Eating Real Food and avoiding processed foods might seem daunting at first, and it may be easy to come up with reasons why it is faster and more convenient to pick up a ready meal than make a fresh dinner. But it is surprisingly easy to eat only Real Food, plus it is SO much healthier and nutritious for you!
Luckily Suzie is on hand to show you just how simple it can be to spot processed foods:
- When food shopping try and stick to store perimeters – fresh meat, fruit and veg are normally located on the outskirts of stores. Processed foods tend to stick to the middle
- Read food labels carefully – the general rule is if you don’t recognise the ingredient then it is processed and not real food
- Simple rule – anything ending in ‘ose’ on the ingredient label is normally a sign of sugar, for example sucrose, dextrose, glucose, galactose.
- 100% grass-fed, free range, organic meat where possible – 3-5x times higher levels of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) in this type of meat (CLA is an antioxidant)
- Organic where possible – if you eat an item without peeling the skin or the skin is thin it is better to buy organic (apples, berries, stone fruits, leafy greens etc.) as the thin skin is more porous and can absorb properties of the pesticides/herbicides. If you peel off a thick layer of skin before eating (e.g. a banana) it is safe to use non-organic
- Try not to shop when hungry as people who shop when hungry are more likely to spend more money, and usually are guilty of picking up unhealthy food as these are seen to be faster, more convenient options
- Write yourself up a weekly meal plan – make notes of any ingredients you already have, and add any missing ingredients to the shopping list.
- Average family will waste about £60 of food per month. Stick to the meal plan that you have drawn up so that you only buy what you will actually eat. Freeze any unused food.
- Vary the vegetables you eat to reap the different health benefits each vegetable offers
- Eat foods that are as close to their natural form as possible
- Stay away from anything white – bread, pastas, rice etc.
- Try to think of your plate as 50% vegetables, 30% protein, 10% good fats such as avocado, 5% fruit and 5% nuts and seeds.
- Carry out an assessment of your house and other places you may store food, including the fridge, freezer, desk at work, and gym bag. Get rid of anything that isn’t considered real food (anything processed) – give it away, donate it to a food bank, give it to friends but do not keep it in the house. Cookies in the cupboard will provide too much temptation. When building new eating habits remove all distractions
- Cook at home – that way you know exactly what ingredients are going in
We hope that helps!