Trying to figure out how to eat and what to eat can be SO overwhelming. One day eggs are bad for you and the next they are healthy. There are lots of buzz words/trends these days like “whole/real foods diet”. You might be asking yourself “what exactly is a whole foods diet?”. You may think ‘there’s no way could we eat like that’ or ‘I am too busy’ or ‘I couldn’t afford to eat healthier’.
We were forced to change our diet drastically when my 5 year old was 18 months. He had severe eczema covering his entire back and had one respiratory infection after another that winter. After talking to a friend who had a daughter struggling with the same thing we changed our diet. All I needed to hear was that they had made huge strides in healing her daughters eczema through diet and we jumped in not really knowing what we were doing.
I realize most of you aren’t in a dire medical emergency that needs a drastic diet change so I hope to list just a few ideas that you can use to gradually change your diet without throwing away your whole pantry or being totally overwhelmed.
Today I’m going to share a bit about what a Real Food diet looks like and some tips how to start incorporating it into your busy life!
Understand I am not a doctor or health person of any sort. I’m just a momma trying to feed our family the best I can.
So why is a whole foods diet important? When you eat a whole foods diet you can control the amount and kind of fat or salt you eat for example. You can use a healthier salt like sea salt. We use a lot of sea salt or sea salt seasoning blends to season our food but I bet it probably has less than a lot of canned items. I truly believe the healthier you eat the healthier you will feel. I know people who have reversed health conditions by just changing their diet. I have a close family member who had mild reflux issues and once they changed their diet, it went away quickly! So here is to our health and our children’s health!
Defining Whole & Real Foods…
The term “whole foods” is all over these days. We even have a grocery store by that name (which by way has some great food but it also carries a lot of foods that aren’t whole/real).
Here are a few things I think of when trying to define whole/real foods: Food unchanged by man and not man-made. What did our ancestors eat? Think of foods that aren’t in the box, foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or foods with one single ingredient or foods that spoil easily. Those foods at your grocery on the outside aisles where the freshest whole products are kept.
4 tips to get you started eating a healthier more whole foods diet…
1. Find a replacement…
Pick a food in your diet and try to find a different option. Poke around your health food section, check out Pinterest or ask a friend! One thing I have done this week is instead of buying creamer already made I bought some real cream and added a bit of maple syrup to my coffee. Oh man it was good.
Pick something small like switching your bread to something fresher. Find a friend who makes her own and offer to pay her to make you a couple loafs a week! Or buy a brand that doesn’t have added stuff like Great Harvest Bread company.
A friend said she started making her own cream of soup for recipes. She says it is easy – takes a bit more time but she can’t go back to the can now!
2. Read Labels…
Look at the list of ingredients and see what is inside what you are eating. If you can’t pronounce it, maybe you should question it? For example, when we started to eat gluten free and dairy free, I was totally amazed at how many things have dairy and gluten in them once I started looking! I recently had a friend have a severe reaction to a preservative found in salad dressing.
3. Make Simple Meals & Snacks…
So what do we eat everyday? We eat basic simple meals. Right now I have chicken on the grill with a wonderful seasoning salt and some frozen green beans cooking on the stove. Most nights we also have some kind of a starch either a baked potato, rice, or brown rice noodles. So think basic a meat and side dish. Or soup with a slice of bread. Nothing complicated. A roast in the crockpot with veggies. Turn tonight’s dinner into tomorrow’s lunch by reheating and serving leftovers.
For snacks we eat lots of apples and frozen fruit, like blueberries. There are a few things I let my boys have that I don’t consider whole foods. I am okay with in the season of life I am in right now. We also eat lots of corn chips. Trader Joes has amazing organic corn chips and the price is reasonable.
Do I eat perfect and healthy all time..no? Do I indulge…yes. I can’t wait for some tasty treats at the Mom’s night out!
Making a meal plan is a must when you switch to a whole foods diet. I make a double pan of meatloaf and then freeze the other loaf. I make huge batches of spaghetti sauce and freeze enough for about a month in small bags. Check out Pinterest for great recipes and freezer meals too. DMMB team member Katie C. swears by Fresh 20 meal planning – check out her review here. You will save time and money when you plan ahead.
Use interesting sauces and spices to shake things up. Wildtree is a really great company. They are committed to quality ingredients. Some of their reps even do a monthly freezer meal party. We’ll learn more about this great company and get some ideas from Kristina Postma with Wildtree next month!
So I encourage you Moms out there to try it! I know you think it’s a big feat but I know you can do it! Start small. Make small goals. Make small changes. Try finding one replacement for snacks or trying 1 new meal a week.
What is your biggest hang up or what are your burning questions about a whole foods diet? What are your tips for your family? I would love to hear them.