Want to Cut Processed Food? Where to Start!

When it comes to figuring out how to cut processed food, the most important piece of advice I can give you is this: don’t overthink, just start. So today I’m sharing some quick and easy ways to do just that.

Want to cut processed food? Where to start! on 100 Days of Real Food

How to Cut Processed Food

  1. Clean out your pantry.
    If the processed stuff isn’t in your house, it will be harder to eat!
  2. Start meal planning.
    Check what you have on hand, choose recipes (both old and new), go grocery shopping, write up the menu for all to see (incorporating leftovers), get cooking, and remember to be flexible.
  3. Adopt a grocery routine.
    Having a routine will save you time. To help you stay on track, pick one day a week when you will meal plan and grocery shop.
  4. Prep cook – double up! And get a freezer.
    When you cook everything from scratch, leftovers are king! With extra freezer space, you can save items beyond dinner for a rainy day (such as muffins, bread, pancakes, soup, and more). So double your recipes and freeze the extra.
  5. Upgrade kitchen tools and small appliances.
    Having the right tools (and enough of them) can make all the difference when you have to spend a little more time in the kitchen. Here are my kitchen essentials.
  6. Delegate.
    Get your family members involved with meal planning, food shopping, cooking, dishes, and more. It can be nice quality time together and a great opportunity to teach your little ones important life skills.
  7. Convert picky eaters.
    It can take many months or even years to change the mind of a picky eater, but the moral of the story is to never give up. I never say, “Don’t put that on her plate because she doesn’t like it.” We just try over and over again until we get a win. Be patient, it will happen!
  8. Keep it fun!
    Trying new foods and recipes can be fun. Food has been bringing people together for centuries. So remember, it’s much more than just a delivery vehicle for nutrients.

When it comes to making changes, don’t get so overwhelmed you give up altogether. Just remember that any small steps in the right direction are better than none!

For more ways to cut out processed food – including meal plans, shopping lists, snapshots of how to buy real food, food prep guides, and 100 quick and easy recipes – check out my brand new cookbook 100 Days of Real Food: Fast & Fabulous that came out last week!

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8 thoughts on “Want to Cut Processed Food? Where to Start!”

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  1. Such great advice! I just got your Fast & Fabulous cookbook for Christmas and have already started cooking! Thank you for reminding us that real food is where it is at!

  2. I’ve been looking for a place to ask this question and this looks like a good place. My family preps–we have been storing food. Sadly, most of what you can store long-term is the highly processed junk. Now in case of emergency, I would be glad to have it because it’s better than my family starving, but as I started reading your book I went to look at my cabinets and all my food storage and just felt awful about it. There is quite a bit of money invested in it, I don’t really want to give it away or waste it, but now I feel bad about using it.

    So my question is, what would you recommend to someone that wants to have long-term food storage on hand, I prefer things that don’t need fridge/freezer, that are still healthy? And as for what we already have, I guess I’ll just try to start using them up & replacing them with better food. We’re on a very tight budget so I don’t feel right just getting rid of it…it took months to accumulate it as it was.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. Yeah, I’m sorry, we aren’t that familiar with how to stock food for that kind of long term storage. I have a bit on hand in the form of canned and dryed beans, rice and other grains, canned chicken, some soups, canned fruits, canned veggie and nut butters, but I’m certain you can find more complete information. I know a lot of preppers do a lot of canning and dehydrating, too. I found this site that might help: http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2016/03/01/real-food-storage-ideas-for-real-preppers/.

  3. I just wanted to share my family’s testimony, namely my 17 year old daughter. After going through a month or more of what we thought was a stomach bug, we ended up at the doctor and then a GI specialist with all tests coming back negative for any obvious problem. She was losing blood and it was severe enough that she couldn’t get through the day without the medicine they put her on. I decided a change in our family’s diet was in order. I’ve always cooked from scratch for the most part but as with most, little things just slip in and become our normal food. We cut all sugar (for a time), all processed food, and cut way back on carbs and dairy. We switched to whole wheat products and natural sweeteners. After a few days or eating this way, my daughter had to go off her medicine because her body was doing the job on its own that the medicine was helping it to do before. She has no symptoms, is no longer on her medicine and is regaining weight that she lost when she was so sick. I’ve always known food is powerful medicine but had not seen it so clearly before. We are still looking into what the original problem was or is, but I’m so thankful for you and this website for such helpful resources!

  4. Yes to all of this, Lisa!

    Planning ahead is so important. Just knowing what you’re going to make for dinner is much less stressful than standing in front of the fridge wondering what to make and having to wing it. Freezing ahead meals and snacks is helpful, too, for those crazy busy nights.

  5. This is a great list. A friend of mine swore that when she moved to Europe and quit eating as much processed food she lost her spare tire (she didn’t lose weight, but it redistributed).