- ZERO artificial ingredients! That means flavors, colors, preservatives... all of it.
- Throw out anything with high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, & hydrogenated oils.
- Stay away from anything "instant". (Did you know you can make instant oatmeal by slightly grinding your whole oats in a blender?)
- Read labels! - Energy bars are not always healthy. If you can't pronounce the ingredient(s), look for an alternative.
- No more pre-made sauces, dressings, & mixes. Make your own! There are recipes all over the internet, & I'll be continually including them here on my website under the DIY recipes section.
- Except for emergency food storage, stay away from canned foods. Eat fresh! I admit, I have a few cans in my pantry for quick family emergencies, but it's VERY few & only on rare occasion. Those include foods like organic beans, fruits, & veges. Check out the section under the main menus on canned foods for more information on this subject.
- No more microwave popcorn. HORRIBLE ingredients they are, & the microwave totally de-natures the food you're cooking anyway. Buy yourself an air popper or use a pan & lid to cook it on the stove top. Olive oil, real grass fed butter, & coconut oil are 3 great options for luscious homemade popcorn, & it only takes a few minutes.
- Replace refined sugar with raw honey or 100% grade B maple syrup (organic if possible)... and refined white table salt with Pink Himalayan salt, Celtic Sea salt, or Real salt. See my section on sweeteners (and salts).
- Get rid of boxed & bottled juices. They're concentrated, highly processed, & FULL of sugar. Even the ones that say 100% juice. Buy a juicer & juice your own. This includes lemon juice.
- Go 100% whole grain. Not "contains whole grain", or "all natural whole grain". Either make your own, or look for packaging that says "100% whole grain" - and then read ingredients. It should be very first on the list with no other junk in it.
- If it's boxed, bagged, or packaged... throw it out. There are honesty VERY few exceptions to this rule. Anything fresh & homemade is best. But if you use something that's pre-packaged, read the ingredients. If it's not a natural whole food just the way God created it in nature, it's not real food. This includes boxed cereal!!! ((I know, I know... This one is tough. Read my quite long blog post on processed/toxic cereal. It might give you a better picture.))
- Use REAL milk & dairy! If you don't use dairy products, then skip this one. But if you do, find yourself a local dairy or natural foods store that sells fresh whole un-processed, un-pasteurized, non-homogenized milk! Yes, RAW. I can't even say enough about this. Your life will change. Check out my blog post on milk. And if you can't locate real milk in your area, do your best to only purchase Organic pasteurized - BUT NON-HOMOGENIZED milk. Homogenization is the worst of it all...
- Meat & Eggs - Local, fresh, organic pasture raised, free of antibiotics, steroids, & un-organic feed. Humanely raised. Period. If it's sausage/pepperoni, make your own - or look for those with no harmful ingredients or preservatives, such as Applegate brand.
- No fast food. No deep fried food. PERIOD.
- No GMO. (Genetically Modified Organisms) - Bad Bad Bad! Read my post HERE about the dangers of GMO's & why we should all avoid them.
Use bulgur & quinoa. They're highly nutritious & quick cooking. They taste great with veges, meats, & even fruit! The internet is loaded with great recipes for these 2 whole 'fast foods'.
Homemade granola - Organic rolled oats, olive or coconut oil, raw honey, slivered almonds, coconut, flax seed, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, carob chips or dark chocolate (without refined sweeteners), & all kinds of other things can be added. Just melt your liquid ingredients, spread on a baking sheet, & throw in the oven at 350 until browned. Experiment with varieties & see what you can come up with!
Get rid of old herbs & spices. They're useless. Use your nose! If they don't smell fresh & strong, almost like you just harvested them - - - dump them! When you purchase new ones, buy in bulk. Or grow your own. MUCH cheaper, & much better quality. (We're talking 5-10 times cheaper!) Order online from companies like Mountain Rose Herbs, San Francisco Herb Co., etc... Or check out your local farmers markets. If they're fresh, you can dry them in a brown paper bag & store jarred or bagged in your freezer. Use a coffee grinder to powder them when needed. (This tip is great for nuts & seeds also.)
Switch to whole food quick snacks like nuts, seeds, real cheese, fruit, veges & dip, homemade granola bars, homemade crackers, fresh *popcorn* etc.. Keep some with you for on-the-go so you're not tempted to "grab a quick snack". Important for the kids, especially!
***I had a few other thoughts a while back on this, but my mind has gone blank. So as I think of them, I'll add them to the list. There will also be more as I continue to complete my combining of the old blogs/websites to this central location. (That takes a long while, as there is a lot of info... But I'm still plunking away at it!)
I have to include this, because I love it. This is Michael Pollan's 7 Rules For Eating. If you don't know who he is, 'google' him.
- Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. "When you pick up that box of portable yogurt tubes, or eat something with 15 ingredients you can't pronounce, ask yourself, "What are those things doing there?", Pollan says.
- Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can't pronounce.
- Stay out of the middle of the supermarket; shop on the perimeter of the store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docks, where it can be replaced with fresh foods when it goes bad.
- Don't eat anything that won't eventually rot. "There are exceptions -- honey -- but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren't food," Pollan says.
- It is not just what you eat but how you eat. "Always leave the table a little hungry," Pollan says. "Many cultures have rules that you stop eating before you are full. In Japan, they say eat until you are four-fifths full. Islamic culture has a similar rule, and in German culture they say, 'Tie off the sack before it's full.'"
- Families traditionally ate together, around a table and not a TV, at regular meal times. It's a good tradition. Enjoy meals with the people you love. "Remember when eating between meals felt wrong?" Pollan asks.
- Don't buy food where you buy your gasoline. In the U.S., 20% of food is eaten in the car.