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Is Perfectionism Ruining Your Diet?

Are you a perfectionist when it comes to your health and the foods you eat?  You might say, “No way.  My diet is NOT perfect!”  Well, neither is mine.

That’s right.  I write about the importance of real food and my diet is not 100% real food.

 My point is this . . . When I first learned about which foods are good for me and which foods are not, I sat on that information, feeling helpless, for a couple of months because I felt that we didn’t have the budget or the time to eat a perfect real food diet.  I wanted to get it exactly right and make the transition all at once.
I was stuck in perfectionism concerning food and health.  I thought that if I couldn’t afford a meat share of local, grass-fed meats, then it was pointless to buy the local, grass-fed, raw milk that I could afford.  If I didn’t have the financial means to buy sprouted oats, then I might as well keep buying Cheerios.  If I couldn’t purchase soaked nut butters, then why even make sourdough bread on which we would spread conventional peanut butter?  It sounds so ridiculous to me now, and yet, I know people who are still stuck in this place when it comes to eating a real food diet.
I left perfectionism behind when I finally had a realization.  Maybe I couldn’t follow a perfect real food diet yet, but I could start my journey toward it.  I could simply add one new food or food preparation method each week or even each month if I felt overwhelmed.
So, that weekend I bought my first gallon of raw milk.  The next week I made my own sourdough bread starter using flour, water, air and patience.  The money I’ve saving by not buying bread and bread products (pancakes, tortillas, pizza crusts, grain-based snacks, etc) pays for the extra $4.00 per gallon of milk that I’m spending over the cost of conventional, pasteurized milk.
 That’s just one example.

How to Move Past Perfectionism and Toward Better Health

 Maybe you have the information you need to convince you that Traditional Foods, GAPS, or even Paleo or Primal is the way you should be eating.  Maybe you can’t afford top-quality food.  I suggest doing a grocery-budget overhaul to see what foods you can cut out and replace with something healthier.  One food at a time.  (Fact–whole, nourishing, properly-prepared foods will keep you full longer than their conventionally processed and denatured counterparts.)
Do you drink soda or juice?  Learn to make your own Kombucha.  Do you like oatmeal for breakfast?  Learn to properly prepare it.  Want a sandwich for lunch everyday?  Start making sourdough breads.
Even if you can only find one thing to change, do that.  Just go for it!  (My suggestion for a first step toward health is raw milk.   Two grande coffees per week is a gallon of raw milk where I live.)
Don’t be discouraged by the fact that you can’t afford to do it all right now or that some real, nourishing foods aren’t available in your area.
Don’t set yourself up for burnout by trying to make every bite of food you eat from scratch.
Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to overhaul your diet all at once.
Trade unhealthy foods for whole, nourishing foods, one at a time until you are where you want to be.

If you are barely hanging on financially it can be tough to afford better quality food.  I am not insensitive to that fact.  (Here are my tips for eating real food on a budget.) I only believe that taking one single step in the right direction is better than taking no steps at all. Decide today that you will push perfectionism out of your path by starting your journey toward better health one new, nourishing food at a time.

If you have already accomplished this, please post a comment and share your ideas for making healthy food affordable!

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