Nowadays, most of us do the majority of our shopping at the supermarket, and don’t stop to think about where our food comes from or how it is produced – but we should.
Take a look at the labels on the foods you buy and you’ll see just how many ingredients they contain – often E-numbers and chemical sounding names. If you are really committed to getting healthy and giving your body good quality nutrition, it’s important to change your habits and make sure the majority of your diet comes from unprocessed, natural foods.
It doesn’t actually take long to make a tasty, healthy, nutritious meal: within 20 minutes you can produce a meal for the family which not only tastes good, but also gives you and your family what you need to keep going, and stops you taking in additives, preservatives, toxins and other unnecessary chemicals. Think fresh vegetables and fresh meat or fish, rather than packaged, tinned and bagged foods.
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Meats and Fresh Vegetables
When you are buying meats, go for the kind that hasn’t been hormone-treated and has ideally led a nice, happy life (organic if possible). Make sure you wash fruits and vegetables carefully to remove any pesticide residue, and again, buy organic if you can.
If you have children, it’s important they understand food, where it comes from and the effect it has on the body. If they only ever see food in a packet or tin, they will never understand how it fits in to our world. Take them to a farmers’ market to buy your veg and fruit, get them to talk to the farmers, or visit a farm so they can see the process. This is really important if we want our future generations to avoid some of the habits that are costing lives and causing unnecessary health problems today.
UPDATE: Jamie Oliver – Food Revolution
If you haven’t watched Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution program, you should try and get hold of a copy; it shows the poor quality food our children are being fed in schools around the country. If our children are our future, we are not looking after them very well – we can’t expect them to be able to concentrate, learn and retain knowledge if they are eating foods that don’t support their growing bodies. It’s time something was done to improve school nutrition, and while Jamie has started the ball rolling, there is a long way to go.
You can find out more about Jamie’s food revolution and sign a petition in your state here.
Make cooking a part of your daily routine
Many Americans either don’t know or have forgotten how to cook, and opt for the easy option each night by ordering a takeaway or visiting a fast food restaurant. Rediscover the joys of preparing and cooking a meal for you and your family. Cooking doesn’t have to be a long or difficult process, and it’s really easy to cook a simple yet delicious meal in less than 20 minutes.
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There are thousands of free recipes on the internet, and you will already have most of the ingredients you need in your kitchen cupboard.
Involve your family in the cooking process so they learn where foods come from and why nutrition is important.
Farmers’ or Growers’ Markets
These markets are becoming increasingly popular. Try a search on the internet, or look in your local paper, and you’ll probably find a market somewhere close to you. They are usually on a Sunday and/or a morning during the week.
All the local growers in your area will be there, selling and showcasing amazing local produce – this will usually have been grown naturally and is much fresher than the stuff you can purchase in the grocery store.
The USDA has a list of farmers’ markets on their website, so you can find the one closest to you.
Challenge your taste buds
You might have bad memories of vegetables from your childhood, where you were served overcooked, soggy veg that had no flavor or texture – don’t let that put you off trying vegetables again. There is such a massive variety of fruits and vegetables available today, you will be able to find ones you and your family enjoy!
Try different methods of cooking your vegetables, rather than just throwing them in a pan of boiling water. Stir-frying your vegetables with a little olive oil, pepper and fresh herbs can make a delicious meal along with some lean protein like chicken or fish.
Your thoughts and suggestions
If you have a recipe you would like to share, please leave the details in the comments below. We’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions, and information about your food journey.