Healthy Eating With Real Food
I started to be interested in healthy eating when I was still single in 2016. I moved to an apartment to take care of a sick, elderly woman and in my free time, I started reading articles and watching videos about healthy eating and trying to incorporate more fruits and vegetables and less meat into my diet.
I got married in December of 2016 and during my pregnancy in 2017, I chanced upon the term real food as I was reading an article about low waste living. Then I got interested in reading and knowing more about real food.
And since then, I wanted to implement healthy eating in our home with real food. Yes, to implement, but until now, we are far from clearing most of the ultra-processed foods we have at home. It’s going to be a long journey and I want to document it here in the blog with all of you.
What Is Healthy Eating and Healthy Diet?
Healthy eating means eating a healthy diet. But what is a healthy diet?
Heart & Stroke wrote that eating a healthy, balanced diet is one of the most important things that we can do to protect our health. In fact, up to 80% of premature heart disease and stroke can be prevented through our life choices and habits, such as eating a healthy diet and being physically active.
And I love how HelpGuide defines healthy eating “Eating a healthy diet is not about strict limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, improving our health, and boosting our mood”.
furthermore, HelpGuide writes that: “The cornerstone of a healthy diet should be to replace processed food with real food whenever possible. Eating food that is as close as possible to the way nature made it can make a huge difference to the way you think, look, and feel”.
What Is Real Food?
HealthLine defines Real food as a whole, single-ingredient food. It is mostly unprocessed, free of chemical additives, and rich in nutrients. In essence, it’s the type of food human beings ate exclusively for thousands of years.
One of my favorite sites about real food, 100 Days Of Real Food, defines real food as anything not highly processed (like artificial additives) and containing only five or fewer whole ingredients. It means mostly avoiding ingredients you would not cook with at home.
Another favorite site of mine about real food, realfooding.com (in spanish), classified food into 3 big groups: real food, good processed food, and ultra-processed food.
I made a visual chart based on the list made by Realfooding.com to make it easier to digest:
Healthy Eating With Real Food For My Family
Since I got married, my eating habit has improved a lot because my husband is also into healthy eating (so I thought!). But reading the information about the 3 food groups by Realfooding.com, I realized that we are still consuming a good amount of ultra-processed food.
I told the husband about it, but he won’t believe me. He insisted that chips, cookies, ice cream, and other industrial desserts (which he likes a lot) are not bad at all. He said, he was eating all these things when he was small and he is perfectly fine. 🙁 What argument can I debate with that?
So, we continue to have ham, sausage, chips, cookies, ice cream, and other industrial desserts at home. Though we don’t consume them on a daily basis, they’re there. I can’t stop the husband from buying them and I can’t stop eating them, either! Argggg.
But I am not going to give up so easily! I will continue to do my best to slowly eliminate most of the ultra-processed food (because eliminating them totally is impossible) present in our home.
We also have to indulge from time to time to satisfy our human cravings! Yes, we are human.:)
It will be a long, exciting, and educational journey and I want to share the journey with you all in this blog, in the hope that it will also inspire you or give you tips and tricks if you are in the same situation as I am.
More Serious In Healthy Eating With Real Food
I am more serious now in really focusing on healthy eating with real food after I lost 9.6 lbs (4.35 kg.) and 2 inches of waistline in 3 weeks.
I did a 21-Days Fat Loss Challenge from Feb. 17 – March 5, 2021, without exercising and without taking slimming pills, slimming coffee, or any special dieting products.
I lost all 9.6 lbs of weight by just eating real food! No processed food at all. The challenge was an eye-opener to me!
RELATED POST: Avocadu 21-Day Fat Loss Challenge Review (How I Lost 9.6 lbs & 1.5 Inches In 3 Weeks)
I learned a lot about food and about my own strength and I am excited to share with you all about it in the next posts.
The goal now is to make another round of the challenge to reach my healthy weight for my height and age. As of the moment, I am still overweight despite the weight loss.
Once the healthy weight is achieved, the next goal is to maintain the weight by living a healthier lifestyle through healthy eating with real food and exercising.
Slowly Eliminating Ultra-processed Food At Home
I am into making homemade versions of what we buy from the store as a way of slowly eliminating ultra-processed food at home.
My husband is into processed desserts like natillas, gelatina, petit suisse, and ice cream. And to convince him to stop buying those things from the store, I need to come up with delicious, homemade versions of those things.
And they have to be delicious, if not he’s not going to eat them no matter how healthy they are.
So far, I am already successful in making homemade yogurt since 2018 and homemade petit suisse (I will share the recipe here very soon).
We also make our own lemon marmalade and apricot jam since February 2020.
And just recently, I was successful in making homemade grissini (breadsticks). My husband and kids eat them like crazyyyyyyy!
Finally, I got success in making homemade bread after more than a year of trying!
I am always in the look out on how to make homemade versions of the things we are buying from the store in the hope of slowly eliminating processed food from our home and also to minimize plastic packaging.
If you have homemade recipes, I would highly appreciate if you share them in the comment section below, so I can try them. I promise to give you proper credit once I make it successfully.
Healthy eating with real food is truly good for our entire family, especially for our kids, so they’ll learn healthy eating at an early age.
Do you want to establish healthy eating in your home, too? Or your family is already into it?
Please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comment section and give us some tips on how to do healthy eating at home without the family members feeling being deprived of certain foods.
Thank you for sharing this healthy food guide with us Julai. It’s good to know exactly what is considered healthy to eat and what should be limited. It is true that a balanced diet is what is considered healthiest and eating too much over-processed foods can cause health issues. It’s a bit of a shame that those are the types of foods that are the cheapest to buy for most individuals.
Hello Rachel, thank you for dropping by. I agree that over-processed foods are way cheaper, that’s why we are drawn to buying them instead of real food especially if we want to stretch our budget. But on the other hand, medical bills are more expensive in the long run if we keep on consuming over-processed foods.
Thanks for this. This is totally enlightening for me, as I was totally unaware of the need to eat real food mostly, to restrict good processed foods and eliminate the ultra processed foods.
I totally agree that you need to slowly remove the ultra processed foods from your diet. This will reduce the craving and therefore you will be less likely to quit.
Keep up the good work and helping us to improve our health.
Thanks for dropping by Geoff! We can do it slowly, but surely, as the saying goes.
Great article on healthy eating. I think we all need to start eating more healthy food as compared to the carbs we seem to consume all day long.
Your article puts things in perspective very well. It is educative and gave me a good direction to take. I hope I can transition my family into good eating habits.
Thank u and regards,
Hello Aps, thank you for dropping by. Carb is indeed difficult to let go of, but I just realized after doing the low carb diet that it’s the main reason why I am gaining weight fast.
I hope your family’s transition to good eating habits goes smoothly.
Thank you for this helpful guide to follow for eating healthy with real food. Meals and snacks always taste best when they are most fresh and without having gone through too much modern food processing. Adding more “real food” to the diet will naturally help to get rid of unwanted ingredients that sneak into heavily processed foods. I’m looking forward to seeing what recipes your readers share!
Hello Aly, thanks for dropping by. More real food and less processed food is a huge goal of mine for my family. And I am also excited about the recipes that will be shared in this space. All the best!