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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Our Journey to Real Food


What are Real Foods? Real Foods are foods that are not processed. They are found in the store in their natural state, unprocessed.
When I married my husband we decided to eat healthier. Now we did not define what that meant. But we both agreed that it meant we would not buy junk food. We would not buy sweets. If we wanted baked items and sweets we would make them at home. 
I had always eaten whole wheat flour and fresh food from the organic garden my mother had.  When I got married I started making more of my own food. I would cook on Sunday’s enough food to take us through the week. At the time I did not know they had a name for this, Batch Cooking. I would roast a roast. Make some soup and bake whatever sweets we wanted for the rest of the week. I took my lunch to work most days. I was interested in eating Real Food and being thrifty too. 
When we had our first child we decided we would eat the Whole Foods way.  I started using whole wheat flours. Eventually I made the change in our flours, pastas, and rice to whole grains.  I found great support for these decisions in my local La Leche League Group.  With their support I delayed introducing solids until my children were ready. I did this by looking for signs for beginning solids.   As my family grew so did our voyage to Real Food.
I used to pride myself on feeding my family good food for very little money.  I was hesitant to make the change to whole grain pastas, because the cost was so much more. But from the very beginning I noticed that my family ate less. You see the whole grain pastas and brown rice were simply more filling than the white enriched products. I no longer cooked a whole box and my family did not need to go back for seconds.
Along the way my husband who was an avowed meat and potatoes man learned to eat many new foods. Today he whole heartedly embraces fish, and meatless/vegetarian meals on a regular basis. In fact he will get grilled tilapia for lunch at work.  My kids ask for things like wasa crackers with mozzarella and pesto to take with them for school lunches.
We are omnivores at our house. We eat meat, but try to make it good quality meat. Local grass fed beef is one of our favorites. Besides the health benefits it just tastes better.  We eat fish, of all sorts. We particularly like salmon and flounder, Well all but Pumpkin, according to him Seafood makes him Seasick.  We eat a variety of legumes and grains. All sorts of beans are consumed here, but I think our favorites are black beans.  We are always trying new grains. Just today I picked up some millet to try. My husband wanted to know if it was bird seed.
My family eats many types of vegetables, including greens. Just today they had turnip greens in their soup. Shh, don’t tell them. I chop the greens finely and they think it is spinach, basil or other seasoning,
Now don’t get me wrong. We are far from perfect in our diet. My family does it sweets. Though not at home. However I do my best to keep junk food out the house. How can I complain that my son does not eat his dinner when he comes home and eats 3 sticks of celery, an apple, a pint of grape tomatoes and then makes himself  a “tortilla pizza” There is no junk in the house, so he can’t eat it.
I certainly don’t claim to eat perfect all the time but staying away from processed food has certainly made a difference in our health and our food budget.
How do you include Real Food in your family’s meals?

This post is being shared with Living Well Blog HopTraditional TuesdaysFresh Bites Friday


EcoCrazyMom said...

I am on a quest to feed my family all whole, non-processed foods as well! We are just starting to do our own organic gardening, and I can't wait to have yummy homegrown organic produce. I love your blog, and would love to invite you to write a guest post for my blog, if you'd like to. I just started my blog a few weeks ago, please stop by and let me know what you think!

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

Oh, how I wish our garden did not fry this year. But we had record breaking heat and drought. I have to be happy with the farmer's market, and hope that I can put in a fall garden. Still waiting on the rain though.

Lindsay said...

I grew up eating Velveeta and instant mashed potatoes, so it's been hard for me to figure out what healthy eating could look like for my family, but we're working on it! Right now we've switched to long-grain "real" brown rice instead of 5 min rice and have started using whole wheat flour and don't buy much processed food, but it's still a struggle to figure out what to eat sometimes! Where do you find good recipes? And what do you snack on?

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

It sounds like you grew up eating like my husband, but your are headed the right way. Remember it is a journey I am talking about here, small steps add up. I will share a secret, one of my favorite cookbooks of all time is the Joy of Cooking. As for snacks, we make those real too. Just today my children made their own snacks after school. My oldest made herself oatmeal, and 2 eggs fried in olive oil, while my middle child had milk and cereal and my youngest had yogurt and frozen strawberries. Now my kids are 13, 11, and 7, so they are a little more independent than some. But here is the catch, they could not have chips or a yogurt with food coloring nd HFC because I don't keep those things in our house. Start with making small steps changing your breakfast for instance. Check out some fo the recipes on here.

Tina Hollenbeck said...

Thanks for linking up to the Living Well Blog Hop! This is just the kind of journey that many who read those posts are on ourselves. :^)

Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures said...

Thanks for leaving your post here as part of the Living Well link-up! We appreciate the contribution!

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