How to Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods are all around us – from our very own kitchens to our favorite supermarkets. Many processed foods have a high level of sugar and contain many different artificial ingredients. You’ve seen their convenient packaging and tried to pronounce the ingredients that they are made of. So how can you avoid processed foods all together?
Grad student, Megan Kimble, who brings in an average salary of $16,780 has spent a year avoiding all processed foods on a very strict budget. Here are some tips on how you can avoid all processed foods, just like Megan (according to Health.com).
Get rid of all the processed foods!
Raid your refrigerator, pantry, purses and gym bags to get rid of all of the bad food you have stashed around your home. If you do not have any processed foods around you, you will not eat any processed foods. It’s that simple!
You should always know what you are putting into your body. For those who don’t already do so, reading the ingredients will make you aware of that and more. If there is a word on the ingredient list that you cannot pronounce, that means the product is most likely processed. If you’re starting to think that you’re about to starve because you can’t find any products that you can read and understand the ingredients of, take a deep breath. Single-ingredient foods are the safest and most natural foods around (think: fruits and vegetables). These are the best ways to avoid additives like preservatives and emulsifiers.
Stay loyal to trusted brands!
If you know a certain product or brand is natural and delicious, stick with it! It’s always great to try new foods but if you are just starting out in the clean and unprocessed world, sticking with the foods you trust and love will make your journey very easy. Kimble explains, “You’ll start to recognize (and appreciate) food companies that don’t add wonky ingredients to their products.” This is a great way to ensure knowing that what you are putting into your body is the best option for you. It’s worth visiting some local natural food stores, so you can see what products they have on offer. You might fall in love with a new product!
Prepare your food first!
The hardest part about eating clean is that it is very easy to eat and attain unprocessed foods. If you drive down any major road, it is probable that you will see at least three fast food “restaurants” on even the shortest car ride. In order to continue eating unprocessed foods without the temptation, be sure to prepare your food ahead of time. This will not only save you time throughout the day, but will also save you money – as eating out every day can really start to add up. Kimble suggests planning your meals and snacks at the beginning of the week that way everything can be ready whenever you get hungry and you won’t even have the chance to reach for something unhealthy.
Start preparing your own foods!
Cravings are everywhere but you do not have to give into them. Simply finding alternatives for them could be the difference between ruining your clean eating and staying strong on your journey. Start making your own foods! That dressing at the supermarket is probably a heavily processed food using unnatural ingredients. You can find tons of natural and healthy recipes online. So, instead of heading to the supermarket, save yourself a trip and visit your own kitchen! You can use the natural foods you already have to create whatever you are craving and make it as healthy as you want.
Understand you can fall victim to your cravings!
One word – chocolate. “During my year-long experiment, I learned how to make my own chocolate since I didn’t think I could go a year without it. But today, chocolate bars are a wonderfully convenient exception to my unprocessed diet,” Kimble admits. It is okay to fall victim to your cravings every once in a while. The trick is finding alternatives to the bad things that you were eating before. But, every once in a while, eating a Hershey’s chocolate bar won’t hurt too bad.