Most people assume that if it came from a grocery store then it must be food. Not so much. There's a lot of "food" in the grocery store that your body doesn't recognize as food and isn't able to get any usable nutrients from it. There's some "food" that will not be neutral and even do damage. However, if you shop the perimeter, the odds are in your favor. You have to read the label. Not the front....the back. Look at the ingredients!
If you don't know what it is, don't eat it!
Think about it...do you know what butyl formate is? Research it. It's actually a synthetic flavoring additive made from formic acid. Do you understand what it is? I don't either. So why would you put it into your body and make it deal with it?
If it has a number, don't eat it!
You've seen it on the ingredient list...red#2 or polysorbate 60. It's not a whole food and your body doesn't recognize it as food.
If it has 4 or more syllables, don't eat it!
Think about it...real food is simple. Banana, spinach, orange, and almond all follow this rule. Real whole foods such as macadamia are an exception.
If you can't pronounce it, don't eat it!
You've seen the words like acetaldehyde diisoamyl acetyal. What is it? Synthetic (not real) flavoring. Exceptions are like acai (ah-sigh-ee) or quinoa (keen-wa) which are actually whole foods.
If an ingredient ends in -ate, don't eat it!
Artificial ingredients tend to end in -ate. For example, methyl acetate is used as a flavoring in food, but also used to dissolve some oils and resins. EWWW!
If it's enriched, don't eat it!
Enriched means the food has been stripped of its naturally occurring components. For example, enriched wheat flour is found in many products. How is your body getting anything usable if it's stripped of what the body needs?
If an ingredient is all capital letters, don't eat it!
Look at your food labels. Do you see BHT, or EDTA, or TBHQ? That's just a few examples. That's not real whole food.
Now that you have looked at the boxes, cans, and jars in your pantry and have just realized 95% of it falls into one or more of the categories above, take a deep breath. Now you know. Now you can start making changes. You have trained your body to think that this is food and most of it is addictive. The artificial ingredients (chemicals), preservatives, additives have changed the food as we know it. Now you need to start training your body to what is real whole food (your body will thank you for it!). You want to make sustainable changes. That takes time. Your body is rooting for the change! But a lot of damage has been done and your body needs to transition. You wouldn't sit all day every day on the couch and then one day decide to go run a marathon. You know you wouldn't be successful. Same is true for eating real whole food. The withdrawls alone would make you go screaming back to the junk and stuffing it in your mouth by the fistful (don't ask how I know).
There's infinite number of ways to make changes. First make a commitment to yourself...read the label before you buy it. It will take some time to get used to it and you will find some of your favorite foods aren't exactly the best for your body. I understand...I was there not to long ago and I remember. It was hard to give up my favorites. I even cried over my top favorites. They were my comfort foods. If I was having a bad day, eating it would cheer me up a bit. Take the time to acknowledge it and then let it go. I've been eating clean for a little over 10 years at this writing. I remember when I gave up soda (pop for the northerners:-) ). Growing up we always had soda and pizza (usually Friday night). That fizzy goodness with the greasy goodness...heavenly! Well, it had been about a year after I had had my last soda. I was making a pizza and thought...why not have a soda-just 1...for old times sake. Popping the can open...hearing the fizz...all the memories of soda and pizza on Friday night came back. I could still taste it just from memories! Then it happened... I took my first drink. It was not heavenly. It was not as I remembered it. I tasted metal. And chemicals. It was gross! I spit it out...fast! Tears came as I finally understood what I had done to my body all those years before I started eating real food. What it had endured just to keep me functional. And then it hit me. My body had to do its job without the proper tools (food). How am I even alive? I have come a long way even since then. I have learned more and my body is starting to thrive! Not only do I do a pantry cleanse. I do a cleanse for my body. I feel so much better when I do! I do it twice a year...Spring and Fall. I eased myself into it by starting with 7 day whole food cleanse. It helped my body to get rid of the sugar addiction.
You know what you can tolerate as far as how quickly to implement changes. For those changes to be sustainable. For some one meal a week and increase from there. Others may be one meal a day and increase from there. We are all at different places in our health journey. We are bioindividual (bio=life). You will hear me say this often. Don't compare your path with another person. You can only compare it to where you were yesterday. Have you progressed forward? That's a win!
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