Some of you may have joined me for the Healthy Eating Made Simple series and still walked away thinking something like this:
There is SO MUCH that I need to change. I don’t even know where to start. The thought of putting this into practice overwhelms me. I’ll just keep doing what I know for now.
Haven’t we all been there in some area of our life? I know I have!
Today I want to share with you what I would do if I were starting my real food journey all over again today. If you are ready to get started with real food, I hope that this makes the process feel more doable for you!
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1. Become Informed
The first and best step I would take in starting my real food journey is to just start informing myself on the differences between real unprocessed food and modern industrialized food. I know it can be intimidating at first to take in so much information on a topic as fundamental and complicated as our food systems, so I would need to start small and take my time.
I would also have to realize that not everyone agrees on the details of whole foods, like grains as I’ve previously mentioned. Instead, I would try to focus on the basics of real food and worry about the details later.
2. Read the Labels on the Food I Own
Once I’d invested myself into just becoming aware of what modern food is like, I’d take some time to read the labels on foods our family had in our home.
I would try to make note of food items that contained ingredients like these:
I probably wouldn’t throw anything out at this time unless I was convinced that our family wouldn’t miss it. This step is all about raising more awareness in our home in regards to the foods we routinely eat.
3. Make a List of Our Unhealthy Habits
Once I took inventory of what was in our cupboards, fridge, and freezer, I’d start making a list of the unhealthy eating habits our family had. Keeping the list to around ten items would make it seem more doable and hopeful than a giant list of 57 things that we were doing wrong. Ideally, I’d make this list with my husband.
I’d want to consider the areas of our diet that were the biggest issues and also those that would be easiest to tackle. Easier areas would help us stay encouraged because we would see progress quickly. More challenging habits on our list would be very important to work on but might go over better after we’d had some smaller successes.
4. Choose One Item to Work on for a Month
For example, if I felt that our family used a lot of salt in the home, I’d switch from regular table salt to a good sea salt like Real Salt for a first step. It’s easy, relatively simple, and quite enjoyable considering the great taste of unrefined sea salt!
I would want to give myself and my family time to adjust to each small step (baby steps are key here!), so I would try to limit my changes to one per month. Each month we would add an additional real food habit.
5. Reflect, Re-Assess, and Keep Researching
I would want to watch how my family was responding to these changes, so I would want to regularly reflect on the progress we were making. I might realize that a certain change was harder than I thought, so it would be important to move that one further down the list I made in Step 2 above.
I would recognize that the major changes our family was making might take two years or so, and that a few steps back from time to time is completely normal and to be expected. When we would get off-track, I would go back to my list and adjust it as necessary.
As we made progress on our first list, I might consider making a second list or adding to the first with new changes that we could make. Since I would continue learning and researching, I’d rarely run out of ideas to try to implement!
Want to Keep Learning?
Be sure to check out The Frugal Secrets of Real Foodies, an ebook I co-wrote with four other frugal whole food bloggers! I know that money can sometimes get in the way of healthy food, so with this ebook, we show you how you can make it work. It’s filled with our best tips and over 40 frugal recipes. I think you’ll love it!
And if you’re ready for more serious learning, be sure to check out both the beginner and advance courses with Vintage Remedies. There’s a lot of excellent real food information in their courses!