However in the majority of cases, we simply don’t know where to start.
Are you ready to make a change? If so, read on for my top 5 tips to help you make the switch from processed, packaged (read: nutrient-void) foods to nourishing real foods:
1. Shop Smarter
Shop at farmer’s markets or your local fresh produce store, butcher or fishmonger and give fresh foods the leading role in your shop each week. Your trolley should be teeming with a beautiful, eclectic array of colours from whole, fresh foods, not from packaging.
When you shop at the all-in-one grocery stores make sure you stick to the perimeter. This is where the real food is. Go on a healthy trip down the dairy aisle, meat section, fresh produce area and freezer section (but frozen fruit and vegetables only). Don’t trawl the aisles where packaging tries to tempt you with colourful, glossy pictures.
It comes as no surprise that the only healthy ingredients you will find in the aisles are herbs and spices, and some condiments like vinegar and oils. So if you enter the middle aisles try not to succumb to temptation. Fancy packaging is there purely to wheedle its way into your busy life and hunger.
2. Learn How To Read Labels
All too often food labels are more confusing than clear, but it is important that you compare products and make more informed food choices. Eating more real foods doesn’t mean you have to abandon packaged foods altogether. If a food is packaged, make sure you start with the ingredients list.
If foods use the same ingredients that you would use at home and if the list is short, chances are it is a wholesome choice. Better still, work out how to make it yourself at home!
3. Set Yourself Small Achievable Goals
Don’t start throwing out every packaged item in your cupboard and radically change your diet in one hit, especially without doing some research. Why not start setting yourself small achievable goals or steps? For example, in the first week you could focus on changing your breakfast from cereal or bread and jam to 2-3 easy real food breakfast options like boiled eggs or homemade porridge.
Each week set a new goal. Small, consistent steps are key to a sustainable lifestyle change.
4. Have A Weekly Plan For Your Meals
The trick to feeding yourself and your family a healthy home-cooked meal is planning and preparation. In fact, it is essential to ensuring you enjoy a diverse range of real food ingredients over the course of a week. It makes your life easier, saves time and ensures you aren’t forced to make poor food choices when you are stressed or time poor.
Planning your week in advance will allow you to prepare things ahead of time when you know you are going to have a busy day at work or have to take the kids to sport. It also gives you a better awareness of how diverse your diet can be.
We have come a long way since meals were planned around your meat or protein. Nowadays, it is recommended that you plan your meals around your vegetables. Veggies are your base with meats, while dairy and grains are your garnish.
There are nights when we just want to dive right into that freezer. So make sure you have some healthy meals at the ready. Save heaps of time, money and energy throughout the working week by parboiling vegetables, making a stack of hard boiled eggs, chia puddings, homemade granola and double batches of tasty meals.
5. Find Recipe Inspiration And Keep It Simple
Finally, start surfing the net for simple ‘real food’ or ‘wholefood’ recipes that you can create at home and start cooking. You don’t have to cook every meal, but learning a few simple recipes will show you how easy and cheap real food cooking can be. There’s no longer a need to rely on pre-prepared meals or that last minute fast-food item.
Consider making double and having ‘dinner’ for lunch or brekkie. Cook once, eat twice. Replace the sandwich, wraps or store-bought soup with leftovers from your hearty, nutrient-dense meal cooked the night before. You will not only save time but avoid the processed foods so many of us conveniently reach for at lunch.
By employing my five tips you could be on your way to better health & wellness with real food in no time at all.
Disclaimer: This Content has been developed from our generous global community and is intended for informational purposes only. This Content is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon. Further, the personal views and experiences published are expressly those of the author, and do not represent the views or endorsement of SoulAdvisor through the act of publication on our site.