2⃣Two easy steps to stop being reliant on processed foods.
😔I wish I could give you easy hacks that can transform you from being reliant on processed foods to processed free in 2 easy steps. But, sadly, I can't.
🦃I don't believe in going cold turkey. To build long-lasting habits, and it takes time. It's important to figure out how to fit it into your lifestyle so that it doesn't become overwhelming. For me, it took about four years to no longer be dependent on processed foods. (People define processed foods; differently, I'll go through my definition below. I do use oils. Mostly olive oil.)
🍫Breaking our reliance on processed foods is hard. Processed foods have been a part of the western diet since the 1950's, maybe even further back.
🥔🥕My mom recounts that her grandmother's homemade meals consisted of Chicken with potatoes from a can and a side of carrots and peas from a can. These kinds of quick meals are what enabled women to join the workforce. Which is awesome! However, we have come a long way from canned potatoes in just salt. Most of today's food, that "food"
manufacturers invent for us would not even be considered food by my great grandmother.
🔬I am not complaining about the technological and food advances that have allowed women to get out of the house, but I do think it has been taken a bit too far. This can be proven by the fact that diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the cause of 70% of all deaths in wealthy countries. These diseases are directly correlated to diet. We have been reducing fat, trans-fat, saturated fat, and you name it, but these rates have not been getting better, actually quite the opposite, they have been getting worse. The thing that has been consistent and advancing over the last 70 years has been processed foods.
I know this is not new to people. But now what?
😵It's so confusing. How do I define processed foods? What can I buy in the supermarket?
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These are the rules that I go buy if I buy food from stores.
This is how I define processed foods and what I try to avoid:
It has any added sugar. (even from "Natural Sources" like apple juice.)
Anything with more than five ingredients.
Has ingredients a third-grader couldn't pronounce.
Things in the middle of the supermarket. (Shop on the perimeter of the store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docks, where it can be replaced with fresh foods when it goes bad.)
Anything that won't eventually rot. (Exceptions: Honey. As a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren't food.)
Nothing is 100%. But if these are rules and then when you do buy other things that are exceptions for your family you will already be in a better place.
Pick one thing that you want to get rid of and then make an alternative to fill the void. I started with ketchup which is used to add flavor to things that might be bland. I started making pesto instead so we would always have a sauce on hand to add to things that need more pizzaz.
So, remove one bought thing and add one homemade thing. Do only this one thing for one month. See how you are doing. If it becomes part of your routine move onto the next thing. If not, then keep going with this one thing until it becomes a habit.