To me it means going back to the way our great, great grandparents used to eat. This photo was taken from the cooking class we took while in Vietnam last month. In this third world country it isn't even a question whether or not they will choose real food, Real food is mostly all that they have! Our trip through the market was an outdoor market and full of fresh produce, meat, fish, seafood, rice, grains, and even had rice noodles drying in the sun!
Why is eating real food so important? There's so many reasons. Packaged, Processed, and store bought food that comes in boxes, plastic, cans, and jars have lost so many nutrients and gained so many additives, dyes, and artificial flavourings just so that it can survive the transport to the grocery store, on the shelves, and finally into your kitchen. There is also so much sugar, sodium, unhealthy oils, fats, and cheap ingredients added to these foods that we would never add to our own cooking.
Slowly we are realizing the effects all of these unnatural foods are having on our bodies. Disease, poor digestion, weight gain, addictions, cravings, and fatigue is something that we are all surrounded and familiar with. So.. How can we make our food our fuel? By making the choice to spend a little more time planning, shopping, and preparing our meals is how we can maintain a healthier lifestyle and diet.
Here's some tips to guide you through "EATING REAL FOOD" :
- CLEAN OUT THE "JUNK" : If its not there, you won't eat it, right?!
- STOCK UP YOUR KITCHEN with fresh produce, whole grains, nuts and seeds, healthy oils and fats, dried herbs and spices, beans lentils and legumes. If it's there and easy to access, you'll eat it!
- JOIN AN ORGANIC FOOD DELIVERY SERVICE that delivers fresh, seasonal food to your door
- COOK FOOD IN BATCHES AND FREEZE some for those days that you have less time to cook
- MEAL PLAN for the week and only buy what is on the LIST
- VISIT YOUR LOCAL FARMER'S MARKETS! You can support local, know that your food hasn't travelled far to get here, and know what is in your food!
- THE LESS THE INGREDIENTS THE BETTER! Try to buy items that have very few ingredients..and ones you can understand. If it has more than 5 ingredients and you can't understand what they are, maybe reconsider buying it.
- SHOP AROUND THE PERIMETER OF THE STORE: There are a few exceptions such as whole grains, beans, legumes, and dried herbs/ seasonings, but for the most part you will find more "fresh whole foods" in the perimeter of the store.
- GROW YOUR OWN PRODUCE: When you can, in the summer months grow some of your own produce. Once you discover the taste of a home grown tomato, there's no going back!!
- Try one "new to you" food a week! If you have kids let them help to pick it out!
I hope this has been helpful, keeping those 3 little words (EAT REAL FOOD) in your head before and while you plan, decide, shop, prepare, and eat will keep your choices healthy! This may or may not be a huge change for some of us, but to keep it simple, make one or two changes in what you might usually pick to eat. For instance, instead of buying white rice next time you are out, try a new brown rice. Instead of grabbing that packaged fruit snack, grab an apple and have it with some almond butter or peanut butter. Instead of cereal, make your own granola which is way easier than I ever thought it would and doesn't have all of the added sugar your average store bought cereal or granola has. There are so many options to choose from and your health will thank you for it! If you have any questions or requests for certain recipes, please feel free to ask! I'm here to help and make this transition easier for you.
Let me know your thoughts and progress now that we are 3 weeks into the Challenge in a comment on the Blog or on the Fresh Senses facebook page! I really look forward to hearing from you and getting your feedback!!