Life changes don’t happen over night. The year I finally decided to explore this concept of “real food” was the epitome of “5 steps forward, 10 steps backward.” I was eating green smoothies and Oreos in the same sitting. The same day I celebrated the victory of making my own salad dressing, I split a box of Auntie Mae’s cinnamon rolls with my husband after eating Old Chicago Pizza. (Note: that’s approximately 3 ½ cinnamon rolls each.)
I felt guilty. Then super exhilarated by a good decision. Then guilty again. Then motivated. Then discouraged. This cycle had me wondering if I were making any progress at all. Then, I sat down and looked over the past year. I took note of what I was eating currently, what my pantry looked like, the progress I was making in my health—and I realized that I was right on track. I was inching closer and closer to a real food lifestyle of wellness and nourishment. And it was okay that it wasn’t all happening at once.
Maybe I can take some of the guess work (and guilt) out of the equation for you. Here are 5 simple ways that you can make this transition to a real food lifestyle. Choose one or all 5. It’s totally up to you! The important thing: resist feeling overwhelmed by taking the FIRST STEP that feels comfortable for you. Then celebrate! You’re right on track.
1. Finish up a pantry and fridge staples and replace them one by one.
Don’t waste your stuff by throwing everything out at once! Start with the next thing. For example, if you use mainstream ketchup, it most likely has high fructose corn syrup or refined sugar added in. When you run out, just replace it with a more quality brand! If you can find a brand that uses cane sugar, that’s a great step in the right direction!
A couple other examples:
Salt. Iodized table salt is stripped of beneficial minerals. Replace it with a sea salt (pink Himalayan is my favorite!).
White pasta. Replace this with a whole grain pasta that will be much gentler on your blood sugar and digestive system while providing more nutrients and fiber. Personally, I love the Tinkyada brand of brown rice pasta. Before you know it, you’ll have a fridge and pantry that is stocked with more and more real food items!
2. Choose one consistent meal to makeover.
Eating non-processed food in today’s world is just plain hard. Take some of the pressure off by just focusing on ONE meal that you can consistently makeover. Set a goal to make one meal each day entirely out of one-word-items. Ex. Brown Rice, Black Beans, Sweet potatoes, lime, tomatoes. (Delicious, easy lunch) Then, if you need to use some packaged food for dinner because you just don’t have time to make something from scratch, that’s okay! Baby steps.
3. Upgrade your beverages.
Sodas, sugary fruit juice, energy drinks, etc. can easily slip into our day-to-day and cause more harm than the quick energy fixes they temporarily provide. Slowly phase these out by upgrading to fruit infused water or green and herbal tea. If you’re feeling adventurous, I’d love to share about my personal love affair with Kombucha. : )
4. Implement Real food Wednesdays.
Maybe cooking a non-processed meal each day sounds a little overwhelming. Start with one each week! Make Wednesdays or Tuesdays or Sundays or any day the one day that you make a real food meal! If you are looking for recipe inspiration, you can sign up HERE to get a #realfoodwednesday recipe sent to you each week. (Laken---I thought this may be a good opt in to add to my site for people who don’t want to take time to watch the videos)
5. Practice reading labels
Get used to taking a quick peek at the back of each item you buy. Do you recognize the ingredients? Can you pronounce them? Is sugar the first thing listed? Even if you still buy the item, just start familiarizing yourself with what most items contain. You just might be motivated enough to find an alternative!
If you would love some personalized support to help you make these changes in your life, I offer FREE 30 min. health consultations, and I would love to point you in the right direction. Click on the button below to schedule a call!