Eating real foods doesn't need to be complicated. Cooking meals from scratch is easily looked at as unusual nowadays. I think our society -- in terms of eating real foods -- has been swept over by the idea that food has to be fast and convenient. We should always try to make meal and food choices that will benefit us in the long run.
We take great care and attention to our yards, cars and even our Pinterest boards. So why don't we take extra care of our bodies that God has entrusted us with? Healthy can be easy. It can be convenient and fast. I think it's the preparation and buying choices at the store that need more attention.
For the most part we know that real foods are those things that greet us in the produce area of the grocery store... that's a given. Those vibrant colors stand out and we know that they exude nutrients and life to our cells. Then sometimes it gets tricky as we wander through the other aisles.
Here are 5 easy facts in your quest to finding real foods.
1. Shopping the perimeter really is key when buying real foods
Produce. Dairy. Meats. The junk is usually in the middle. I've read and read and reread labels. And I can tell you they reside (in a box or other packaging) on the inside aisles. But don't take my word for it, check it out yourself. Start reading and get familiar with the junk. Things that can sit for weeks on end in your pantry and not get moldy hold numerous preservatives that aren't real.
2. If there are more than 5 ingredients listed on the label, it starts to get "unreal"
I learned this from Lisa over at 100 Days of Real Food. The list should be short and sweet and you should be able to pronounce each of those words, too.
3. Be aware of refined foods
Refined carbs (white breads, rice, pasta, cakes, cookies, crackers, etc) are processed until their beneficial complex carbohydrate structure disappears. This processing helps to prolong the food's shelf life, but also diminishes the nutritional value. It also causes the body to quickly (as opposed to slowly) convert glucose in our bodies. This process results in low energy, weakened immune systems, nutritional deficiencies and weight gain. Stick to whole grains.
4. When in doubt, always avoid the following ingredients
It's hard to keep track of everything that's bad for us, but maybe if we just try to focus on a few, it will help. Here are the worst of the worst "unreal" ingredients out there, in my opinion. (For more information regarding the ingredients listed below, click on each word to read more).
5. Make your own treats
We all crave those splurges here and there, but if you're gonna eat them... make them yourself. Homemade cookies or cakes will still contain higher fat and calories, but at least you know what went in them. Eat them in moderation and be happy you can pronounce each ingredient!
Do your best to keep your body operating at it's best by giving it the best fuel and nutrients through eating whole, real foods. Don't compromise your health because of time or convenience. Your body is something that deserves better attention than those things that really don't matter.
What unique ways do you keep real foods in your real life??
*Linked to: Women Living Well, Homemaking Linkup, Traditional Tuesdays, Titus 2sdays, Works for Me, Simple Lives Thursday, Encourage One Another Pin It