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Easy Changes: Upgrade Familiar Foods

Polly Pitchford - Sunday, July 29, 2012

I was so excited to be all by myself in the health food store deli for the first time!  I had just started working there after being motivated to change my diet (and my career) because of a vegetarian cooking class I had recently taken.  I was so jazzed about cooking and eating healthy that I easily quit my post college waitressing job (aforementioned "career") and jumped at the chance to cook in a vegetarian deli.  

"Make anything you want to for the special tomorrow.  Be creative," said the deli manager the day before.  "Anything??" I asked, "Anything" she quickly replied and was out the door, anxious for a day off.  Hmmmm.  Let me just say here that I had all the enthusiasm but none of the experience.  But that didn't stop me.  Oh no! My wheels started turning and that night I had an extraordinary idea:  I know, everybody loves lasagna, right?  I'll make it even healthier by replacing the lasagna noodles with kombu seaweed!  That's right.  Big, green, tough, slimy kombu seaweed.  I figured they look just like noodles when they're rehydrated.  In fact, if you soak them long enough they could be used as a Slippy Slide!  

Well, I think I sold one slice.  I KNOW I lost one customer!

The reason I'm retelling this horrific tale is to remind you that even though you think you should change your habits overnight and be eating all these long lists of healthy foods starting tomorrow....relax.  Take one food in your daily diet, one that you're very familiar with, and upgrade the quality of that food for starters.  Once that is easy and comfortable in your daily diet, pick another food and upgrade that one.  One at a time lessens the overwhelm of having to change your whole diet.

Here are some example of upgrading familiar foods:

  • White bread  -  Whole wheat bread
  • Margarine  -  Extra virgin olive oil
  • Canned fruit  -  fresh fruit (best if in season)
  • Canned vegetables  -  fresh or frozen vegetables
  • Sodas  -  Sparkling water with a spritz of extract or splash of juice
  • Ground beef  -  Ground chicken, turkey or buffalo

Remember, the body responds immediately to good treatment.  Even small changes in our diet register in a big way on a cellular level.  We don't feel the effects right away but it's nice to know that your body appreciates the "upgrades" every bite you take!

In Health!


Polly

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