Note: this post has been updated in December 2018.
Choosing real food for your meals simply means not choosing to buy and eat processed foods. There is a good deal of information available about the many benefits of sticking with real food.
You quickly eliminate a great deal of sugar and fat since that is added to almost all foods. You eliminate many additives and chemicals that could be harmful over time. There are too many benefits to list here.
In the excerpt below, we see a few of the personal benefits one person found after just a couple of months when they decided to stick with a real food menu.
I feel amazing inside & out
Since I quit processed food, I feel amazing both inside and out! I am not bloated, I am thinner, my head is clearer and in general I feel great.
I have lost weight & maintaining weight is a breeze –
I easily lost weight when I eliminated processed food. I didn’t count points or calories, I just ate real as much food as I wanted. I personally find it very easy to maintain my weight as well, I really don’t have to think about it anymore.
I sleep like a baby!
When my head hits the pillow I am out like a light until the morning. Now I wake up happy, light & refreshed every day. In the past I would wake up groggy & sluggish with that heavy feeling of ahhhhh I need more sleep!
My skin looks amazing
Now I would be lying to you if I said that my skin was blaaa & now it is clear & lovely, because I have always been lucky in that department. I have hardly ever had a pimple in my life & my skin has always been clear, I received the good skin gene & not the skinny gene! However I have noticed that since quitting processed food my skin is the best it has ever been & lets face it I am not getting any younger, none of us are. At 35 years old I surprise people when they find out that I am in my 30’s & that I have a 13-year-old child, because my skin has been glowing ever since I turned to real food. (Or is it actually because of my immaturity?!)
– via www.realfoodpledge.com
Her story is very convincing, and to have those benefits in just two months of eating real food would be great.
Now we’ll look at the experience of Megan Kimble, who shared her story with the Huffington Post of giving up processed food for a year. We’ll hear about Megan’s experience with her friends and family, what the challenges were for her, and her advice to everyone who wants to give up processed food. View plate setting with pie chart with Processed Foods below.
What did your friends and family think of the challenge?
Processed is a spectrum. I had a few people be like, “All foods are processed foods so that’s silly.” This kind of opposition was actually a good thing — it forced me to greater define my project and find out what I really meant. All food is processed, of course, but there’s a difference between cooked vegetables and a bag of chips. I was lucky to have a patient, supportive group of friends. I’d go out to eat and ask a bazillion questions about the menu, and they’d just roll with it.
What was your biggest challenge throughout the year?
Going out, for sure. There’s such a social aspect of food; so much of eating is being with friends and partaking in what others are partaking in. Forever, humans have bonded over the sharing of food. It’d be really hard to meet up with friends, where everyone would be having pizza. It was really hard to be professional and to go to work functions — you don’t want to talk about what you eat with everyone. That was definitely the hardest part.
What advice can you give to people who want to limit their intake of processed foods?
The first and simplest piece of advice I have is to read the ingredient label of everything you buy. When you start looking at what’s in your food, you’ll start buying things that are better. The next step beyond that is to buy foods without ingredient labels — oatmeal, bananas, single food items that you can combine yourself at home. Even if you’re not much of a cook, you can prepare simple foods at home, like sandwiches, salads and pasta. If you prepare food yourself, you have so much more control over what you’re eating. You’ll have to spend more time prepping in the beginning, but once you start to find the habits and the things that work for you, it’ll start becoming part of a routine and not so time consuming at all. – via The Huffington Post
Have you decided to go with a real food plant-based diet? Are you trying to reduce your intake of processed foods?
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