It never occurred to me that people might be reading my blog and NOT making the recipes.
1. Read, Read, and then Read some more! There is nothing more powerful than knowledge. Learn about food. Learn about its origins, where it comes from, why we eat it, how it's made. Learn about your body - how it functions and how food affects it positively or negatively. Read anything and everything you can get your hands on about whole, real food. The more you read and learn, the easier it will be to make changes. The changes will come naturally as you learn. If you are trying to make changes without really knowing or understanding deeply why you're making them, it is likely that the changes will not last. However, if you have a foundation of knowledge and understand why you are on your journey to whole foods, you changes will become a lifestyle. Learning also makes changing easier. It isn't hard to stop eating processed food once you understand how truly detrimental it is to your health.
2. Find replacements. Don't learn about how bad sugar is for you and say that you will never eat sugar again. Although that is a wonderful goal, it is probably one that is easily broken by cravings or stress. Instead, find replacements. Instead of white sugar, convert to using honey or maple syrup. Instead of making a cake mix out of a box, try making one from scratch using
whole grains and natural sweeteners. You can still enjoy many, many things while eating only whole foods. Once you've found replacements, you'll realize you really aren't missing out on anything after all. You might even be surprised to find that your whole food meals/treats taste even better because you know deep down that they're better for your body.
3. Commit to change. Do you want to dive into whole foods? Commit to doing so. Commit to ridding your life of anything artificial or detrimental to your health. Make a commitment, and keep it. That's all there is to it. Make the decision.
4. Be daring. Buy new things - branch out. Never heard of kamut, amaranth, sucanat? I hadn't heard of them either. In fact, I read blogs that used those foreign terms for a good 6 months to a year before I ever bought any of those "strange" ingredients. Now those ingredients are staples in my house. Try new things - you'll find that most of the time, you'll love them and wonder why you've been missing out all this time!
5. Don't get discouraged. Moving to whole foods is a journey. It takes time and it takes dedication. We live in a world of processed foods. It is not easy to go against the grain, so to speak. It's not easy to make choices that are different than 99% of Americans. But making choices is not always easy and moving to whole foods is a choice that, hard as it may seem, will bless your life abundantly. Take baby steps - pick one thing you want to change and focus on that thing for a week or a month. Then, move onto the next thing. Or if you're more stubborn, do it all at once (I did!). However you do it, remember why you're changing and remember that you are not alone. Many people are realizing more and more that food, made and prepared the way God intended it, is critical to our health and wellness. Enjoy the journey because soon you'll look back and think "It wasn't that hard, after all."
6. Realize that while you may feel you're paying more for "real food," it is a much better investment. You are investing in yourself - your health, your vitality, your life! Those who eat diets of whole foods and avoid processed foods are healthier and experience less disease than those who eat a diet high in processed foods. You may spend more on your groceries than your friends and neighbors, but it doesn't have to break the bank. There are many ways you can save money. Some quick examples are: buying in bulk, making things from scratch (homemade granola vs. store-bought), meal planning, eating the best quality of meat sparingly, etc. You also may tweak your budget so that, say for example, you spend more on groceries but you go without cable or expensive cell phones. Or, perhaps you eat out less than your family and friends. However you choose to balance your budget, know that eating a diet of whole foods can be done, even on a tight budget.