Lately I’ve noticed that more and more of you are looking to clean up your diets and incorporate more body loving foods. Wether or not this blog is the inspiration for this change (I like to think it is;), I thought I would give you all a few quick tips and tricks to lead you in the right direction.
Remember, there is no better time to start nourishing your body than right now. So read below and get started right away!
1. Eat as close to the earth as possible
Real foods grow from the earth or exist naturally without the manipulation of man. This is pretty obvious when it comes to produce but it’s true even with things like meats! Think about it, things like fish exist all on their own without some man in a laboratory injecting chemicals into things hoping to create more “food”. Basically, eat more things that come from this earth and less that come from a lab!
2. If it has a longer expiry date than you, it’s not food (and you shouldn’t eat it)
Most people would categorize things like Fruit Loops or Kraft Dinner as “food”. However, if you left it on your counter and came back after months, if would probably still be completely fine (try that with an apple and you’ll see the difference).
Real food is perishable, meaning it will go bad if not eaten in time and this is completely normal. Most packaged and overly processed products have extremely long shelf life, meaning they will last enormous amounts of time without going bad and this is not normal (it’s the result of the many nasties added – ex: preservatives).
3. Only Shop the Perimeters of your Grocery Store
Okay so only is a big word and I am using it lightly. However, at least 85% of your groceries should be from the perimeter of the store. What am I talking about? Well think about it, most, if not all, of the whole, unprocessed foods available to you at the grocery store are found on the perimeters.
When you walk into most grocery stores (if not all), the first section is almost always the produce section followed by meats, bread, milk and egg products, and finally the frozen section (which has it’s pros & cons) all along the perimeter. In between all this you’ll find aisles saturated with packaged and overly processed “foods” (this is where your likely to find the Fruit Loops and Kraft Dinner).
Essentially, you’d be perfectly fine and more than capable of surviving even if 100% of your groceries were from the perimeters. However, the aisles do have a few helpful things such as spices, some grains, some good sauces in jars etc etc. Although this tip is meant to be taken lightly, you definitely shouldn’t find yourself in the middle of the canned ravioli aisle.
All and all, if most of your groceries are fresh, whole, real, unrefined/unprocessed foods (which are generally found on the perimeter of the grocery store) then you are on the right track!
4. Quality not Quantity
There’s a common misconception that the key to a good diet and healthy body is in reducing the quantity of food you consume. This misconception is fueled by the ever so lovely (not!) diet industry. But, I won’t get into that as I could write a whole blog post on how I feel about that industry.
Anyway, the quantity of food you consume is not at all as important as the quality. Before you pull out the last magazine article you read on “How to Eat Less to Slim Down” let me put this into perspective. If limiting the quantity you consume was really the key to a healthy body than 1000 calories of Snickers bars would be healthier than 2000 calories of fruits and vegetables…..I beg to differ.
This tip is really important as it is so common for people to obsess over how much their eating and do crazy things like count calories when in reality, you should focus on the quality of the foods you are consuming without fussing over how much you eat. Trust me, no amount of real, natural foods would deem you unhealthy. Focus on nutrients, not calories!
5. If your great-great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize it as food, it isn’t (and you shouldn’t eat it)
I LOVE this tip because it really de-bunks the myth that diet foods (ie. Sugar free, 100 calorie packs, low-fat Cheetos etc) are “healthy”. Seriously, if we could bring back some of our ancestors and put a bag of Cheetos in front of them they’d probably say “what the $!*@ is that weird looking, long, neon orange thing?!” and they’d probably flip when we tell them they’re supposed to eat that “thing”.
Foods like those are modern creations by man NOT by nature. They are not natural and certainly not food (more like chemically created food like substances). Before modern technology, our ancestors didn’t have all these crazy labs developing weird preservatives and chemicals to create crazy “foods” like those. They grew up on what the earth provided; real, whole, unprocessed food (I don’t even think processing foods was even a thing back then).
Oh and all those “Sugar Free” (etc) things didn’t exist either. Do you know why? because what is replacing the sugar in those products are harmful chemicals such as Aspartame (and others) that were developed in some lab which is also a result of modern technology that our ancestors would never recognize.
You really need to be careful not to confuse “healthy” foods with what today’s diet industry tries to fool you with. Real food is created by the earth not by man. Therefore, chemicals don’t classify. Your great-great grandmother would recognize real food because the earth has been producing it for all of time, it’s not some modern creation. If she wouldn’t recognize it as food, it probably isn’t real food. Eat real, eat whole, eat fresh – and you’re eh-okay!