Eliminating Processed Foods.
It's really hard it is to change our habits in order to get our health back in order. Seriously, it's hard. (I wrote about my own struggles that in a previous blog that you can read here).
And I talked about the importance of healthy movement and healthy food. These are the cornerstones of health- when we eat healthy and move our bodies in the right way, we can gain back our energy, feel fewer flare-ups, and be able to move about the world with fewer aches and pains.
I have written a lot about what healthy movement is. (You can read that here). But for a minute, I am going to talk a bit about how I define healthy food.
There is lots of debate about what eating healthy means. But for me, a certified nutritional therapy practitioner, healthy eating begins with one thing:
Eliminating Processed Foods.
So what are processed foods, and why are they bad for your health?
Well- a quick definition of processed foods is anything that comes packaged in a box, plastic, bottle, or can. If the food comes in a package, then it has been put through some sort of manufacturing process that transforms the food from it's natural state into something else. That is the basic definition of processed food. I believe that food that comes from it's most natural sources- from a garden or a farm- are best for our health.
However, I recognize that we all lead busy lives, and it isn't possible to cut out all processed foods altogether. Packaged food does bring convenience. So, instead of ruling out all packaged foods, I recommend that you begin by eliminating the chemical components from your food, so you are eating real food, instead of chemically manufactured foods.
Why does this matter? Well, here is the important takeaway: our bodies do not recognize the chemical compounds that exist in processed foods. These chemicals irritate our digestion, cause inflammation, and wreak havoc within our bodies as we struggle to figure out how to process them.
Check out what happened to this family when they went organic for just two weeks. Spoiler alert: within just two weeks of eating organic, they were able to clear out nearly 100% of the chemicals found within their bodies.
So- making this change can have big effects to your health. The longer we live with the chemicals in our bodies, the more they increase our inflammation and pain. The first step towards feeling better is the elimination of these foods. Here is how to do it:
Step 1: Look for the label organic. This is a first step towards making sure you are eating real food.
Step 2: Look at the ingredient list. If a box has a lengthy ingredient list on the label, think twice about purchasing.
Step 3: If there are words on the ingredient list that you don't understand- don't purchase. Scientific sounding words almost always point to a chemically processed food.
Follow these easy 3 steps, and you will be on your way to eliminating processed foods from your diet. I always say to my kids- "Look at the ingredient list. If you see a word that you can't imagine sitting on a platter on your dinner table, then you probably shouldn't eat it"
But if you are still confused and want more scientific research, or more details about what processed foods are and how to eliminate them properly, join Autoimmune Strong's 7 day free trial and read my nutritional guide. This will give you SO much more information about what it means to eat healthy.
And as a bonus, check out this healthy chicken soup recipe from The Essential Thyroid Cookbook. So many ingredients like bone broth and fresh ginger that can actually boost your immune system's strength. And it's yummy to boot!