Are you overwhelmed by the number of so called “clean eating” information on the internet, in books, and on tv shows? Hundreds of diets, habits, strategies, tips, hacks… What is the right way? What is actually true? I know I was overwhelmed for a very long time.
Well, I think it’s actually way more simple than we think. The answer is nature. The answer to flourishing health is simply, nature. Food that’s found organically in nature is pure and rhythmic and these are two things that a lot of us seem to be missing. We are actually going the complete opposite way.
Be a part of our mission! Here at Purely Flourish, it’s my goal to encourage people to flow with the rhythm and pure design of nature, the way God created it for our own good, and I believe that if we align our lifestyles with the rhythms of nature, our health and lives will flourish. Learn more.
Thousands of years ago — even a few hundred years ago, people were living more in sync with nature because that’s all they knew. This was before electricity, technology, grocery food chains, refrigeration, and different types of convenience. Not that these modern luxuries are bad, but that they are used very often and cause us to stray further from nature and the rhythms that flow best with human beings.
So how are some ways that we can get back to simplicity with food and benefit from flowing with nature?
The goal is to look back at our ancestors and try to incorporate some of the ways they used to live in our own lives. This is the truest way to simplify healthy living. It takes the pressure off of “which diet should I follow?” or “how much should I exercise?” and helps us see healthy living with new eyes; a new perspective, which is to flow with nature.
EAT PURE FOOD IN ITS WHOLE FORM
Food that is found in nature is simple food. Pure food is the simplicity of it. Forget about the grocery store for a minute and picture in your mind a beautiful farm. What will you find there? Lot’s of colorful fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs/spices, and animal products. Inside the farm store, you might find some cold-pressed unrefined virgin oils, nut butter, and homemade products with real and minimal ingredients.
So when I am grocery shopping, I like to focus on organic whole foods. If something comes in a package, I never trust the marketing on the front of the package. I always turn it around and read the ingredients. Not the nutrition facts, but the actual list of ingredients. The product should only contain a few ingredients, and you should be able to pronounce and understand what the ingredients are. It is extremely important to purchase organic ingredients. You can learn more about why, here.
Stay away from the antonyms of simple. *hint* complicated ingredients. Toxic refined oils such as canola and vegetable oils, flavor enhancer neurotoxins like MSG, damaging preservatives, artificial colors, flavors, sugars, the list goes on. Focus on pure, simple food. 🙂 Once you get the hang of it, grocery shopping is so much more simple!
EAT SEASONALLY AND LOCALLY
This is probably the BEST advice in the article when it comes to simplifying nutrition. When God created the earth, he made it simple for us. Nature has rhythms. Seasons are rhythm. Each season brings us different food. Here in the southern US, wintertime is abundant in dark leafy greens and root vegetables. Spring and summertime are abundant in antioxidant-rich fruit and hydrating vegetables. By eating seasonally and locally, we are dramatically reducing the number of complications that come with decision making in the grocery store, recipe creating, etc. This doesn’t mean that you have to eat 100% local and seasonal. It’s just a foundation. I aim to eat roughly 80% seasonally. It makes things so simple.
Consider visiting your local farmers market each week. Some local farms even have CSA farm boxes filled with seasonal food. This is called community supported agriculture. You can pay ahead of time and get a box of awesome food each week. Most of the groceries are already picked for you! I LOVE our local CSA’s!
DON’T FEEL PRESSURED TO MAKE RECIPES
With millions of recipes across the internet, Pinterest boards full to the brim, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the number of choices and also the number of ingredients. Recipes are great, but new recipes can be designated for special occasions or once/twice per week when we have more time. Humans seem to complicate everything, don’t we? We can simply throw some veggies and protein onto a sheet pan with some avocado oil and a few herbs and spices to bake. It can actually be that simple! And delicious!
LEARN STAPLE MEALS
When I find meals or recipes that I love, I stick with them as a foundation and switch up the ingredients a bit if needed. I like to always have staples on hand to create any of the following: smoothies, Ezekiel wraps, salads, stir-frys, fritattas, and nourish bowls. For example, we love stir-frys for dinner. They are relatively fast, simple, and tasty. Depending on the season and what we have in the fridge, we will just throw all kinds of veggies in a skillet with some kind of protein and a special stir-fry sauce.
KEEP SNACKS SIMPLE
Snacks don’t have to be complicated either. It’s so important to stay away from the processed and packaged complicated junk and stick to simple whole food snacks mostly made at home. It doesn’t always have to be some sort of homemade protein balls or granola; it can simply be a piece of seasonal fruit with some nut butter, some veggies with hummus, some berries with dark chocolate, or even some guacamole with some clean sweet potato chips. P.S. these sweet potato chips only have three ingredients: sweet potatoes, coconut oil, and sea salt. Win!
CONSIDER THEMED DINNER NIGHTS
Themed dinner nights can take the stress off when meal planning and grocery shopping. It simplifies the process because it becomes a rhythm and requires less decision making. Consider having a taco night, a soup and salad night, a nourish bowl night, a stir-fry night, etc.
PLAN DISHES THAT SHARE COMMON INGREDIENTS
By choosing go-to meals that share common ingredients, I save SO much money, space, and mental clarity because I am able to make the most amount of dishes with the fewest amount of ingredients.
LEARN MORE ABOUT SIMPLIFYING HEALTH AND WELLNESS
If you want to learn more about simplifying wellness, there are some great points in this article: 13 Ancient Secrets to a Healthy Lifestyle.
How do you like to simplify in the kitchen? Let me know in the comments!