Have you ever heard the saying that changing your body and improving your health is 80% of the food you eat and 20% what you do for exercise? It’s true! If you don’t change what you put in your body, your body will never be able to function at optimal levels.
So let’s talk about the basics. What am I supposed to be eating?
For starters, it would help to briefly address how the American diet has handicapped, literally and figuratively, the general population over the last 200 years. I won’t go into politics about how that occurred, but just for starters, the wheat they grew during the Civil War is barely a shadow of the wheat we grow now.
Corn has been altered. Pesticides were introduced, plastic containers hold our food and leach chemicals into their contents, water pollution is rampant, the condition of beef, pork and poultry farms has declined dramatically, and the list goes on. This is not meant to discourage, but to inform.
There are always choices and better choices. And as is always the case, if you have made personal choices about what you will and won’t eat, then this information is for you to incorporate in any way you like.
Walking through a grocery store while attempting to make changes to your lifestyle can be one of the most overwhelming things a person can do. There are literally thousands of choices, there are hundreds of thousands of ingredients to contemplate. There are brand differences.
There are organic choices, local choices, and sometimes, the only choice is what happens to be there that day. In spite of all this, we will still give you some tips on making this whole transition to healthy eating an easier and more pleasant one.
One of the best ways to gauge yourself on your journey is to open your fridge and open your cupboards. Is there more food in your fridge or your cupboards?
A household with higher “cupboard content” is relying heavily on pre-made or processed foods.
Yes, there will always be things you need in the cupboards such as baking supplies: Flour, sugar, spices, oils, etc.
Some canned goods are great to have around, such as Beans, Tuna, Canned Pumpkin, Spaghetti Sauce in jars, canned tomatoes, nut kinds of butter like almond or Peanut Butter, and other “builder” ingredients—things you would add to a recipe.
Uncooked pasta, (we will get into which brands to start looking for in a later post) Chicken or Beef Stock for making soups, oats, uncooked rice, and hopefully some good protein like the rePLACE meal replacement shakes from TruVision Health for a quick, easy, and healthy snack!
A healthy-home fridge should have plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, milk alternatives like Almond or Coconut Milk, (avoid Soy where possible), lower-fat cream cheese made from Greek Yogurt, Greek Yogurt itself, healthy condiment choices like Mayonnaise made from Olive Oil, Simple Ketchup with no additives, no-nitrate deli meats, pickles, high-fiber tortillas, eggs, egg whites, etc.
So do you want Step 1 to a healthier you?
Evaluate the food in your home.
Get 2 giant trash bags, and take them to your cupboards.
Open up the bags AND your cupboards and start putting in everything that has no expiration date.
Fill one bag with all UNOPENED items and fill the other bag with opened items like cookies, candy, chips.
Remove all soda in the bottle and can form, processed foods like ramen, Mac N Cheese (Sad face), Cereal with more than 5 ingredients, oatmeal that has anything but OATS in it, rice that is meant for the microwave, processed cheese food, and so on.
Take one filled trash bag to your local food bank, and donate the unopened goods to someone who needs it more than you because you’re on your way to something new.
Throw away the other bag right on trash day so there’s no chance of sneaking out there at midnight for one last hoorah. You’re on your way.
Next time, let’s empty the fridge…