the five step start.

If you are at all interested in eating healthier, living greener, being happier, or even just curious about why your friend Blaire turned vegetarian/vegan, then please keep reading. The only reason I started researching what I was eating was because I was curious about what my sister and her husband ate (they’re vegans). Curiosity is a GREAT start!

Here’s the Five Step Start.

1. READ The China Study. I know it’s long and a little like reading a medical journal, but the information in this book is something you need to know. If you are not a reader and you know that you just won’t read it then watch the documentary Forks over Knives for free. But I STRONGLY encourage you to read the book, too.

2. WATCH these three documentaries. Food Matters, Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead, and Food, Inc. There are many more you can watch and by all means, please do! These are just the three I recommend to get you started on your personal path to living healthier.

3. LOOK at the labels on your food. Know what you’re eating. It’s that simple. You’ll be surprised to find how unhealthy or healthy your food is just by reading the listed ingredients on the back of the label. Don’t assume it’s healthy because that’s what it claims on the front. As a general rule, if you can’t pronounce it or don’t know what it is, don’t put in into your body.

4. THINK about what you are putting in your shopping cart at the grocery store and never shop on an empty stomach. If you buy it, odds are you’re going to eat it. When you stop buying processed junk food you’ll be surprised on how much money you have left to spend on beautiful produce. Walk past the Cheez-its®, Fruit Roll-Ups®, and Oreos® and reach for the nectarines, pineapples, spinach, carrots, mangoes, and avocados.

5. EAT more vegetables and fruits. The problem with diets is they usually focus on the foods you can’t eat. As soon as your brain is told it can’t have something, suddenly you find yourself craving that item. Don’t worry about all the food you can’t eat and focus on adding in the right foods, vegetables and fruits. If you’re filling up with the right kind of foods, you’ll start to not want the wrong kind of foods. I promise you, it doesn’t happen overnight, but just give it time.

It may seem like a lot, but just take it one step at a time. Watch a health documentary with your family this week for family home evening. Ask your kids what they thought about it. Ask them how it made them feel about the food they were eating. My son, Preston, is five and watched Food Matters with me. It was a really great experience for both of us and now he shows new interest in the quality of his food.

Involving the whole family in the process is a great way to get everyone excited about living a healthier lifestyle. Give it a try and see where is takes you!