I get it. Making every. single. meal from scratch is impossible. With full time jobs, parenting, and all our extra-curricular activities, it’s not easy to make every meal a homemade masterpiece.
But just because we aren’t able to make our own meals or snacks doesn’t mean we can’t eat green. The healthiest choices besides whole food made ourselves are those with the simplest ingredients.
When I say simple ingredients, I mean your bare minimum. I mean ingredients you can pronounce, ingredients you recognize as food. And not a shopping list of different ingredients either.
There’s a huge reason to stay away from highly processed foods. We talked about the environmental dangers of palm oil, but there is a little more to the story.
There are over 200 derivatives of palm oil. Two hundred! I don’t know about you, but my memory isn’t so great that I can recall two hundred different names of ingredients to be on the look-out. If you have a photographic or eidetic memory, then I’ll leave you with this list, and you can be on your merry way.
If you are like me, and won’t remember the 200 ingredients which contain palm oil, then it is safer to really eliminate ingredients we don’t know.
Here are some great examples of processed foods I’ve tried when I’ve been rushed, pressed for time, or was in a special circumstance where I couldn’t cook:
- Lara Bars- most of these bars have only 5 ingredients. There is no sugar, no palm oil, they are vegetarian and even considered Paleo-approved (if you roll that way). I’ve had these when I’ve travelled and they are so good, they are dangerously addictive.
- Epic bars- these are a more pure protein bar as they are made with real, natural meats. The only ingredient which has ever concerned me in Epic Bars is lactic acid, but doing my research, it shows Epic uses natural and sustainable sources for ALL their ingredients.
- Rx Bars- Again, a decent bar which is vegetarian (but not vegan), Paleo, and very simple ingredients.
Alvarado St. Bakery Seriously Sprouted Bread Whole Wheat- I know I have touted the evils of bread in the past. Not all bread is evil, I just can’t have it in the house too much or I go ballistic and eat it all. But when I do break down and get bread, which is rare, this is what I go for. The ingredients are pure. And sprouted bread just seems to taste great to me. I usually make my own, but when I absolutely cannot do it, then I go with this bread.
- Local farmers markets and bakeries. Support your local businesses by treating yourself to homemade items without the work. Make sure you talk with your baker to ensure they aren’t using ingredients which compromises your Eating Green practices.
When possible, always go for whole foods and make your own meals. When it isn’t feasible, go for the foods with the simplest ingredients, and keep true to Eating Green wherever life takes you.