Whole foods are unprocessed and unrefined and come to us from as close to the source as possible. In contrast, processed foods are genetically modified, colored, made by synthetic means, or laden with hormone additives. White flour, sugar, white rice, most cold cereals, crackers, and packaged foods are processed, for example, and even the things we tend to buy in Costco out of convenience more often than not have a long list of chemicals, preservatives, and additives. In contrast, think quinoa, brown rice, and other whole grains; a wide variety of fresh organic or minimally processed fruits and vegetables; beans and bean products; nuts; seeds; and natural sweeteners. Food is medicine!
Our health (and that of our families) is compromised every time we open a microwaveable meal, a cake mix, or a processed packaged food. In contrast, when we eat a nutritious and balanced whole foods diet, we are likely to experience a wide range of health benefits – better sleep, improved mood, easier weight management, more energy and the alleviation of a wide variety of lifestyle related illnesses.
The environment: environmental health is also being negatively impacted by industrial food practices
But…. “It’s so expensive.” “I don’t have time.” “It’s too difficult.” “I don’t know how.”
$$ Buy in bulk, buy dry goods like grains and beans, grow your own, cook and eat at home as much as possible. Think about it. How much do you spend on coffee and sugary treats to give yourself energy, aspirin to combat headaches, alcohol or sleeping pills to relax and sleep, or to purchase medication for illness?” What about the cost of a very serious illness? How do you put a value on quality of life? How much do you spend to do other things? How much of your money is spent on things that you don’t really need? Did you know that lentils and brown rice cost about $1.25 per meal on average?!
- How much of your time is spent online? Watching TV? What if cooking this way is easier than you currently think? Are you willing to explore a new belief?
Rather than focusing on what you “can’t” or “shouldn’t” eat, try adding something new into your diet as often as you can. Buy a new cookbook. Take a cooking class. Cook with a friend. Find strategies to make things easier for yourself, like cooking large pots of soup and freezing it for later, or packing your lunch the night before if you have to leave early in the morning. The benefits are so worth it!