JERF: Just Eat Real Food
Written by Aggie Stern

JERF, Just Eat Real Foods. It is as simple or as complicated as you make it. I am a believer in simplifying and that will be the approach taken here.   

 Just Eat Real Foods. Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness coined the term and acronym JERF. What this means in this discussion is avoiding processed foods (including processed sugars) and focusing on shopping the perimeters of the grocery store. The desire is to have choices available when you open your refrigerator that keep you feeling your best. There are not “good” and “bad” foods when one PRIMARILY eats in a way to keep the engine going and keep inflammation down. “Primarily” is an important word here. Food is part of celebrations, cultures, movie nights, birthdays, etc. and restricting things so much that we give up some of our favorite foods is not what the goal is when living a healthy lifestyle. Moderation and balance are key.   

It is worth noting however, that there are times when specific food groups are removed from a diet (oftentimes dairy or wheat) and people notice a positive change in their overall feeling (usually digestion or inflammation). This is a benefit that can come with restricting food groups, but not what we are talking about here. 

Vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians, macro-counting or non-of-the-above can all benefit from Just Eating Real Foods. It is for everyone!

Where to start? Make a shopping list! Include lots of fruits and veggies (precut if that helps), grass-fed or hormone free meats and poultry and fresh wild caught  fish. Include full-fat grass-fed dairy products (less processing) and healthy unrefined oils such as coconut, avocado, and olive oil. Boom. You are ready to get started. If your great grandparents ate it, it’s probably golden.  

What if you have a bar for breakfast and that works for you? Keep it up! The objective is not about being perfect. Any positive changes throughout the day are steps forward and chances are there are some nutritious things in your bar! If it is a donut…maybe switch it out for a bar. Do however, notice the ingredients in the bar. If it is a long list, consider trying Grubbars Bars (Use the code: Invictus for 15% off your 1st order!), Perfect Bars or Rx Bars (just 4 ingredients). Convenience is a real thing and most of us do not have time to overcomplicate dietary changes as much as we would like to. The intention is to create a sustainable healthy lifestyle that works for YOU.  

Eat at home often. You will probably start liking the food you make more than restaurants. It’s easiest to avoid hidden dyes, pesticides, preservatives etc. when at home. Keep it simple by marinating enough for two meals and purchasing veggies that require little time to prepare. 

Pay attention to the produce you are buying. I have included two lists of produce: The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen. While shopping, try to make a habit of purchasing organic items off of those listed under “The Dirty Dozen.” These lists have been made available by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) since 2004. They rank the pesticide contamination of 46 popular fruits and vegetables AFTER they have been washed and prepared to be eaten.

The Dirty Dozen

Buy organic: Strawberries, Spinach, Pears, Nectarines, Kale, Tomatoes, Apples, Peaches, Grapes, Celery, Cherries, Potatoes  

The Clean Fifteen

Not as important to buy organic: Avocado, Cauliflower, Sweet Corn, Cantaloupes, Pineapple, Broccoli, Onion, Mushrooms, Papaya, Cabbage, Sweet Peas (frozen), Honeydew, Eggplant, Kiwi, Asparagus, Cabbage                           

To sum it up, the target here is to Just Eat Real Foods most of the time! When you don’t, it’s okay. That does not mean you need to “make up for it” the next day. Enjoy all of the whole, delicious, local foods we have available! 

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Zaro mal
Zaro mal
April 16, 2023 5:36 am

I thank you very much for this sharing that is similar to the one I also have on an article that you can find by visiting this link.Indeed, many people do not take seriously the importance of a healthy diet as well as the different negative impacts that can have food that has not been put in the right hygienic conditions. I hope that your contributions will change the mentality of some people and promote awareness.

Last edited 1 year ago by Zaro mal
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