7 Steps to Wean Yourself From Processed Food

free yourself from processed foodsA new book holds your hand and walks you through the stuff you already sort of know: 7 simple steps to bring you back to food basics.

Once a week, a small group of arty pals convene after work to play with papier-mâché, share a simple meal and unwind.  It’s wonderful. With our hands busy, our minds declutter and good conversation floats like a plastic bag in the wind. We talk about food, about how, without true intention, we’re mostly vegetarian.  Vegetarian doesn’t always mean healthy. We talk about our weaknesses: potato chips, ice cream, Cheez Doodles.

One mentioned she’d found a decent real-food cookbook, and she’d tuned in to the author’s blog:  his name is Mark.  Another said, “I know that site, but it’s a knitting blog, I found it after buying the guy’s patterns. His name is Bruce.”  We scrub floury paste off our hands to settle the debate.  Gather ’round my laptop: find they’re talking about the same website.  Tiny world.

Knitter Bruce Weinstein and Chef Mark Scarbrougheal share a website where they blog about life, food and knitting.  The duo has co-authored about 20 books.  Their latest, Real Food Has Curves, describes a 7-step plan for weaning yourself off processed foods.  Here’s their healthy eating road map, condensed to baby steps:

  1. Seek true satisfaction. (Fat, sugar and salt are added to mask the taste of chemical additives. Go for natural flavorings.)
  2. Read labels. (Look before it leaps into your grocery cart.)
  3. Enjoy what’s on your plate. (Unplug the TV, step away from the computer.  Enjoy the act of eating.)
  4. Wean yourself off excess salt, fat, and sugar. (Substitute strong spices to get over the withdrawal hump.)
  5. Give your palate time to change. (You will lose your taste for excessively sweet, fatty and salty foods.)
  6. Go for high-quality foods. (Choose products that contain the least amount of processed ingredients.)
  7. Don’t skip meals. (Eat three meals a day at regular times, plus a mid-day snack.)

Check out the full book for the science back-story, recipes, and a fuller better description of how real food can make you healthier, slimmer, leave money in your pocket and make you a better friend to the environment. This is stuff we all know, and a simple plan to help us do it.

 Image of cold cut platter from Shutterstock

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5 thoughts on “7 Steps to Wean Yourself From Processed Food”

  1. Laurie says:

    Sounds stellar, JTR – I aspire to your commitment!

  2. JTR says:

    Most people in the Western World are dominated by what I call the tyranny of the taste buds. But observing the health crisis, I realized I needed to reverse the situation if I wanted to avoid serious illness. So I consciously deveolped a taste for the so-called “health foods” sold in a seperate section of many supermarkets or in smaller food shops. Today I look for “organically grown vegetables”, and foods not containing any artificial flavors or preservatives. In the USA at least, producers are required to list all the ingredients in the food products they sell.

  3. JTR says:

    After baking of course, but NO PRESERVATIVES ARE NEEDED in the commercial product. I never heard of anyone adding preservatives to home baked bread or biscuits.

  4. Laurie says:

    JTR – is this bread frozen before or after baking? (curious)

    I’m in a habit of freezing fresh-from-bakery rolls and bread and just take it out to thaw as needed.

    Baked goods in Jordan tend to dehydrate in day to rock-hard consistency!

  5. JTR says:

    Frozen bread is frozen immediately after leaving the oven so it needs no preservatives and it tastes just like like fresh-baked.

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