Starting to Eat Real Food
Are you eating real food, or are you eating the mix of chemicals that make up our modern, convenient diet? And do you know exactly what you are eating? Often, people want to make an immediate change. But contrary to this strong urge, it is better (and more feasible) to take things slowly and implement one or two changes at a time — and there are ways to make your transition easier.
First, you don’t have to do it all at once. You may want to, but it is better and easier if you transition. You can learn new ways to cook, try new foods and the shopping techniques that work for you.
#1 Change – Go Back to Butter
Butter and margarine serve the same purpose. They are used for cooking, baking and as spreads. Butter has been a dietary staple for centuries. It is made by churning the fatty portion of cow’s milk until it turns into the final product… butter.
Margarine is made from canola and sunflower oils, water, modified palm and palm kernel oils, salt, whey protein concentrate, soy lecithin, vegetable monoglycerides, potassium sorbate, vegetable color, artificial flavor, citric acid, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D3, alpha-tocopherol acetate.
It’s easy to see which one is real. Our body can tell the difference, too!
#2 Replace White with Whole Wheat.
Start replacing white flour with whole wheat flour. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of white flour, replace a 1/4 cup with wheat. It may go unnoticed! Gradually increase the amount of whole wheat flour in baked goods and slowly eliminate the white flour. When you are using flour in other recipes, such as white sauce or as a gravy thickener, totally replace the white with wheat flour. Buy whole wheat bread instead of white and choose whole wheat pasta instead of regular!
Before you know it, you will have switched!
#3 Commit to avoiding artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup in store-bought products.
Cane sugar was the sweetener of choice until the 1970s, when the much less expensive corn-derived sweeteners like maltodextrin and high-fructose corn syrup were developed. While regular table sugar (sucrose) is 50% fructose and 50% glucose, high-fructose corn syrup can contain up to 80% fructose and 20% glucose. Both table sugar and high-fructose sweetener contain four calories per gram, so calories alone are not the key problem with high-fructose corn syrup. Rather, metabolism of excess amounts of fructose is the major concern.
Getting High Fructose Corn Syrup out of your diet can be difficult. You need to replace condiments (such as ketchup) and snacks (like granola bars), and look for items that are free of corn syrup, aspartame, and other artificial sweeteners (Sucralose, Saccharin, and Acesulfame K).
Store-bought snacks that meet this criteria might be difficult to find (or expensive), which leads to step #4.
#4 Replace some store-bought snacks with homemade.
Eating real food is affordable to make and will save you money, but you need look at your schedule to make time for menu planning and bulk cooking. Taking an afternoon or evening to prepare some healthy snacks, precook meat, and put together a large salad will make it easier to eat real food on a daily basis.
If the moment of hunger strikes and there is no real food on hand, it becomes difficult to stay on track. Being prepared is key to your success. Next you need to collect recipes. Such as Baked Pita Chips, Fudgy Brownies, Edamame Crunch and Kitchen Sink Oatmeal Cookies.
#5 Shop the outside isles of the grocery store.
Most of the real food ingredients in the outer aisles of the grocery store. As you move into the rows in the center of the store, the more refined the food becomes. Spend some time looking around the produce and meat departments and see what is available. This is where you will be buying most of your food.
#6 Expand your shopping experience to Farm Markets
Its not just the fresh fruit and veggies at the market that you should be buying, the vendors selling prepared products are making their products from simple real ingredients. Meats are often local too.
What steps have you taken? Which are you going to take on next?