“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
That’s how Michael Pollan’s book, In Defense Of Food, An Eater’s Manifesto, starts out. The mandate to eat food almost seems silly, doesn’t it? After all, what else would we eat? Surprisingly, these days there are thousands of what he calls “foodlike substances” available for purchase and consumption.
These are things that our great-grandparents wouldn’t even recognize as food. In our quest to get dinner on the table quickly, we’ve turned more and more to ultra-processed foods.
It’s so convenient to just open a package, “prepare according to directions” and put it on a plate. But do we really know what’s in those packages?
How many times have you picked up an item in the supermarket and went to read the nutrition label only to realize this supposed food contained ingredients that you didn’t recognize, or maybe couldn’t even pronounce? Are these things really even food?
Just something to think about….
So how do we ensure we’re eating real food?
There are two easy ways to ensure what we’re eating is the real thing:
- Shop the perimeter of the store. That’s where the produce, meats, dairy, etc. – things our great-grandparents would recognize as food – are usually located. Of course, that doesn’t mean we have to completely avoid the middle aisles. There are plenty of things on those shelves (dried beans, whole grains, nuts, etc.) that support a healthy diet also.
- Prepare meals at home. When we cook our own meals, we can control what goes into them. That means we can avoid the “foodlike substances” we were talking about earlier.
Sometimes, though, it gets difficult to come up with new things to cook. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like eating the same things over and over again. I’m always on the lookout for new healthy recipes to try.
I love cookbooks and have about a bazillion of them, but sometimes I like to just get online and find something new and different. Just in case you’re like me in that regard, I thought I’d share some of my favorite places to find healthy recipes.
Places to find healthy recipes online:
The Mediterranean Dish, https://www.themediterraneandish.com. I can’t say enough good things about Suzy’s recipes. I haven’t tried one yet that I didn’t like. She also publishes a 5-day meal plan to make dinner time easier.
Oldways, https://oldwayspt.org/recipes. This is another one of my favorite places to find recipes. As I’ve mentioned before, I try to follow the Mediterranean Diet eating pattern, and I’m able to find lots of great ideas here.
Forks Over Knives, www.forksoverknives.com/recipes/. If you’re interested in eating a more plant-based diet, this is a great place to find recipes. They have lots of plant-based ones, whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or just need to get more plants on your plate.
…… And last, but certainly not least, who doesn’t love Pinterest? If you’re interested, I have plenty of healthy recipes saved on my Pinterest page, https://www.pinterest.com/reclaiminghopeblog/healthy-recipes. Even if I don’t use the recipes exactly as they are, I get some great ideas from them and can try my own experiments. :o)
We all know that cooking at home better supports our desire to eat healthfully. Anything we can do to make it easier (and more delicious!) to eat real food is a step forward in our wellness journey.
Where do you find inspiration for cooking healthy meals? If you have a favorite cookbook, or a favorite website for recipes, please share. Let’s all eat food!