Eating whole unprocessed foods is easier than you think. Try it for just one week to start out. A whole food is anything that isn’t in a box or can, hasn’t been altered by preservatives, added chemicals and so-called flavorings such as sodium, sugar, oils, *spices (especially when they’re not listed individually) etc. A few examples of whole foods are fresh fruit, berries, fresh leafy greens, broccoli, squash, onions, potatoes (white and sweet), and anything else from the produce section of the store that is loose for your pick of the bunch. Other examples of whole foods are chicken, pork, beef, fish, but these items should be limited to lean lighter cuts and proper portion sizes which I will explain shortly. Whole grains are also and important part of your everyday meals. Whole grains aren’t limited to breads; some whole grains include brown rice, no, white rice isn’t a whole grain, its beneficial parts have been stripped off exposing just the insides, quinoa is a nutritious, quick whole grain, barley, bulgur wheat, and there are many more but I want to limit the list to whole grains that are quick to prepare.
Dried beans are a very nutritious whole food however most of them take a long time to cook with the exception of lentils, a perfect food in my opinion. To save time, it’s ok to use canned beans. Buy a good quality, low sodium brand and rinse them well in a strainer before using. Beans should be eaten a few times a week. A serving of beans is generally ½ cup. They can be added to grain dishes, soups, salad, and even eaten as a healthy snack. Try a variety as each bean has it’s special nutrients.
So, with the lists and explanation of foods above, you can pull together a filling, healthy meal in about 20-30 minutes. It’s that easy! And the nourishment you’ll receive far exceeds nutrients from processed foods and you’ll give your organs a rest from trying to process chemicals.
Proper portion sizes are approximately:
Fresh raw or steamed vegetables-unlimited! 5-13 servings/day
Whole grain- ½-2/3 of a cup 3 servings/day
Meat- the size and thickness of your palm, fingers excluded (this is enough meat for 1 full day)
Fruit- about the size of a baseball, whether it’s an apple, orange, grapes, cherries etc. 1-3 servings/day
An easier way to estimate portion control is the amount that fits in your opened hand can be considered a portion.
Try a new fruit, a new vegetable, and a grain you’ve never tried. Get creative in how you prepare them, abandon some of the rules but of course be sure to cook animal proteins properly. Use wild abandon when it comes to spices and other seasonings you use in your vegetables, grains and meat.