No, I'm not talking about shopping at Whole Foods Market. I'm talking about eating foods in their most natural state and preparing meals yourself, from scratch. Trust me, I understand not having enough time to cook. I work two jobs, go to school full-time, and do an un-paid internship, yet I still find the time to prepare at least 3 meals a day from whole foods. Just because it's homemade doesn't mean it has to take long, or be complicated.
For instance, it takes me less that two minutes to prepare breakfast, a bowl of granola with pumpkin, hemp, and sunflower sunflower seeds with soymilk. For lunch, even easier, how about a whole wheat tortilla with hummus, tofu, and spinach. Dinner usually takes the longest to prepare, but never more than 45 minutes. How about some lentils cooked with Indian spices and brown rice? I even make my dessert from scratch by throwing some hemp milk and nuts into my ice cream machine.
When living a vegetarian, or vegan lifestyle, it becomes even more important to nourish your body with whole foods. All meals should consist of three things: a source of protein, carbohydrates, and fruit or vegtables. I notice that many vegetarians and vegans go for the veggie convenience items, but what they may not realize is that they are still eating junk. I've checked them out, and most vegan processed foods are full of crap including high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated (trans) fats, and high-amounts of sodium.
Let's not dismiss the environmental impact of processed foods. Whole foods usually require little, if any packaging and tend to use more environmentally-friendly options. Processed foods are usually manufactured at large facilities than contribute to high levels of pollution and carbon dioxide output. It is also unlikely that whole foods will be tested on animals, since we already know how they work.
We need to stop treating food like the product it has become. Don't let your food be commercialized, remember that you do have a choice. "Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food." -Hippcrates