When we think about living a more simple life, we don’t always consider food as part of the equation. It’s odd that we aren’t more concerned with what we consume because food is our source of life. What we eat affects our health directly.
There are two types of food: whole food and processed food.
Whole foods are the foods that have one ingredient and usually don’t come with a label because you know what it is by looking at it. These foods are the simplest form of food you can find. They are wholesome and delicious, normally you will feel great after eating a whole food diet. As well, you may find eating processed foods cause you to feel not so good (soreness, headaches, fluid retention).
It isn’t necessary to never eat a single item that is processed but you will notice that once you start eating whole foods, you won’t crave the processed stuff. You’ll also love how easy it is to grocery shop and how much money you save. Yes, you do save money, contrary to what you may think.
How to start eating whole foods and save money:
Some people think that it cost too much to eat healthy, but it doesn’t. The way I look at it is: consider what is spent in your home each week on chips, candy, cookies, granola bars, frozen pizzas, boxed macaroni and cheese and include the beverages. Think about the cost of all the “junk” foods that you buy. I know we were spending way too much money on processed food.
Another way to look at the expense of whole foods versus processed foods is by ailments. A lot of the foods we put into our body contribute to our health issues. All the sugar can lead to diabetes (and it helps auto immune diseases thrive), the fatty foods contribute to high cholesterol and salty food can raise your blood pressure. All these ailments need medications that cost money. Save your money by eating better.
Diets are unhealthy, yet every single mom I know has tried several of them. There’s been a lot of money thrown away on weight loss. Why not just eat? Eat whole, non processed foods as much as possible and forget all those prepackaged foods.
I always loved good foods and I ate them everyday but I had to get my family onboard. This is how we have become a whole foods family:
Practice eating less:
- eating less foods with more than 5 ingredients
- eating less sugar
- eating less trans fats
- eating less meat
- eating less saturated fat
- eating less prepackaged foods
- eating less canned goods
And practice eating more:
- eating more plants (fruits and vegetables)
- eating more whole grains
- eating more colours
- eat more greens
- eating more fresh or frozen foods
- eating more lentils and beans
- eating more foods that nourish our body
This isn’t a diet blog and it’s not about pointing fingers. It’s just about making life as simple as possible so we can live happy and thrive. I wanted to address a few comments and questions I had about simplifying food and the myth that its way to expensive and it’s hard to stick to. Here’s a basic list that I use for grocery shopping and maybe it will help you too.
What you’ll find on my grocery list:
- Fruit (apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, berries, OJ)
- Vegetables (baby greens, peppers, cucumbers, baby tomatoes, carrots)
- Dairy (Greek yogurt, milk, real butter, real cheese)
- Protein (fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, beef, pork)
- Grains (whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, beans, lentils, rice, tortilla chips, wraps)
- Pantry (canned tomatoes, salsa, ketchup, mustard, vinegar)
- Fats (olive oil, coconut oil, balsamic dressing, peanut butter and nuts)
What you will not find on my grocery list:
- cheese slices
- processed cheese spread
- margarine (unless it is made from olive oil)
- luncheon meat
- boxed mac and cheese
- canned pasta (spaghetti, alphabets)
- sweetened drinks
- white sugar
- white flour
Occasional processed foods (shouldn’t be a part of your eating plan regularly)
- chips (Lays, nothing added)
- Cheetos (Cheesies)
- soft drinks (very seldom)
- frozen pizza (Dr. Oetkers)
- ice cream (real dairy)
- cookies (bakery)
Of course, I don’t buy all this every week, there are things such as olive oil that last a long time. Other items need to be purchased weekly. Eat within reason of whole foods and eat junk only on occasion. If you are over eat, then it will cost you more. Eating simple means your plate should have one-quarter protein, the other-quarter starch and half you plate should be vegetables and fruit.
To help you not waste food and to have what you need in the pantry so you are ready for eating simple, you may find this article interesting to read: How to Simplify Your Meal Planning Routine and 10 Pantry Staples to Keep Handy.
I love these books! If you want to learn more about eating real food and getting your family on board, check them out.
I’d love to hear about your journey towards simple eating and any tips & tricks you can share. Leave your thoughts in the comments.