What is real food? In my working, suburban, striving for balance mom’s words:
Real food is food that hasn’t been artificially created, has grown in soil and/or had a mother.
Think of real food like of “normal” food, food that our great grandparents ate before mankind has learnt how to create artificial preservatives, colours, and make processed foods, with sole purpose to generate a lot of money. Real food is something your great grandmother would recognize (I think by now many young grandparents grew up on processed foods). In definition of real food, no food is bad food – steak, kale, beans, bread, yogurt – all are examples of real food.
Examples of Real Food
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Whole Grains
- Beans and Legumes
- Fish and Seafood
- Nuts and Seeds
- Water, Tea, Coffee, Wine, Drinks
Examples of Processed Food vs. Real Food
- Fruit roll ups vs. apple, banana, pear
- Canned/plastic cup peach and mandarin slices in juice vs. fresh peach and mandarin
- Slow cooker balsamic pot roast vs. deli meat
- Wonder bread vs. sprouted whole grain, whole wheat or local bakery’s bread
- Activia yogurt vs. plain yogurt with fruit and honey
- Quaker instant oatmeal packages vs. oatmeal cooked with butter, milk and honey
- White sugar vs. honey and maple syrup
- White pasta vs. whole wheat, brown rice, chickpea or quinoa pasta
- Kraft peanut butter vs. natural/organic peanut butter
- Becel margarine with avocado oil vs. butter or avocado oil
Criteria for Choosing Real Food
- 5 Ingredients Rule – Real food comes in packages, boxes, and cans too. As long as it’s made with real ingredients, ingredients you can pronounce and number of ingredients is less than 5.
- Organic vs. Conventional – Buy organic, local not sprayed produce, grass-fed (pasture raised) meat, dairy and eggs, and wild fish and seafod when feasible.
- Budget – We all have a budget and it’s different for everyone. The fact that you are buying real food vs. processed food already deserves a huge pat on the back. So please, do not stress that much whether you are eating grass-fed butter, organic or conventional butter. When you can, try to buy a better option. For now, if you were born in America the fact that you are not eating “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” is a miracle on its own.
- Availability – Where you live matters because availability and prices for organic vs. conventional food differ. Like I said, the fact that you are eating real food is the most important.
- Balance – Life is busy, if on Friday you make your kids frozen pizza, do not dwell on it. Strive for 80-90% and everything should be fine. No kids need a crazy mom.:)