I remember as a young mother taking my kids to the grocery store, it was a nightmare! The colorful boxes and fancy packaging screamed at the kids in every aisle. And don’t even get me started on the checkout area!
Fifteen years ago when my children were still at home, I really didn’t understand what a “Adapting a Whole Foods Lifestyle” meant, let alone trying to follow one. I didn’t know the difference between a good fat and a bad one, and never read a label.
So what does whole food really mean? It means buying food as close to its natural state as possible and feeding your family foods that are locally grown, organic and hormone-free. It means cooking from scratch and not relying on pre-packaged frozen meals. It’s about creating your menus around pure vegetables, fruit, meat, milk, cheese and whole grains.
Today you will barely find a pre-packaged, high fructose, garbage laden product on my pantry shelf. I’m not trying to boast or make you feel bad if you still rely on those foods, I am only attempting to point out that I have adapted a new food outlook that is as close to natural food as possible.
If you want to start eating a little healthier and try your hand at switching your family over to a whole foods lifestyle, I have a few simple ways for you to get started:
- Don’t get overwhelmed. – If the thought of having to read every label, and trying to fit high-priced organic food into your budget is getting you down, don’t fret. Start simple and start small. Make simple changes like buying frozen fruits and vegetables instead of canned. Make a homemade cake instead of buying a box mix and eat old-fashion oatmeal instead of the prepacked microwave brand.
- Shop the outer aisles. – Fresh fruits and vegetables, grass-fed beef and organic chicken, range-free eggs and organic milk are a great place to start. Try to create your weekly menu by visiting only the outer aisles of the supermarket. You will still need to visit some of the inner isles, but keep your products to brown rice, whole wheat flour, nut butter, spices and herbs.
- Practice the 3-5 ingredient rule. – Every item that goes into your shopping cart should have 3 to 5 or fewer ingredients listed on its label. I like the food that has no labels the best!
- Learn about oils. – Wage a strike against vegetable oils. Keep your cooking fats limited to olive oil, butter, coconut oil or lard.
- Ban man-made products. – Over the years, food manufacturers have added colors and preservatives to our food to make it more pleasing to the eye. When in all reality it may be more pleasing to the eye, but it is battling a war against our health. I for one would rather have a natural looking canned peach, then one that has been laced with artificial coloring to make it more eye pleasing.
Like I said before start small and start simple. Find one or two items you can replace to a healthy alternative each week you shop. Before you know it your family will be healthier and you will feel better about what you feed your family.
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