If you are just learning about a traditional foods diet, it may seem pretty intimidating. The key to transitioning to eating real foods is taking baby steps. I started implementing changes about 2 years ago. It has taken me years to get to where I am now.
Remember that it is better to make one small change than no change at all. Some people like to dive in head first and make all their changes at once. Other people, like myself, take time to adjust to changes. Following are suggestions of how you can take baby steps in your transition to real food.
1. Replace Industrial Oils with Healthy Fats
I believe this is the most important change anyone can make to their diet. Industrial oils like cottonseed, canola, soybean and corn are not only highly processed, but are heat sensitive. These oils make up a large portion of the American food system and contribute to heart disease and many other modern diseases.
It is best to stick to traditional cooking fats such as pasture raised tallow, lard, duck fat, coconut oil, butter, ghee and palm oil. These fats are heat stable and have much higher smoke points than other oils. Olive, avocado and nut oils should be eaten raw.
2. Eat Whole Foods
Ideally, you should remove all processed foods from your diet and eat whole, unprocessed foods made at home. This is not always possible for everyone. Try to remove one food at a time and replace it with healthier fruits, vegetables, grass fed meats, wild caught seafood, raw dairy, nuts, seeds and properly prepared grains and legumes.
One great change to make would be to replace the store bought extruded grain cereals with a healthier breakfast of pastured bacon and eggs cooked in a healthy fat, or with soaked oatmeal. You could even make a small change like giving up soda and replacing it with healthy fermented beverages like kombucha, water kefir, beet kvass and milk kefir. These beverages can be made at home and they are inexpensive to make.
3. Buy Grass Fed Meat and Wild Caught Fish
The price tag can appear high when switching to grass fed meat and wild caught fish. The cost up front is higher most of the time, but it is less expensive in the long run. Less will be spent in medical costs and you will feel much healthier. Healthy animal proteins and fats have a higher Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio than factory farmed meats and farm raised fish.
4. Buy Organic When Possible
Try to buy organic produce and with as many foods as your budget will allow. If you are on a limited budget, stick to the clean 15 and avoid the dirty dozen here. Buying locally from a trusted farmer is a great way of buying healthy foods without hurting your budget. The key is buying foods that are in season and trying to make meals with what is available to you locally.
These are some simple and important changes you can make on your journey to health. What other changes are easy to make for someone new to traditional foods?