My food philosophy and the way I live my life; vital and bounding with energy; is all about wholefoods.
No diet labels, no deprivation and certainly no hard and fast rules.
I love everything I eat and I eat a lot of variety, a variety of fresh wholefoods.
90% of what I eat is made from wholefoods and that’s the key here. Minimise the food items in your world.
Less cans, tins, packets and bottles. More fresh and delicious.
When you do purchase items in packaging there’s one clear tip that you can follow to make the best possible choice – zero numbered ingredients and zero ingredients that aren’t wholefoods.
For more good food buying tips, have you checked out Part One of this guide?
Let’s take some real food experiences to further assist you buying good food.
This week I checked out tinned tomatoes at my local Harris Farm produce store.
Of the 6 brands on offer – 5 of them contained citric acid, 4 of them contained citric acid and refined salt.
Only 1 of them contained tomatoes without the preservatives, however it too had salt included.
This simple step of checking the ingredients, means that the nutritional panel is less important – it’s just tomatoes after all!
So is that last can the one I bought?
No – I purchased 5 gorgeous truss tomatoes instead. Washed them when I got home and whizzed them in my food processor. Sorted.
Check out my tip for legumes towards the end of this post.
If you can find tinned tomatoes without preservatives or other additives – by all means, buy it.
Most varieties of stock contain preservatives and for one key reason – longer shelf life. Checking out the ingredients list you’ll see something like this:
WATER, ONION (11%), CARROT (10%), CELERY (9%), LEEK (4%), POTATO (4%), GARLIC, VERJUICE (0.4%) PRESERVATIVE (220), PARSLEY (0.3%), MUSHROOM POWDER, SALT, THYME.
A numbered ingredient in amongst your stock.
Longer shelf life of course. Storing food items longer may be convenient in a respect though in this case it’s providing us with one of the most common preservative groups – sulphites – and a chemical which causes a large inflammatory response in our body.
Imagine then, if this is present in 70% of the food we eat?
When you shop have a clear plan and – a list!
What I found really helpful as I was transitioning to a wholefoods life was to create spreadsheets when I had 5 minutes (note : make the time) and I’d order it per store and even aisle.
OCD perhaps though truly, it was about being organised and efficient. At that stage I worked 60+ hours/week in a corporate job with an office over 60 minutes drive from home. Time was something I had almost none of so getting in and out of the supermarket, with what I actually needed, was key!
Plus I’ll admit, my organised OCD nature loved these lists, whizzing up and down those aisles like a boss!
If you’ve got next to no idea what a list should look like and what wholefoods to buy – you’re in luck!
I’ve created this FREE shopping list resource for you.
Download it to your phone and take it shopping!
It’s a great overview of what kinds of foods are real, simple and delicious. There’s a seasonal reality to many of them and maybe won’t all apply to you though I find inspiration is sometimes all we need to act for ourselves.
Additionally, and for those who are wanting to play around with their own lists, download this FREE shopping list template that I’ve created for you.
You’ll see I’ve broken it down per store and have grouped items together based on where they appear in each store. Now, when I run out of something I write it on the blackboard shopping list in our kitchen and use this list to make compiling our weekly shopping list simpler and cheaper. We only buy what we need.
Download this also and make it your own – I truly hope it inspires you because the thing is once you’ve got all of this goodness in your house, you’re halfway there.
Tins & Cans
I’ve discussed the issue with buying tins and cans though in the past I’ve also mentioned the BPA chemical present in most cans.
Bisphenol-A (BPA) disrupts our endocrine system; as it mimics the hormone estrogen. Studies have shown harmful biological effects on animals using low-doses of the chemical and harmful effects on humans have been observed outside of studies.
To be safe – avoid cans and plastics not declared BPA-free.
If, like me however you love legumes, what’s a girl to do?
That’s simple. Plus it’s (way) cheaper and better tasting too!
Legumes are pantry staples, easily and cheaply adding flavour, protein and bulk to your meals. You can prepare them in advance and use them in countless ways – I love them!
So what you do is as your grandmother (and certainly mine) did – buy them fresh, dried and soak them. To use them, cook in large batches to make better use of your time.
To keep it simple, I provide this key advice:
1 cup of dry legumes gives you 2-3 cups when cooked
1 cup of dry legumes needs to be cooked in around 3 cups of water
Additionally, and as a guide – 1 can of tomatoes is the same as washing and whizzing 4-5 tomatoes. It really doesn’t get more simple than that.
It may not all happen in one shop or one week for you; it certainly didn’t for me; however a start is a start all the same.
Use this guide to feel empowered and BUY GOOD FOOD.
It’s my hope that more of us will buy and consume fresh, wholefoods. That’s where life is at its most simple, delicious and nutritious.
Remember there’s definitions a-plenty in Part One of this guide.
Why not send this to someone who maybe needs a helping hand or some inspiration and please share your experiences in the comments below.