Written by Jessica Cooper, published at Mind, Body Green.com
How can we eat for better health anywhere?
It’s all about convenience. If you have healthy items in your home you will eat healthily for at least the meals you are home for. That part is obvious. Once you are eating this way at home, you are bound to carry your new habits to meals out with friends, co-workers…as often as possible because you will feel so clean, energized, and healthy. You won’t want to go back to those other foods! Ok, but how do we start this change? Of course, it starts with your thoughts.
When you sit down somewhere to order food, stand in the grocery store and ponder on what to purchase, or even as you are about to take a bite of food, stop for a minute. Think about where it came from, what might have suffered in order to be available as food to you, what company produced it? These simple, quick moments of thought, (that will probably go unnoticed by those around you), will begin to transform your choices. A little bit of consciousness goes a long way. Once you start to bring awareness to what you put in your body, you can’t help but continue to do so. Just like once you know something, you can’t un-know it, it just resonates at a deep level… and sticks.
Our bodies are not made to digest and cleanse out the toxic ingredients in heavily processed foods (which, unfortunately, are way too accessible to and accepted by us – if we don’t buy it, it won’t stick around!) Ok, so now what? We have all heard it: choose organic foods that are as close to the original source as possible, and high in nutrients. It sounds simple, but where do you start? Sometimes we can’t afford to purchase strictly organic food, or we are out somewhere and not sure of the source of the ingredients. What is the easiest, smartest thing to do then?
Here is my very quick list of things to keep in mind when you can’t eat at home:
1. Avoid corn products - 90% of the corn available in the US is made from GMO corn. GMO’s are destructive to the human body, and should be avoided as often as possible. Corn products are also one item worth splurging on and buying organic. Learn more about GMO’s at http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/
2. Go for vegetarian dishes. You will ensure you are avoiding hormones, corn-fed animal product, and will have a cleaner digestive track. If you are with someone who might give you a hard time, you don’t have to make a thing of it and say that you aren’t eating meat. There are usually plenty of items on the menu that won’t make a stink. But…if anyone asks, you can choose to use that moment as a time to spread some awareness without offending anyone. I’ll post something later about why I went veg…for another day.
When you can eat at home, here is an easy grocery list of nutrient-dense, sustainable, and delicious foods to keep in your home!
HERBS AND SPICES
Turmeric, Sea Salt, Oregano, Black whole pepper. My favorite is Turmeric. The health benefits are unbelievable. You can add it to any broth, rice, pasta, vegetable dish. It has a very subtle flavor, so load it on!
Here are a few of the many reasons to add Turmeric to your diet: for more Turmeric benefits, read: 25 Reasons Turmeric Can Heal You
It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
- When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.
- Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.
- Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.
- Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.
- Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.
- Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.
- May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
- Coconut oil (organic, extra-virgin)
- Dark sesame oil
- Extra-virgin olive oil
Look for good-quality beans, without additives like salt, or better yet, organic canned beans from natural food stores or co-ops:
- Black beans
- Black-eyed peas
- Chickpeas (garbanzos)
- Great northern beans (cannellini)
- Pink beans
- Pinto beans
- Red or kidney beans
WHOLE GRAINS AND WHOLE GRAIN FLOURS
If you store whole grains at room temperature, don’t buy more than what you will use up in about 3 months. During hot summer months, refrigerate them—especially flours.
- Rice (long-grain brown, basmati, arborio, quick-cooking, etc.)
- Wild rice
- Barbecue sauce (great for broiling or stir-frying tofu, tempeh, or seitan)
- Pasta (marinara) sauce
- Salad dressings (choose natural, low-fat varieties if you don’t make your own)
- Salsa, tomato-based
- Onions (yellow, red, or both)
- Sweet potatoes
- Any seasonal, fresh vegetables really!
QUICK MEALS – Veggie burgers, etc
- Silken tofu (firm and/or extra-firm) *make sure its a brand that uses non-gmo soy!
- Veggie Burgers, my favorite brand is Hilary’s, the Green Chile Black Bean burger is SO good. http://www.hilaryseatwell.com/retail-products
- Prepared Falafel Chickpea Balls from Veggie Patch have so much flavor, http://www.veggiepatch.com/products/veggie
Just try to bring awareness to everything you put in your body, and that will automatically make eating better easier. Remember, it doesn’t have to be difficult and you don’t have to be perfect.