One of my own personal goals this summer was to get away from processed/packaged foods as much as I can and replace them with whole foods.
It has been a journey that I have been on for about the last year and a half. I slowly got rid of things like white flour and white sugar, started feeding my children breakfast other than cold cereal, and am placing an importance on more fresh veges and fruit.
So why are we doing it?
- Cheaper than buying processed food—I didn’t believe that for a long time.
- Healthier for my children–I don’t want them ending up with disease and illness because of my inability to teach them how to eat.
- Older, I am getting older and I see how food affects my ability to keep up with my children and how I feel physically, emotional, and mentally based on what I eat.
- To simplify my lifestyle. Having less things is ALWAYS better.
The question begins with …..Where do I start?
There are articles out there about trans fat, good fats, whole wheat vs white, super foods, caffeine being good or bad, organic vs non organic, the list goes on and on.
Before I begin, here are some things in our journey that you will NOT find:
- The perfect healthy food plan—we are human, making changes one at a time, there is ALWAYS something that we can improve upon and what works for our family in our area, may not work for yours.
- Only organic foods, even though I like the whole organic plan, it just isn’t financially good for a large family in our area. We try and buy fresh, local grown items as we can, but it isn’t always feasible to buy organic.
- Expensive food that is only found at a health food store. All our food can be bought at your local grocery store and bulk food store–if you have access to one.
- Tasteless, weird, “my children and husband are NOT going to like beans and veges meals.” My husband likes a GOOD tasting meal, I can’t really mess around with things like pureed spinach in my brownies. Besides, do I really believe that my children are going to still puree spinach into their brownies after they leave the house?
This is our REAL plan, things we wanted to improve upon in our diets
- Eliminate white flour, sugar, bread, and pasta
- Replace sugary drinks and sodas with water
- Avoid packaged foods with more than 5 ingredients
- Replace fake margarine’s and vegetable oils with real butter and olive/coconut oils
- Replace table salt with sea or Himalayan salt
- Replace snack foods with fresh fruit or veges
- Stop eating out and start making meals
- Work on replacing foods each month that I buy as a “convenience food”. Example–canned beans, taco seasoning, ranch mix, yogurt, etc. by making myself.
- Make most of my grocery budget go to fresh fruits and vegetables
- Replace our store bought meats/poultry with organic, farm raised, animal products.
Looking to make your food lifestyle choices better? Read part 2 on how we started replacing our processed foods with whole, natural foods.