Are you one of those people that gets the urge to do some spring cleaning once the weather gets nice? I am. I’m not sure what it is, but something about warm weather makes cleaning seem...dare I say it?….Fun.
After a long winter, opening up the windows and filling your house with fresh air is the best feeling - ever. A few of my top priorities are washing all the windows and moving the furniture and I’m always amazed at what I find under the couch.
Imagine taking your spring cleaning one step further. Don’t stop at the windows. Head to your kitchen and freezer and get rid of all the foods that are harmful to your health.
When I first read about eating whole foods, I wanted to change the way we ate overnight. While we were able to make some very immediate changes, it has taken me 5 years to get to where we are today. Here’s my recommendations for a great place to start.
5 Foods to Throw Out of Your Kitchen
1. Factory farmed meat
There are many reasons you should avoid factory farmed meats.
First, the animals are fed hormones and antibiotics for almost their entire lives. The hormones are used to fatten the animal quickly. The antibiotics are necessary because without them the animals get sick due to the crowded, unsanitary living conditions.
As a nurse, I’ve seen how antibiotics have saved lives. Antibiotic resistance aka “superbugs” have emerged largely as a result of animals constantly being fed low doses of antibiotics.
The FDA is now claiming that antibiotic resistance could be the world's most pressing health care concern.
Second, they are also fed a diet consisting mostly of genetically modified corn because it also helps fatten the animals quicker. GMO corn has been sprayed with glyphosate (along with many other nasty chemicals) which can be linked to cancer.
Unfortunately, when the bottom line is quantity over quality these irresponsible farming practices prevail.
Purchase your meat from Nature’s Pantry. We are wholeheartedly committed to honoring the life of every animal on our farm. We provide them with the life they were intended to live.
Our cows get to graze in pastures so tall that we have a hard time finding the baby calves. The pigs roam and rut in the dirt to their heart's content and the chickens get to spend their days chasing bugs out in the pasture and mingling with the cows.
2. white sugar
Did you know…in 1800, the average person consumed 18 pounds of sugar per year. Today, the average person consumes 180 pounds of sugar per year!
More addictive than cocaine, white sugar can be a hard habit to kick. How many people do you know with one of these diseases: diabetes, obesity, heart disease or cancer? These diseases can all be linked to the consumption of sugar.
Swap them out for natural sweeteners like raw honey or pure maple syrup.
Raw honey is full of antioxidants and has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Maple syrup is also high in antioxidants but also zinc and manganese which can help strengthen your immune system.
These are the sweeteners your body was designed to eat!
3. Foods from the Dirty Dozen
I know buying organic is not in everyone’s budget. If you can’t afford organic for all of your produce at least buy organic from the dirty dozen because these foods have the highest amount of chemicals.
A study published in the Journal of Environmental Research showed that eating an organic diet for just 1 week can reduce pesticide levels in adults by up to 90%!
Better yet….purchase a CSA share this summer from a local farm. I highly recommend Alternative Roots Farm if you are in the area. The amount of flavor that comes from vine-ripened foods will knock your socks off. Plus, you’re supporting your community and small scale farmers who care about their customers.
4. vegetable oils/margarine
I avoid these like the plague because they are full of trans fats.
According to the Mayo Clinic website, “trans fat is double trouble for your heart health. Trans fat is considered by many doctors to be the worst type of fat you can eat.”
They are also extremely high in omega-6 fatty acids. Omega 6s wreak havoc on your body as they are responsible for inflammatory diseases like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, auto-immune diseases, and cancer.
I bet you can guess what I eat. Butter from our grass fed cows...and lots of it.
5. processed food
Yes, I know processed food is convenient, but it is full of preservatives and stabilizers that your body was not designed to eat. If it’s in a box throw it out!
Swap it out for whole, fresh foods. One of my favorite swaps is noodles for zoodles (zucchini noodles). My kids love zoodles and ask for seconds when I make them.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when switching to a real foods diet. It’s hard when you know the importance of eating real foods but your family isn’t on board.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard, “Are you sure I can’t have a frozen pizza?” I’d be rich.
Kids can give a whole new meaning to the word challenging, but I promise it can be done.
My advice for you is to focus on one goal per month so you don’t overwhelm them with too many changes at once and celebrate your accomplishments.
Before you know it, eating real foods with be apart of your everyday life.
You know how good you feel after you give your house a deep clean. Imagine how good you’ll physically feel once you deep clean your pantry and freezers.
I love the quote by Michael Pollen,
"Don't eat anything your great-great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food."
Well said Michael - Amen.
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