Whole foods are unprocessed, unrefined and free from additives. Those are foods that come from nature in their raw form. They are full of vitamins and minerals and fibre and nutrients. Choosing whole foods is better for health and for the environment.
Processed foods contain added sugar, salt, fat, chemicals, preservatives. The reason for this is to extend their shelf life so they can be stored for a longer period of time. We all know how unhealthy they are and how consuming mainly processed foods for a long period of time leads to diabetes, obesity, hypertension, digestive issues and so on.
How to assess? When shopping, ask yourself this question: Did this grow underground, out of the ground or on a tree?
Example: chocolate does not grow on trees (although many of us wish so), but cherries do.
The 7 Tips
1 Identify your WHY
Take a moment and find out what your motivation is. WHY do you want to remove processed foods? Really thinking about it will help you every time you are faced with the choice of meals.
Tip: write it down in your journal or just a notebook.
2. Find Support
This is a big transition and it can feel a bit overwhelming. Which is absolutely normal. So get your family or your friends on this adventure.
Tip: make it a game or a challenge with a prize at the end.
Story: I was trying to get two friends of mine into exercise and for weeks I was not successful. Despite all my coaching techniques, nothing! So I came up with a challenge. The three of us will count the time we exercise for a month. Who has the most minutes is the winner and will choose a restaurant where the other two must pay for the winner’s dinner. There is a lot of walking/running happening now!!!! And I have heard “The Shard” being mentioned a few times…
3. Stock Up
Choose a day and stock for the next week. Choose fresh produce as much as possible and remember whole foods means foods that came from the earth and were not handled very much by people or factories.
Example of whole foods: all fresh vegetables, fruits and legumes. If you choose canned products read the label. We want the table to say for example : green lentils in water.
Example of processed foods: cakes, chocolate, ready meals (check out the quantity of salt and/or sugar in them), any packed or canned produce that has preservatives, E…, salt, sugar.
Tip: Ask this question: Did this grow underground, out of the ground or on a tree? If the answer is no, than it is processed.
4. Increase the whole foods in your diet
In the beginning you might have a few processed foods in your pantry. You could donate them and chuck out what is out of date. Or you can just have a few days where you transition.
Tip: Introduce whole foods with each meal. Start by having a salad, snaking on nuts and fruits instead of biscuits, have one home cooked meal each day.
You will soon notice that the more whole foods you have the less room for processed foods you’ll have.
5. Shop smart
There is so much in the supermarkets now! And they are designed in such a way that they will draw your attention towards the less healthy items.
Tip: Make a menu for the week ahead and when you shop stick with the ingredients on your list.
6. Cook at home
Cooking at home is the best way to ensure the best and the healthiest food for you.
If that is a challenge for you, start small. Set a goal for the week that is achievable to you. Maybe it is three meals every week or one cooked meal a day or this week you learn how to make two soups.
Tip: Choose a day and a time to cook. Put it in your calendar or diary. And… be curious! Try new things! It is a new adventure after all…
7. Choose wisely when dinning out
Choosing whole foods doesn’t mean you can not go out for lunch or dinner. It only means you are more selective.
Tip: Check the menu before you book
If this was helpful leave a message.
If you want to find out how your life can improve by switching your diet to whole foods or how this way of eating can help you reverse certain health issues, let’s talk!
Book a chat with me using the calendar on the right side!