Another Baby Step Change...
from CrossFit Aspire
Close your eyes and imagine yourself only eating real, whole foods that are good for you. Flavorful vegetables, succulent meat, fresh fish, creamy avocados, crunchy nuts, sweet fruit, etc. Seems pretty easy, right?
Now open your eyes. Look around you. You can probably walk or drive less than a half mile and see a fast food ad campaign, neon-signed chain restaurant, or a ‘convenience’ store filled with processed junk that is parading around, looking like food. All of these things are bad for you. And you already know that. But, all of the sudden, for some weird reason, you are drawn to them. You want them. You crave them.
All healthy habits are EASY to stick to, unless you’re battling with the temptation of the unhealthy habits. That’s because most of us are literally addicted to eating unhealthy foods that we’ve been eating for our entire lives. Sugars that are found in all processed foods and desserts cause out bodies and brains to have chemical reactions similar that mimic that of a response to opiates. ( So consider this your intervention). Baby Step #3 is to get rid of the bad foods in your house. All of them!
So what do you do? You do all that you can to minimize your exposure to the ‘bad things’. Since we’re taking baby steps here, let’s just start with your own kitchen. If you’re making an effort to eat only whole foods, then you shouldn’t have ANY non-whole foods in the house. Makes sense right? A person trying to quit cigarettes probably wouldn’t have much success if they kept a pack in their drawers or on their counter tops. The same idea applies to you and your food.
So our suggestion is to raid your fridge, pantry, drawers, ‘secret junk food stash’, desk drawers, and remove all of the non-foods. Be honest with yourself, and remember to check all labels on questionable items ( ingredients that you can’t pronounce are probably not whole foods, or good for your body). This process should feel liberating, simplifying, and a little overwhelming. Step away from the pantry, breathe, and realize that this is the first step to really making a radical change to the way you think about food. The word “food”, in your future, will be defined as something perishable, locally grown if possible, grassfed (meats), and unprocessed.
You may think that your pantry is bare, and subsequently wonder what you’ll be able to buy in order to fill it up again. Since most real foods don’t have a long shelf life at room temperature, your fridge should become your new pantry – the place you go to first thing in the morning, when you are preparing for dinner, and when you want a tasty snack.
If your bare pantry looks a little depressing, try cheering it up with a few minimally or non-processed foods such as Larabar, almond or sunflower seed butter, canned fish, raisins, and all-natural, low sodium chicken broth. They are the closest thing to fresh real foods as you can get, and they are great options for ‘on the go’ snacks. ( Not the broth – save that for soup, silly!)
Now that the bad stuff is gone, you can clear your head, go food shopping for all real foods, find new recipes, and start making food that you body was actually designed to eat!
Here are a few suggestions for Real Food snacks to keep in the house. Keeping foods like these on hand will make it simple to avoid making excuses.
High Quality Turkey Breast from the deli counter
Cooked Spaghetti Squash
Boiled Sweet Potatoes with cinnamon
Fruit (just one piece per day)
Beef Jerky (check out Steve’s Original)
Guacamole ( eat with cucumber chips)
Kale Chips (bake kale in the oven with some olive oil on baking sheet until crispy)
Roasted Squash, Zucchini and Eggplant with seasonings
Chicken Salad (boil the chicken, drain, add olive oil, a bunch of chopped up veggies, some raisins, and some finely chopped almonds)
Tuna (straight from the can, with some olive oil and sun-dried tomatoes)
Bacon and veggies
Pulled pork, chicken, or beef ( cook in slow cooker and pull apart)
Bottom line is that if you replace all of the Bad Stuff in your kitchen with Good Stuff, you’ll find it next to impossible to eat badly, make a bad decision, or to panic and get fast or fast(er) food.
Hope this has helped!
Please comment below if you’ve had success with this ‘clean out the pantry/desk/drawers/fridge’ method.