Was eating healthier one of your resolutions for 2017? Perhaps since making the resolution you’ve struggled with integrating a healthy eating habit into your daily routine. Many of us face the same struggle: how to eat clean, healthy food when easy, cheap food is so readily available.
Heather and Mark recently sat down with the co-owners of Green2Go, Anita Allison and Joulia Kallah. Green2Go is an organic, healthy “fast food” restaurant located in Brea. Anita and Joulia answered all of our questions about how to make clean, natural eating easy.
- Navigate Free-Range and Hormone-Free Meat
It can often feel overwhelming to be strolling down the aisle at the grocery market and try to decide which meat is healthiest to buy. “Hormone-Free,” “Free-Range” and “100% Organic”- what is the difference and which is actually healthy? Oh, and what about GMOs?
Anita and Joulia’s advice was to search for anything with an organic certification. According to the USDA website, anything labeled as “100 percent organic” has no added ingredients. This means no hormones, no antibiotics, and no GMOs. Organic is the easiest way to make sure the meat you are eating has not been injected with anything, including fat.
That’s right, producers can, at times, inject animals with extra fat right before the butchering process. Anita and Joulia recommend looking for grass-fed meat products with 5 to 10% fat content, which is the normal fat percentage of an animal. This ensures you are eating natural, non-fat-injected protein.
- You Are What You Eat
We have all heard this tried and true wisdom before because it rings so true. Think about the last time you looked at a nutrition label. There is a ton of information on those things: calories, grams of fat, grams of sugar, saturated fat, etc.
Make things easier by focusing on the ingredients list. Anita and Joulia reminded us to “start by reading the ingredients. If you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t be consuming it.”
How easy is that? By practicing the “you are what you eat” methodology, you are likely to eliminate preservatives added to most processed foods and choose clean, natural foods. Because who wants to be butylated hydroxyanisole when you can be a peach?
- Repurpose Produce Gone Bad
Perhaps one of the biggest deterrents of eating fresh foods is the cost, especially if you don’t eat the food timely. Nothing is more frustrating that going to refrigerator only to realize you can’t make dinner because your fresh produce has gone bad. There are plenty of ways to use food that is leftover or past its prime.
The first thing you can do is turn anything trimmed or scrapped into a veggie stock. Add water and herbs in with veggies scraps then simmer for a few hours. You will have a great stock base for soups and roasts.
Have greens that have gone bad? Throw any non-crispy greens into the food processor with some garlic and olive oil. They can add flavor and nutrients to any pesto mix. What about wrinkly tomatoes? Drizzle them with a bit of oil, salt & pepper and roast them in the oven. They will taste great on burgers or in pasta.
What to do with fruit that has gone bad? Any berries that are soft, but not yet moldy, can be cooked down into a tasty sauce. Add a little bit of water and honey to make for a great yoghurt or dessert topping. Softened bananas will make for great banana bread.
Find more tips and recipes on saving produce that has gone bad here.
- Reevaluate Your Relationship with Food
What does food mean to you? Is it a way to fuel your body or is it something else? In today’s culture it can be easy to see food as a way to cope with stress or something to overindulge in during a celebration. Rethinking what food means to you will go along with the second tip above, you are what you eat. Thinking of food as fuel helps your brain to connect clean, natural food with feeling good.
Ask yourself how you feel after eating a greasy meal. Do you feel energized and ready to tackle your next task? Often times processed, unhealthy foods leave us feeling like sitting on the couch all day. Slowly start replacing unhealthy foods with a healthy alternative and notice how your body starts to respond. You might start to see higher energy levels, clearer skin, and less fatigue.
Healthy eating can be challenging in today’s hectic world. Small decisions will add up over time to make your healthiest, happiest self. Even if you feel like you don’t have time today, companies like Green2Go can help make the healthy choice the easy choice.
Listen to the full green2Go podcast episode here.