First off, my husband and I were horrible eaters when we first got together. We we met in our early twenties and neither of us really knew how or wanted to learn how to cook so we ate out at restaurants every day and ate fast food pretty often. It was actually pretty gross now that I look back at it. But we really didn't know much better back then and didn't really care much either. We were both busy and working full time so who had time to care?
For me it started after I watched a movie called Fast Food Nation. After seeing that I never looked at fast food or meat the same way again. I refused to eat fast food. I actually visualize people biting into a juicy feces burger now and it really grosses me out. Sorry for the graphic detail, but that's how it happened for me.
From then on, I started paying attention when others cooked and started asking questions. I learned how to cook a few basics and then started learning and experimenting from there. Slowly the quality of our food started changing and improving. Now we hardly ever eat out. We eat mostly "real foods" cooking with as many natural ingredients as possible that I have on hand. I also discovered that having my Young Living essential oils on hand I could use them for baking and cooking too when I don't have fresh herbs or fruit on hand. I have a cookbook that teaches you how to cook with essential oils coming out soon. Keep an eye out!
So anyways, you want to make the transition to eating healthier "real" food, huh?
First of all, good for you! This is a very important decision you've made, and you've definitely made the right one.
It can be hard to know where to start, though. You might be concerned about how you're going to feed your family this way, and what they will think about it. You might have budgetary concerns, or children who are picky eaters. Furthermore, you may not be sure what foods to even begin with - do you throw everything out and start over?
Here are some tips to help you with all that, and you're well on your way to transitioning into a healthful diet.
First, it pays to take a little time to research. Look for consistencies in food information - this will help you avoid "fad diets." Find out what really makes a food healthy, and decide what food groups you are going to keep or discard (some people decide not to include dairy in their diets, for example, or they will lean toward a primitive diet that does not include grains). Some are vegetarians, Vegan, or even Gluten free. You decide what is right for your family.
Once you are comfortable with what constitutes a healthy food, you can make a chart. This can be so helpful in making out grocery lists and planning meals, and in making the transition in general. To make the chart, you will need two basic columns (if you are into the details of nutrition, such as glycemic index and nutritive value, then you will want to have more columns).
On one side of the chart are the foods you normally eat. On the other side, put a replacement for those foods. For instance, you might have doughnuts on one side; you can put whole wheat cinnamon toast on the other side as a healthier replacement.
If you aren't sure what to replace with what, a good rule of thumb is: replace white with brown, artificial with natural, and processed for whole. For instance, traditional pasta can be replaced with whole grain pasta; fruit snacks can be replaced with natural dried fruit or fruit leather; and potato chips with a sack of organic potatoes.
A gradual transition is best; health experts agree that this is less shocking to your system. This is where the chart comes in handy - you can choose one replacement a week or even month to start.
Increase How Much You Eat:
That sounds ironic, doesn't it? But sources say that the "crowding out" theory can really work for some. If you load up on healthy food, you may simply not want the unhealthy stuff. Making a point of eating lots of high-quality, whole foods will theoretically leave less room for the bad stuff - and this is true for your grocery budget as well. Some find this makes for an easier transition than cutting out unhealthy foods and feeling deprived.
Don't buy the junk at the grocery store:
My husband an I have come a long way in the past 15 years from the way we used to eat. We mainly buy organic at the stores and only keep healthier snacks around the house. That way when we go to reach for something, we have to choose a healthier option.
It's funny because we often complain that there is no junk food around the house we want to snack. But then we try to figure out what we would reach for if it was here and we don't really like most of the junk food that we used to eat anymore. Dang! We didn't even see that coming, it just starts to happen organically after practicing healthier eating for a while.
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