Times are changing and if you have not already embraced the desire to learn about the contents of your pantry, as well as your fruit bowl, now is the time. Do not let yourself fall behind in the movement of elevated standards. Take off your blinders and start implementing some new eating habits today. The explosive growth in organic produce and rise in popularity of buying local are a direct result of people who are literally fed up with being served food that contains ingredients that we consider unheard of to consume. Let us focus our energy on what is NOT in the food and get back to the basics of what food should be.
Have you thought about the high rise in food allergies that are developing in families throughout America? It’s almost rare to come across a family that does not have at least one food allergy stricken individual to look out for. If you start looking at the ingredients listed on the items in your grocery cart, you will discovered a crazy long list of things that you will most likely need to google to know what they are. This can be unsettling. It does, however, affirm in my mind how so many allergies are on the rise in the first place. People trusted that food was just food.
As grown individuals, we have developed very strong eating habits that range from the stores we shop at, the items we choose, food preparation, snack food choices, fast food indulgences, and eating out. Habits that are so well established are hard to break. The good news is that with the power of knowledge you have the ability to start somewhere and keep going. We all want to evolve, become wiser, stronger, healthier individuals. No one says, “I’m good with what I know, I do not desire to learn any more in my life.” Easily, we can start making changes that range from tiny decisions to large lifestyle directions. One month committing to a change can set you on your way to establishing a new habit. Keep that up for 2 months and you’ve paved your way to success!
Changes you can easily adapt to and start implementing now:
The supplier. Shop at a new grocery store; putting yourself in an unfamiliar place will help you change what you automatically put into your cart. Be smart about this and make sure you have plenty of time on this first trip.
Kroger and Costco have a large Organic base and are affordable
Fresh Thyme Farmers Market
Whole Foods Market
Choose products that are Organic. The Organic label encompasses Non-GMO as well, so it carries weight in meaning
Label means 95% certified Organic
Not processed using industrial solvents
Look for minimal ingredients listed
Buy more fresh real food, and not as many boxed items
Allow for time management for prepping fresh food and snacks so that they are available quickly
Set-up for a company to deliver Organic products straight to your door. The time I would spend in the grocery store, I now have for washing and organizing my food.
Again, we want to focus on what is not in the food instead of getting wrapped-up in the debate of labels, statistics, and disagreements. Setbacks are destined to disrupt our onward path. Frustration and infuriation will arise when you learn that something you believed to be good was in fact not at all. It’s hard to trust organizations and people who say something is not proven to do you harm. Who wants to wait around for proof! Forgive yourself for the past and do your own research, make your own decisions, empower yourself to take back the control of what you do not want to eat. Don’t be discouraged; it’s a possible feat!
Replace butter with coconut oil or avocado oil for cooking and baking
Replace table salt with Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
Replace refined sugar with Agave or Honey, even just for half the listed amount of sugar
Buy a water filtration system or have good water delivered to you weekly for drinking and cooking, without fluoride
Use fresh herbs when cooking to boost flavor and nutrition while using less salt
Make things fun for yourself and the family. Much can be said for taking on a positive approach when implementing these awesome changes to your household. In order to be successful, planning is needed so that the transition is smooth, and fun should be sprinkled amidst the journey.
Fun activities could include:
Growing your own food/herbs
Cooking with the kids
Taking part in outdoor activities together
Working-out as a family
Talking about health benefits from food; knowledge is power
When planning, start with one or two things that seem important to you and grow gradually from there. Try and focus on the long-term goals, not just today and tomorrow. What do you want to accomplish this year with your eating habits? What is important to pass on to your children or others close to you about eating healthier? We have a lifetime to heighten our improvements. However, today is the day to set them in motion.
To supplement your new habits it is beneficial to alter the environment slightly, to create a brighter atmosphere which will support your new lifestyle. Clean the fridge and organize the pantry to enhance your desire to put healthier items in them. Create a clutter-free kitchen that will boost your desire to cook differently. Purchase new chopping knives; they will excite you to chop veggies and fresh herbs.
Be open to change. Open your heart and mind to the positive benefits that will, in turn, reward you for the efforts you put forth today. Thank yourself for the new changes daily. Recognize how being mindful of what you put in your body transforms into nutrients, and then energy. This positive energy supports your well-being and feeds your heart and soul.
Angie Anderson is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in Education. She is an entrepreneur who teaches piano lessons inspiring children and adults to grow musically. Angie also co-owns Better Health Vending, a Michigan-based healthy vending company, that encourages a healthier lifestyle by providing better options for the community.