Our "Real Food" Plan  

I read labels. Yep, I'm one of "those people". Ya' know, the ones you see in the grocery store, with a baby in the cart chewing on the handlebar, two other kids blocking the aisle by chasing each other around in circles screaming "I'm gonna to tickle you!", while she's distracted staring at the labels on the sour cream containers so she can find the one that just says, "Cream, Cultures".

We have been on the path to a healthier way of eating for a while now. And, even though we still aren't where we'd like to be, I thought I'd let you in on our plan to get there.

First, you have to understand that we believe the best food is real food. Real food may not be what you are used to thinking about when you think of health food. But nutrition is all about nutrients. We, as a society, seem to have lost sight of this very important fact.

We all know, at least superficially, that good health is dependent upon "good nutrition". But what that really means, is that your body relies on a steady supply of a wide variety of nutrients in order to properly function and repair itself. And the best place to get these nutrients, is from food. Specifically, nutrient-dense, real foods. Problem is, most of the food we eat here in the USA, especially the "health" foods, are either mostly devoid of usable nutrients, are "fortified" with a few synthetic nutrients that your body doesn't know what to do with, or they all contain the same few nutrients over and over again.

So, the goal we are moving toward, is to make every bite count by getting rid of the empty-calorie, processed junk and eating nutrient-dense, real foods.

These are the kinds of things we eat at our house:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Eggs
  • Milk & dairy products
  • Veggies
  • Fruit
  • Nuts & nut butters
  • Whole grain bread, rice, and pasta
  • Olive oil, coconut oil, butter
  • Natural sweeteners

These are the things we normally try to avoid, or are working toward eliminating from our diet:

  • Soy
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated anything
  • Oils processed with solvents or high heat
  • Canola oil, Soybean oil, and Safflower oil in any form
  • Highly processed or chemically preserved foods
  • Artificial sweeteners, colors, and flavors
  • White flour (bread, pasta, etc.)
  • White rice
  • Sugar

The veggies we eat are organic about 95% of the time, or they come from our garden.

We don't eat very much rice or pasta (pasta is basically just empty calories), but we do eat quite a bit of bread. I don't make our bread (SweetPea would like to learn how, though), but we buy only whole wheat bread with no high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or hydrogenated oils.

When we can, we travel about 1 1/2 to 2 hours (one way) to buy organically raised, grass-fed beef, beef liver, beef bones, and pork. But that's not as often as we would like because it is a long, expensive trip. The bones are for making beef broth/stock --a very healthy, nutrient-rich food.

The milk we drink is real milk, and we would like for more of our dairy products to be raw and organic.

We usually buy eggs that come from pastured or free-range hens. As for chicken meat, buying pastured chickens is just too expensive for us right now, so we would like to start raising our own chickens for meat and eggs. We've had a few laying hens in the past so that's no biggy. But we would have to learn how to "process" [slaughter & clean] chickens at home if we didn't want a meat locker telling us which parts of our own chickens we would be allowed to keep after they'd processed them. (They usually don't let you keep the feet, heads, etc. because they can sell these to ethnic markets and exporters.)

We want to do more wild harvesting of fruit, berries, and nuts, grow our own fruit trees and berry bushes (we have some planted but they're not producing, yet), and get our mature pecan trees to produce better. But even if they don't, with a little planning, we should be able to pick up all the pecans we want from some local trees we know about.

We need to eat a wider variety of meat --like lamb, game birds, more fish, and venison. The venison shouldn't be hard to find, here in the Southeast. But you pretty much have to be a hunter to get game birds inexpensively. And lamb may be a pipe dream, unless we raise our own. And though we do have the land to raise at least one lamb or miniature cow, none of us are familiar with animal husbandry so that's kind of a scary thought. LOL!

And I'm looking forward to adding tallow, schmaltz, and lard our list of cooking fats, but we haven't found affordable organic sources for them yet. I plan to ask the butcher about beef and pork fat the next time we make the trip. If I can get the raw fat from him then I will render it to make tallow and lard. To learn more about why we would include these supposedly unhealthy fats, click HERE.

The sweeteners we use are honey, maple syrup, molasses, stevia, and occasionally one of the varieties of unrefined sugar. Unrefined sugar isn't completely unrefined, it's just sugar that has not had all the molasses and nutrients removed in order to make it white and give it a more neutral flavor. It resembles brown sugar, but conventional brown sugar is just white sugar with some things added back in to make it brown and flavorful - it doesn't have the nutrients of the cane juice that it came from.

Another thing we need to eat more of is fermented and cultured foods. I used to make kombucha but I ruined the SCOBY's. Just recently, an OLF volunteered to send me some of her spares. So as soon as they arrive, I'll be in the 'bucha making bidness again!

We do eat organic, whole milk yogurt with live cultures, and I make kefir. I use the kefir in just about anything that I would use buttermilk in. But other than Pickle and myself, no one else in the family will drink it straight. Although, Rooster and SweetPea do get some in an occasional smoothie. So, I ought to get my act together and make some sauerkraut, more beet kvass, and try some of the recipes I have for fermented condiments and "pickled" veggies.

Now I must admit that during our yeast cleanse, things have been different. We buy stuff I would never normally buy, because it is "legal" on the diet, convenient, and keeps us all from feeling deprived. Also, Bull "has to have" sodas (I find myself craving them, too). So he brings home at least one 2 liter just about every weekend and we all partake. Usually he'll only bring home sodas that are made with sugar instead of HFCS. During the candida cleanse it has been only sodas sweetened with Splenda (which is one of those things I would normally avoid like the plague).

I know that some of the things I've talked about, need some 'splanin' but that will have to wait 'til another day and another post. I just wanted to get started on this topic and so this post is the first but not the last time I will talk about what I'm learning and trying to put into practice concerning real food and nutrition.


This entry was posted on Saturday, September 06, 2008 and is filed under , . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .


I laughed so hard when I read your description of a "label reader" and her children in the store. That is so me! We are blessed to get all of our beef and chicken from an organic coop. Pricey, but I make a lot of meals like soups, with many small chunks of meat. Of course, we grill a lot of burgers, too! We try to grow our veggies, but this year was a bomb!

Can I give you a great big Amem sister? LOL This is how we try to eat too... the kids are always asking why they can't have this or that at the store and I try to explain about artificial colors and flovors while we shop. One time I burst out with "Is there NOTHING without corn by-products in it anymore?" as I tried to find yogurt that was just yogurt...the cows probably ate corn, huh? rats...


Hahahahahaha:D funny post Mommy love you.