First things first...
Where is your starting line?
What does your nutrition routine look like right now?
Before making any changes, it is important to understand where you are starting from.
There's a very good chance you haven't really thought about what you eat in a typical day.
Grab a piece of paper and answer the following:
How many times a day do you eat?
Of those times, how many are meals and how many are snacks?
What's in those meals and snacks?
An honest assessment of your current nutritional picture will help you prioritize potential changes and determine your starting point.
Let’s start with the low hanging fruit for an easy win. “If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t”. That quote is from Michael Pollan, a professor of science journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. His book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, delves into the realities of our industrialized food system and the importance of eating real food.
That quote is not only an easy rule to remember, but an excellent place to start for anyone looking to take a step in a healthier direction. Do you have fruits and vegetables in your answers? High five if you do!
What about the “it was made in a plant” processed foods? Many processed foods found a permanent place in our daily meals due to convenience. However, there is nothing convenient about the consequences of a diet with calorie-dense and nutrient-poor "food". Dr. Michael Greger, author of How Not to Die, defines a whole (or minimally processed) food as: “Nothing bad added, nothing good taken away”.
The goal is to replace the processed foods on your list with a better choice that will help you get closer to optimal wellness. Search your pantry for those items that have super long ingredient lists and words that are almost the length of the packaging. Do your best to avoid them in the future, you will find better options!