Ditch the Box (podcast)Sep 21st, 2012 | By Cecilia | Category: Featured Articles, podcast, the show
So much of the packaged food on grocery store shelves today is loaded with sodium, sugar, fat and ingredients that even some chemists might have trouble pronouncing.
It’s quick and easy, but it may not pack the nutritional punch you need to maintain good health.
Consultant and trainer, Kristi Willis, joins us on the show today. She curates the blog Ditch the Box. “It’s a blog that guides people as they transition from eating highly processed diets to a diet that incorporates more fresh foods.” She’s turned her corporate training, consulting and coaching experience to her passion for local, sustainable and organic food, and her abundant empathy for others’ struggles with learning how to achieve better health.
We’re defining processed food as food that has been cooked, milled, or otherwise manipulated, and made with artificial additives and preservatives. What those products offer in convenience , they usually lack in meaningful nutrition.
Truth be told, if price was the only criteria used when making a trip to the market, convenience foods would be the big winners most of the time. Yet, Kristi Willis says there are other facts to ponder when writing up your grocery list. “By preparing your own food, not only do you take control over what you are eating, you also take control over your overall health,” she told me. “When you eat processed food, not only are there ‘hidden’ ingredients, there are hidden costs, such as the doctor bills and medications that come from being unhealthy.”
When it comes to changing not just how we eat, but how we cook — which may necessitate learning a new set of skills — it can be intimidating. That’s why Kristi advocates taking small steps. For example, instead of having canned vegetables with your boil in a bag meal, pair it with a big, green salad filled with lots of fresh vegetables. You still get the comfort and flavor of something familiar as well as the health benefits of something fresh and alive.
Lest you think eating well means giving up all your processed favorites — it doesn’t. Some processed foods are better than others, and that’s where label reading comes in. “Store brands can surprise you, “she told me. “Oftentimes they are lower in things like sodium and sugar than their national counterparts, and taste just as good and sometimes even better.”
So, take baby steps and swap one fresh item each meal for a processed one, and before long, you’ll be eating outside the box. Ditch it. Ditch it good!