In this week’s episode of The Whole Circle Podcast we talk about where to start to live additive-free.

We get asked a lot about how to start living additive-free because people can be overwhelmed at the mere thought of trying to change their lifestyle, especially when you have to think about it for not only yourself but your family as well.

We’ve covered many times in previous podcast episodes how to manage family, expectations, negative comments etc. when it comes to living additive-free, but we haven’t specifically covered EXACTLY how to start living additive-free.  So here goes…

What is your why for living additive-free?

For Jo, it was to help her daughter Eva who was going through all sorts of health and behavioural issues because of additives in food that she was eating.

For Tracey, after she had seen Jo go through the changes in her family because they were living additive-free, Tracey realised that there were also health concerns in her family that were linking back to food.

Finding your why is incredibly important.  Your why is what will sustain you through the process of shifting to living additive-free and will be your driving force to maintain it, even if people around you think it’s a load of rubbish.

Your why will also help you to know where to start in switching to additive-free.  For example, if skin issues are your why then looking at what products you are putting on your body or washing your clothes in may be your starting point.

Or maybe your children have behavioural issues and you want to clean up their diets as well as your diet to live a healthier lifestyle.

Look at what’s in your pantry and fridge

To take the overwhelm out of feeling you need to switch everything out or ditch everything all at once then try starting with one food group, ie. breakfast or dinner or snacks or packaged foods.

For example, let’s say you have Taco Tuesday every Tuesday and you cook your meat in a Mexican packet seasoning base.  Why not look at switching that packet mix to a cleaner version.  Try googling taco or Mexican seasoning additive-free and a whole bunch of recipes will come up (even ours, we have a Mexican spice mix on our website – just sayin’ 😉).

Just start swapping things out one item at a time.  If you change one item per week, then after 1 year you will have made 52 changes which is awesome!

Make sure you read ingredient listings on the back of packets

Don’t go by what it says on the front of the packet, the front is designed to grab your attention and draw you into buying it straight away regardless of what the ingredients listing is.

Turn the packet over and read the ingredient panel.  If you see ingredients that just don’t make sense to you or you can’t even pronounce the ingredients or you see numbers everywhere, then put it back on the shelf and look for another brand that has ingredients that you understand.

How do you know what to buy?

As stated above, look for ingredient panels that list real food ingredients or words you understand.  If you can’t find that then you will be able to make it yourself.

Truth bomb… to live completely additive-free you will have to cook or make everything from scratch using real ingredients.  It’s really not as hard as it sounds, and it’s so much cheaper too, we promise!

Go back to simple clean eating, like fruit, vegetables, real meat.  Swap the foods out with the real food.

So, if you regularly purchase packaged coated chicken or fish etc. then buy the actual real chicken and fish and coat it yourself in freshly made breadcrumbs.

Where to start for lunchboxes?

Leftovers are great in lunchboxes.  When you make a homemade meal, double or triple the recipe so that you have extra for lunchboxes.

Get a good thermos, heat it up and take it to work or school so it’s ready to go for lunch.

If you or your kids prefer sandwiches, then start with swapping out your spreads for better options.  Swap margarine for 100% butter, swap Vegemite (which is filled with MSG) to EveryMite (purchase >>> here), swap peanut butter spreads for a 100% natural peanut butter spread.  If getting jam just make sure the ingredients are sugar and fruit (FYI – making your own jam is super simple and we have plenty of recipes on our website) or have salad sandwiches.

But what if you have ham or processed meats on sandwiches every day? Processed meats are full of nitrates so just don’t eat them.  Yep, a big call, but you can totally do it.  You can get low-nitrate processed meats at some butchers, you’ll just need to ring around and find one.

If you prefer chicken then make your own shredded chicken (again we have a recipe on our website >>> here) or Skinnymixers has a recipe for Chicken Loaf on her website which you can get >>> here.

There are plenty of recipes out there for sandwich ideas or lunch ideas that you can batch cook and freeze so that you don’t have to cook them all the time, and then you can just grab and go.

Now that we’ve got sandwiches sorted, what about the treats like biscuits?  Again, check your ingredient panels and go for the ones that list real ingredients such as water, flour, sugar, milk, vanilla etc.  Get as close to that as possible.  Failing getting a packet of biscuits you are comfortable with, then again, make your own.  We have so many biscuit recipes on our website.

It honestly doesn’t have to be hard; it will only be as hard as you make it.

Where can you learn more?

You can head on over to our website because we have so much free content and if you join our email list you get a FREE shopping guide (get it >>> here), so you know what to look out for next time you head to the supermarket.

Website:  Additive-Free Lifestyle

We give away so much free content and downloadables in our emails too, so if you’re not on our email list then you may want to get on it and if you’re already on our email list then make sure you read the emails because you may be missing out on a heap of free stuff.

We have done a whole heap of additive-free themed podcast episodes so check all them out on your podcast app or via our website.

Learn it all in our e-course, Additive-Free Made Easy

If you want to delve into specific additives and preservatives so you know what to look out for and what to swap out, then head on over to Additive-Free Made Easy so you can register your interest for our next round which is coming very soon.  It’s a 4-week online course that you can do at your own pace and will set you on the right path to living an additive-free lifestyle!

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