Real food is anything that can be picked, hunted, gathered, milked or caught. Any fruit, vegetable, bean, nut, legume, animal, and dairy product. Real food! Food in its most natural state. Food your great-grandmother ate. Single ingredient foods. Strawberry, carrot, black bean, pecan, milk. They are what they are! Nothing is added to them. See how many of these you can eat each day.
What real food looks like in meals
If you eat a salad, see if they are single ingredient foods: lettuce, tomatoes, bell pepper pieces, black beans. If you want cheese on it, what’s the best option? Raw cheese. A lot of stores carry it now, just ask where it is. If you don’t want to pay extra for it, get organic cheese from grass-fed cows like Kerrygold or Organic Valley. Yes, it’s pasteurized which is a step away from nature, but at least it’s still cheese. If you have meat on your salad, choose organic chicken. See if you can find one grown in your state. Also check health stores and farmers’ markets and your local farm. Knowing where your food comes from is important! If you want ham on your salad, same thing! Look for organic, local, no nitrates, as natural as possible. If you can’t find it, avoid it or don’t sweat it. A little bit of processed ham won’t do you in if 80% of your salad is organic, real foods. For the dressing, make your own! Or find an organic brand that has 5 or less ingredients, all that you recognize.
Now for some other meals:
Spaghetti and meatballs
Processed: white noodles, jar of sauce with ingredients you don’t know, HFCS, etc, packaged frozen meatballs.
Real food: whole wheat noodles, homemade sauce from your own grown tomatoes or an organic jar with 5 ingredients or less (all that you recognize), homemade meatballs with grass-fed beef from a local farm, spices you grew (or organic from the store), organic oats, etc. Any meatball recipe will do, just use ingredients close to their natural state as possible. Or if you buy packaged, look for grass-fed organic ones.
Processed: white bread, processed cheese, margarine. Served with chips with food dyes and other unnatural ingredients.
Real food: homemade wheat bread, raw cheese, grass-fed butter. Served with carrots and apple slices.
Are you getting the idea? How can you make tacos healthier than your old recipe? Let’s start with the tortillas. Here are some different options: white flour tortillas, wheat flour tortillas, sprouted wheat or organic wheat tortillas with only a few other ingredients you recognize. No preservatives so must be kept in the fridge. These are way tastier and filling and satisfying than the white processed kind with a bunch of stuff you can’t pronounce in them that can sit on a shelf for months.
Want corn tortillas? Try to find kinds with just corn, lime and salt. No preservatives. And make sure the corn is organic or at least non-gmo. Sprouted corn tortillas are fabulous too!
For the meat buy organic grass-fed beef. Cook and season it yourself with organic seasonings or herbs you grew yourself. (Don’t use the packaged kinds with msg and unrecognizable ingredients.) Then add raw cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and avocado dices and you’ll have yourself a healthy, real foods taco! And you’ll feel amazing after eating it.
Pizza would be similar. Instead of having a Totino’s Pizza with 77 ingredients in it (Yes, that’s how many I counted!) buy one with just real foods in it that you’d have in your kitchen. Or make it yourself like the tacos above. Make a crust with whole wheat flour, olive oil, honey, water, yeast and salt. Spread with organic pizza sauce or make your own with organic tomato sauce and seasonings. Then for the toppings use raw cheese, organic veggies, nitrate free meats. They are all easy to find these days.
Learn more and start trying real food
If you’re new to learning about real foods I hope you’re inspired to learn more. Read one of the books I suggest because they are way better at explaining than I am. Or check the 100 Days of Real food website. Her book was the first book I read that changed my life. I hope you can feel the energy just reading about real food ingredients. Processed foods are dead and make you feel draggy and slow. But eating real foods will make you feel more alive and energetic than you have in years. Go find a single ingredient, real food in your fridge or pantry, eat it, and let me know how you feel!