Over the past few years, our family has been eating fewer processed foods, preferring to eat things that are made from scratch with natural ingredients. Pardon the pun, but it is a process, and one that I think should be taken slowly.
The slow approach is best for a couple of reasons. Even though I have a very “all or nothing” personality, I do acknowledge that when changes are made over a period of time, you are more likely to stick with those changes, and it will be easier to get others on board as well. Everything in moderation!
As you make slow changes, you can learn about WHY you are choosing to do things like replace soda with tea or kombucha, eat organic apples instead of ones sprayed with pesticides, and the benefits it will have on your health. It is really important that you research from multiple sources, and understand for yourself, instead of just taking someone else recommendation.
Lastly, it just makes financial sense to change slowly. Sadly, in America, it is much cheaper to eat chemically processed junk food, than to eat a real nourishing diet.
I will not promise you that if you make these changes, you will instantly feel like a million bucks, or you will lose a ton of weight. But I can share with you, that when I slip up, and I have even small amounts of certain foods (non dairy whipped topping or eat a cupcake with shortening based frosting, or meat that has fillers) my body within minutes reacts and I get a headache and don’t feel well. So I know that even the small changes we have made are positive ones, and my body is taking notice.
To help those of you who may be interested in moving your family away from processed foods, I offer you the following 14 step plan by Lisa Leake. I saw her article in the Miami Herald posted on Facebook, and there are some wonderful baby steps you can take each week to remove processed foods from your families diet.You can read the entire article HERE
You should also check out Lisa’s blog, 100 Days of Real Food. It is a wonderful source of real, nourishing food recipes and ideas. There is also information about 100 days of real food on a budget.
For now, here are the 14 weekly steps. I would love to hear from you if your family is going to give it a try, so please leave me a comment below.
– Week 1 (this week): Eat two fruits and/or vegetables with every single meal.
– Week 2: Only drink beverages without refined or artificial sweeteners.
– Week 3: Eat meat that’s been locally raised and limit consumption to
3 4 servings throughout the week.
– Week 4: Avoid both fast food and deep-fried foods.
– Week 5: Try two new whole foods you’ve never had before.
– Week 6: Avoid low-fat, lite and nonfat food products.
– Week 7: All grains consumed must be 100-percent whole grain.
– Week 8: Stop eating when you feel full.
– Week 9: Avoid foods with refined or artificial sweeteners.
– Week 10: Avoid foods with refined or hydrogenated oils.
– Week 11: Eat at least one locally grown or raised food at each meal.
– Week 12: Avoid all sweeteners even if they are natural.
– Week 13: Avoid foods with artificial additives and colors.
– Week 14: No foods out of a package with more than 5 ingredients.