When you first switch over to eating organic, it can be very overwhelming. I would first start out trying to buy all the same kinds of foods you bought before, just a healthier version. You can find a replacement for just about anything. Just check out the organic section sometime and I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Start replacing items little by little. And try new things each week. If your kids don’t like something, keep reintroducing those items and eventually they may come around. It is very important to read ingredients. You will want to make this a habit when grocery shopping. Don’t stress too much though when you’re first starting out. Just remember that you are trying to eat better. Better than you were before. And give yourself a pat on the back every time you replace something, even if it’s not perfect and still has some bad stuff. You are doing better and that’s great!
After you replace items with the organic versions, you can start thinking about the overall way your family is eating. Maybe you are eating too much meat/dairy, or too many sugary foods. Should you eliminate gluten or go grain-free? Are you incorporating enough fruit/veggies into your diet? What kinds of foods could you make from scratch?
Dairy: Think about what the best kind of milk would be for everyone in your house, especially if there are any allergies. There are many different kinds of milk out there. Almond milk, oat milk, hemp milk, rice milk, coconut milk, soy milk, just to name a few. If you drink cow’s milk, raw is best. I still have not tried this yet but as long as you know & trust where it’s coming from it should be just fine. I buy organic whole milk and put hemp milk in my smoothies and with my cereal. Whole milk really is best. You don’t want 2%, 1%, Fat-free, Skim milk. We actually need these healthy fats. Butter is good for us as long as it’s the right kind of butter. Cultured butter, grass-fed organic are best. There is good cholesterol and bad. Real butter has good cholesterol. It is really hard to find yogurt that doesn’t have a ton of sugar and other things added, even with organic. Trader Joe’s has plain yogurt you can buy and add what you want to sweeten it up. Maybe some maple syrup and fruit. And cheese is great, but raw organic is best. I have not yet tried raw cheese but I plan on it!
Meat: The right meats are healthy for us, in moderation. I don’t think we should have a big steak every night, even if it’s grass-fed organic. Grass-fed organic is best for beef, organic chicken or at least hormone-free all natural, pork without hormones or additives, as natural as possible. For seafood, you want wild caught if you can. We don’t eat meat every night but there are many nights we do eat it, just in smaller portions than before.
Grains: Quinoa is a healthy grain for sure. It is very bland though, so you will probably want to add herbs and seasonings. Brown rice and whole wheat noodles are good. There are many gluten-free options out there. Oats for oatmeal or in granola bars/cookies. Whole wheat flour or other flours like spelt flour, coconut flour, einkorn flour, and many others. I had a hard time finding a good bread for my daughter that didn’t have all the seeds so I make bread once/week. It’s so good when it’s fresh out of the oven! Other than the homemade bread, I buy Dave’s Killer Bread. It’s organic and full of good stuff. It’s a great store-bought option.
Fruit/Veggies: Organic is best. If you can buy local that is even better, or grow your own! The amount of fruit/veggies we need in a day is a lot more than we normally consume. You could do juicing or make smoothies to help.
Healthy Drinks: I drink coconut water periodically and regular water with a slice of lemon every day. Coffee is okay if you have a good organic coffee like Trader Joe’s fair trade organic coffee. There are some good organic teas at Trader Joe’s too that I just add honey. Juicing/Smoothies.
Here’s my post on us making The Big Switch to Organic Foods: http://organicfibromommies.com/2014/01/big-switch-organic-foods/.
Here’s my post on How I Got My Husband & Kids to Eat Organic: http://organicfibromommies.com/2014/02/how-got-husband-kids-eat-organic/.
After you switch out all your food/drinks, you can focus on switching out your soaps/cleaners, personal care products, maybe start a garden eventually, and whatever else you can do to live a natural lifestyle. Just start slow and make changes as you can. I think you will notice a huge difference in how you feel over time. You will not only be helping yourself but the environment as well! Let me know if you have any questions along the way. I am happy to help.