Collage of fresh fruits, vegetables, fruit, eggs and meatSounds simple right, but is it?

Real food preparation takes time. In today’s culture, we’re all strapped for time. So, we resort to convenience food – dinner out, take out or packaged convenience food. There is definitely a trade-off for all that convenience. That trade-off is food additives, sugars, preservatives, colors and often things that can best be described as “food-like” substances. You may or may not have seen what goes into Chicken McNuggets!  If you haven’t, you owe it yourself to check out this Jamie Oliver YouTube video.

Real food doesn’t have – or need a label. If it does, it has just a few ingredients, all of which you can pronounce and you know what they are. If your food has more than 5 or 6 ingredients or a shelf life measured in months or years instead of days, you really need to look for another option. Better yet, decide if you really want to be putting that into your body. To quote Michael Pollan:

“If it’s a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t.”

I believe that the build-up of all these non-food ingredients in our body is harming us. Your body doesn’t recognize them as nutrients so it either stores them or passes them through. You probably aren’t even aware of how this is affecting you since it’s a gradual exposure and build up. Once you are ready to make changes, eating real food is where you should start. I’m not saying that you need to throw out everything in your pantry or freezer. You simply need to start making changes one food item at a time. As you run out of something that is a staple item for you, take a closer look at that item. Decide if it’s something you really want to continue to eat. Read the ingredients – is it something you can do without or can you make from scratch?

Meals made from real food taste 10 times better than a prepackaged box

Yes, it will take more time, but trust me, it will be worth it. The goal here is to take it one thing at a time. If you try to tip out your entire pantry all at once, you WILL become overwhelmed and throw in the towel. I know this from personal experience! Pick something that you love to eat that you are currently buying prepackaged or picking up as take-out. Use Google or Pinterest and search for a recipe similar to that food or meal. I always read the reviews to make sure it will be a tasty dish! I often involve my whole family in doing meal prep as well as some bulk cooking for the freezer to save time down the road. If a dish freezes well, it doesn’t take much more time to prepare two! Stick one in the freezer for another day – think lasagna!

Eating real food and making time for meal planning and preparation will be the biggest key to your success!

Do you have a favorite dish that you double up on for the freezer?