If you’ve been around the internet anywhere near articles and websites dealing with healthy eating and food, you’ve likely seen the terms “real food” or “whole foods” thrown around a lot. I’ve found that these terms can mean many different things, to different people. Overall, the goal is similar, but how each person chooses to change their diet to “real foods” is a personal decision.
Any step that you can take to put better food into your body is a great thing to do. Don’t let “being perfect” discourage you from taking steps in the right direction [this goes for many aspects of life]!
How I Define Whole Foods
So here’s how I define something as Whole/Real Food:
- Vegetables, Fruits, Fresh Meat in their natural state
- Packaged items that:
- Have few ingredients
- Have ingredients that are made from whole/real foods
- Do not have ingredients that I can’t find to make something in my own kitchen
- Contain Unrefined Sugars
- Whole Fat Dairy
- Natural Oils and Fats [olive oil, butter, ghee, tallow, coconut oil, lard, etc]
So what this means is that we DON’T eat:
- Packaged veggies with added “sauce”
- Highly processed meats
- Anything with: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrogenated/Partially Hydrogenated Oils, Chemical Preservatives, Artificial Colors/Flavors
- White Sugar [or any refined sugar] and Artificial Sweeteners [this includes highly processed Stevia and Agave syrup]
- Processed Flours
- Low Fat Dairy
- Highly Processed Oils [no: soybean, corn, canola, etc]
These lists touch on the basics of what I eat. Also, even though this list is labeled “what we don’t eat”, we are far from perfect. In fact I have a whole shelf of sweet treats in our pantry that has candy filled with processed oils, artificial colors & flavors, and refined sugar. We strive to eat whole foods when we can, but life is life. Living by ultra strict rules is hard mentally, and can be quite stressful to your body. If you allow yourself some leniency to perfection, you will find that making lifestyle changes are much easier to continue in the long run.
I’d love to hear about your journey with real food and what it means to you! If you have any questions on anything listed here, please comment below or send me a message.