Remember, this whole website is ultimately about shifting how I eat. These suggestions here are one piece of the puzzle.
Long term, if I stop buying the dangerous food, the market will respond. I vote at least 3 times a day, 365 days a year for what kinds of foods I want to eat. That’s a LOT of clout. And if I stop buying the foods and ingredients that make me sick—they’ll stop selling it to me. No, that doesn’t help me today as I go into the grocery store, but my daily votes count and will affect what our grocery stores look like the next year, the next decade and for the younger generations.
Short term, that’s where the real challenge is. The nice thing about addictive foods, if I don’t buy it—it won’t be there in my cabinets to tempt me. So, I grit my teeth while I am in the grocery store and hang in there. Resist temptation for the whatever minutes I am in the store and then at least the temptation won’t be calling my name all the hours I am at home.
For everyone it is different, but as my body feels better from cleaner, healthier food, my taste buds will change and I will crave the clean foods and not like the junk.
That said, truly, this is one of the most difficult steps—stop buying the highly processed foods. Tactics to support you:
- Do most of your shopping in the produce aisle.
- Take it one step at a time. What’s easiest? Find a new snack? breakfast food? dinner? lunch? Pick one thing and get success with that. Don’t tackle everything at once.
- Start reading the ingredients list on the package. Does it start with sugar or corn syrup? Can I understand what even half of those ingredients are? If I don’t know what those long technical names are, remind myself those are the ingredients added in to get me addicted (60 Minutes segment) and will make me sick (some of those hard to read ingredients are derived from oil—yes, the stuff I put in my gas tank) so put it back on the shelf.
- It’s not easy to find processed foods that are free of artificial ingredients. The Feingold Association has created a booklet listing foods that are free of artificial preservatives, food colorings and flavorings. Joining the Association includes the grocery guide.
- Make time to cook. Turn off The Screens—whatever they may be and get my butt in the kitchen. Try new recipes. It has become more common to watch a cooking show than to cook nowadays.
- Don’t know how to cook? Find a class. No class? Pull one together. Guaranteed there are others who also want to learn and people who would love to teach about healthy cooking and eating.
- Buy single ingredient food for snacks: raisins, nuts, bananas, apples, cucumbers, carrots, oranges, foods that are in season. A snack does NOT have to come inside plastic packaging.
- Eat wickedly fresh food! Grow your own food. Pick your own at a farm. Shop at a farm or local farmers market. Sprout your own seeds. Food that is in season and freshly picked tastes wonderful and is addictive in the best possible way! Localharvest website
- Eat nutrient dense foods that cut down on food cravings. Food ideas.
Michael Pollan’s Food Rules began with his hunch that the wisdom of our grandparents might have helpful things to say about how to eat well.
I was amazed at the effectiveness of this small action. When I was struggling, out of desperation, I ran outside and sat on a patch of grass. Put my palms down to the earth and asked the earth to take away the temptation, and fill me up its loving energy and wisdom on how to take care of myself. It only seems silly until I’ve tried it and discovered how powerful this step is.