Real Food Basics
Real Food Basics: Part 1
So, what is real food, why am I even talking about it, and why should you care? Let’s start at the beginning, with a simple definition: What the f*** is real food?
Real food is exactly what it sounds like. It’s any food that doesn’t have chemicals, preservatives, or other types of processed ingredients added to it. It’s usually made of ingredients that have been around forever (think: broccoli, potatoes, beans, rice, etc), that a 7-year-old would recognize. Lots of times real food doesn’t even have a label (think: veggies. Fruits. Meat or fish. etc), or if it does, that label isn’t necessarily boasting about how healthy it is (think: that bag of polenta in the cereal aisle. Regular, full-fat cheese in the dairy section. etc).
It seems super simple, but once you start investigating the ingredients in the food that you’re eating every day, a lot of it fails on that simple test. In fact, once you look closer, it becomes clear just how many chemicals and hard to recognize ingredients are in so much of our food. And if you can’t recognize or easily understand what an ingredient in your food is, chances are your body will have more trouble understanding and breaking it down, too. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, like the ingredients in any medicine or supplement that you’ve been prescribed by your doctor. Obviously, I’m not saying you should ditch those, because those types of chemicals can do us a lot of good. But most of the time the added chemicals in our food don’t really fit into that camp. Here’s why this should be interesting to you: a really easy way that you can improve the way you feel every day is to start taking a little look at the ingredients in the food you’re eating every day, and switch it over to real food whenever you can.
But that’s not always as easy as it sounds.
Sure, you might get that it would be great if you had carrots instead of Oreos every time you wanted a snack and ate steamed veggies at every meal. Understanding that isn’t necessarily the problem here. Often the problem is making it easier and more fun for yourself to make those healthier choices consistently so that you’ll actually do it, and healthy eating and living won’t just go on your already long “stuff you should do at some point” list.
Which brings me to why we’re here.
What I want to do is help you find ways to make sure that most of the food you’re eating, at most meals, is real food. And I also want to help show you how to make that food taste great, and not feel like a burden or to prepare (or eat!). Sometimes that might look like setting aside a couple hours over the weekend to cook healthy breakfasts and lunches for the week. And other times it may look more like a healthier frozen meal from Trader Joe’s, or finding good takeout options near you, or having a real-food Starbucks order up your sleeve for busy mornings, or forgetting about all of this and having that Dominos pizza and beer at your friend’s house because you really want it. And that’s totally okay too.
I’m here to help you figure out how to actually, practically, be able to eat more real food, and fit it into the life that you are already living. Not how to completely restructure your life around your food and health. Because I get it - sometimes that’s just not realistic, especially when you’re already busy and doing things you enjoy and don’t necessarily want to change. But I do think that’s totally doable to add a lot more healthy choices into your life now. Even on a budget, even with 2 square feet of counter space, and even when you’re working full-time and have a social life and don’t have time for intense meal prepping. So settle in! Because it’s made a huge difference for me, and I’m just betting that it will for you too.