Before I share with you my thoughts on what Real Food is, let me first begin by describing what I think that real food isn’t…Ideally,
- Real Food doesn’t have an ingredient label.
- Real Food does not have an infinite shelf life.
- Real Food isn’t made in a chemistry lab.
- Real Food fruits and vegetables aren’t sprayed with pesticides and toxic chemicals.
- Real Food animals are not found in overcrowded, filthy feedlots and fed antibiotics.
- Real Food fish do not come from overcrowded, diseased, and contaminated fish farms.
Simply put, Real Food is food that is untouched, as natural as possible. It is food that is as close to its natural, original state without any alterations of any kind. We humans were meant to eat simple, clean and natural foods.
What’s Left to Eat?
I’ll share with you the types of foods that my family eats regularly, but it’s important to understand that not all foods, although ‘real’, may not be well-tolerated by everyone. We are such diverse people, with different backgrounds and from different cultures. Therefore, we all have different needs. What may be ok for me to eat may not be ok for you, which is why the Bulletproof Diet Roadmap outlines foods into three categories:
- Green: Bulletproof Foods – Foods that are tolerated by most people.
- Yellow: Suspect Foods – Foods that can be tolerated by some, not all people.
- Red: Kryptonite Foods – Foods that should be avoided by everyone.
Target your foods to be in the green as much as possible. In our household, we only ate foods in the green range for months until we met our weight-loss goals. Our diet, both then and now, consists of grass-fed and pastured meat and eggs, wild-caught fish, fruits and vegetables , and carbs such as sweet potatoes and jasmine rice.
As a result of eating real foods, following the guidelines in the Bulletproof Diet and incorporating some of the concepts from the GAPS diet (Gut and Psychology Syndrome), my husband and I were able to easily shed 80+ (combined) stubborn pounds in a few short months (without exercise), overcome health issues and feel better than ever. Read more about our story here.
What Types of Foods Should I Buy?
Examples food categories are:
- Carbs: Jasmine rice, sweet potatoes (eaten in moderation, primarily late in the day)
- Dairy: Whole, raw and from grass-fed animals
- Fats: Quality-sourced fats (Organic grass-fed butter, coconut oil, avocados, meat from healthy animals)
- Fish/Seafood: Wild-caught
- Fruit: Local, in-season, and organic (eaten minimally, primarily late in the day)
- Meat: Grass-fed or pasture-raised (Ex: Eggs, beef, chicken)
- Vegetables: Local, in-season, organic (if possible)
I’ll share my personal shopping list (coming soon) of the foods that my family keeps on hand and shops for regularly.
Monitor What You Eat
As we slowly added a few yellow foods and maybe an item or two from the red zone into our diet, we learned the importance of paying attention to how the foods that you eat make you feel. As I mentioned, not everyone reacts to food the same. I suggest using a simple food diary to keep a close eye on what you eat and how it makes you feel. Then, once you figure out which foods don’t work well for you, you’ll know what to avoid and the better you will begin to feel.
As Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Diet explains, the diet is about eating more of what makes you feel good and less of what doesn’t. If you keep that in mind, you will do just fine. That said, sometimes red foods are unavoidable, like when eating out or during family or social functions. No worries. Being social is healthy for you, as well. Just try and eat the best options available.
Where Do I Buy Real Food?
- Farmer’s Markets. Find one near you here.
- Local Farmer
- Quality meat, dairy and produce can be purchased from many online retailers.
- Natural and organic products from online stores such as Thrive Market–think Costco meets Whole Foods.
- Whole Foods
- Fresh Market
- Trader Joes
- Target is also expanding its organic and quality meat offerings. And by using your free REDcard in the store or online, you can get free 2-day shipping and save 5%.
This sounds complicated
It can be, if you let it. Keep it simple…As long as you eat “REAL FOOD”, you’ll be fine. Your body will figure out what to do with it. While eating quality foods is key, stressing over what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat, etc. puts unnecessary stress on the body which trumps any nutritional strides you will make in your life. Take it one day and one food item at a time it want to. If you start by replacing some of your processed foods and drinks with real foods over time, eating real foods will become routine and your body and mind will thank you.
What Are You Going to Do?
It’s your turn. What are you waiting on? What is your driving force to make a small change or a big leap today? Do it for yourself, your family, your children, your grandchildren. Do it for the opportunity to live life better off than you could have otherwise.
From our family to yours…
Don’t wait until and unfortunate health issue (major disease/cancer) forces you to change what you eat!!
Eating real food is simpler than you think. Now that we are eating real food and feel great, there’s no turning back to our old habits. You can do it, too!
Until next time, keep it REAL,
This post contains affiliate links. See full Affiliate Disclosure for more details.