For Healthier Cooking/Eating: ONE THING to Make It Easier!

To better meet your needs, I put myself in your shoes (my readers), and asked myself a good question: “If I wanted to start cooking and eating healthier, what is one thing I could really use and would really appreciate having?”

And an answer came to me quickly. Now maybe it’s just me, but I think one thing that would make the business of trying to cook and eat healthier much easier would be a product list of REAL food brands.

This would help you know what to look for when shopping. I call it a REAL Food Round-Up. Using this list would save a ton of time—you’d no longer need to paw through all the assorted brands on the shelves and read all the labels to determine what’s in the package. You could go straight to the brand on the list, grab and go—no need to read ‘cuz I’ve don’t it for ya!

So with this aim in mind, here’s a pretty good list of reliable, whole and healthy food brands you can count on. My criteria for recommending a label?


· NO preservatives, additives, chemicals, or other mystery ingredients

· Healthy packaging

· Little to no processing

And before we get to the list, let’s get something straight. I understand these brands cost more than the “house labels” stores promote as loss leaders. I understand these brands cost more than their junked-up national brands counterparts. I understand your national food chain store may not carry these brands and you’ll have to go out of your way to a whole foods store. But the inconvenience and extra cost are worth it and I recommend these whole food brands anyway with no apologies, because:

1. They promote and protect health.

2. You’ll eat less of them because they’re REAL, whole food; your body won’t need or want as much and thus in the long run you’ll either break even or save $$, grocery-bill-wise.

OK, with that out of the way, here is my REAL Food Round-Up:


Arrowhead Mills® grains and flours. Their website says “We believe that families should be fed from the pure ingredients that the earth has to offer, which is why we provide high quality, organic foods that do not use genetically modified ingredients. Our organic farming uses no potentially harmful pesticides or herbicides or genetically engineered ingredients, and our products have no artificial preservatives, flavors or colors. That’s the Arrowhead Mills® difference!”


Bob’s Red Mill grains and flours. For the same reasons mentioned about Arrowhead Mills.


Eden Organic, Muir Glen, Vital Choice, Cadia, and Native Forest canned goods because their cans are BPA-free. Bisphenol-A (BPA) has been used in food packaging for more than 50 years, though it has been known since the 1930s that this endocrine disruptor might have negative health effects. It’s a gouge in a company’s bottom line to redo their packaging for health’s sake, but it’s the right thing to do and these companies deserve our support for doing just that! Also, their foods are non-GMO, organic and REAL—none of the additives, preservatives, blah, blah, blah.


Mr. Dell’s hashbrowns for one ingredient hash browns. And that’s what their labels say under the ingredients list: POTATOES. I get mine at Walmart.


Bionaturae pastas for organic, non-additives whole grain pastas. These were taste-tested by the national foodie magazine and website, Eating Well, and the testers raved about all 3 brands.


Pacific Beef, Chicken, and Vegetable Broths for all the reasons mentioned regarding the above products.

Finally, for an extensive listing of all sorts of food and non-food products (think body care) that are 100% healthy, go to

You may have favorite REAL food brands that I haven’t mentioned, so add them to this list. Use it in your menu planning and grocery shopping list making—it’s an easy start to cooking and eating healthier!


    Alice Osborne
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
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