A few people, some who know me, some who don’t, have asked me if it’s hard eating the way I do. By “hard” they usually mean two things, 1) do you have to give up a lot of other things because you spend so much on your food? and 2) how can it be enjoyable eating only healthy food?
Let’s start with the monetary cost of what I eat. Most people believe that eating healthy means spending more money. I believe this isn’t true. I believe if you simply eat real, minimally processed foods and eat most of your meals at home, you will spend no more than you already do, and probably less. Try it. Eat the way you normally do for a week and save all of your receipts. Then eat the way I’m suggesting for a week and again, save all the receipts. Compare the two weeks of spending. You might be surprised. And, of course there is all of the money you will save in the long run – on your healthcare expenses.
I think most people think eating healthy is hard and/or complicated, but it really isn’t. A lot of people think healthy means organic, and don’t get me wrong, organics are healthy, but you can be healthy without eating organic too. I would love for everyone to eat organic, grass-fed, local, etc., but I know that can be overwhelming. I understand it’s a process. I’ve been through the process. Just eliminating processed, packaged food is a GREAT start.
Now let’s move on to the enjoyment part. First I would like to say that I really, really enjoy my food, more than I ever have, actually. I enjoy the flavors, the textures, the colors, etc., and I also love knowing that I took raw ingredients and made a meal. All of my food is real, nothing was taken from it, and nothing was added to it, except by me. I know exactly what’s in my food, and I know all of it is real. Again, eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy. You don’t have to eat new, foreign-to-you foods (though I certainly won’t discourage that). You just need to make sure it’s real. If you want French fries, have French fries. Go to the store, buy some potatoes, oil and salt and make some fries at home. They’ll taste great. I want you to control what’s in the food you eat. When your food comes from a package, you have no control over what’s in that package. A general rule I think everyone should live by is – if you don’t know what even one ingredient in something is, don’t buy it. If you don’t know what it is, don’t eat it. I think that’s a reasonable rule to live by.
If eliminating all packaged food at once sounds scary, start slow. Start with one thing. Stop eating fast food. Stop drinking soda. Stop eating candy. Pick one thing, go for 30 days without it then remove something else. I think you’ll find it will get easier each time. While you’re eliminating, don’t be afraid to add in new, real foods. Try eating only at home for 30 days. There are plenty of ways to make small improvements that will eventually get you there.
There are many reasons I choose to eat this way and that I want others to eat this way. The main one, though, is because I want people to live long, healthy high quality lives. If you have any questions or comments or would like to share your thoughts or would like support along the way, I would love to hear from you. Thanks for reading. Go Ducks (we’re in the NIT, you know).