Longing to make peace with food? Good quality food can do that for you!
Food is so wonderful! We need it, but when it tastes so good and our bodies digest it well, it’s like heaven. You can eat and feel great at the same time!
Ok, maybe this is a little dramatic, but I love food. It makes me sad when you take a bite of cake and your blood sugar soars making you jittery or giving you a headache. What about eating pizza and then feeling super lethargic or your skin break out?
I love all foods and I have been on a mission to figure out how I can enjoy them all and not feel like trash afterwards. Eating good quality food is one of the keys to this puzzle, but what is good quality food?
There are so many labels on what looks like the same kind of food? Is everything you see in the store good quality food for you? Is organic and many of the other labels just a way to waste money?
Here’s a quick peak at what good quality food is and how you can buy food that tastes great and likes you, too!
The Three Tiers of Food Quality
Conventional food is what you find in most grocery stores. This is the mass-produced food products that are full of additives and preservatives. These foods are far removed from their natural state.
The quality of conventional food is very low. This is not the good stuff.
Sadly, you find this kind of food everywhere. It is terrible how accessible it is.
Let’s think about organic foods as a step up from conventional. The organic label means that the company or producer of this certain food follows certain regulations that prohibit them to use pesticides or other harmful farming practices in growing this item.
This does not mean that these foods are completely free from pesticides. There is a percentage of how much the farmers are allowed to use depending on the food category, but it is still better because it is more natural. It has less contact with harmful substances that you do not want to ingest.
Almost every grocery store has a little section where they sell organic food items. Usually, it’s not a very large selection, but it is nice to at least have some organic things available.
This is a farming practice that allows food to grow naturally. Many times products from regenerative farms are organic. The farms do not have the official organic certification to call them organic.
Buying from regenerative farms means purchasing food from local farms or growing it yourself.
It is much harder to find food products like meats and vegetables from regenerative farms simply because you may not have access to them where you live.
This is the highest level as far as the quality of food goes.
Don’t get discouraged if you live in a big city or a place where you can’t buy from local farms. Remember Pro Metabolic eating is based on principles and not rules. These principles are ideas to think about and apply to your unique individual situation.
This is food freedom not another one of those restrictive diets.
Now that we have talked about the three tiers, here are some options of the different categories of foods like meat and dairy.
Local meat from farms that have high standards is the best option. You want grass-fed grass-finished beef, and pasture raised chicken, if possible.
I have not researched into pork and other meats. They are not bad; we just don’t have access to good quality pork where I live. Therefore I have postponed researching and looking into it. No food is bad. You just need to get that food in the best quality form as possible so that you don’t struggle with digesting and processing chemicals that we were not made to ingest.
If you were going to buy from local farms, make sure you check out the farms themselves to make sure that you are comfortable buying food from them. For example, ask the farmers questions and just use your common sense by looking over how the animals are taken care of and what they are fed.
If local meat is out of your budget or out of your reach, don’t despair. You may not know it but your grocery store might carry decent-quality meat already.
- Beef – Many stores including Walmart and Aldi carry organic grass-fed beef. This a great option if you are limited to buying meat from the grocery store.
- Chicken- I used to recommend organic chicken. While it is a better option than conventional chicken, it still not very good for you. They are fed feed that is not good quality, and therefore the oils are much harder for you to digest. If you can find pasture raised chicken, that is a good option.
The highest quality is raw dairy products from local farms. If you can’t do this here is your next best option.
Raw milk sold at Whole Foods stores.
Organic milk that is pasteurized not homogenized – Kolona Super Natural is a good brand.
Organic Vitamin D milk (not the omega-3 kind)
A2 milk- This is processed milk and closer to conventional, but because it is A2 protein milk, it is easier to digest. This is a more budget-friendly option to start with.
If you cannot get raw milk cheese either locally or in stores, look for aged cheese and cheese that has limited ingredients like milk, cheese culture, salt, and microbial enzymes.
Take some time to explore the cheese section in your grocery store. You might find that they carry parmesan regganio. This is real parmesan and if it is sold in wedges with the rind, then it is actually raw cheese even though it is not labeled as such.
Raw butter or grass-fed butter (like Kerrigold or Irish butter) are the best high-fat foods with coconut oil coming in second.
Fruits, Vegetables, and Root vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc.)
If buying from local farms or growing your own is not plausible, the next best options for fruits, vegetables, and roots are ones labeled organic.
It can be hard to find what you want and need in the organic section. Don’t forget to check for organic frozen fruits and veggies or try this.
Look up the EWG clean fifteen dirty dozen. It is a list of fruits and vegetables ranging from clean fifteen to dirty dozen. The clean fifteen means that it is relatively safe to buy these items because they are less affected by pesticides. The opposite is true for the dirty dozen.
Whatever is in the dirty dozen are the ones that come in contact with the most pesticide. These are the ones that you want to prioritize buying any organic section. Everything in between is up to your discretion.
An easy way to remember the principle of this list is that if the product has thin edible skin (For example, pears) then you want it to be organic. If you eat the skin, buy organic.
Also, buying organic produce pretty much guarantees that you will be eating what’s in season. It’s a win win!
Highly processed foods especially desserts have so much sugar and spike your blood sugar levels like crazy. Try to avoid these.
Choose simple sugars like maple syrup, honey, and raw cane sugar. Make sure they are the best quality that you can afford.
A good maple syrup option is organic without any additives.
Raw local Honey is your best option, and sometimes local grocery stores have it in stock. Check health food stores if not. Many times if you do the research, you can find a local beekeeper to buy from.
Flour – Fresh ground flour from organic wheat berries are the best option. Here is the grain mill I just purchased and you can find organic berries on amazon or Azure Standard which is like a co-op.
The next best option and what I like to have on hand is the Arrowhead Organic flour at Walmart. It is unenriched and unbleached which is what you want to look for in flour.
You will also want to ferment the dough or make what is called sourdough for easier digestion. Sourdough is versatile, too. You can make bread, desserts, tortillas, pretty much anything your heart desires with it. Isn’t that fantastic?
Other grains like oats or rice – Organic is going to be your best option and for easier digestion, try soaking and rinsing them before using them especially the rice.
Here are a few final tips might help you on your journey toward wellness.
- Raw vegetables are harder to digest. Try to cook them thoroughly before eating them.
- Saturated fats are your friends because they are bioavailable.
- Buy seasonal produce. This means that it will be the freshest and the best for you.
- Organ meats (like beef liver pills) are natural vitamin supplements.
- For desserts, I try to follow the principle of “You can have whatever you want as long as you make it yourself with good quality ingredients.”
- I also like to follow the 80/20 principle of eating well 80% of the time and not worrying about the 20% when I don’t have control over what I am eating (like family get togethers) or when I choose to eat out.
Did you find this helpful? If you have any questions, you can email me or drop a comment below.
If you were inspired or encouraged in any way towards food freedom, please, PIN IT! so that others can be encouraged, too!