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What is making you hang on to that junk food that you know you don’t need to eat? Why is it still sitting in the cabinet? The hardest thing about dropping grain/wheat/processed food is just doing it. You have to start somewhere so why not start by just biting the bullet and emptying out that junk cabinet. When I am out to a special dinner or at someone else’s house who has graciously made our family a meal, I may partake in chips and salsa or that ridiculously good homemade chocolate cake. However, when it comes to our house – you won’t find anything processed.

I know myself, and if I have boxed cereal, brownies, chips, etc it in my house, I will eat them. No question about it. When it comes to my grocery list, there is no moderation. I buy 100% whole, real foods. Since we eat 95% of our meals at home, that’s a huge opportunity to fill my body with nutritious foods that it needs. So, here’s my step by step guide to ridding your body of junk food:

1. Throw out EVERYTHING that you know is obviously junk food. Soda, cookies, doritos, candy, sugary fruit juice, etc. Make no excuses or exceptions, get rid of it all.

2. Learn to read food labels. There was a time when I looked at a food label for the calorie/fat/carbohydrate/sugar content. Those things are secondary now. The first thing I look for is ingredients. Here’s how to navigate food labels:

  • Ingredients are listed in order of decreasing volume. If you see that sugar, high fructose corn syrup, vegetable oil (hydrogenated or not), soybean oil, canola oil, sodium or some other chemical you can’t pronounce is in the top 3 ingredients, you can probably assume it’s not a good food choice for you.
  • Check the serving size. Not that you should be drinking gatorade consistently, but just as an example, did you know that there are 2.5 – 4 servings in a 32 ounce bottle (depending on which flavor you choose). Most people just go ahead and drink the whole thing!
  • Check the amount of sugar, in a serving. Depending on the food item, you probably don’t want more than 5g. Natural sugars may be an exception, like dried fruit.
  • Basically, if there are more than 5 ingredients, it’s most likely junk food that belongs in the trash.

3. Commit to not bringing junk food into your house.

4. Be a non-paleo/primal food snob. For instance, if I’m going to eat a sweet dessert treat when I’m out or it’s a special holiday, it better be homemade and GOOD. I’m not going to waste my time on processed, sweets I don’t even like that much. Think before you eat, “is it worth how I’ll feel in an hour after eating this?”. No one is perfect ALL the time, but you can “cheat” smart and satisfyingly.

So today’s menu looked like this:

Breakfast – 3 scrambled eggs topped with cilantro and salsa, black coffee

Lunch – leftover butternut squash soup with ground beef and leftover sauteed red cabbage and carrots from Emma’s lunch

Dinner – Ground Italian Sausage (It is unbelievably amazing from our local farm), roasted brussel sprouts, roasted red potatoes (cut into 1-inch pieces) with homemade tomato/ketchup dipping sauce. I make homemade tomato based (ketchup) sauce, but it’s different every time. I’m working on a specific recipe – look for that coming soon!

2 minute hot chocolate made with whole raw milk for a little night time treat 😉

What is/was the hardest thing for you about giving up junk food? Or what worked/is working for you?