~ Take a week and write down what you serve for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. How much of that comes from processed foods, pre packaged foods? How much is what you would consider real food.
3. Start small ~ I don't expect you to throw out everything in your kitchen and start over. Who can afford that !?! But you can decided to make small changes at a time.
4. Use the 1/3 Approach ~ For 2 weeks commit to 1/3 of your meals being real food. This can be any combination of breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks. After 2 weeks go for 2/3 of your meals being real food. Do this for another 2 weeks and then see if you can go for 100% real food.
This approach gives you and your budget time to adjust to real food eating.
5. I love real, whole foods that are simple. Breakfast can be organic oatmeal, eggs, overnight oats, yogurt with berries, whole grain bread with peanut butter & bananas or smoothies and green drinks. Lunch can be sandwiches from leftover meats, cheese or real veggies, salads ( grain and veggie), soups or any leftovers. Dinner is not difficult. In the time it takes me to heat up the oven and bake a frozen pizza I can have a meal ready to go. Grilled or seared meats, crockpot dinners, curries, roasted veggies, or go the extra step and make your own freezer meals!. I always have about a couple of weeks worth in the freezer. They really help on those busy nights. Friday nights are pizza night and we use to get the kids ( and now the grandkids) involved in making there own. We use whole grain flat breads,
6. Not all packaged food is bad ( YES, I said that!) ~ Yes most of it is bad, but the reality is I cant make everything, on my own, all the time. So here is a list of some premade staples you can include in your pantry.
- (BPA-free) Canned wild-caught salmon & tuna
- (BPA-free) Canned organic tomato sauce & tomato paste
- Jarred organic pasta sauce, artichoke hearts, & sundried tomatoes
- Whole grain pasta (or even better, sprouted whole-grain pasta)
- Organic jam, pie fillings, pumpkin puree, etc.
- Organic coconut milk (a great replacement for sweetened condensed milk)
- Foods for Asian dishes like canned water chestnuts, buckwheat soba noodles, miso, etc.
- Organic condiments like mayo, ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, etc
7. What about organic? ~ I will always say to buy as much organic as you can. Meats and dairy are very important to try and purchase organic. The truth is that organic can be costly. I will say this it is, if all you can do is buy real food but you cant afford organic, DO NOT LET THAT STOP YOU, from eating real food. Non organic real food is still better for you than packaged processed foods.
8. Add in nutrients ~ Today we need to fill a gap in our modern, over processed diets. Even when eating healthy whole food diets, we see fewer nutrients in our foods due to nutrient depletion in our soils. Nourishing herbal infusions blends are powerhouses of protein, minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals.
9. Frozen meals ~ Ok let's be honest. There are times when I do not have the energy or time to cook a meal, and my pre made freezer meals are down to nothing. I need a health, fast meal. This only happens a few times a month but I keep some healthy, store bought freezer meals on hand for just such an occasion. You can buy organic freezer meals, from the grocer, with no artificial ingredients, no additives and low in sodium. If you really need to purchase a frozen meal a week buy organic and read the labels!!
10. Celebrate when you make the right choices and don't beat yourself if your not perfect. Guess what none of us are. Just know that the more you choose real food over processed foods, the better it is for you and your family's health.
~ Green Blessings