- More than 5 ingredients (of course, there are exceptions)
- HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) or refined sugars as one of the first 3 ingredients
- Things you don’t know or you can’t even pronounce
- Hydrogenated oils and fats
- Fruits and vegetables: Start adding more fruits and vegetables to your everyday meals. And if you can and your wallet allows it, go for organic. The most you can, the better. You will be saving in processed food, so maybe you can spend a little more on food. You will spend more on medical bills later than a little bit now with organic products.
- Organic Products: Find out where can you buy organic vegetables, fruits, dairy, eggs, beef, chicken, pork, lamb, pantry items, etc. Go to each one of the stores, write down the prices of the products, along with the sizes and very important, write down the schedule when the store is open.
- Whole Grains for Grinding: These can either be organic or not. Of course, if you can, buy organic. You will need to buy a grain mill. I still don’t have one to grind my own grains, to bake my own bread, ha! But I’m still looking for one. The hubs is buying one next week, I think is corn mill, my mother-in-law says it’s any-grain mill, so we’re buying it and let’s see how it goes!
- Whole Grains in Ingredient Labels: Make sure to select pasta, cereal, rice and crackers which contain whole grains, not whole grains refined flour or refined whole grains or a combination. Go for WHOLE GRAIN in the ingredients list. White flour and refined grains are high in calories and low in nutrition. Do you really want to eat a lot of empty calories? Everyday as breakfast (cereal)? Everyday as snack (crackers)? Everyday as sidedish (rice/pasta)?
- No Canned Veggies & Fruit: Stop buying canned vegetables and fruits. It’s better to buy freezed than canned. Canned have many ingredients for conserving, freezed are just freezed (check labels, sometimes they have a high salt or sugar content).
- No Refined Sugars or Flours: Do not buy refined sugars or refined flour, or food with refined sugar or flour in the ingredient list. It’s better if you make at home the cereal or the crackers or the cookies, or the treats and you measure how much sweets you add and how processed they are.
- Clean Meat, Dairy and Eggs: Try to buy grass-feed meat. And grass-feed animal dairy. Free-range eggs. No GMOs, no antibiotics, no fungicides, no pesticides, no poison.
6. Stock up Ha! I don’t mean just stocking up. I mean to make your own stock. Beef stock. Chicken stock. Vegetables stock. This way you can measure salt (
and sugar??) added. Just reserve the bones of your chicken and beef and the ends of the veggies you chop (carrots, onions, celery, etc) in a freezer bag (3 bags: chicken, beef, veggies) and make your own stock, adding your preferred herbs and seasonings, and bringing them to a boil, and simmering. Then freeze 2-cup or 4-cup portions for whenever you need them! For brown rice, soup, crockpot recipes, etc. Stop buying store-bought.
7. Make the decision on how to spend and on what to spend and reorganize Evaluate the food prices (whole food + organics) you checked and see what can you simply replace, what you will be needing to reduce consumption (eat less beef meat? more wild salmon? more whole-grain pasta? more soup?). Ask your family (or maybe you already know) about their food preferences and decide what’s best for all.