You are reading A Real Food Journey. Read more from this series of articles.
- A [Real Food] Journey
- Cleaning Out the Pantry [Real Food]
- PBJ, Ketchup, and Maple Syrup: [Real Food]
- Going Natural Day 2 [Real Food]
- Failure to Success in 40 Minutes [Real Food]
- Juggling Act [Real Food]
- On the Road [Real Food]
- It Gets Easier [Real Food]
- Adventures in Jam Making [Real Food]
- Farmer's Market Delight [Real Food]
- Farmer's Market Delight [Real Food]
- Cheating on [Real Food]
- Meatless Monday [Real Food]
- Ten [Real Food] Discoveries
- Top Ten Recipes [Real Food]
Our month-long real food journey is over, but it really changed the way we think about food. We had so many great discoveries throughout the month and are so glad we took the plunge. Here are our ten favorite discoveries from the month.
Maple Syrup. I will rarely use sugar in my coffee again. And most times when something calls for a sweetener, I will by default go to maple syrup (or honey) instead of sugar. I put it in oatmeal instead of brown sugar. I had no idea how delicious it really was. Maple syrup – you win!
Steel cut oats. I didn’t even know these existed. Someone told me about crockpot oatmeal, so I did some research and decided to try them out. They are soooo good! Sometimes the consistency of oatmeal weirds me out … but this stuff … it pops in your mouth. Amazing. I think I’m in love.
White whole wheat flour. Sometimes whole wheat flour is just too dense. But this stuff … did you know it was out there? You can use it instead of all-purpose flour in just about everything. White flour – be gone!
Spelt flour. About mid-month, baby girl had some serious eczema spots showing up. After some research, I thought maybe it was an allergic reaction to all the whole wheat we had been eating. We still aren’t sure if it is or not – but in the meantime, we discovered spelt flour. It’s a whole grain flour and has a most delicious flavor. I just made spelt bread for the first time in our bread maker, and it is definitely a winner. I *might* like it better than the whole wheat bread I love so much!
Dry beans. Um – for real. They are cheap. And so much better than the canned version. And it really doesn’t take that much effort to use them. Put them in a crockpot in water overnight (don’t turn it on!) The next day, drain them, put them back in the crockpot, add more water and a little salt if you’d like, and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Then you can freeze them and use them like you would canned beans. Seriously – let that slow cooker do your work!
The bulk section. Our Whole Foods has an incredible bulk section. Dry beans, oatmeal of all kinds, dried fruits, nuts, rice … it’s amazing. I love it. Triple heart it.
The scale. When you get rid of sugar, white flour, and cut back on meat, you lose weight … without really trying. I had re-joined Weight Watchers in an attempt to make sure I was eating enough good things and not as many bad things. I know … you shouldn’t diet while breastfeeding … which is why I chose Weight Watchers. But I quickly discovered that just by cutting out processed junk I didn’t even need to count points. I was eating less bad and more good … and the weight just came right off. Amazing.
You actually SAVE money! One of the biggest arguments against eating real food is that people can’t afford it. But we discovered that wasn’t true. By buying in bulk, planning meals that used the same ingredients, buying only what we needed for that week, and using our CSA delivery, we spent less money on groceries than usual. And ate better. Way better. Many of the items we bought cost a bit more (milk, cheese, meat, whole wheat flour, honey, maple syrup) but because we ate less meat and bought less junk we ended up spending less in the long run.
Your body functions better. This one seems like a no-brainer, right? After one week of eating real food, D commented on how regular he was. Hey – it’s an important part of life! We had more energy. We were happier. Less depressed moments. Less body ache. We felt great!
We are blessed. In so many ways. Part of the reason we embarked on this journey in the first place was to join the mutiny against excess. There is so much excess in our grocery stores … and we are so lucky to be able to choose from it. We learned how to really make good choices and make our statement against the junk that’s out there.
All in all, it was a successful month. It’s been two weeks off our real food journey and I’m sad to admit we have eaten a lot of crap in those two weeks. Cupcakes, cookies, white pasta, pizza delivery, chinese food … and we are definitely noticing a difference. Just this week we said “no more of that crap … let’s go back to our real food diet.”
Try it out … start with baby steps … it may just change your life!