- Food and Cooking
Eat Real Food and Be Healthy
Whole foods are essential for good health and to live a balanced lifestyle.
How can you eat real food and be healthy? If I was at your house and opened up your refrigerator, what would I find? Natural, unprocessed, organic, whole foods? Or does your refrigerator contain all sorts of processed foods that are full of salt, fat and sugar? Well, let's give you the benefit of the doubt, maybe you didn't realize, until now, what is actually in the foods that you are buying and consuming?
Take a look at the labels, especially before you buy another item of food, and take note of the amount of sodium, calories and fat per serving. Sodium is one of the biggest unhealthy ingredients in our foods because we don't have any control over how much of it is in the products we buy. A lot of labels can be misleading because they break down a small can into 2 or 3 servings which, once you add up, will blow your mind.
The best way to understand how to eat whole and real foods is live by this motto, if it's cheap, fast and easy then it's probably bad for you. For instance, the average American eats fast food 4 times per week mostly because it's easy and cheap, but have you really thought about what that food is made up of and how it's prepared? I guarantee that if you watched the fast food hamburger that you just recently ate from the cow to your mouth, it would be your last.
Not only is the meat at the fast food restaurants unhealthy for you, but the meat at the grocery store can be just as bad. Why? Because the meat we are eating is jam packed with antibiotics. The reason is because naturally, cows are supposed to be grass fed, but instead, they are corn fed because it makes them grow bigger and faster, but at the same time, can also make them sick. The sad part is an average American eats 200 pounds of meat per year, so what do we do?
Here are some general food rules to live by:
1. Focus your grocery shopping on the outer parameter of the store where the fresh foods are available. The center aisles are where most of the processed foods are shelved. Fresh, organic produce, milks, cheeses and fish is where you want to be.
2. Buy organic, vegetarian fed, non antibiotic meats. Nearly every grocery store offers organic chicken and hamburger. It is a little bit more expensive only because these farms work harder to care for their animals, but isn't your health worth it?
3. Grow your own food when you can. Start a garden in your yard and grow all of your favorite vegetables and herbs. Not only is it healthier, but it will be so rewarding for you and your family to eat what you created. There is nothing better than a zucchini on the grill that you grew yourself.
4. Don't eat anything that your grandmother wouldn't recognize. There are some processed foods out there right now that our ancestors would never had fed us, stay away from those.
5. Only eat food that will eventually rot. Nothing should be preserved enough that it can sit on a shelf for year and not change because food is alive and should die. Canned food as a whole is rarely a good idea, remember to look at your labels.
6. Eat real food, cook your own meals so you know exactly what you are eating. See my healthy chicken cacciatore recipe here. Just like anything else, if you want to live a healthy lifestyle, it takes a little extra effort and commitment. If you plan ahead and buy well, cooking can be relaxing, creative and fun.
7. Only buy low sodium products, you can always add more salt if need be, but you will be surprised by tasting and realizing how much you don't need it.
8. Because going out to eat can be a challenge, read our eating out healthy hub here.
8. Always remember, if it's cheap, fast and easy, it is probably unhealthy.
Eat real food and be healthy!