What is Real Food?

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Have you ever heard the statement, “You are what you eat?” Well, it’s true. You know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever eaten something that your body didn’t agree with, which ended up making you blow up like a balloon…or worse.

So, what are real foods? They are the whole, unprocessed, or minimally processed foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. They’re free from artificial additives, preservatives, and synthetic stuff. Another way to think of it…it’s food that your body recognizes as being useful and will more readily digest instead of store as toxins.

In other words, my body will recognize real food and know what to do with it. Imposters…that’s another story.

Personally, my body really let’s me know if I’ve eaten msg or high fructose corn syrup. I really react to those two ingredients.

Examples of Real Food

I’m sure you were taught in school that nutrition is the foundation to healthy living. We can make a difference with natural remedies and removing synthetic fragrance, but to really move the needle forward you will want to consume a real foods diet. Let’s look at some examples.

Fruits and Vegetables

Think fresh, frozen, or even dried (as long as there’s no added sugar or weird preservatives). Apples, berries, leafy greens, carrots, broccoli – you get the idea.

Choose organic when possible and be sure to visit your local farmer’s markets for in season choices.

Whole Grains

These are grains that haven’t been stripped of their good stuff. Whole grains are packed with fiber and essential nutrients like Vitamin E, B Complex Vitamins, selenium, potassium, and magnesium. (These nutrients are not stripped out and then added back in.)

They’re also rich in healthy oils, plant enzymes, and phytochemicals, all of which are crucial for a balanced and healthy diet. So, brown rice, quinoa, oats, whole wheat, and barley are good examples.

Some of you may need to be careful here because of gluten sensitivity. Pro tip: Try making sourdough bread instead.

Nuts and Seeds

Go for raw or roasted, but without the extra oils or salts. Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and sunflower seeds are great options. Pecans are a good choice too.

Legumes

Beans are a great choice, whether you buy them dried or canned. Just be sure to check for added sodium, fat, and preservatives. Beans are a good choice for a “meatless” dinner.

Lentils, chickpeas, black beans, and kidney beans are some favorites as well.

Lean Proteins

Fresh fish, poultry, eggs, and fresh meat all make the cut. They’re packed with protein and minimally processed. If you’re into soy you can also try tofu.

Dairy or Dairy Alternatives

Whole milk, greek yogurt, cheese, and unsweetened nut or coconut milks are all good choices. They’re close to their natural state and provide lots of nutrients. Again, just make sure you read your labels and avoid any additives.

Bonus: Find a local dairy that sells raw milk!

Healthy Fats

Look for natural fat sources like avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, and fatty fish like salmon. These fats are good for you and taste great. We try to have salmon at least once a week.

Herbs and Spices

Fresh or dried herbs and spices without additives are perfect for adding flavor. Basil, oregano, turmeric, cinnamon, and garlic are my go-tos. You can even use essential oils as long as they include a nutritional facts label. (It doesn’t take much, though.)

Natural Sweeteners

When you need a bit of sweetness, raw honey, maple syrup, and dates are much better options than processed sugar.

Water and Herbal Teas

Stick to natural beverages without added sugars or artificial ingredients. Plain water and herbal teas are your best bet. I’ve also come to enjoy mineral water too.

Remember…Without our Health, We have Nothing.

Eating real foods is all about choosing foods your body can use and you can pronounce. It’s about enjoying foods that are minimally processed and packed with nutrients. This way, you’re fueling your body with what it really needs and avoiding the extra junk.

And, it’s worth it!

Now, I have a disclaimer for you right here! Our family is NOT perfect! We do our best to eat foods made from scratch. Having said that, I would not call our family “crunchy”. I’ll buy the “natural” pepperoni and add it to our pizzas for pizza night.

Let’s look at healthy eating this way. Start out with what is easier for you.

Is it more motivating to think about healthy foods to add to your diet, like a fresh salad?

Or, would you rather ditch the soft drinks first?

Choose one and start there.

Now, I hear what you’re thinking. You may be thinking, well, I’ve been eating this way for years and I’m just fine. But, are you?

I would encourage you to slowly start removing some of those boxed foods from your diet and see how your body feels. Then, add them back, if you like, and see what you think. Nine times out of ten you’ll notice a difference.

Continue Learning

I would love to help you figure out a way to get started on your own journey to natural health. Together we can come up with a plan that will work keeping your goals in mind.

There are several ways you can continue to learn from me.

Stay well and be blessed,

Deborah

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