So you wanna make that major change in diet and lifestyle. This can be a very daunting process and most of us throw it in the too hard basket or Ill try next week or start next month, seriously, how many times have you tried this before?
Ok so for those who are ready, where you do you start? Where do you shop? What do you purchase?
Hopefully my tips are here to help you find this a fun and enjoyable experience rather than a nightmare.
So the first thing we need to is give your pantry a completely overhaul.
The key to success when it comes to eating a healthy balanced diet is preparation. If you are organised and have your pantry and fridge stocked with fresh produce and nourishing ingredients, you will always have something there to throw something healthy together without having to grab an unhealthy muesli bar or something similar.
It may be a little costly to start with as you build up your collection but once you are organised you will just grab things as you need to. And wouldn't you rather spend money on your health saving you in the long term on medical bills.
Invest in your health!
Start Here :
Get organised / Buy some air tight jars and containers to store all your goodies in. I keep most of my super foods, some powders and flours in the fridge, these plus all my grains, nuts, oats etc are all stored in different size jars clearly labelled so I know what I have got and its easy to see when they have run out. It also looks pretty too of course!
Clear out the fridge, freezer and pantry.
Get rid of anything that is processed and refined. Pretty much anything in a package. Ask yourself does it come from the ground, the land, a tree or the sea - if NO then throw it away!
There are obviously some things that aren't too bad for you that come in packets - like alternative flours and grains etc but we will discuss more about these below.
Throw out anything that has a sugar content of 5g per 100ml or more.
Added and excess sugar is in everything. Learn to read nutritional labels.
Watch out for ‘green washing’ things that claim to be nautral, or fat free or skinny etc - these usually are laid with sugar.
Where to Next :
Shopping locally. I love to support Australian, but also the little local food stores - fruit and veg, butchers etc. I also love to head to the farmers markets on the weekend for a big weekly produce shop, but when I cant get to them I order online - we are lucky here that we have access to organic online produce that is sourced locally. Things are definitely fresher when sourced locally and we are supporting local economy and community. Did you know that your local super markets (ie. Coles and woolies) are known to spray and freeze the produce making it last longer for you in store.
I understand that not everyone can afford organic produce but thats when the markets come in handy, usually they are more affordable that stores as its straight from the farmer.
When purchasing animal products be conscious of where you are making these purchases, where did it come from? Is it hormone and preservative free? Organic? What was it feed? Do you know where the farmer lives?
Health Food or Bulk Food stores are so great for stocking up the pantry on the staples. There are a lot around so shop around and find out whats closest to you, quality and pricing.
If you do shop in the big commercial stores - try to stick to the outside of the store - fresh food, don't get caught up in any of the aisles. And learn to read labels, avoid green washing ‘fat free’ ‘sugar free’ etc
What to buy:
Lots of fresh fruit and veggies, organic is best where possible.
Eat more greens than anything else, keep fruit to a min.
Peanut Butter (natural)
EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Unrefined Raw EV Coconut Oil
Apple Cider Vinegar
Tamari (GF/ instead of soy sauce)
Rice Malt Syrup
Raw Honey (Manuka)
Pure Maple Syrup
Super Greens Blend
Protein Powder (plant based pref.)
Organic Free Range Eggs
Coconut Yoghurt (Dairy Free)
Natural Yoghurt (if dairy suits)
Spices / Herbs