Category Archives: Food for Thought

12 Practical Tips for Transitioning to Real Foods

Real Food -SaveThe journey into Real Foods and a more Natural way of life will begin in different ways for different people, and will manifest in different ways, too.

For some, the interest in this journey might come from an article online that talks about the benefits of bone broth or lard. For others, it might be health problems that make them start considering a change to the diet. Maybe it will begin with you when you are on a field trip with your child at a local farm. Maybe a few backyard chickens will be the catalyst that lights your passion for getting back to the truth about food. Or maybe the light will simply come on when you read the ingredient list on the box of your favorite cereal, cookies, or boxed mix, and you realize that your body just was never meant to ingest these things!

I think for me, it was a really slow progression that was influenced by little things and bits of information at a time that finally clicked. The beginning of my journey was mostly about replacing the packaged and processed foods we ate- from snacks to dinner ingredients- with truly homemade, made from scratch alternatives. Somewhere in there I began to seek out more grass-fed meats, better milk options, healthier fats. Then, along the way, I began replacing my non-stick pots and pans with cast iron, stainless steel and stoneware. Natural Remedies fascinate me…and the journey continues!

And though the journey continues, I can say my pantry, refrigerator and cabinets looks totally different than they did 5 years ago, and I absolutely believe we are the better for it. The further I get from the packaged and processed, the less I want it.

But, I’ll be honest. Though this journey is extremely rewarding and exciting, it can also be VERY overwhelming and even discouraging sometimes. There is SO much to learn, so many changes to make, and sometimes the options are very few. I might not know where to find grass-fed beef, or I can’t afford dairy herd shares to give me access to raw milk. Sometimes I find it overwhelming that just when I think I am doing something right, I find out I was really mis-informed.

But, don’t throw in the towel!

Here are a few extremely simple and practical tips that have helped me (and still do!) as my family has transitioned into more Real Foods.

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CHALLENGE: What’s in Your Cart?

groceries

 

I have a Challenge for you! (details below) But first…some background…

As I have mentioned before, my family and I have been making many changes to the foods that we do (or do not) eat. We are working toward eating less and less packaged and processed foods and more and more fresh food. homegrown food, and homemade food.

Now, I do think a person can become overly-consumed with this concept- that is not my goal. And I know that I probably will not ever completely replace ALL our food consumption with only whole-foods. However, I want to do what I can.

I have had to ask myself “Am I really eating “healthy’ “? I always thought I prepared pretty healthy food for my family…that is until I started really looking at the ingredients in the foods I used. I have been very surprised. Now, I find myself more and more disgusted by all the non-food and JUNK that is in almost everything we eat!

Next time you go to the grocery store- look at the things that are in other’s carts. See how much of it is a packaged convenience food. I bet you’ll be surprised. Look in your OWN cart. I’ll bet you’ll be surprised. I know I was when I looked in mine!

It really is amazing and it really is sad, too. No WONDER people are sick all the time! No WONDER there are more and more people developing allergies that you used to only hear about occasionally. We are eating things that were never meant to be eaten!

What about you? What do you consider healthy?

We have all been conditioned to think if something is low-fat or low in sugar, it is healthy. If it is low in Weight Watchers points, it must be ok. We opt for fake sweeteners, bleached flour, MSG-flavored, etc etc for the sake of it being low-fat or “healthier’.

But, do you think it really is healthier?

I think it is time to re-think our food. Re-think what is healthy. Everyone will fall somewhere else on this spectrum. But, I think it is important to at least become aware of what is in the foods you eat. That is the first step. What you do with that knowledge is totally up to you.

So- here is the CHALLENGE:

take 1 grocery trip to glance at the ingredients of the foods that you are putting in your cart. ( I have been doing this and have been AMAZED at how many foods I have been buying and eating that I though were “OK”, but that are actually filled with junk. Here I thought I was making wise choices…until I stopped to look.)

So-

1. ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE, above

2. Come back to this post and comment on what you found

a. Were you surprised at the things you were buying?

b. Was there anything in particular that really surprised you?

3. Will you make some changes based on what you found, or do you think it doesn’t bother you and you will probably continue buying the same foods.

I look forward to hearing your feedback!

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