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When it comes to taking the first step in a major diet and lifestyle overhaul it can often be a daunting task. We throw it in the “too hard basket” and the age old “I’ll start next moth” is a sentence that circulates our thoughts way too often. For many of us we just need to take the plunge, but where do you start? Where do you go? What do you buy? It’s Okay, don’t fret, I’m here to help and give you some tips that will hopefully make the first steps of your wellness journey a little less daunting.

First things first! It’s time for a complete pantry overhaul. The key to eating a balanced healthy diet is all in the organisation. If you are organised, have the fridge and pantry always stocked with healthy fresh produce and nourishing staples, you will always have something to eat on hand or to quickly throw together without having to resort to those stale muesli bars or packet food that is doing you so much more harm than good. I’ve outlined my top tips below to get you started. It may be a little costly at the start to get organised but spending money on your health only saves you money on long term medical and health expenses. What you would rather? Invest in your health, because you’re worth it!

Where to start
– Clear out your fridge, freezer and pantry of any processed, refined foods. Pretty much anything that is in a package needs to go. Just think, if it doesn’t come from the ground, a tree, the land or the sea – bin it!
– There are exceptions to this rule when you are buying real, whole foods like your pantry staples; almond meal, quinoa etc. I will let you know what you can reintroduce further down in this post.

– Condiments; To start with throw anything out that has a sugar content of more than 5G per 100ML or more. Excess sugar is in everything, read your labels and recognise sugar filled products. Especially look out for “low fat” and “skinny” products, these are the worst culprits.

– Get organised; Stock up on air tight jars and containers to clearly store your goods in. I keep all my super foods, powders, alternate flours, grains, nuts, spices, oats etc in good quality air tight jars. This enables me to clearly see when i’m running low on products, it looks pretty so it makes me want to keep being organised and of course it keeps your products fresher for longer. Just remember to seal them back up each time!

Where to shop?
– Shoping locally at independently own green grocers, farmers markets and butchers is your best port of call. Not only are you helping your community and local economy, the goods are fresher and last longer as they haven’t been sitting in distribution centres waiting to be shipped to the giant supermarket chain stores. Think ‘Farm to Table’ for best quality as well as hormone and preservative free.

– Health food stores are the best places to stock up on your pantry staples, do your research though, look for places that sell bulk whole foods or have seriously competitive rates. If you live in Melbourne check out Terra Madre, they have the best prices and quality stock!

– I understanding everyone is on a budget and it may not be economical to shop organic, local or at health food stores so try your local supermarket. To avoid marketing gimmicks and advertising giants sucking you into buying the latest “fat free” wonder bread; shop the perimeters This is where you will find all your fresh produce, meats, eggs etc.

What to buy?
Fresh produce and lots of it! Organic, where possible and aim for more vegetables than fruit.

Here is a list of my staples to get you started. If you are starting from scratch, slowly introduce things a week at a time to make the task a little less daunting. Feel free to print out the above list, stick it on your fridge and cross off the foods as you go to help you on your path to your lifestyle overhaul.

 

    Pantry Staples

    Almond Meal

    Gluten Free Oats

    Quinoa

    Coconut Flour

    Buckwheat Flour

    Desiccated Coconut

    Raw Cashews

    Raw Almonds

    Macadamia Nuts

    Sunflower Seeds

    Pumpkin Seeds

    Peanut Butter

    Almond Butter

    Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    Tahini

    Aple Cider Vinegar

    Protein Powder

    Sweeteners

    Pure Maple Syrup

    Raw Manuka Honey

    Rice Malt Syrup

    Pitted Dates

    Stevia / Natvia

    SUPER FOODS

    Acai Powder

    Raw Cacao Powder

    Maca Powder

    Chia Seeds

    Goji Berries

    Super Green Blend

    Fridge Staples

    Tamari (gluten free soy)

    Eggs

    Coconut Water

    Almond Milk

    Wolegrain Mustard

    Pickles

    Sauerkraut

    Kefir

    Natural Yoghurt

    Miso Paste

    Spices

    Garlic

    Cinnamon

    Moroccan

    Tumeric

    Nutmeg

    Mixed Herbs

    Himalayan Pink Salt

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author

Brooke Meredith

Brooke Meredith, is the passionate founder and Editor-In-Chief of A Conscious Collection Magazine. A glowing representation of wellness, and an advocate for healthy living.

Brooke’s passion for health and wellbeing began following the discovery of her own intolerances and health ailments. Her house soon became a hub for recreating healthy versions of her favourite recipes, and soon her home was filled with an abundance of nourishing, nutritious whole foods. A certified Health Coach, Brooke’s passion lies with helping others become the best version of themselves and created A Conscious Collection to nurture, empower and inspire. As an Australian model, Brooke lives and breathes wellness, understanding the direct correlation between looking and feeling your best, which comes with a life in balance. When you can pry her away from working on all things ACC, you’ll find her fleeting around the globe on wellness escapes, enjoying three hour brunch dates with girlfriends and diving mouth first in to her famous healthified chocolate brownies.

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