Do you know where the food you eat comes from? Most people get food from a grocery store of some kind.
This modern reliance on grocery stores creates convenience, but also makes it harder for a large portion of the population to get healthy, fresh foods.
That’s because a heavy focus is now placed on pre-packaged convenience foods, but researchers have been clear that these foods aren’t good for you when you eat it on a daily basis.
In the next few pages you’ll see a healthy alternative in the Real Foods Lifestyle.
Understanding More About Real Foods
This can include delicious organic vegetables, freshly collected milk, fresh eggs, home baked breads and freshly cut meats.
When you hear the term “Real Foods Diet,” it probably makes you think about some kind of new fad diet that is touted by every artsy type, but what it really means, is that you simply eat fresh whole foods in their natural state.
This also means avoiding many of the boxed science experiments that are called food in stores today. At a quick glance, most people will be able to see that clean eating and real food diets are pretty similar.
Back in the 1960’s when clean eating was being developed, the people behind it were mainly motivated by the notion that they could improve health by taking processed foods out of their diets.
After eliminating the processed foods, the next target was the fat content of dairy products.
This meant that people would be following their diet, but the low fat milk that was being made still had to contain chemicals that help the milk to retain a familiar and pleasing texture, so there were a few minor holes.
After a few decades research, scientist have come to the conclusion that certain processed foods are in fact very bad for people when they are eaten on a daily basis.
Today, scientists now know that in order for the human body to process certain foods, there has to be a natural and balanced appearance of fats in your diet.
The main difference between the real food diets and clean eating is that clean eating didn’t have the natural and plant fat equation worked out.
Eating the right amounts of healthy fats can help your digestion and absorption of nutrients, so at the moment, it appears that real food based diets are the winner of the day.
A lot of the problem that people face today is that they’ve been told that fresh fruits and vegetables are too expensive for them to eat, and in some places this is true.
The majority of the time though, fresh fruits and vegetables are nearly always less expensive than canned goods unless the store sells damaged cans, which can contain dangerous bacteria like Clostridium Botulinum.
Some areas are without grocery stores that have a decent produce section, and unfortunately, the produce section of the grocery store is usually the only place to get real food in most store these days.
If that’s the case, then it might be very difficult to find foods that fit without having access to some gardening space.
Hydroponic systems have added some flexibility to people who live in tall buildings, but not everyone can afford the cost or the space to set up these kinds of systems in their dwelling.
Fortunately, some inspired individuals have made it possible to have access to these foods by starting inner city gardening projects so that people in nearby areas can have access to fresh vegetation.
Aside from that, you may have noticed that many demographics of people have been targeted by marketing companies to sell them unhealthy fast food at prices that are low enough to encourage day to day thinking.
This is when people spend money they feel is negligible instead of buying groceries that can last for days after each trip.
When this habit is coupled with the believe that fresh foods are unattainable, the effects can be devastating, but if you’re willing to take some time to do some research, you might find that you can open up an entire new world of possibilities and health.
The only issue from here is finding out where to go from here!
Your First Steps into the Real Foods Lifestyle
Before you get started, it’s important to note that just because the title here says “lifestyle,” doesn’t meant that trying to eat real food means the end of anything that you enjoy completely.
The reason why is because the stiffness and rigid nature of most dietary changes is one of the primary causes for failure.
It’s much better to let yourself have a snack cake or two than to languish over the extra 200 calories that you ate, or beat yourself up for the cheeseburger that you had late at night once this week.
Stress is counterproductive and can actually make it so that you don’t lose weight, or get healthy in any way, so let yourself breathe for a second.
As long as you’re eating real foods most of the time, you’ll look and feel better.
It’s simply up to you how much progress you want to experience and how fast, but if you want the best results, it would be better to take it slow than to jump in with both feet on the first day.
The next few paragraphs will explore how you can inch into better eating habits.
Find Information and Learn About Real Foods
One of the most important parts of being successful with dietary changes is that you learn as much as you can about your food choices.
These days you can find almost anything you need to know about different ways to eat by finding books at the library or buying some online.
For a few dollars you can pick up a detailed info source in electronic form so you can become an expert on Real Foods in your spare time.
You might even be able to find some great tips on YouTube or any other video site that allows people to post vlogs.
There might also be complete documentaries dedicated to the subject!
Revamp Your Old Recipes REAL FOODS STYLE
Even though it might seem sort of daunting changing the way you eat, you might be forgetting that you don’t really have to change things up THAT much.
The reason why is because you can use what you learn from your real foods research to turn those old recipes into healthy masterpieces.
All you have to do to make that happen, is to simply replace the unhealthy elements with freshly made, healthier versions of the foods you would normally prepare.
Instead of cooking with those corn-based oils, you can use virgin olive oil. Of course, this wouldn’t be for deep frying anything.
If you like crispy fried potatoes, then you can try cooking them in the oven instead of frying them.
You can cook an entire batch of fries for the family with a small sheen of olive oil amounting to less than a tablespoon.
If you enjoyed canned soups in the past, then you can make a low sodium version at home with fresh bone or vegetable broth that you’ll enjoy enough to never look back again.
A little imagination can go a long way.
Learn About the Main Ingredients to Avoid (More On This Later)
A lot of the processed foods that exist today are filled with different types of chemical that are intended to help preserve foods, but many of these products that are being added to your food have been linked to hormone imbalances and other side effects.
You can either learn about these chemicals or simply avoid anything that is difficult to pronounce.
Unfortunately, many of these additives switch names every few years to make it more difficult to pin down exactly what they’re for.
Some of the chemicals to look for are things like monosodiumglutimate (aka MSG), aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oil, or anything derived from soybeans.
While some of these like corn syrup aren’t the worst on this small list, it can still have negative effects on your digestive system that makes it harder for your body to absorb nutrients.
As a general rule, you can also say that you will try to avoid foods that come in in boxes which have more than 5 ingredients.
Evaluate Your Shopping Style
For some people, the wandering around until something jumps out method might be their usual habit, but in order to have success in a major lifestyle change it’s important to stay slightly organized.
The easiest way to o this is by splitting your food groups up and then fulfilling each category as you walk through the store.
This makes sure that you get everything that you will need to be able to make the healthy and tasty meals that you’ve been planning.
You can easily start with your grains and dry foods like beans and rice, then move to sweeteners like stevia, and plant fats like olive oil for cooking.
After that you can hit the produce aisle for your fresh fruits and vegetables, then round it up with proteins like meats, eggs and dairy.
That way your food will keep cool and safe during your shopping trip.
1. Foods That You Should Eat
Foods that come as they appear in nature, generally unaltered and unfiltered.
Many foods that are processed in this way lose a large portion of the nutrients that you are trying to get by eating them in the first place.
Always try to find the freshest most naturally grown foods. Be sure to wash it in case there has been any kind of contamination through.
The best way to find foods like these that are more likely to be safe will be from local farmers markets.
Food sold at those events is more likely to have been inspected by a few sets of eyes, and has probably been washed if it’s been removed from its natural sheathing already.
2. Only Eat Caught Seafood
If you choose to eat seafood, try to make sure that you only get seafood that was naturally grown, or at the very least was not raised on a farm in a pond.
Those sea creatures tend to contract various disease fairly easy, and can be influenced by their unnatural environment.
This could be difficult if you live completely inland, but the demand for seafood is pretty high, so finding the right source is usually the primary issue that needs to be addressed.
One you find a good company, you’re likely to experience years of great seafood.
3. Make Your Own Bread or Find a Bakery
Did you know that there are a lot of different bread makers that you can buy for relatively inexpensive prices?
Having a bread maker is a great way to make sure that the bread you eat is up to the real foods standard that you’re attempting.
All you have to do is put the ingredients into the machine at the appropriate times, and within an hour or two, you’ll end up having some great homemade bread that you can enjoy.
You can even use them to make all of those great holiday breads that you’ll love.
If you don’t want to make your own bread, then it would be a good idea to find a local bakery that produces breads that are up to the real foods standards.
Bread like these will only be made with whole grains and avoid the use of chemically based preservatives that are found in store bought brands of bread loaves.
4. Eat Locally Raised Meats
Try your best to find a local source for meats if you continue to eat them.
Many major meat sources fill their livestock full of hormones, and many of the practices that are carried out as daily procedure have been less than satisfactory in the eyes of multiple consumer studies.
Issues with the handling and quality of conditions in meat producing facilities are very likely to continue with the recent changes in regulations.
As always, meat should be kept as a smaller percentage of your diet, with US Department of Agriculture saying that the average person should eat no more than 4 oz a day.
5. Drink Beverages That Are Only Naturally Sweet
The things that you drink should stay in the realm of naturally occurring drinks, or drinks that have been sweetened using naturally occurring sweeteners like juice, or honey.
Tea is always a good option and it provides a wide range of health benefits. Refined sweeteners are still being studied by various groups.
One thing that we know for a fact is that the corn syrups used in the foods of today has had unintended side effects.
These types of sweeteners should be avoided at all costs, and that includes many option like splenda. No deep fried foods at all. Everyone knows that fried foods are terrible for them.
The food might taste pleasing, but the far reaching health complications shouldn’t be the price of a tasty but overly salty meat snack.
6. Eat Dried Fruits and Nuts
Fruit that has been dried can be a great source of nutrition. If you want to get extra adventurous, you can make a trail mix with nuts, seeds, dried fruit.
With a small amount of imagination, you can even create sweet snacks that are super healthy, and great for the midday pick-me-up.
You can use honey and natural peanut butter to create and instant treat that your entire family or friend circle can enjoy.
Add some cran raisins and you have the perfect fast healthy snack to get you out the door. Experimenting with probiotics and that mixture could actually be one of the most solid breakfasts you could eat.
7. No Fast Food
Fast food chains spend a lot of money marketing their products in ways that are contrary to the facts about the effects that their food has on the human body.
Don’t be tricked. Stay away from any and all fast food you see.
Even though some chains might boast that they have high end ingredients that go into their food, a small amount of research will usually reveal that they’ve cut corners in the meat or breads that they serve.
Even a large presence of condiments on the food can completely ruin the results of a carefully planned diet plan.
The sauces that these companies use are often very low quality, and are full of chemicals that can upset the delicate balance of what your body expects from the food you ingest.
8. Only Eat Whole Grains
You should avoid any kind of grains that have been refined into a powder or paste with no visible grains of fiber.
These kinds of fiber have basically no benefit. Also, the lack of whole fiber in your diet can cause issues with your digestion.
Some people develop tiny pockets in their intestines during adulthood. If you eat too much of the refined grains, they become a pasty sludge inside your intestines.
That flour paste can get trapped in the pockets and prevent those parts of your intestines from healing, or even worse, rupture.
Eat whole grains help your body carry out its proper elimination, and that can protect your from having serious physical issues down the road. `
9. Prepare Ahead of Time
It’s about the time in this article where you’ll see a deeper look into how you can make some things easier on yourself.
Meal planning is always at the center of a successful diet upgrade, so when you’re getting everything laid out like your grocery list, you’re also going to want to take some time to think about how you plan to sore many of these wonderful foods that are going to help you get healthier.
You’ll want to buy enough of what you like so that you have enough to last until you’re ready to venture out to the store, but be careful not to buy anything just because it’s on sale, because you’ll simply end up wasting the food in all likelihood.
Only get what you really know you’ll need. As you get more experience, meal planning will become easier, and you’ll probably find that you enjoy the process.
Find out what foods you think you’ll be making. Be sure to include items that you can grab quickly, especially that are satisfying in the event of a strong craving.
Plan for the space where it needs to be stored. You’ll have to take into account that there will probably be some plastic containers.
Find out what they might be and plan accordingly. Go to the store to shop, purchase any and all materials related to storing your food for the week, or month.
Buy decent containers that can seal well enough for foods to stay fresh tasting.
They might be slightly more expensive, but it’s worth it to be able to keep your food separate from the dry, musty flavor trying to push its way into your food containers.
You’ll probably need a good amount of bags and at least 3 different sizes of containers.
Collect the most perishable foods last to make sure that it isn’t exposed to the unsafe temperatures for any longer than needed.
Get home with your goods and follow the plan you created to sort and store the foods from your grocery trip.
10. Buy in Bulk
Take it home to be divided into smaller portions for meal preparation. Be sure to have extra bags for the meal size portions of food.
If you don’t have enough of an ingredient in the meal you’ve prepared, you can simply add another portion to the food that is cooking.
One of the biggest advantages to this style of food prep is that the smaller meals don’t have to be a huge deal when you do need to make them.
11. Eliminate Waste
Food waste is a massive drain on finances for a family. When you cook food that doesn’t get eaten, you are literally throwing money in the trash.
This increases massively when you have to get food out at restaurants after you have already purchased food.
12. Make Your Own Condiments
Store bought condiments are full of chemicals and preservatives. If you make them yourself, you will have healthier and fresher versions of the sauces that you love.
Homemade ranch, ketchup, and hot sauce can save you a lot of money. Sauces that are made in a factory are pumped full of chemicals do they can survive long trips across the country.
They will usually have astronomical amounts of sodium that can cause your joints to feel stiff.
When you make these items at home, they don’t need anything other than the basic ingredients: the vegetable matter, seasonings, and to cook them for the appropriate amount of time.
There might be an order of placement that makes them come out the best.
13. Grow Herbs for Yourself
It’s relatively cheap to grown herbs indoors. Herbs can grow very quickly and don’t’ require a lot of water or nutrients to get them to grow nicely.
The only thing you need would be a small window box that will help you to produce the wonderful herbs that you can use in a variety of meals.
You can find a variety of seeds at plants stores, but you can easily browse a database of seeds online and order them all at the same time so you can have everything you need.
14. Create Meals That Can Be Repurposed
Have you ever make a batch of rice or beans that just sits in the fridge until it grows a beard?
It can be really depressing when you discover a wasted meal. The best way to combat this would be to make food in a way that makes it transformable.
For example, when you make ground beef, beans or rice, you can leave it plain so that it can be seasoned in a way that gives it the character of whatever meal you are making that night.
That way you have food that is already prepared, but it’ll take a lot less time.
15. Stock Bulk Dry Foods
Do you have a place where you can keep large quantity of dry food?
If you can get away with having the space be used on a nearly constant basis, then stocking up on big bulk bags of dry food can save you tons of money in the course of a year.
When you buy the small 4 – 8 oz bags of rice, it will often cost at least $1.50 – $2.00. That means that it should be a no-brainer when you see a 10 lb bag of rice for $5 – $7.
You can even keep a container filled that you can use for easy dispensing for the day to day food cooking uses.
16. Buy Food Directly from a Grower
When you really put your mind to it, it’s a pretty easy thing to eat healthy.
If you are lucky enough to live somewhere near a grower of some kind, then there are ways you can make deals with them to come and purchase their fresh foods.
This will help both yourself and the farmer at the same time because they’re keeping their inventory flowing.
17. Stock Up on Foods You Can Just Grab
When you’re at the store, you probably notice how cheap bananas and fruits like them can be.
It’s a good idea to stock up on these fruits and veggies because they are a great aid to helping you stay the course with your diet.
These fruits also promote serious gut health, so they’re always good to have around anyway.
18. Buy the Ones You Can Freeze
Have you noticed how well fruits like berries last in the freezer? You should always keep a heavy rotation of these great fruits around because they keep very well.
They also make great treats for breakfast replacements because they make great smoothies.
19. Start Making Your Own Probiotic at Home
If you’re still feeling excited about the road to your new lifestyle then it that last thing you’ll need to get started will be to introduce a homemade probiotic into your daily or weekly diet.
Probiotics are great for your gut health because they contain life strains of the kind of bacteria your stomach needs to process certain foods.
Adding foods and drinks like these to your diet can even help reduce issues that you might have experienced over the years.
Another amazing effect is that these tiny organisms can help protect you from a lot of germs that can make your horribly ill, so try to work them in whenever you can.
You can easily start out with an easy kefir or kombucha recipe.
It’s really all up to you overall. If you had unlimited resources, which probiotic would you make first?