step-5

Step 5 : Small Steps to Big Change Wellness Series

Eat Single Ingredient foods.

Good morning lovely friends and welcome back.  

This step is just a week long challenge, as I imagine you have enough stuff to do at the moment!  However, once you see how good you feel after one week, I’m confident you will want to extend it and incorporate it into your lifestyle somehow.

Your Goal: Eat only foods with 2 ingredients or less. Combine these fab ingredients to make your meals and snacks.

This means making a pasta sauce from onion, garlic, tomatoes and basil. Not just opening a jar. Eeek.

For this to work you will have to start reading labels – which in itself should be a step (I’ll get right on this one!).

Once you realise how much “frankenfood’ there is out there it’s truly frightening. Companies stuff so much junk into our food these days that it’s hard to find anything in supermarkets that doesn’t contain a stabilizer or thickener of some sort.

Except nutrient dense foods of course. They are usually single ingredient foods. Rice. Quinoa. Carrots. Onions. Lemon. Basil.  You get the picture.

Start with one meal. Use single ingredient foods to create your meal. Nourish and support your body with real food.  Then work to build this up to all your meals for that week.

This will seem very labour intensive at the beginning. I hear you. Make every meal? How on earth will I find time for THAT? I have a job, partner, family, pet, parent, to look after. I have a life.  

The answer is that you will not find time. No-one FINDS time. You need to MAKE time.

Nourishing your body with real food, single ingredient food, is the highest form of self care there is. It’s time to take responsibility and feed yourself food that is designed to support you, to help your mood, sex life, fertility, concentration.

Whatever you are demanding of your body – real food will help it achieve and perform.  

After all, the companies who make the ‘food’ in our supermarkets care about profits, not about you.

YOU need to care about YOU.

So for one week you will try and build up your repertoire of meals using single ingredient foods. Here are some of the tips that helped me with this step.

Tips:

Bulk cook: I spend a couple of hours in the kitchen on Sunday and Wednesday nights. This way I can plan and prepare meals for a few days to keep in the fridge or freezer. It means I won’t be reaching for processed crap when I arrive home late after a parent meeting, with two starving kids. It also means I can save money by not buying cafeteria food at lunchtime.  I usually roast heaps of vegetables that can be mixed in with rice or quinoa for delicious, nutrient dense lunches.

One pot meals and the slow cooker (crockpot) are real lifesavers. Meals don’t have to be elaborate and involve 20 different steps  – who actually has the time to reduce any kind of liquid in their cooking?!  One pot stews are easy to prepare and can include cheaper cuts of meat if you include it.

Weekly Meal planners – Meal planners are my lifesaver.  If I want to ensure I am using single ingredients to create meals for the week, I need to have a list of what we are eating and what prep to do each evening. Sexy huh?!

I get that some people don’t like planning out what they eat in advance, but not having to think about what to cook is truly liberating and helps you to resist easy-reheat options full of weird ingredients.  

Download the weekly planner I use here – print it and use it to plan our your food/prep for the week ahead. Prep could be as simple as defrosting tomato sauce or chopping the veg for a stir fry the next evening. Using a planner also means you are only buying the food that you need, reducing waste and your expenses – which can only be a good thing!

All my love and best wishes for this week.

Erin xx

PS – Be sure to pop over to the new Earth to Erin Facebook page 

PPS. And remember to share your progress and success with #smallstepstobigchange on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

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