How to eat more real food

or ‘how every day can be Food Revolution Day’

Food Revolution Day - Stand up for real food

In May, as Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Ambassadors, Galya and I hosted several Food Revolution Day events in Orange County. They were a lot of fun, but the best part was introducing kids and their families to new fruits and vegetables, simple, healthy cooking… and ladybugs.

Food Revolution Day Ladybug Release

During the events, and leading up to them, we handed out a small brochure, called “How to Eat More Real Food.” It was pretty popular, and successful because of it’s simplicity. It wasn’t preachy or complicated, but contained simple tips that should lead to a healthier body.

 

PDF brochure from our 2012 Food Revolution Day events

How to eat more real food

If you’d like to download the PDF, it’s right

here for your reading or printing pleasure,

but you’ll find the content below:

 

Make every day Food Revolution Day!

Breakfast

Rethink breakfast. A few times per week have a breakfast that doesn’t come in a box. Try scrambled eggs, some bacon and a cup of fruit. Take out the blender and prepare a delicious smoothie with yogurt and banana.

Lunch

Pack three colors for lunch. Give your lunch box a makeover; choose three vegetables, such as carrots, snap peas and yellow bell peppers, to give your lunch a rainbow twist. Different colors mean different antioxidants.

Get seasonal

Get seasonal. Watch for what fruits and veggies are in season, and focus on using more of them. It’s strawberry season now, and soon it will be peach season, followed by squash, then grapes and then citrus. Farmer’s markets are a great way to know what’s at its peak.

Stay local

Be a locavore. Eat produce, meats and dairy produced close to the place where you live. Visit farmer’s markets, learn about CSAs, and get involved in supporting your local farmers. South Coast Farms out of San Juan Capistrano has an every day farm stand and a CSA. The Irvine Farmer’s Market is every Saturday from 8 to noon. Explore and enjoy!

Stay home

Prepare more home cooked meals. Plan to use your slow cooker at least 2 times this week. Slow cooked meats and stews are delicious and save a ton of money. Pair with some sweet potatoes, yucca or basmati rice, toss a colorful salad and you have a meal everyone will love. What’s for dessert? Fruit.

Go plain

Go plain and dress it yourself. Think of items that you normally buy flavored: yogurts, cottage cheese, milk, fancy coffee drinks and shakes. Replace them with a plain version and, if necessary, add your own extras. Add honey to yogurt, fresh cut pineapple to cottage cheese, or a real banana in your shake.

Sweets

When you crave sweets, reach for fruit. Bananas, apples and peaches are part of nature’s fast food chain. Instead of hitting your local coffee shop, stop by the grocery store and grab a piece of organic fruit. You can easily overeat 10 cookies, but just try 10 bananas 😉

 

Food Revolution Day Table

Real Food in the OC (and your own neighborhood)

Orange County has a plenty of options for real, whole foods right in our neighborhood, and I’m sure your area does, too. Remember that ALL stores have processed foods, so look out! Yes, even farmer’s markets have junk food. Just because it’s labeled “natural,” doesn’t make it healthy, whole, or a real food.

Farmer’s Markets

Irvine’s Saturday morning Farmer’s Market is one of the best in OC, with a huge variety of fruits and vegetables, plus grass fed meats, artisan cheeses, olives, nuts, and more!

Trader Joe’s

Fresh produce, grab and go foods with real food ingredients and minimal processing.

Whole Foods, Mother’s Market, Sprouts

Specialty food stores with a large variety of natural foods; just beware of the large variety of “healthy” boxed foods (Hint. They aren’t so healthy.)

Ethnic Markets & Supermarkets

Today’s markets have an increasing variety of organic and whole foods, but you have to be careful and read the labels. Better yet, choose foods that don’t come with labels; real, whole foods.

 

That’s it?

Yep.

Short, sweet, simple, and to the point.

Real food doesn’t have to be complicated, and it’s not an all or nothing thing.

Reread the tips above, and see how you can add real foods to one or more of your meals, today.