In my recent post, “Real Food! For Real.” I mentioned that since becoming a foster mom, I started taking meal prep, at home, a lot more seriously.
Scott and I have been making some great changes at The House on High Street. Our food shopping trips have changed, significantly. The majority of food is produce. Followed by (mostly organic) meat, dairy, and whole grains. We’ve been checking ingredients on any foods that come in boxes, cans, or jars and staying away from bad ingredients.
Banana is eating (mainly organic) pureed fruits and veggies. Ya know, I used to think that buying organic produce was way out of our price league. However, I follow Dr. Weil’s Dirty Dozen Plus, and focus on buying these foods (with the highest pesticide load) organic. Think leafy and thin-skinned produce. ; )
- Sweet bell peppers
- Nectarines (imported)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Snap peas (imported)
- Hot peppers
- Blueberries (domestic)
(I guess Dirty Dozen Plus is more catchy than Dirty Fourteen?)
Last but not least, I’ve removed and replaced a few staples from my fridge and pantry. It was a quick and easy fix. Here are the top six that I feel are making a significant difference in our diets!
#1 – Flavored Commercial Coffee Creamer with awful ingredients including Carogeenan. I’m ashamed to admit that Scott and I would polish off a large bottle of International Delight or Carnation (French Vanilla) at least twice a month! I can’t undo the past, but from here on out, I’ll be sticking to pure cream with an occasional lump of natural sugar. I also drink one cup of java a day just to keep things in moderation.
#2 White Flour -I’m not a big bread person. But, I love pizza, pasta, and desserts made with, you guessed it, FLOUR! Remember, white flour is processed, most likely bleached, and stripped of the bran and the germ. This is where the nutrients are! White flour is made from the Endosperm, which is high in carbohydrates, and lacking in minerals, vitamin B, and fiber.
Here. I’m a visual person, too.
The Endosperm is the largest part of the wheat kernel, so surely it’s the most convenient part to manufacture. But, it is high in carbohydrates. Low in nutrients. You want the “bran” and the “germ” of the wheat kernel.
A much better option is whole wheat (or whole meal pastry flour) which is made from the entire wheat kernel. You’ll digest it better, and your body will thank you for it.
#3 – Say GOODBYE to Sugar and Artificial sweetener.
And, hello to natural sweeteners.
4.) Hydrogenated oils – most commonly found in foods that also have saturated fat.
And, switch to healthy oils and Ghee!
5.) Bid farewell to condiments loaded with bad ingredients, such as hydrogenated oil, modified food starch, etc.
And, replace with condiments made from natural ingredients.
6.) SOY – Better safe than sorry. I’ll admit that soy is very mysterious. There are too many conflicting arguments on whether it’s good or bad. I do know that this peculiar source of protein can increase estrogen levels. (Yes, in men, too!) While the US gambles that widespread use of soy baby formula won’t lead to long-term consequences, Israel, France, New Zealand, and Australia embrace a “better-safe-than-sorry” approach for the next generation. (Source.)
My weakness, however, has a lot to do with SUSHI!
Soy Sauce can easily be replaced with Coconut Aminos!
Well, I feel this has been a good start for me. Maybe you’ll try some of these replacements, too. There’s a lot more we can work on, but starting with baby steps makes it easier.
If there’s one more piece of advice I can give, it’s this:
Try to replace or make your own snacks, sauces, salad dressings, and seasoning packets. It’s amazing how so many crazy ingredients can sneak up in these foods. It’s even crazier after I make my own salad dressing, and I’m like, “Damn. That’s even better than Newman’s!”