If there’s just ONE thing that you can do for your family in 2016 that’s likely to have the biggest impact on health and wellbeing then that would be to Eat More Real Food (a.k.a. Eat Less Fake Food).
And the exciting thing is that, if we all do our bit, it will surely bring about a Real Food Revolution in Kids Food!
We’re learning fast that there’s so much we still don’t know about the potential effects of the additives, artificial colours, pesticides, GMOs, and all the other highly processed foods which have not long been a part of the human food supply and which are these days commonplace in the majority of people’s diets.
So here are 16 Simple Suggestions To Supercharge Your Family’s Health 2016
1. Ditch the vegetable oils. That’s the canola, rice bran, soybean, cottonseed, safflower, grape seed and sunflower oils. All of these. Just stop using them. There’s ample evidence out to show they’re significant causes of inflammation in our bodies. This is an easy swap. Do it this week!
2. Avoid the artificial colours (and re-consider those “natural” colours too). Artificial colours are already banned in several countries around the world but remain in many others. In NZ you’ll find them in all sorts of processed foods but especially in kids biscuits and bars and icecreams so keep an eye out and avoid them.
3. Quit the sugar sweetened beverages. This is a no brainer. There is no good reason for any child to be drinking sugar sweetened beverages. Soft drink companies are funding “obesity” studies to show that their products aren’t to blame. In much the same way that the tobacco companies did in earlier times. Save some money, improve the health of your family and just ditch the sugar sweetened beverages (and yes that does include the organic orange juice!).
4. Reduce your sugar intake. Too much sugar has been implicated in a host of health conditions. Most highly processed foods are high in added sugar. Check your labels. Again beware of “natural” added sugar. It’s still all sugar! Check our blog for more advice on lowering your sugar intake.
5. Avoid gluten as much as you can. Look I know we not all agreed on gluten. Some will swear there is no such thing as gluten intolerance unless you’re celiac. But for me I’ve seen and personally experienced too many upsides to gluten free (and on the other hand too many downsides to gluten ingestion) not to want to try to avoid it wherever I can. At least try it to see for yourself.
6. Re-evaluate your relationship with refined carbohydrates. Starting with your standard store bought cereals, your potato fries and crisps and your store bought bread. Of course you could go one step further and ditch the grains but then that’s not so “simple”!
7. Be a mindful drinker if you’re drinking alcohol. That once a week beer or wine can so easily turn into a once a day and one glass day can creep up to two or more. When we drink alcohol we’re not only ingesting more calories but we also tend to make poorer decisions in what we eat generally.
8. Consider a water filter. This is such a simple thing that will last into the future. There are companies out there that will come and install in your home like Just Water. If that’s not an option, grab something like a Brita water filter.
9. Become a student again. Read more. Watch more documentaries. There are some incredible books and films that have come out in recent years. Start with Damon Gamau’s “That Sugar Film” then check out Denise Minger’s “Death By Food Pyramid”, Michael Moss’ “Salt Sugar Fat” and Michael Pollen’s brand new documentary “In Defence of Food”.
10. Contact your local supermarket. Tell them how much you love something they’re doing well. And ask for more organic products. They’re ready to listen to you!
11. Eat more plants and eat more variety of plants.
12. Cook more. You don’t have cook everyday and you don’t have to cook fancy. Just do one thing, say one night, one meal once a week. Step by step. Keep it simple. Sunday Roast Day, Mexican Monday, Fish Friday and so on. Don’t make perfect the enemy of the good. You got this!
13. Plant something. Lettuce. Spinach. Carrots. Just one thing! So what if it dies. Try again. Got no room – grown something in a pot plant holder. You’ll get there and it will feel amazing!
14. Get your kids in the kitchen. Forget about keeping everything ordered and tidy. Let the kids go a bit crazy and have some fun. Pancakes, omlettes, boiled eggs, fried eggs (yes OK eggs are super easy for kids!) but loads of other things work too like baked sweet potato chips, baked cauliflower popcorn, making banana “nice” cream, smoothies, fruit kebabs and so on. Experiment together.
15. Go organic at least for some of your food. Pick your most popular food item or check Dirty Dozen list for your country and aim to start there with making the change.
16. Truly believe that YOU can make a difference. Yes you. But not just you in the end because it’ll be you and me and many many others. Together, we all add up. Never underestimate the power of the collective to bring about massive change! Because we’re already doing it.
Today’s health statistics are shocking. They cannot be ignored. If not for our sake then for the sake of our children and our children’s children. Together, we can bring about massive change.
Here’s to a happy and healthy 2016 for you and a Real Food Revolution for our children!
Claire & Dom xo.
P.S. Let us know how you go with these 16 super simple steps to eating more real food!