Support for all the MOMS in your life!

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Woohoo! Check it out! This FREE online Mom Conference looks awesome!

If you’re not a mom…I bet you know a few moms who’d love YOU for passing this along! :)

Be sure to register SOON so you don’t miss any of these 30 online classes while they’re totally FREE April 7th – April 14, 2014 only!!!

Being a mom can be overwhelming at times, right?! The Mom Conference’s online classes make motherhood more enjoyable!

30 rock star bloggers (mostly moms) will be teaching classes on topics incredibly important, like:

  • Get Kids to Cooperate Without Yelling or Nagging
  • Knock Out a Month’s Worth of Dinners in One Day
  • Feel Connected in a Disconnected World
  • Get & Stay Organized: A Fail-proof System
  • Healthy Marriage: Top 3 Successful Marriage Tips
  • …plus SO much more!

click here for details

Better yet, if you register today, you’ll have instant access to the following FREE VIDEOS as soon as you register!

  • Creative Ways to Get Kids to Love Fruits & Veggies
  • Tips & Tricks for Awesome Hair
  • Make Foaming Hand Soap in One Minute
  • Find Jeans That Flatter Your Body Type
  • The Best Tasting Green Smoothie

click here for details

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5 Simple Strategies for Ditching Processed Foods

IMG_5537Are you a little freaked out that all of the processed foods you’re eating might be less-than-wonderful for your health?

Do you feel overwhelmed about what on Earth to eat instead, so you don’t do anything about it?

Sometimes the hardest things about making a change are simply deciding where to start and realizing that you don’t have to know everything before you take your first step.

Sure you could flip your entire diet upside-down all at once and embrace the “cold turkey” strategy for ditching processed foods. (That’s what I did, but I’m also a wee bit nuts!) But I’m guessing that you don’t find that idea very appealing, so I’m giving you five simpler strategies here that will help you start ditching processed foods without losing your sanity.

What are “Real Foods”?

No matter which strategy you choose, you’ll need a way to figure out which foods are “real” and which foods are too processed to keep in your diet.

Follow this simple rule: Read the ingredients label on everything you purchase. If you can easily identify every ingredient as having come from a plant or animal in nature, then it’s a keeper. If not, then leave it on the shelf. Sure, you can research even deeper than this with food additives information and animal welfare issues (which won’t necessarily be represented on food labels), but we’re just taking our first step here, remember? So let’s just start with this one simple rule. Cool?

Pick Your Strategy

Strategy #1 – One Enemy at a Time

One popular way to start ditching processed foods is to target one food additive or chemical ingredient to avoid. You choose one additive (e.g., MSG, high fructose corn syrup, food coloring, natural flavor), and you stop purchasing anything that contains that ingredient. Once you’ve mastered that ingredient, you move on to another one. You don’t have to know everything about every food additive that exists; you just find one that you feel may be harming your family’s health and then refuse to purchase it any more.

Strategy #2 – Weekly Recipe Make-Over

One of the most overwhelming things about ditching processed food is that you likely don’t know how to cook anything. Well, there’s only one way that is going to change – start practicing!

Force yourself to practice by cooking one new recipe each week. And once you’ve mastered an additive-free version of a dish, avoid the old processed version of that dish from that point forward. Before you know it, you’ll have built an entire additive-free recipe portfolio of delicious meals!

And don’t think that you have to create any recipes yourself. Just search the Internet for things like “additive-free recipes,” and you’ll find all sorts of yummy ideas.

Strategy #3 - Start Sweet

Looking for a fun way to get started? Why not start with dessert? Homemade treats are a great way to build your confidence and win over the hearts and support of your family members. Choose this strategy if you’d like to build up your additive-free desserts arsenal (and your confidence) before conquering entire meals and worrying that everyone is going to turn their nose up at the dinner you worked so hard to prepare.

Strategy #4 - Master a Meal

Feeling a bit more advanced? Choose one meal and commit to eating an additive-free version of that meal every day. Once you’ve mastered that meal, and it no longer overwhelms you in any way, move onto the next meal.

Start with whichever meal is most convenient for you to prepare. Maybe breakfast time is always rushed for you, so you choose dinner as your meal to master. Or maybe dinner sounds the most overwhelming to you, so you choose breakfast because those menu items seem simpler to tackle (e.g., fried eggs or oatmeal). Or maybe you choose lunch because you’re fine with taking a salad to work every day, and that feels pretty do-able for you to figure out.

It really makes no difference which meal you choose. Just pick one and commit to making that one meal from scratch every single day.

Strategy #5 - Run Out & Replace

A very popular strategy for getting started with an additive-free diet is to simply convert your pantry to more natural products as you run out of the processed versions you have on hand. Commit to no longer purchasing chemical additives, but don’t throw anything away. As you notice that you’re getting low on an item (e.g. pancake syrup or peanut butter), start researching how you can select an additive-free version of the item when you run out.

Don’t reinvent the wheel here. You can search the Internet for “additive-free grocery guides,” and you’ll discover that others have already done all of the research to help you find additive-free products at the grocery store.

Get Your Mind Right

Once you start reading ingredient labels, you’re probably going to discover that much of what you’re eating really isn’t even food. It’s a bunch of mysterious ingredients whipped up in a chemistry lab somewhere. And if you are truly convinced that you shouldn’t be ingesting this stuff, then it’s time to suck it up and start making some serious changes.

No matter which of these strategies you choose, you’re only going to be as successful as your attitude will allow. So before embarking on any changes, it’s worth taking a little time to get your mind right. You simply cannot sit around having a pity party for yourself because you “wish you had a personal chef” or because “it’s not fair that you have so many dishes to wash now” or because “it’s so hard to make these changes.” Sure, these things may be true; but concentrating on your struggles isn’t going to get you anywhere.

Take a bit of time to mourn these things if you must, but then ditch the pity party and get on with the business of focusing on your strategies. Be grateful that you care for yourself (and your family) enough to go through the trouble it takes to nourish your body to the best of your ability. Start viewing shopping, cooking and doing dishes as acts of love rather than burdensome chores; and you’ll be amazed at how much happier you’ll feel.

FREE Online Natural Living Presentations!

(Posts on this blog may contain affiliate links to help me keep this site up and running.)

Nourished Living SummitFREE through April 29, 2014 only!!!

This online Natural Living Summit looks awesome, so I thought I’d pass it along to y’all!

62 FREE presentations to help you raise and care for your family more naturally from conception to adolescence! Oh, and there’s stuff in there for caring for your self, too!

CLICK HERE for more info and to see which presentations are available for FREE listening on which dates.

click here for details

TOPICS INCLUDE:

  • Real food for families
  •  Sneaky nutrition
  • Creating a natural medicine cabinet
  • Food allergies
  • Skin care
  • Environmental toxins
  • Conception, pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding,  cloth diapers, and babywearing
  • Vaccines
  • Co-sleeping
  • Developmental disorders
  • Dental health
  • Chiropractic care
  • Potty training
  • Childhood reading
  • Puberty
  • Self-care for moms
  • Attachment parenting
  • … and so much more!

CLICK HERE for more info and to see which presentations are available for FREE listening on which dates!

click here for details

My Free E-Book for You!

“Real Food for Beginners”

REAL FOOD for Beginners
FREE COPY FOR YOU…

My new complete 55-page e-book is hot off the press, and I’m giving FREE copies away right now to help folks “dip their toes in” and give REAL FOODS a try without making any big commitments!

Click here to download your FREE copy of my new e-book before April 1, 2014!

This is a $9.95 value, and it’s my gift to you – no “strings” attached!

You don’t even have to enter your email address or ANY information! Just click here and it will download immediately.

I worked really hard to create an e-book that would give folks just the right amount of info and recipes to get started, and I’d love to hear what you think of the book after you download and use your FREE copy!

BOOK INCLUDES:

  • 25 simple, natural recipesYou don’t need to be a chef to eat REAL food!
  • Basic ingredients available at most regular grocery stores – Natural foods stores are optional for these recipes!
  • 20 pages of additive-free grocery shopping guidance – Just enough info to get you started without making you feel overwhelmed!
  • Specific brand names & product suggestions – Totally unbiased recommendations that I am in no way compensated for mentioning!
  • Recommendations and links for further self-study – Move on and learn more at your own pace!
  • No need for fancy equipment, expensive ingredients or trips to specialty food stores!

CLICK HERE to download your FREE e-book (a $9.95 value)!!