Eating right is about replacing processed foods with whole foods. Spring is a great time to begin incorporating the abundance of fresh foods into healthy meals and snacks.

What are processed foods? Basically, anything that has been modified to make it more convenient or last longer. If it comes in a box or is packaged with an expiration date, it’s been processed. The other watch-outs are added ingredients such as sugar, fats or sodium.

We all feel the need for convenience. The kids need to have breakfast before school, and it seems easier to quickly grab the cereal box, bread or a pre-made waffle. But research shows processed foods are linked to high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.

Here’s a 30-day challenge to help you eliminate processed foods:

  • Shop around the perimeter of the store—where fresh produce, dairy, meats and fish are located
  • Choose foods that have less than five ingredients
  • Prep your meals—bake chicken, chop fruit and veggies, boil whole grains such as quinoa and brown rice.

Make breakfast fast with some easy prep: Fold egg whites along with some spinach or other veggies into a muffin tin. Bake. Once eggs are set, refrigerate then enjoy a whole-food breakfast in the morning.

Need motivation to shop smart while you fill your cart? Join us at STR!VE on May 16 at noon for a Be Well event. Our registered dietician has some great tips for prep and planning. RSVP to save your seat and bring along a friend.