Cutting all processed foods- even the 'healthy ones'
Food, food, food! Oh how we love it!
But in recent weeks I have started to strip back the food we are eating at home. Now when I say strip back, I don't mean cutting the variety of foods, if anything we are probably eating more variety than ever before. But I am stripping back from buying anything processed, at all. Sounds scary, I know, but it really hasn't been, it just requires a little more organisation.
Now this does go hand in hand with me being on holidays, so things will probably change when we get back into the crazy rhythm of everyday life. But for now, I've been loving getting back to basics.
While this is a health conscious decision I am also doing it as a way of cutting back on packaging from an environmental aspect. In the last 12 months in particular there has been a big movement in reducing plastic which often comes in the form of plastic wraps and packaging. I love this video that Zoe Deschanel put out all about plastics in our oceans- check it out here
So from a health, environmental and money perspective cutting back on processed goods just makes common sense.
So how do we actually action it? Well it will all mean different things for different people. For me it was looking at what I buy in packages and working out easy ways to either make my own or buy in bulk.
For example, each week I would purchase a 1L carton of soy milk and a 1L carton of almond milk. The soy was for my morning coffee and the almond milk was for everything else, pancakes, porridge, smoothies etc.
I no longer buy the soy milk and drink my coffee black in the morning (and more recently we have been making our own cold drip coffee...amazing!) and I have been making my own almond milk (consisting of just almonds and filtered water) every week. The almond milk takes me all of 5 minutes to make, is free from additives, preservatives, sugars and oil and it tastes amazing!
Bread, hummus, dips, seed crackers, muesli, veggie patties, lentil burgers and baked beans are a few of the other staples that we have ditched the pre-made packaged and are making all from scratch now. Meaning that we know exactly what we are putting into our bodies. And while all of these are generally healthy foods, they still have things in them that I wouldn't classify as overly healthy. Things like vegetable oils, stabiliser and fillers are often found in these sorts of foods and by making them myself, I know that we don't get any of the bad stuff and 100% of the good.
Toothpaste is another product which I have started making from scratch. For years we have used the welds salt toothpaste which we love. But I recently made some of our own from scratch using bicarb, coconut oil, salt and essential oils. I used the recipe from Natural Harry's 1st cookbook for mine and added extra salt.
So I urge you to have a look at what your household consumes on a weekly basis, because you can generally multiply it by a number between 12 and 52 to give a true indication of what waste your household creates. What on your supermarket shopping list can you get from a bulk shop, make yourself or reduce in your life? This isn't an all or nothing exercise either. Experiment with reducing certain things and making others from scratch. If you find that you are so time poor that none of these things are viable, then look at the quality of the products that you're buying, and look at the people you are buying them off. Supporting the local bakery who bake fresh bread that you buy weekly is just as beneficial as making your own bread and much more time effective. When you do do your shopping taking your own green bags and bringing your reusable coffee cup when purchasing your takeaway coffee all counts towards reducing packaging within the world.