It’s time to Stop Eating Fake Food and Get Real! There is so much fake foods available that often, if we are not careful we could find ourselves eating foods that are what I call “Fake Foods”
A whole foods lifestyle is based partly on making sure we are not eating fake foods. We get pretty good at spotting empty calorie or processed foods, but there could still be a few fake foods possibly hiding in your pantry or fridge. According to Larry Olmstead, the author of Real Food Fake Food, what you are purchasing at the grocery store or in restaurants may not fall under the category of real food.
First, lets start with What is Real Food?
Real food is the food you buy or eat that is 100% what you think you are getting. Think of real food as that which is available without the effects of additives, preservatives or pesticides. We focus Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds are organic.
Meat and seafood that are wild, grass-fed or pasture-raised. If we eat grains then we want Whole grains that are 100% whole grains. Again, based on your diet, if you eat beans and legumes we look for are available in cans that are BPA-free or we cook them from scratch. We want Herbs and spices that are organic, fresh or dry or ground with minimal to no processing. It is unaltered and unprocessed. Sweeteners are unrefined.
The importance of making proper real food choices is that they help to replenish the body, providing it with necessary nutrients. These foods contain a plethora of vitamins and minerals and help to restore our energy and health.
What is Fake Food?
Your pantry or fridge probably has a few fake foods lurking behind those closed doors. You may not even know that it is in your possession. According to Business Insider, food fraud is a 50-billion-dollar annual industry.
You are not alone in making wrong assumptions about what it is your place in your grocery cart each week. Many of us think we are consciously purchasing real food, but companies are slipping in some unwanted substitutions.
There are a few fake foods that may be filling your plates and cups under pretenses including pseudo meat products, parmesan cheese, teas, honey, and even seafood. Cheeses like grated parmesan can contain all types of fillers and an agent to keep it from clumping/ I switched to grating fresh cheese when I want cheese, no fillers and it taste so much better. Be careful with the fish as well. There is a fish that looks almost exactly like red snapper and is sold as such but is not a snapper at all.
It’s Time To Get Real
If you are ready to ditch the bad and replace it with the good, there are few steps you can take to move your closer to clean eating or the consumption of real food. Clean eating is all about removing those fake foods from your plate and replacing them with whole foods like fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and protein.
Keep a Food Journal
A food Journal is an excellent way to start tracking what you are putting in your body. Once you begin to document what it is you are eating, you can begin to identify which foods are the real foods and which foods are unhealthy foods. Over time, you can start to eliminate these fake foods from your diet. It does not need to be a lot of work, just short notes to remind you what to watch out for.
Take an Inventory of Your Pantry
Spend some time reviewing what it is you are currently keeping in your pantry and fridge. There’s no need to start tossing out your food. This exercise will provide you with a bit of insight as it relates to how much work you need to do. Your transition to buying and eating real food should be a gradual change. Over the next several weeks and months, begin to fill your pantry and refrigerator with whole foods.
Read Your Labels
Read the labels of the pre-packaged (box, jars or bags) food you have on hand. It may surprise you to learn what ingredients are lurking in your favorite condiment, sauce, food, or drink. If you can’t understand the word, look it up on the interent and see what it is or better yet, just don’t buy it. If there are more than about 5 ingredients listed, it probably is something you can live without.
Plan Ahead and Prep
Plan your meals and prep when possible. In the beginning, eating real food may prove to be a challenge as you try new recipes and different things. Plan your meals for the week. Identify which meals you will prepare on the weekends for the week and which days or meals you will whip something up on the fly.
Use a Grocery List
Several apps can help you create your list to ensure that your trip to the store is all about real food and none of the fake stuff. Eating clean is budget-friendly with a bit of planning. Change it up each week so that you do not grow bored with eating the same old meals. I keep a few recipes on hand for each food type so that I can purchase what is available at the farmers market and make it during it’s “season” without making the same meal twice in a week and not having wasted food at the end of the week/
Are you ready to make the change? Set small goals for yourself to increase your chance of success and tackle your goals in small increments. You will be proud of your achievements. I follow a 3/1 keto-paleo lifestyle so there is no place in my diet for fake foods. Fresh, whole foods are the best choice because we need all the proper nutrition that they have to offer if we plan to stay healty and perhaps slow the aging process along the way.
Be aware that some foods, while not exactly fake, can be so loaded with unwanted sugars and gluten that you want to stay away from them anyway. One that comes to mind is the average ketchup you find in grocery stores. Most of them are loaded with sugar. I have found there are so many other great food toppings that I do not even keep it in my house. There are so many other items like that, it might take a while but you will get good at spotting fake foods and avoiding them.
Today’s Parting Thought: It is said that we are what we eat, also just as important is how often we eat and how much we eat. We need all three to complete the journey. It is a journey of Love for our health.
Laugh Often, Enjoy Good Friends, Share the Love