By Kris DeFoer
In his book Food Rules, author Michael Pollan says:
“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”
It’s one of my favorite maxims – it’s even on the wall in my kitchen!
In short, he’s recommending that we eat real food – not something created in a factory. Not something full of chemicals we can’t pronounce. And not something that will go bad if you don’t eat it soon. He goes on to suggest that you eat until you’re full and then stop. Fill your plate with primarily fruits, vegetables and whole grains, just like grandma did.
I love the simplicity of this. And to narrow it down even more, some plants are healthier for us than others. Some studies suggest that organic foods not only limit the toxins we consume, but have higher levels of nutrients. But it can get costly to eat only organic foods, and sometimes they can be hard to find.
So, how can you eat as well as possible on a normal grocery budget?
The Environmental Working Group publishes a list of the ‘Dirty Dozen,’ foods that are most pesticide-laden, and the ‘Clean Fifteen,’ foods that are typically grown using few or no chemicals. The list is available online, or better yet, download the app to your phone to reference while you’re shopping! One easy rule of thumb is that if you eat the skin, it’s likely that organic is a better choice. Think apples, berries and green leafy vegetables. Conversely, thicker skinned fruits like avocados and cantaloupes, and sulfur-rich vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower aren’t as likely to need pesticides, so you can buy the conventionally grown varieties.
When buying meat, look for grass-fed beef and pasture-raised chickens and eggs, raised without the use of hormones or antibiotics, and fed their natural diet. When you eat ‘mostly plants,’ you’ll be satiated by them, so meat can be a tasty addition without being the star of the meal.
There’s a ton of information about healthy eating on the internet, but truly, it mostly boils down to filling up on the foods that nature provides. Bon Appétit!
Kris DeFoer is a certified Holistic Health Coach who works with women individually and in groups, to help them re-discover their natural health and vitality. She believes that healthy living should be fun, that healthy food should taste good and that good health is about much, much more than eating well and exercising – that how we live has an enormous impact on how we feel