Today the Obama administration released new guidelines for Americans to eat by. Generally speaking, the guidelines aren’t that groundbreaking: Eat fruits and vegetables, don’t eat too much meat, cut the junk foods and sugar. Sounds easy, but applying these rules can be hard! Nobody wants to eat broccoli all day, and sometimes a hamburger is… well, important! How do we make a shift in our lifestyle that is not only comfortable, but actually enjoyable?
There are plenty of diets and other guidelines out there that can help you find a way to lose weight, reduce your chances of getting sick, and generally be a healthy person. But these systems are often too complicated, too expensive, or end up forcing you to go cold turkey on foods that aren’t actually that bad in moderation (like meats or grains!).
There’s an obvious solution to go with these obvious guidelines. It’s been with us all along. Maybe it’s even down the street from you.
Eat more local foods.
And we mean foods that are 100% local and not processed in a factory.
Not just whole fruits. Not just vegetables. You can make entire meals made with recipes that use only locally sourced ingredients.
What can be considered local?
The closer to home the better, but we think the general rule of a 100 mile radius is pretty decent for a lot of folks out there. Or maybe you could stick to foods raised in your home state.
Taking on the Sugar Problem in America
The big buzz-worthy point across all the headlines is that the new guidelines recommend cutting the amount of added sugar to 10% of total caloric intake.
Boy that sounds hard to figure out. Let’s do the eat local, no factories test:
Does sugar cane grow in your state?
No more granulated cane sugar for you. Maybe you can find some honey instead.
And don’t try and trip me up with sugar beets. Too much processing, requires a factory. Local food wins again!
Benefits of eating more local and factory-free foods
Here are some of the top reasons we’re into converting to eating more local foods:
You will be supporting your local community
How many thousands of dollars have you contributed to corporations by buying packaged foods in a huge store? Support your neighbors instead and see the difference it makes in your community.
You will save money in the long run
The cheapest local foods are going to be fruits and vegetables. Locally produced sugars like honey and maple syrup are high quality and thus more expensive, so you won’t be able to afford adding lots of unnecessary sugars to your foods anymore! And the same goes for that wonderful high quality meat, which you’ll learn to savor!
And it’s worth mentioning that eating healthier means you will be healthier which means you won’t have to pay as many medical bills throughout your life. Bam!
You’ll be able to eat higher quality foods
Don’t even get me started on how bland and unsatisfying the cheap meats they sell in grocery stores are compared to locally raised meat. If you don’t eat it every day, you can easily afford to eat like royalty when choosing local meat.
You’ll be foced to eat healthier foods
Go to a farmers’ market and buy one item from each vendor. Your reusable canvas bag is going to have a majority of healthy foods and President Obama will want to give you a high five.
How you can shift to more local foods
We recommend taking it easy at first. Giving up favorite foods can be discouraging. Start by trying to eat a 100% local meal every other day at first. Maybe a nice chicken dinner, or a steak salad for lunch. A veggie omelet for breakfast. Local snacks can be easy: apples, carrots, berries. I bet there’s a dairy farmer near you who sells some nifty yogurt, too!
Here are a few of our favorite recipes that use mostly or fully locally sourced ingredients: