By now you have a better understanding of exactly what real food is and the rules of real food hopefully you are convinced a real food lifestyle is the way to get healthier, slimmer and feeling better. Congratulations! What’s the next step?
- Have a family meeting and decide on a starting date.
Make your family aware you will be making some changes. Assure them although things will be different, there are still many great tasting foods similar to the ones they are used to. Keep everyone involved in shopping and picking out new recipes to try. The more involved everyone is the more likely they will embrace the change.
- Throw away all the processed junk.
I know, I know, I know. You’re going give me some shameful debate that you spent good money on all that food. Look, I can appreciate your argument, but let me make this easier for you. You didn’t buy “food.” You bought “garbage” and “garbage” belongs in your garbage can. Not your pantry. You should feel good about returning it to its rightful spot. There is no nutritional benefit to processed food. You are not fueling your body with the best. Instead, it is keeping you from being your best.
- Go shopping.
While at the store, read ingredient labels and remember the rules of real food. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t buy it. If there are more than 5 ingredients on the label, don’t buy it. If it’s white, it ain’t right, and therefore, don’t buy it. If it isn’t made with something you’d likely find in your great-grandmother’s pantry, you guessed it, don’t buy it! Check out my real food pantry and real food refrigerator for inspiration. Better yet, sign up for your FREE real food shopping guide with all the products that are real food approved.
- Fill your refrigerator with whole plant foods in a variety of colors.
Never tried a dragon fruit before? Don’t be shy, give it a go! Don’t even know what a jicama looks like? Ask the produce man! Have no idea how to roast brussel sprouts? Google it! Try new things. Food will taste different once you retrain your palate. If you don’t like something today, don’t give up on it. Soon an orange will taste like the most amazing thing you’ve ever put in your mouth.
- Meal plan.
Get a few new recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner and put them in your meal rotation. The recipes don’t have to be elaborate or time consuming. One meal a day should include a large salad with oil-free salad dressing. Check out our recipe page for ideas. Find out why meal planning is so important and how I do it here.
- Start cooking from scratch.
The simplest way to avoid processed foods are to make things yourself. Then you know exactly what is going into them. I like to “bulk bake” or “bulk cook” and freeze foods for later. This technique can save you from those nights or mornings you are in a rush which often leads to slipping up.
This lifestyle is not about perfection. If you slip up at lunch time, you still have dinner to recover. Standard American Diet (SAD) foods will be all around at work, school, family gatherings and restaurants tempting you at every. single. turn. Aim to “get it right” 80% of the time and you will be making vast improvements.
Until next time, keep it real.