- dealing with a health condition like autism, chronic fatigue, or an auto-immune disorder?
- realizing how much more toxic our environment is than it used to be and/or how much diet can influence health?
- simply wanting to get yourself and your family on a healthier path?
It's really overwhelming knowing where to start, isn't it? There's just so much information out there that it's hard to know what to believe and what to do first.
Well, I've been there too and I still get overwhelmed trying to sort everything out.
So I've put together a quick go-to list called the Top 5 Steps to a Healthier Diet.
Now, first of all, let me tell you that we don't do all of these perfectly in our home, and there are some I did later that I wish I had done earlier.
If I were just starting today, these are the things that I would focus on now.
They are also the things that I come back to when I am feeling overwhelmed about trying to make our diets healthy while trying to manage our budget.
Hopefully this list will give you an idea of where to get the most "health bang for your buck."
Top 5 Steps to a Healthier Diet
1. Drink only Purified Water - I recommend Reverse Osmosis with remineralization. Read my post, "Is Your Water Safe?", if you need motivation to get a good filter.
2. Eat Less Sugar, or no sugar at all - I'll be posting more about sugar in the future, but trust me on this one, OK? Even if you don't want to hear it. (Take it from a reformed sugar-aholic :-)).
3. Eat Clean Animal Products. Try to buy local meat, dairy and eggs from a farmer whose practices you know and trust. Whenever possible, buy grass-fed animals and eggs from pastured chickens. To see just how bad commercial animal products can be, read my post on the FDA, Chicken and Arsenic. Warning: you'll be shocked!
4. Eat Organic Produce when Possible. For most of us, this is simply not possible. Wondering what to spend your money on? Take a look at the Environmental Working Group's wonderful resource called the "Dirty Dozen" and the "Clean Fifteen" -- These are lists of produce that contains the most and the least amount of pesticides, respectively. You can download the PDF version of their produce guide here.
5. Eat Less or No Processed/Refined Food - I've been learning more and more about processed foods and the problems they cause for our health. It can be hard, but try to gradually wean yourself and your family off of them. For some healthy alternatives, check out my Recipe page for lots of snack and dessert ideas (including amazing bean fudge!) that are all whole food based. (And I guarantee that your family will love my popcorn recipes!)
Now, take a deep breath and know that no one does any of this perfectly. We are all on this journey towards healthy eating, no matter where you are. And we all have our weaknesses and slip-ups (my weakness has always been anything sweet, especially ice cream and chocolate :-).
So pick one thing that you need to focus on now and work on that. Come back to the list later and add something else in. And let's encourage each other to move forward at a pace that we can handle.
What about you? What is the next step for you on the path to healthier eating?
Which area do you need the most help in?