- Replaced refined grains with whole. This is a good one and it might take some time if you and your family are used to eating white rice, bread, pasta, etc. We have been doing it for so long, no one even notices anymore. So, swap your white pasta with whole wheat, white rice with brown, and white bread with wheat. Now, brown rice definitely takes a little longer to cook than white rice and it is a little grainier but, is so much better for you. It hasn't gone through all of the processing that white rice has gone through. Also, when choosing wheat bread...look for 100% whole wheat. If the label says wheat flour or enriched wheat flour it probably means that it has white flour that has been enriched and is not as nutritious. So, look for the label to say Whole Wheat Flour. Here's a little label reading tip: Look for items with very few ingredients. If the list is a paragraph long; put it back. A long ingredient list means additives, preservatives and all kinds of unnatural things that you don't want. I also use wheat flour in most of my baking. I will often use half wheat and half white in baked goods. When I use white flour it is Unbleached. I also have some recipes for goodies that have all wheat flour in them and are really yummy. Yes, I will share. :)
- Replacing Refined Sugars with Natural Sugars. This is a tough one for alot of people including me. I will not say that we do not eat any refined sugar because that would not be true. But, I will say that our intake is very limited. At home, I use raw or turbinado sugar for everything. You can use it in place of white sugar in your recipes and you won't notice the difference. To identify white sugar, look for labels to say sugar, fructose, high fructose corn syrup. There are many more and you can do some internet research to find more. Some good sweeteners are Molasses, honey, turbinado, demerara, or raw sugar, pure maple syrup. They are all still sugar just in a more natural form and not refined. I stay away from artificial sweeteners or chemical sweeteners as I call them. The companies try to deceive you that they are just like sugar but, they are not.
I will stop here for now, I don't want to write a book. I will continue with this next week and share some ways to live healthy on a budget. I want to end by saying that our family is on a limited budget and we are able to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Now, we don't eat all organic foods, that remains a dream for now but, I watch sales very carefully and get organic when I can. I read labels very carefully and I buy very little boxed or processed convenience foods, and make my own. It is a little more work with a bounty of benefits. We also eat tons of fruit and veggies. Coming up in later posts I will share some recipes for regular convenience foods that you can make yourself. I hope that this was helpful to you.