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Eat Real Food!
Written by Michele Vieux

‘What’s the best way to lose weight?’ can usually be answered in three simple words: Eat real food!

So what is considered “real food”? Meat, fish, vegetables, green leafies, fruit, nuts, and seeds. This is food, and this is what our bodies are designed to recognize as fuel and nutrients. Everything on this list can be eaten without being processed – even meat and fish! As long as it does not come from a sick animal, it does not need anything done to it before you consume it. In fact, the less that’s been done, the better! So, for example, a fresh tomato would be preferred to a canned one……  but that’s for a whole different blog post.

In today’s busy society and with the decline in most people’s free time, real food has been switched out for ‘convenient’ foods. These ‘convenient’ foods may be an easy time saver but they are not doing anything to help us shed unwanted pounds, not to mention the havoc they wreak on our bodies systems.

So what is NOT real food? Chicken pot-pies, Doritos, pastas, bread, Mc-Ribs – these are “food products.” Food and food products ARE NOT the same thing. They have some similar characteristics as food, because that’s what they’re based on, but they’re also jammed with additives, preservatives, and things that make them taste appealing.

The food industry has been inundated with so many ‘food’ products that should not be considered real food by people concerned with their nutrition. The product may be based off a real food item but with all the preservatives and additives used to create the food, it can now be used for your child’s science fair project. It may take some readjustment on your part to start identifying what a real food is and what it isn’t. A good rule of thumb would be to ask yourself : ‘Did this food come from the earth?’ or ‘Was this food raised on the earth?’

When trying to drop the extra pounds, try a kitchen purge so you don’t have tempting food products on hand to set you back.

  • Go through your kitchen pantry, fridge, and/or freezer and start identifying foods vs. food products.

  • Write down THREE food products you found.

  • Write down what you’re going to replace those items with. (Don’t worry about condiments for now.)

  • Throw the three food products identified in the waste bin.

Here is an example:

Food Product: Triscuits

Replacement Food Product: Sliced carrots

Food Product: Jalapeno Dip

Replacement Food Product: Homemade guacamole

Food Product: Nature Valley Granola Bars

Replacement Food Product: Homemade Granola Bars found here

The best way to identify if the food is a real food or a food product is to look at the ingredients. This should be a clue to your real food investigation. If the ingredients list has more than three ingredients and if you can’t pronounce more than half of the items, then it probably isn’t a real food. Try shopping the perimeter of the grocery store to get the most ‘real food’ options. You can peruse the fruit and vegetable section, the meats, seafood and egg sections without any of the preservative distractions that are generally in the aisles of the grocery store.

Eating for weight loss and performance becomes much less complicated once you begin identifying the differences between the real food and food product as your options become very simple and decisions become easier and easier to make. Please share some of your replacement foods and recipes in the comments section.]

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RECIPE: Chicken Pinwheels (substitute for Tortilla & Cold Cut Pinwheels) 

Ingredients (Makes 16-20 pinwheels)

2 large, boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/4 lb. prosciutto

1/4 lb. provolone (optional)

1 package fresh basil

2 cloves minced garlic

Salt & Pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Either butterfly the chicken breasts or pound them out so they are no more than 1/2 inch thick. Pile all the other ingredients in the middle and rap the sides around to make a log shaped roll. Seal the log with toothpicks or tie it with butcher twine so the cracks are sealed up. Place on a baking sheet and cook for 25-30 minutes until the chicken is firm. (Remember that the log will still feel soft because of the ingredients inside). Remove the toothpicks/twine while the log is still warm – they’ll come out easier that way. Let the log cool to room temperature before slicing into 1/2″ rounds. Serve as an appetizer or snack with your favorite marinara sauce for dipping.

Editor’s Note: Excerpts from this article were taken from an original work by Invictus Coach, George Economou used for the inaugural LGFG Challenge.

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On a related note this is one of my favorite facebook pages: https://www.facebook.com/JustEatingRealFood