Now that I’m done with my road trip updates, I can move on to what my mind has really been on lately…FOOD.
Have you seen the 100 Days of Real Food site yet? I am always looking for healthy recipes to feed my family and stumbled across it a few months ago. After perusing the site a few months ago I knew making the change to 100% “real foods” was something I wanted to do.
I have to say, it is some pretty disturbing stuff. To think that most of the foods on the shelf at the grocery store are created, not “real” food, with no tests as to long term health effects (although the effects are starting to appearing in the form of diseases).
When I was in Alabama visiting my good friend, her family has some recent health issues that has caused them to eliminate all processed foods. Including sugar. ALL sugar. Except a tiny bit of raw sugar. If you’ve ever read my food blog, you know quite well my love for sweets. It kind of got out of hand for a while there…all those delectable cupcakes… Anyway, it made me stop and think about the long term effects. I don’t want my family to become another health statistic. SO I made a commitment to take healthy eating to the next level. Clean, real food, organic, whatever you want to call it, we’re saying NO to processed foods.
Apparently there is some, ok, a LOT of controversy about what is healthy and what is not.
I’ve read some things that claim that grains are slowly killing us. Others claim that grains are “new” and can’t be trusted… This one really startled me. So, when I grind my wheat and make bread for my family I’m slowly killing them? Hmmm…last time I checked, grains were condoned in the scriptures, bread is mentioned countless times in the Bible, and Doctrine & Covenants 89:14 states “All grain is ordained for the use of man…” Breathing polluted air outside, people’s second hand smoke, not exercising and drinking too much alcohol might kill you, but bread? I just don’t think it’s something to stress about. Then again, these are my favorite bread statistics 😉
Then there is oil. Some say canola oil is bad for you while science and medicine say it’s ok. The organic crunchies (yikes, I’m becoming one!) say coconut oil is the way to go for baking while others say, maybe not… Personally, I’m a fan of science. If it weren’t for science millions of us would die from contagious disease, diabetes, injury, heart disease and more. However I do believe there is a difference between saying something is not going to kill you and saying that it’s good for you. And, when it comes to putting things in my body, I trust nature a whole lot more than a lab. So…although I usually tend to lean towards science, in this case, I’m going to try baking with coconut oil or butter (especially for my 10 day pledge) and use EVOO for cooking (check out this website for an overview about heating olive oil, but I am not going to completely write off canola oil in the future (good luck buying anything off the shelf that is cooked in anything other than canola oil- even at a health food store).
I won’t even get into the controversy over corn, sweeteners, and dairy.
Anyway…here is a summary of the changes we are making in our family:
- I signed up for the 10 Days of Real Food pledge
- I got rid of the few processed foods on my shelf: There were less than 20 things I had to get rid of (I’m still hanging on to my sweets supplies because I will still bake sweets from time to time- it’s a hobby I’m not quite ready to give up).
- I hired a babysitter and took a trip to Sunflower Market (similar to Whole Foods): Note that even though you’re in a “health” food store, you still have to read the labels- there were lots of added sugar items, plenty with canola oil and I really had to hunt for organic brands. I bought primarily fruits and vegetables and replaced all my condiments with organic versions. My initial purchase totalled $250. Lower than I expected considering I was buying staple foods. I’ll give you a run down of my shopping list in another post.
- For the 10-day pledge I tried not to consume anything from the store that had more than 5 items on the label: However in the future, I don’t agree 100% with this rule. If I wanted to buy granola, for example, there will be more than 5 ingredients (at least there is in my home made kind). Instead I will read the label to make sure that what is in there is real food. I think I’m smart enough to figure it out (general rule- if you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t eat it).
- I have eliminated ALL processed sugars from my diet except on weekends: I now only use raw sugar and honey (mostly honey) in moderation (the more expensive it is the more conservative your use will be). The recommended limit is 2 teaspoons per meal (6 per day– only 4 for preschoolers) which is equivalent to about 8 grams per meal. Check the side of your cereal box and see how many grams of sugar it has. You’ll be surprised.
- I will be updating my recipes to eliminate or replace offending food items and making them healthier (if possible). Obviously I’m not going to bother trying to make whole wheat sugar-free cupcakes. Who wants to eat that? Instead I’m going limit my sweets baking to the weekend only. You can go to my food blog and click “Real Food” to get my healthy real food recipes. Just remember you need to check your labels to make sure there is no added sugar, upgrade your pasta to whole grain pasta and your condiments to organic…
- I will share my 10 day meal plan including photos and recipes and tips for changing your diet (diet meaning way of life, not temporary band-aid) to include more real foods.
- I will be flexible: We will eat as healthy as we possibly can, however I’m not going to refuse food at social gatherings or offend others if the food offered doesn’t meet up to the “real/organic” standard. We’re still going to have birthday cake and yes we’ll even get take out pizza once in a while. I love bread and I will probably indulge in home made white bread from time to time. The key (for me) is to have those things “from time to time” rather than on a regular basis. I like the 80/20 rule, eat healthy 80% of the time and you won’t have to worry about the other 20%. If I serve my family “real food” at home then I won’t have to worry as much about what they eat when they’re away from home.
Here are the effects so far: