5 Simple Changes for a Real Food Lifestyle

It can feel really overwhelming just trying to grasp the idea of a real food lifestyle. New foods, new ways of cooking, a ton of information that you, quite frankly, probably don't have the time to learn on your own in your spare time. Am I right?

But, do you want to know the great thing about having a desire to eat real food and choose it as a lifestyle goal? You can take your time. You don't have to change overnight!

In fact, it's better to make slow, sustainable lifestyle changes that to try to go gung-ho and fail. They say that it takes 30 days to establish a new habit.

If you establish new real food lifestyle changes slowly and steadily, a year from now you'll be looking back at amazement that you eat in a completely different way!

So, with a positive outlook, here are 5 simple things that you can do today to start eating real food:

1. Switch Out Your Oils and Fats

It's unanimous with real foodies: margarine = bad, real butter = good. Vegetable oils are also a big “no no”. Try coconut oil for frying or olive oil for non-heated dishes.

These are items that are easily obtainable at your local supermarket and easy to switch out. Don't feel like running out to buy something new right away? No big deal. Next time you need to buy oil, choose one of these.

Learn more about Healthy Fats and Oils at Nourished Kitchen.

2. Stock Up on Simple Real Foods

Real food is called that because it is food in it's simplest form. As unprocessed as possible. No additives or preservatives. You get the idea…

Your choices don't have to be perfect when you are first starting out. As long as you know that you are making an effort to shop smarter and choose better foods, you can feel good about the changes you are making.

As you learn better you will do better. For now, just make a list of the simplest foods you can think of and keep them in your house.

Simple Real Foods:

  • Organic eggs
  • Hormone free whole milk
  • Unprocessed cheese
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Nuts and Legumes

Replace your old choices with some of the foods on your list.

3. Change One Meal a Day

I understand that one of the most overwhelming things about eating real food is worrying about what you will make for each meal. It's hard enough buying new foods for one meal, let along real foods for every meal and snack of the day.

It's okay. One meal is all you need to start on the path to healing. One meal of real food is better than no real food. And because we are looking to make simple and sustainable life changes, one meal is where you will start.

Challenge yourself to create a meal with real food for one meal each day. It can be breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It can be the smallest meal of your day or the largest. It's up to you. And make it something you like!

4. Try a New Recipe

Okay, it's time you get a little adventurous. Real food is not just about finding alternatives to the way you used to eat. That's a good way to get started, but if you want to live differently, you'll have to learn to make some new things, too.

Pick a recipe, any recipe; something very different from what you would normally make. It can still be a simple recipe, but it needs to be a bit different.

Be careful, because this can get a bit contagious. I think you will be surprised at just how good real food can taste and how easy the recipes can be.

5. Educate Yourself on One Thing at a Time

It can get confusing and tiring trying to get up to speed on every real food issue. Just when you think you have learned a ton of new things, something else pops up that the real foodies tell you that you need to worry about.

You can get burnt out quite easily trying to keep up with everything. That's why it's important that you take your time and focus on one thing at a time.

Vanessa Pruitt, PLMHP, MS