Health Basics

Friday, May 18, 2012

Decreasing Your Dependence on Processed Foods

So often when I tell people about the dangers of processed foods, I hear them explain how it's virtually impossible to live without it. Our lives are drastically different than that of our mother's and grandmothers. We are fighting through traffic, picking up the kids from day care, meeting deadlines at work and still trying to run a household. It's no wonder that we've become dependent on the "cheap, fast and in a hurry" convenience processed foods provide, but at the same time, our health is suffering as a result. With a little bit of planning and education, you can decrease your families' dependence on processed foods and realize a more healthy way of doing things.

For our family, planning ahead is key. If "you fail to plan, you plan to fail." Failure to plan will force you to decide on giving your kids chick-fil-A versus cooking at home. You don't want to have to confront that dilemma because fast food will always win hands down. Planning ahead gives you the opportunity to be sure you have all the necessary ingredients on hand to prepare fresh and healthly meals from scratch. Try the following:
  • Invest in a few good cookbooks. Even if you are not a wiz in the kitchen, cookbooks provide inspiration as well as instruction on how to prepare a meal. 
  • Choose ingredients that can be used for more than one meal. For example, if the recipe calls for diced onion and celery, chop up enough and divide it into portions to be used for more than one recipe.
  • If a recipe calls for chicken broth/stock, make some at one time and freeze in batches. This will keep you from buying chicken stock/broth in a can/carton. The store bought stuff is loaded with sodium, MSG and other additives and preservatives that you could do without. You don't need a neurotoxin added to your meal.
  • Chose a day out of the week to prepare more than one meal. This saves time. It also helps you zero in and focus on the fact that your family is important. There is nothing more satisfying than preparing a meal with wholesome ingredients that your family can enjoy. I get a great deal of satisfaction from knowing that my kids' immune system won't be comprimised because I've loaded them up with sugar, artificial flavors and genetically modified organisms.
These are just a few tips on how you can decrease your dependence on processed foods. If you have some tips, please feel free to share.

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