Living and Thriving Gluten Free

Healthy & Whole Food Eating

Categories: Diet Changes    

If you're looking to find a way to eat more whole food, but don't know where to start, today we'll share 10 things you can do that will move you forward on this goal.

Eating more whole food is trendy right now. Though in reality it's getting back to the way humans mostly ate in the 1940's and earlier. That's when processed food began to be marketed on a large scale. For many people, eating processed food is all they know.

Steak on a black cutting board with whole peppers
Image by: Freepik

These changes should have minimal impact on what you actually eat, they'll just be more whole food based instead of processed or fast food versions. These are starting points, and there's lot more you can do, but this is a great way to start and get used to the habit changes.

1 - Buy organic

Everything that you can get organic, buy organic. This reduces the chemical residues on food. At first it might seem everything is more expensive, but once you get used to it you'll find most things are close in price, especially whole foods, in season, and grown closer to home. Farmers markets are a great place to find more organic food. Storable and freezable items can also be bought in larger amounts when you find a good deal.

2 - Switch the oils you cook with

Processed seed oils are convenient and are common in modern kitchen. But they're not very healthy. They all break down into unhealthy substances when cooked (and already contain unhealthy substances created during the manufacturing process).

When doing hot food prep, using oils and fats that are heat stable will mean less harmful substances are created when you cook. Heat stable oils are animal fats and coconut oil. No, olive oil is not heat stable. It may have a high smoke point, and it may be very commonly used, but it breaks down when heated. It's fine to use in cold things, such as salad dressing.

Use butter for quick frying and baking.

Use unprocessed tallow or lard for hot frying, cooking, deep frying and some baking. This isn't the white block in the grocery store. You can find it non chemically made at high quality speicialty meat stores, or even at a local farmer, if they sell directly to the consumer. You can also make your own (link below).

Use non chemically processed coconut oil for frying, cooking, deep frying and baking.

Don't use seed oils for anything.

For cold uses, olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil work nicely. Some oils promoted as healthy, such as flax oil, are way too delicate and unstable, and go rancid extremely fast; so fast that you likely can only buy rancid oil. Rancid oil is not healthy and should always be avoided. Peanut oil is only slightly better so should be avoided.

Check out our recipe to make your own Homeade Lard.

And when that's done, make your own Homemade French Fries.

3 - Buy grass fed and grass finished beef

Buy organic, grass fed, pastured, grass finished beef that has not been fed corn. You do have to look for all those things on a label, as there are many sellers who only do it partially. This is still a specialty product, but it's getting more and more popular all the time.

This beef tastes a bit different since the diet is very different than corn fed beef, but the types / ratios of the fat in the meat are much better from a health stand point.

If you can get a freezer and buy a year's worth of beef all at one time, you will pay far, far less for the best beef than you would for regular at the supermarket.

If you have some good quality beef and want to use it, try our Herb and Garlic Butter Roast Beef.

4 - Make your own salad dressing

Store bought condiments and sauces are made with poor quality oils and a lot of artificial food additives. Making your own salad dressings and condiments yourself allows you to use the best oils, the freshest dairy, the best herbs and spices, and no additives or artificial ingredients. With a bit of practice you can make most sauces quickly and they all turn out cheaper when you make them yourself, even when using the highest quality ingredients.

For those few things that you simply cannot make, hunt for brands with no additives or low quality ingredients. They can be hard to find, but once you find them, you'll know where to get them again.

Here's a delicious Homemade Ranch Dressing and here's several other homemade Salad Dressings you can make - you're bound to find one you'll love.

5 - Make your own spice mixes

Premade spice mixes are a very expensive way to buy spices. They are often 5 to 10 times the price of the single ingredients. This is one of the easiest changes to make. You can usually make either just what you need for a single use, or just enough for a short time. That way you're always using as fresh as possible.

Here's a nice collection of Homemade Spice Mixes to get you started on making your own blends.

6 - Replace store bought cookies with homemade ones

Even though cookies aren't very healthy, making homemade ones are way better from a whole food perspective. You also avoid all the artificial additives.

Fresh cookies are 100 times better than any store bought ones!! Just don't eat too many :)

Here's a delicious recipe for Strawberry Cheesecake Bites and there's a few more here in the Homemade Cookies section that can get you started making your own.

7 - Make your own soup and stock

Store bought packaged broth and soup stock are extremely expensive. Once you know how cheap it is to make you'll be totally ticked off at how you've been gouged. You have no idea of the quality of the ingredients that are used in the store bought kind. Many are made with only the waste materials from meat processing. They also usually contain artificial flavorings and other ingredients that won't make you healthy.

There are also a lot of powdered supplements for gelatin and collagen that are supposed to give the same benefits as bone broth. Powdered food is not food, though. Again, there's no way of know what it was made of, and what is lost in the process of making bland powder.

Making your own soup stock is easy. The first couple times you make it might take a bit of time, but once you get a hang of it you'll be able to make it as you prepare your other meals. It's also something you can make in very large batches if you have a large freezer. I've been known to make 3 gallons at a time.

When you make your own stock, it becomes easy to make soup, and you can make it and have it some or all days of the week. You can also mix it up and have different kinds - beef, chicken, pork, fish, shellfish, etc. Instead of buying expensive powdered supplements, have a little bowl of soup with dinner regularly.

Here's some Homemade Soup Broth / Stock recipes that make a fantastic base for homemade soup.

8 - Make your own grated cheese, salad greens, coleslaw, and cut up fruit and veggies

It's common to find precut lettuce, cabbage, veggies, fruit and cheese. This is a very expensive way of buying these items.

Cheese won't stay loose unless additives are added. When you grate your own, you don't need those extra chemicals.

Most fruits and veggies will turn brown or wilt once they are cut. To get them to stay nice in the bag most of them need to be treated with additives. They also spoil much quicker once they're cut. Cut your own as you need them. They'll be fresher, have less chemicals and are way cheaper.

9 - Make your own desserts

Like cookies, dessert isn't always very healthy. But homemade desserts can be made of much higher quality ingredients, way less chemicals, be much cheaper, and taste much, much better.

Here's a nice selection of Homemade Desserts, including Apple Crisp that should satisfy your sweet tooth - even if they're not healthy they sure are delicious and you'll be able to make them from whole food ingredients!

10 - Make your own sauces (hot and cold)

Making sauces from scratch with fresh ingredients is much cheaper and can be made with much higher quality ingredients, and without additives. Once you find a few favorites, they can be made over and over again.

Here's 2 recipes that include the sauce for meatballs, both made from scratch, that are really good - Creamy Mushroom Meatballs and Meatballs with Tomato Sauce.

Here's 2 sweet sauce recipes, that can be used on cheesecake, plain Greek yogurt or even as a replacement for jam - Raspberry Sauce and Mango Sauce.

I hope you enjoy finding out how much better tasting whole food can be. Some things take a bit more time, but many are just a change in habit. Let us know in the comments below how things go on your journey to whole food!

Cook, eat and enjoy!


FREE Guide
10 Steps to Healthy Gluten Free Eating
GF 10 Steps Guide
The 10 Step Guide is packed full of tips, tricks, recipes and regular Member only tips to get you started on the road to living healthy without gluten.
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