Getting Started

>> Wednesday, January 28, 2009



I've had numerous people ask me lately what I did to improve my health. I would definitely say the single MOST important thing I did was throw away any/all processed foods!! I went through my pantry and eliminated all boxed dinners, like mac & cheese, frozen dinners, processed snacks, cereals, canned foods, salad dressings, etc. This didn't leave me with much and put me on a HUGE learning curve to try and figure out what to make for my family. For this reason, I'm not sure I would recommend going cold turkey for most people...although most people aren't sick like I was. BUT I would recommend making it a goal to get rid of as many processed foods as possible. Starting with one meal a week and replacing it with a meal rich in whole foods is a good place to start.

Another place to start is to begin reading labels. READ, READ, READ. You might be amazed at what you find. Can you believe that even some whole grain breads have high fructose corn syrup in it? I refuse to buy anything with additives, preservatives, or anything I can't pronounce. The general idea is to buy food as close to the way God created it. Think quality of food rather than quantity. Americans these days are rather obsessed with calories, fat grams, sodium, etc. If you eat good quality food you don't have to worry about how much you eat. You can enjoy a wide variety of things, as much as you want. Just be aware of what goes into your body and make sure it's real food, not processed.

Here is an example of what my grocery list looks like now...

Eggs: I buy only cage-free eggs. They cost a little more but well worth the money. Even better, buy them from a local farmer!
Cheese/Milk: I buy my milk from a local farmer. This is a loaded topic...will discuss more at length later. If you're interested check out realmilk.com.
Kefir: More beneficial bacteria than yogurt. You drink kefir, rather than eat it. It has a pleasant tart flavor.
Grains/Beans: I buy my grains in bulk to save money. I buy only whole grains, organic if possible.
Oats
Rice: Only brown. White is highly processed and stripped of all nutritional value.
Quinoa
Corn
Flour: I only buy whole wheat. White flour is the enemy.
Black Beans
Oils: I only buy cold-pressed. Coconut has wonderful health benefits and cooks wonderfully in high heat. Try to avoid canola and vegetable oils.
Olive
Coconut
Grapeseed: We use grapeseed to cook our popcorn for a snack at night. Has a wonderful flavor and less harmful than canola.
Juice: Only 100% juice of course!
Tea: Organic if possible.
Meat:
Hot Dogs: I buy hot dogs without nitrites. Trader Joe's carries them. We avoid pork in our family so we always look for beef.
Chicken: Range-free, antibiotic-free
Turkey
Beef: Grass-fed beef, no hormones
Produce: I try to look for things in season because it costs less.
Frozen Fruit: Great for smoothies!!
Frozen Veggies: I use frozen to save some money on groceries but I look for organic if possible.
Snacks: Currently, I buy my snacks at Trader Joe's because I know they don't have hydrogenated oils or preservatives.
Tortilla Chips
Chips
Staples:
Spices
Raisins/Dried Fruit: I try to find unsulphered fruit.
Sunflower Butter or any other nut butters without the preservatives. NO JIFFY!!!
Coconut Milk: Also great for smoothies and has great health benefits.
Condiments: I look for ketchup without added sugar. I'm trying to start making my own condiments though.
Salad dressings: Look for salad dressings with healthy oils (olive, grapeseed, etc.) or I try to make my own...it's very simple to do!
Bread: Currently, I buy Ezekiel 4:9 which is sprouted. I occasionally buy whole grain bread but I'm trying to learn how to make my own so I know exactly what it has in it.
Sweeteners: NO WHITE SUGAR!! We use honey or agave syrup. Some people use rapadura or sucanat.

1 comments:

collinsfamily3 January 29, 2009 at 12:51 PM  

This is so helpful, thank you! I printed it out so that I can refer to it while I'm shopping. I know I can do it for a family of four- but it will take a lot of work and effort to do it for a family of 10-15 with a smaller budget! But I'm really curious to see the results especially with the girls who have add. Thanks!

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