Eating healthy is no easy task. Case in point: Megan Kimble, a food writer in Tucson, tried going without processed food twice before it stuck on the third go-around. Now, as Health reports via Time, she's written a book called Unprocessed about how she went a year "unprocessed" on a salary of just $16,780. "Start small," she says. "Try unprocessing one kind of food, see how it feels, and take it from there." Among her other tips:
- Always read the label: "If the ingredient list contains a word you don’t really know, the food is probably processed," she says. That often includes unexpected foods like mustard and salad dressing, which she notes are "easy—and cheaper!—to make at home."
- Eat foods with one ingredient, like fruit, honey, oats, and milk. No additives, emulsifiers, or preservatives there.
- Indulge healthier: "I personally have a raging sweet tooth," she admits, but instead of chocolate chip cookies, she'll have almond butter on a banana.
- Find trustworthy brands like one of Kimble's favorites, Food for Life, "which sells bread, tortillas, pasta, and cereal made with only whole, sprouted grains," she says.
Click for more of Kimble's advice, but meanwhile, what's the point of all this? In part it's to "keep my food dollars in my own community, where I hoped they might be visible, scalable, and accountable," she writes at Shape Magazine. "But the lesson to take from many ... studies is that whole food is better than fiddled-with food."