Do not underestimate the power of food prep! No you don’t have to spend your whole Sunday in the kitchen, but you do need to get organised. This could be the difference between you sticking to a healthy food plan or not.
If you don’t have the right foods at your fingertips, it’s easy to reach for simple, convenience foods which often are not going to serve you well. Getting organised saves you money too, you can buy in bulk (also saving the environment) and you spend less time running to and from the shops (win).
If you have any kind of gut complaint, from a leaky gut to food allergies and intolerances, it can be as simple as adding some good quality gelatin to your pantry. Once you are comfortable with using this you may like to try some hemp seeds in a smoothie.
Whatever you do, don’t feel like you have to have a health food shop at home. Just start with a few little things, allow them to become the norm (if you like them), and add to your journey as you go.
If you don’t like it there is no need to force it down or upon the kids! Many of the properties also overlap so get through the bag or give it away if you do not like it and try something different next time.
The best start to a gut healing journey is ensuring that we are using the highest quality ingredients possible, as often as possible.
This means buying organic or chemical free produce whenever we can, looking at what our animals are fed, questioning faux foods in the supermarkets, and reading ingredient labels whenever we buy packaged food.
Here are a few tips to help get you started:
⋅ Head to your local markets - here you will find an array of fresh produce, grown by local farmers in the best way they can. The fruit and veg will also be seasonal which is very important for our primitive selves as the right food at the right time of year will help determine our weight, hormone production and mood.
⋅ Find a good quality butcher- start asking where your meat came from, what it was fed and how it lived. Choose grass fed meat over organic as the cattle can still be fed organic grain.
⋅ Buy organic where possible - but keep in mind organic certifications are very expensive so if its grown locally and ethically this is still a great choice. The low chemical produce from the markets will likely be better quality, better tasting and longer lasting than the organic section at the supermarket.
⋅ Stop refrigerating everything - try and keep your produce out of the fridge where possible (except for leafy greens) as it will retain much better flavour as it ripens. In winter, I often leave curries and stews out overnight after dinner or preparing for the week as they develop in flavour immensely.
⋅ I have mentioned canned food in this book. There are some foods that do well in a can and others that do not. Firstly, always buy organic canned food. Ensure the can itself is BPA free and make sure there is nothing extra added. For example, chickpeas in a can are great and super convenient but they should only have chickpeas and water (maybe some salt), no sugar, no numbers, no extracts. When using canned beetroot, it nearly always has sugar in it so try to buy fresh.
⋅ Avoid fortified salts such as those with added iodine and never use salts that are pure white as they have likely been chlorinated. Use natural salts instead, such as Himalayan salt or Celtic sea salt.
Grab the new book, From Peasants Food To Superfoods for more on healthy food prep!