This One Thing will Change your Life!
Adding more whole foods to your diet. Literally, that is all. 🤷🏽♀️
Being in Provence was a whole experience of eating the freshest most nutritious food imaginable at every meal. Everyone we came across took pride in letting us know that they have standards for everything, the fruits and veggies, the meat, the wine and yes, even the bread.
It seems like eating whole foods should be the easiest thing ever so WHY is it so hard?
The best way (I've found) to do this is to choose whole foods at the grocery store instead of processed. 🤦🏽
This may sound obvious but we've all been there: you're at the grocery store, attempting to buy healthy foods…but it's so hard to know what’s healthy these days!
Or you’re staring at the produce section and simply overwhelmed about what to do next. Your mind goes back to the bags of watery mush that you previously found in your fridge weeks after you bought it. 🥺
What is a whole food?
A whole food is any food that hasn't been processed, refined or changed from its original state (for the most part). The easiest way to spot a whole food is that (in most cases) they don’t have ingredients and are usually located around the extremities of the grocery store. They actually look like what they say they are.
Why is it better?
Whole foods contain more vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, probiotics, prebiotics and fiber, which helps us stay healthy and (most importantly) feel great.
Need help?! This is my tried and true method for grocery shopping.
First of all I think about the period I’m shopping for and how many nights during that period I think I’ll be at home. I really prefer to cook when I am at home because I have no control of the additives, bad oils and gluten in takeout food. But as you know, I love a restaurant, 😬 so when I am out, it’s a little bit harder. I just do my best.
Full disclosure. I’m a meat, vegetable and bean girl. I try to avoid wheat, sugar and cow’s milk. I try to stick to sheep or goat’s milk when I want cheese, and raw honey, maple syrup or trehalose when I want a sweetener.
I start in the vegetable aisle. I eat a LOT of vegetables. Think about filling half your plate with vegetables. Check out what’s local. Have a look at the dirty dozen & clean fifteen list (ewg.org). And also consider what you like. Don’t make sense pretending. I also like to eat hearty salads for lunch most days so I factor that in as well.
Then I mosey on over to the meat isle where I try to buy organic and/or grass-fed as much as possible. (Very expensive these days but I try do this with ALL animal products.) If you are not a meat eater, I strongly encourage you to eat non-processed protein. Beyond…ain’t it.
I walk up and down the inner aisles, where I am most interested in what’s listed under the ingredients, the less the better. If the first ingredient is sugar, issa no for me. I buy boxed tomatoes with only one or two ingredients, organic chicken broth, Eden organic cooked beans, you get the idea…
The first time you do this, it will seem like a LOT of work, but after that you will already know what you want to buy vs what you don’t, so you only need to do it with new products.
I can’t deal with food that has twenty ingredients, so small that I can barely read and definitely can’t pronounce. I put it right back on the shelf. This doesn’t mean that I always eat perfectly but it allows me to be in control of what I put in my body so that I feel better.
The gas that you have constantly? Probably the wheat. 🙈 The headache that you get once a week? Probably the MSG or “insert your favorite chemical here”. 🤐
I freeze my meat when I get home and thaw it out as I need it so I never have to worry about it going to waste.
What am I Gonna Cook Tho?!
Google is your friend. (It’s basically running my life). I kid you not; I literally insert the ingredients into google and type ‘recipe’ after and it tells me what I am gonna cook. (For example: shrimp broccoli recipe) Just scroll through until you find something that resonates. Try it if you don’t believe me; it works every time.
This is where spice comes in. (Shameless plug. 🥰)
I feel the same way about whole spices as I do whole food. If you are not grinding your spices yourself then the next best thing is UMAMI Spice Blends, but I still encourage you to try grinding (and toasting) your own spices occasionally.
It will elevate the flavor of your whole foods so much so that it eliminates the need for cheesy, creamy casseroles, greasy wheat thickened gravies and other food additives that drown out the flavor of your food.
Best of all? You don't have to give up anything! This isn't a "diet"—it's just a way of life that will make you feel better. Join our email list for my free e-book, Flawless: How to Cook Simply & Elegantly with UMAMI Spice Blends.