I've started working with several new clients and I get asked a lot "Where should I begin?" or "How can I start eating real food?"
Great questions...So I've compiled a list!
Top 5 Tips for Real Food Newbies
1. Throw Away Your Frankenfood
Uh, what's Frankenfood? The man-made, chemical-laden addictive poisons stocked in our pantries and refridgerators. Powdered cheese? Strawberry flavored goo? Just-add-water magic?
Go through your pantry, fridge, etc. and purge the foods that have artifical flavorings and sweeteners, GMOs, Hydrogenated oils, etc....all that "stuff" that Mother Nature herself did not create. The chips, the oreos, the fruit snacks, the pops and sodas...I am NOT one to waste money or food, but THIS food is NOT contributing to your health. You'll be paying for that and more at your next doctor's visit if we don't purge it now.
2. Switch Your Oils & Fats
Healthy fats are SUPER important and unfortunately canola oil, soybean oil, vegetable oil, hydrogenated oil, partially hydrogenated oil, trans fats are NOT THEM.
Stock your pantry (and fridge!) with great cooking fats like grass-fed butter, coconut oil, red palm oil, or ghee. Use extra virgin olive oil (in a dark container) for salads. Some other great fats and oils? Avocado oil, sunflower oil, walnut oil, seasme oil, grapeseed oil, hemp oil, pure lard, pure tallow. There are great alternatives to those processed oils that we purged from #1.
3. Find a Buddy
Support systems are HUGE when making significant life changes. Find someone you know will support you, and maybe even make the change with you! Recruit your spouse, a parent, or a great friend. They will only benefit as well :)
4. Learn as You Go. Don't Follow Rules - Just Listen to Your Body
If you are worried about following someone else's set of rules, you will never learn to listen to your own body. AND You will never learn to trust yourself around food. You know yourself better than anyone else. Better than the author behind the book's pages that wrote that "nutrition bible." While you definitely need to learn about real food and healthy habits and make changes by learning from experts in the field, don't be afraid to challenge something that doesn't make sense to you and your body.
An example I can think of is rice. In the Paleo community, rice is not considered a "Paleo food." But guess what? If I eat it, the world doesn't cave around me and I don't "give up" eating my whole food habits forever. I just eat it when I want it and avoid it when I don't.
Conversely, butter is a great source of fat-soluble vitamins and is an awesome Paleo food. Unfortunately, I can't handle dairy without breaking out. Would that make me a "bad" Paleo-er? Certainly not!
5. Be Patient...and Mess Up
Patience is another key component to successful lifestyle changes. You are not perfect. (Sorry!) You will fall off the bandwagon. Especially at the beginning. But that is OKAY. Do not feel guilty and do not beat yourself up.
Instead, watch how your body reacts. Listen to the signals it gives you. Most people find when they start eating a whole food diet, they will have worse reactions when they eat a meal "from the past." This is a great opportunity to FEEL the healing changes you are making and LEARN how your body wants to eat. These mistakes will teach you even MORE than if you were perfect...so this is your permission to mess up!
I hope these were helpful tips! Be sure to share with friends and don't forget to sign up for my email list! :)
LIVE LIFE WELL,