• How to eat REAL food

    Posted on September 17, 2016 by in By Abby

    If I were to choose to write about anything all the time, it would be food! I love food, cooking, and experimenting creating new goodies in the kitchen.

    We have changed some of our eating habits lately, trying to be healthier. If you know me at all, even the slightest, you know I love sugar. I love candy just as much as any 10 year old girl does, and I secretly want to spend all of my money on it. And if you saw me during our time in the States this year, you know that I have a weakness for sugar.

    I admit, I made soooooooo many poor choices in America this year. But that’s what living overseas for two years at a time does to me! I go through withdrawls. BUT, our time there this year changed something in me. I regret a lot of choices and I decided to make a change. And we have, and I’m feeling a bit proud right now. [fist pump]

    Over the last few years I’ve noticed all the different eating lifestyles going around. Gluten free, weight watchers, paleo,whole 30, etc, etc. I’ve never been able to completely agree with any of the ones I’ve seen. I either don’t like it or don’t think I can do it. I like to eat meat, dairy, and bread, and none of these can I eat all of that!

    Also, theres so many “quick fixes” out there right now. Different probiotic or supplement companies that are telling you that you have to take these pills to be healthy. Eat however you want, and then take this pill, and you’ll get your 27 servings of greens for the day (exaggeration, maybe). Now, I really don’t mean to bash these, I have friends who sell them. I actually came close to buying into one of the specific companies, because I wanted all the health benefits. But, in the end it doesn’t make sense to me that I have to take a pill to have energy, feel rested, de-stress, and sleep well. (I know people have had success with these programs, I just prefer to do it the natural way)

    So we started to do some research. And this is what I found.  Lisa Leake’s blog, 100 Days of real food.  She teaches you her philosophy on food, how to do it, and gives the exact health benefits I listed above that you can gain by just eating right. This was spot on for our family. We have already seen some changes in our lives—palette change (we crave less of the bad stuff) and my husband has far less headaches when consuming less sugar and processed food.

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    Her philosophy of eating is to simply eat REAL food.  Aka, no highly refined (processed) foods in boxes, only whole grains, and lots of fruits and veggies.It’s all about eating foods in their whole, natural form. Know what you’re eating. Cook your food! Don’t buy it already cooked and then pop it in the microwave. It has been a relatively easy transition to switch to this with our family. The food that is available here in Kenya is already pretty natural because I can’t buy a whole lot that’s packaged. I already have to cook all of my meals from scratch. It’s now just modifying the ingredients I use.

    If you’re looking to start eating healthier but are not sure where to start, here are the standards that Lisa uses in her cookbook.  They take some getting used to, but these are her rules for what you can eat.

    *Whole foods (foods with typically only 1 ingredient, like “brown rice” or no  ingredient label at all, as with fruits and veggies)

    *Packaged foods made with no more than five unrefined ingredients 

    *Dairy products like whole milk, unsweetened yogurt, eggs, and cheese

    *Breads and crackers that are 100% whole grain

    *Wild caught seafood

    *Locally and humanely raised pastured meat products like chicken, pork, beef, and lamb

    *Dried fruits, nuts, and seeds

    *Naturally made sweeteners including honey and maple syrup

    *More a product of nature than a “product of industry”

    Now, do we follow all of these perfectly? Not even close! But we’ve made significant changes that I’ll share with you.

    *We switched from margarine to butter. (Margarine is so yuuuuuuck, but I’ve always bought it here because butter is so much more expensive. Not anymore!)

    *We try and only eat whole grains (bread, pasta, etc)

    *I bought a dehydrator and I dehydrate fruits about once a week for a sweet, healthy snack.

    *We try to use natural sweeteners as much as possible in replacement of caster sugar.

    *I buy a ton of produce every week. Eat fruits with at least one meal a day, and veggies every night with dinner. (doesn’t always happen but we’re trying)

    *I buy less snacks! I try and whip up some snacks each week to have instead of buying the processed ones.

    *I make homemade granola. Less sugar!

    I know this blog is nothing new, I’m not giving any profound information here. There are 100 blog posts about food that are probably written much better. But I also know it’s hard to make change sometimes. These are some tips to help you get started. I love this philosophy of food because I’m not too restrained. I can still eat bread (yummmm), drink milk, and satisfy my sweet tooth. I’ve just switched to doing it in a more natural way, leaving out all the extra ingredients that aren’t needed. We are far from where we want to be (I bought oreo’s yesterday at the store), but we take it a day at a time. It’s all about balance. 

    Please don’t judge me if I post a picture of some homemade donuts soon. After all, I also like what Michael Pollan said, “Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.”