A few years ago my husband and I were the total opposite of “healthy people”. We couldn’t cook, we were addicted to TacoBell and McDonald’s, and our idea of a nice dinner at home was take-out pad thai and egg rolls. Anything that even SOUNDED healthy was not something we would be eating. I honestly can’t even remember how or why the change came about to strive to be more natural, but I know it wasn’t easy. It was actually pretty discouraging at first. It seemed like we would never get to that all natural, preservative free lifestyle that I so badly wanted us to be pros at. I’m just going to stop right there and point out to you that WE ARE NOT PERFECT. We don’t always eat foods with no preservatives. We don’t always bring our healthy, protein packed lunches to work with us. We don’t always cook every single thing that we eat (we DO definitely feel the difference when we don’t compared to when we do though!). But all of this IS the goal, and we’ve come so so far since those TacoBell-At-Least-Four-Times-A-Week days! Sometimes reading people’s health blogs and comparing it to your real life can be super intimidating! But I don’t want that for you! Be encouraged that we have come so far from being pretty much the world’s most unhealthy people ever. Because if we can get this far, you definitely can!!
So, what is REAL FOOD?? If you want to be super strict, its food thats completely unprocessed, aka Fruits & Veggies. If you can grow it in your garden, it’s “real”! However, because eating only garden grown food can be really really difficult and nearly impossible, we are going to go with completely OR minimally processed food!
Real Food, Clean Eating, Whole Food, we see these terms all over pinterest, but how do we know if ingredients in a recipe are really natural or not?? When i first started, I would google EVERYTHING. “Is _____ natural???” Because we all know google knows everything… But seriously, now it’s so easy for me to figure it out! Here are some basic things to think of when trying to figure out if something is a real food or highly processed!
- Ingredient Label : Does it have an ingredient label?? If not, even better! (Fruits and veggies people!) How many ingredients are on the label?? The more ingredients it has, the more processed it is! For example, if I want almonds, the only ingredient on the label should be “Almonds” in order for it to be a Whole Food! Easy right??
- Dairy Products : Whole Milk! “Whole!” It’s right in the name!
Cheese: preferably white cheeses, because think about it, that yellow coloring had to come from somewhere and it probably wasn’t somewhere natural!
- Sweeteners : Natural Sweeteners are your best friend! ( Pure Maple Syrup, Honey, and Coconut sugar..just not excessively!) No granulated sugar!!
- Bread/Pastas : Make sure it says 100% Whole Wheat on the label! ( Again, WHOLE!!)
- Just because the label says ORGANIC, doesn’t make it natural!!
These are just a few quick tips to help you get started!
You can also check out our Recipe Box for some of our favorite and super easy (but delicious!!) All Natural recipes!
Naturally, The Taylors