What is Real Food?

As a Fort Collins Nutritionist, I just finished running a group program last week called “Get Real: 8 Weeks to Outrageous Energy, Confidence in the Kitchen, and a Real Food Lifestyle Plan That You Can Stick With.” Beside the group calls, forum discussions, and 1-on-1 calls with the group members (which were all a blast), I really enjoyed reading the group members evaluations of the program.

Despite all of their amazing progress and successes with incorporating healthy food into their busy lives (like losing 7 pounds without trying, going from a sugar addict to no longer craving it, tons more energy, less stress around meal times. . . you get the point), several of the group members mentioned that one of the most surprising parts of the program was our discussion about real food. Specifically, what real food is and what real food is not.

It seems obvious right? Well, it’s not. Our food environment has gotten so screwed up (yes, that is a technical term) that we’re incredibly confused about what real food is and what it is not.

Real food is healthy food. And, eating lots of real food and eliminating the processed food-like substances from your diet also known as junk “food” will help you radically increase your energy and feel better in your body.

Real food looks like this:









The photo shows lots of fresh vegetables and fruits and they are the basis of a healthy real food diet. Whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, and herbs and spices can all be part of a real food diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, and dairy can all be incorporated in small quantities to balance out a healthy diet full of real food nutrition.

Real food is high quality and as close to nature as possible. It is minimally processed and usually just one ingredient.

If you have questions about what “real food” is or would like some support incorporating it into your life, don’t hesitate to hit the “CONTACT” button and shoot me an e-mail. The definition of what real food is and what it is not will be explained in a lot more detail in my NEW BOOK due to hit Amazon.com and other online retailers in September 2012– it’s called “REAL FOOD, REAL SIMPLE: A PERSONALIZED PLAN FOR MORE ENERGY, LESS STRESS, AND HEALTHY MEALS IN MINUTES”.

Also, I’d love to hear your comments– does my definition of “real food” surprise you in any way?

Erin Harner

Erin Harner is an Integrative Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), author, and speaker based in Ithaca, NY. Erin melds functional medicine and culinary nutrition to help her clients uncover their unique diet and confidently cook healthy nourishing meals that meet the needs of their whole family. Learn about Erin's services and connect on Instagram.

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