Make It Stop! Eat Real Food Today!

preview-full-JERF365-FBad-v2If the post-holiday bloat is in full effect today, MAKE IT STOP NOW! Trays of sugary cookies, holiday cocktails and countless party buffets can leave one longing for clean food. Eating real paleo food makes us feel better, look better and think better. Even if the end of the week will include New Year’s cocktails, you can still start today.

Food should be simple. You don’t need a special plan or even a new year to get started. A commitment to clean eating does not have to be complex. It’s time to simplify the process around one basic principle. JUST EAT REAL FOOD.

Start now. The new year is just three days away. Start today and by the time the clock strikes midnight on the 31st, you’ll already feel better! The immediate physical reaction from eating real food will come just 2-3 days after you begin. If you are suffering from holiday indigestion, that will subside, and the associated bloat will dissipate. You might even find yourself with more energy as you being to crave real food. Nixing the sugar and junk wakes up your taste buds and everything tastes better.

Commit to eating real food for one month and halfway into it two weeks later, you’ll see and feel a remarkable difference. You could see a initial drop in weight and even blood pressure. Joint pain will start to subside, and you will begin to sleep better. Your skin will brighten and so will your mood. You don’t have to be great at the start, but you do have to start to feel GREAT.

CrossFit founder and CEO Greg Glassman said it best: “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.” Read his world-class fitness in 100 words here. Eating food as fuel for movement will take your wellness efforts from a steady pace to a fast sprint.

Make and take your food each day. By cooking for yourself you will always know for certain what is going in your food and how it was prepared. Shop the edges of the grocery store before you meal prep for single ingredient foods. Load up on veggies, meat, healthy starches like sweet potatoes and squash and fruit. Cruise by the ice cream in the frozen foods section and load up on frozen fruits and vegetables before you head to checkout.

So many items lining grocery store shelves are factory made, pumped full of chemicals and contain ingredients that are not real food. Food should be made from food. When you are making a meal or buying a snack, it’s always best to start with the highest quality ingredients you can find and leave them as close to their natural state as possible.

Look for words like organic, grass-fed, grass-finished, wild caught, and free range. Meat should be raised like nature intended – on green pastures and lush grass. Many conventionally raised meats come from animals who are fed hormones, antibiotics and chemicals to make them gain weight faster. If you don’t want hormones, antibiotics and chemicals in your body, it’s important not to ingest them second hand through your meat.

The same goes for produce. Pesticides may keep the bugs away, but chronic, low-dose exposure to them is associated cancer, leukemia and neurological disorders. Look for organic or pesticide-free options around your grocery store and at your farmer’s markets.

Change the way you think about food. Single ingredient options like fruits, vegetables, and meats are all clearly “real foods” because they can be harvested directly from the ground, a tree or a vine and can be eaten without much being added or changed. At a glance, your favorite jar of tomato sauce may seem to fall into this category, but be sure to check the deck looking for a clean ingredient list containing tomatoes, onions and spices. Hidden ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, sodium benzoate and sodium nitrate can be added for flavor and shelf stability.

Eating out both at restaurants and friend’s homes is inevitable. Don’t be scared, just be prepared. Try ordering a grilled protein like fish or chicken or a nice juicy steak with vegetables. Don’t let friends or family guilt you into just having “a taste.” Politely decline and don’t feel bad about passing on the pasta, cookies or birthday cake. Most important of all, when traveling to see family and friends, bring healthy options and share your passion. You never know when you could inspire someone else to JUST EAT REAL FOOD.

If it’s your mission to get LEAN IN ’16, the best way to do that is to start today. Shop with confidence for your on-the-go real food options that help make every meal paleo.