My journey of cutting out processed foods began several years ago. I am a busy gal and by busy I mean I am always up and moving, working on projects, learning, and enjoying life. With this extremely busy lifestyle, however I found myself eating fast food more times a week then I care to admit. I then wondered why I was feeling so sick all of the time. Thinking that my headaches and stomachaches were chalked up to the fact that I wasn’t getting enough sleep. Fast-forward a few years into the future. I have now discovered that while; yes I desperately needed more sleep (something I am currently working on correcting. As I type this I am really should be in bed, as I have to get up in five hours). I realized a huge part of the reason I felt so sick all of the time was my diet. Too often our family was hitting the closest fast food chain due to our demanding busy schedule for the simple sake of being easy. Why must they make fast food so much cheaper and easier than a good homemade dinner? A few months ago I said no to fast food and started the long journey of slowly cutting processed foods out of my diet.
I sat back a few months ago trying to figure out how effectively change my diet with my crazy busy life. Eating healthy became frustrating because of the costs associated with eating “healthy” foods. There are many definitions of processed foods depending on who you talk to, but I think the consensus is that processed foods aren’t natural. When I think of processed foods I think of anything prepackaged: such as cereals, bread, crackers, etc. I dare you to go and read the ingredients on any of these types of food. Didn’t understand half of what you were reading? After reading the label you still aren’t sure what the contents of the box are? When I eat something I would like to be able to know exactly what I am eating. This is what started me on the long and hard process of changing our diet to primarily non-processed foods. Like I mentioned before we are still in this process and yes on rare occasion we do still eat out.
Below are three tips and tricks to help you start on your journey of cutting processed foods out of your life:
- Grocery Shopping.
Go to the grocery store with a firm list and don’t waiver. If you don’t buy processed foods then you can’t eat them. I like chocolate and sugar WAY too much, but guess what if I don’t buy it I can’t eat it.
- Eat Only What is in Your House.
When you start this process don’t go out to eat. I mean at all. It’s a slippery slope of “well it is just one meal” that quickly becomes two which turns in ten. Include your spouse or others in your family in cooking. Getting them involved in healthy habits will help everyone in the long run.
- Weekly Meal Planning.
Know what you are going to eat that week and try to stick to it. I prep a lot of the food I am going to eat for the next week on Sunday because I simply don’t have time during the week. Knowing what I am going to make ahead of time also saves time and who doesn’t like to save time?
You don’t have to go cold turkey to reap the benefits of not eating processed foods. Start at whatever level you feel comfortable with and go for it. Don’t back down. The healthier you will be shining through in no time!