How to Implement Nutrition Changes

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How to implement nutrition changes
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When trying to implement nutrition changes, it can often be overwhelming to think of all the changes that need to be made and figure out what should be done first.

Choosing healthier, unpackaged food options requires more planning, so I’ve outlined below some of the most important steps to take in order of importance.

Nutrition Changes: Clean Up the Kitchen…

Having healthy foods on hand (and getting rid of the unhealthy ones!) will make the transition easier, as you won’t have to rely on willpower alone during the first few days when the adjustment can be tough.

Clean out your pantry and start choosing healthier options. For the most part, throw the unhealthy foods away, though there are some practical household uses for some products like flour, sugar, vegetable oil and oatmeal.

I’ve found it easier to just throw all the junk away at one time. This makes the transition easier in the long run, though perhaps a little tougher for the first few days. If your family is holding an armed rebellion at the idea of you throwing away their frozen waffles, cereal, and chips, a baby-step approach may be needed.

If you can only make the transition a few steps at a time, these are the foods I’d recommend removing (in this order):

  1. Wheat and other gluten containing grains Especially for at least 30 days, it is important to remove grains completely (check condiments, sauces, etc… it’s in everything!) to see how your body responds to them. Many people have digestive or other issues with grains, but don’t notice until they remove them from their diet.
  2. Vegetable Oils It was really a toss up between this and grains for the most important to remove. Vegetable oils are artificially created, often rancid, oxidize easily and are high in inflammatory Omega-6s. No one should be consuming them at all, but it is especially important to remove them if you are pregnant or have small children, as they need quality fats (coconut oil, butter, animal fats, olive oil, etc.) for proper brain and tissue development!
  3. Sugar- Another toss-up for number one, but this one is a no-brainer. There is no biological need for sugar, especially in the processed forms that exist today, and many health benefits to removing it. Sugar is toxic to the liver and can lead to a host of health problems, especially when it is over-consumed. At least during the wellness challenge (and hopefully forever)… get rid of the sugar!!
  4. Processed Meats- If possible, switch to organic, nitrate free versions of foods like bacon, lunch meats, sausage, etc. to avoid the nitrates and other additives.
  5. Non-Organic Meats– If possible, switch to organic meat options. Choose exclusively grass-fed beef if possible (check for local farmers in your area) or completely free-range poultry and eggs.
  6. Non-Organic Vegetables– When possible, choose organic vegetables, at least for the top 12 that are most likely to have high levels of pesticides. If you can’t buy only organic, just soak fruits and vegetables in vinegar water (1/2 cup per a sinkful) and use a natural fruit and vegetable wash to clean them and remove residue.
  7. Dairy- Some people will find they have to remove dairy completely, while others tolerate it pretty well. Either way, remove the processed, ultra-pasteurized versions and milk (unless raw and in moderation) and stick to raw cheeses, butter, and naturally fermented sour cream. You can make your own coconut milk to replace dairy milk in cooking or for drinking.
  8. Canned tomatoes- Almost all tomato products in metal cans have relatively high levels of BPA (except Muir Glen brand, according to some info I’ve seen) so it’s better to buy in jars or can your own, if you are able.

Restock with Quality

Once you’ve cleaned out your kitchen and are re-stocking it,  stock your kitchen with nutrient-dense real foods like meats, vegetables, coconut oil and products, fruit, nuts, spices and homemade condiments.

For the most part, these are healthy foods that can be eaten freely:



  • All eggs from any edible bird (free range when possible)


  • Anchovies
  • Cod
  • Mahi Mahi
  • Mackerel
  • Salmon
  • Tilapia
  • Sardines
  • Tuna (not albacore)
  • Clam
  • Crab
  • Crawfish
  • Lobster
  • Mussels
  • Oysters
  • Shrimp
  • Scallops
  • Any wild caught fish from a sustainable source

All Vegetables

(note: corn is not a vegetable! and white potatoes should be limited or removed also)


  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Boysenberries
  • Other Berries
  • Other fruits in moderation

Nuts, Seeds, Oils and Fats

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Macadamia (and oil)
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pecans
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Pistachios
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Coconut (Milk/Oil/Whole etc.)
  • Butter/Ghee
  • Avocado (and oil)
  • Lard
  • Tallow
  • Olives (and oil)
  • Nut Butters (not peanut)

All Natural Herbs, Spices and Condiments

Drinks and Desserts

  • Pure Water
  • Sparkling water
  • Herbal and Decaf teas
  • Kombucha
  • Water Kefir
  • Veggie Smoothies
  • Homemade Desserts

Have a Plan

Whether you plan them yourself, or follow an existing plan, having a plan for what you will cook each night will help take a lot of the frustration out of switching to a new way of eating.

If you are new to this way of eating, stick with easy, fast (but still healthy) recipes for now.

It’s normal for newcomers to a real-food diet to feel sluggish and maybe even have a headache — this is normal while your body adjusts to the lack of simple sugars and carbohydrates. Read this post about how to avoid and overcome common stumbling blocks of a real-food diet.

What is the toughest change for you to make? Share below!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


48 responses to “How to Implement Nutrition Changes”

  1. Shelly Avatar

    Raw milk isn’t safe for young kids especially. The benefits do not outweigh the risks for them, it’s not just about “tolerating it”. Check out the CDC.

  2. Mia Avatar

    I have celiac disease and have been off of gluten entirely for two years. I am struggling to lose 25 lbs. It is so hard not to have any chocolate, carbs, dates, hot chocolate in the winter, etc.
    What would you recommend as a good food to have as a desert/carb in moderation?
    Any dark chocolate that is okay to have? Thanks!
    I really LOVE your website!

  3. Amber R. Avatar

    So I’m currently pregnant and hell-bent on changing my eating habits. I noticed a lot of this is “raw” or “soft” or “unpasteurized”. Is that appropriate for the expecting audience or should I hold off until he is born?

  4. Nelson Avatar

    This is pretty much how I eat except I consume properly prepared grains and raw dairy. I was wondering about sugar. I quit sugar for months but started making my own kombucha recently. Should I still avoid sugar or make an exception for fermented beverages? TIA

  5. sonya Avatar

    I would like to know what your thoughts are on coconut sugar or sugar in the raw? With there being so many uses for coconuts in general what about the sugar from them. I currently work for a company that packages coconut sugar and know that this is made by baking down the coconut to get the sugar, also sugar in the raw is just that raw sugar. So although you say to completely eliminate sugar you also seem to understand that this could be a huge transition for some people. Your thoughts or comments on this would be greatly appreciated.

  6. Sondra Avatar

    What restaurant in San Antonio has them ? I live near there and was curious where i could get them?

  7. Hanna Avatar

    Hi wellness Mama,

    What is the maximum amount of protein can one have in a day if trying to lose weight, how many grams? Please help

    Mama, you are too much, I wish I found your website earlier.

  8. Erika Juhasz Avatar
    Erika Juhasz

    I am trying to swich to organic. It is very expensive. I live in a little town. Publics has some. Still I am doing relatevily well in this area. I have problems with the grain. The bread and noodles.We love it. I have follod Mariland Dimond and his husband advice for a long time. It has different system. Fruits for the morning. Anyway. I have problems with the fish. Which one has the mercury and which is safe to eat? Also we eat a lot of row peanats. That would be hard to avoid.
    I have tried your coffee. It was great.
    Thank you for the help

  9. Crystal Avatar

    My issue so far is tortillas, Iam Hispanic and love enchiladas , tacos and many dishes that require them. I tried a paleo recipe with almond flour and it’s just not going to work :(. Any suggestions? home made tortillas out of masa are they any better then store bought pkg?

    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      I’d say homemade from organic and non-GMO ingredients would be a better choice if the tortillas have to stay. I understand. Every time we visit San Antonio, I eat a couple organic ones from a local restaurant because they are so good!

      1. Sondra Avatar

        What restaurant in San Antonio has them ? I live near there and was curious where i could get them?

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