Never in the history of man has there been so many options at the dinner table. Unfortunately, most of what we see on our grocery store shelves are nothing more than food impostors: highly processed “stuff” that has more in common with our high school chemistry experiments than with actual food.
So how do you get more real food into your diet? The answers are pretty simple, but not always easy. With our hectic lifestyles, limited funds, and the constant roller coaster of what is considered “good” vs. “bad,” it’s easy to give up the battle before ever putting on the armor.
Well, folks it’s time to armor up! Here are five super simple ways to get more whole foods into your diet.
1. Go heavy on the produce
Veggies and fruit are nature’s way of healing and nourishing our bodies from the inside out. Consider joining a CSA, BountifulBaskets (if they are available in your area), or visiting a local farmer’smarket. With thousands and thousands of recipes available online, your veggies may become your favorite part of the meal!
2. Check the ingredients
Ideally, most of your food shouldn’t come in a wrapper. However, even the healthiest of eaters have some packaged products in their pantry. Choose food with the shortest ingredient list and with names you recognize. This will ensure that minimal processing was done and that your food is actual food instead of man-made chemicals.
3. Quality matters
Check out the dirty dozen and clean fifteen lists when buying your fruits and veggies. You may also consider eating meat a little less often while opting for higher quality options like grass-fedbeef. Not only are they better for you, but they are also better for the environment and the animals.
It may cost more, which is something that keeps people from making a change, but doing a little research about which foods are worth a higher price can help. Your food will actually satisfy you and keep your future health care costs down. Remember that empty calories also mean wasted money.
4. Get educated
There is so much information available to us on our current food systems. A few books/films that I recommend to help motivate and educate are: The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Real Food: What to Eat and Why, and Food, Inc.
5. Baby steps
Remember, food is so much more than just calories. Food brings family and friends together. It has cultural significance. It comforts, heals, and nourishes. Take matters into your own hand to change what you choose to bring to the table. But remember that small changes carry big rewards. Don’t obsess. Instead, try changing a little at a time so that you see long term results instead of falling into the traps of fad diets or unhealthy trends.
Tell me, what do you do to get better food into your homes?