Sunday, July 31, 2011

My Whole/Real Food Journey

I thought I would share with you how my whole/real foods journey started.  It did not start as a day on the calender that I go back and reference, but as a gradual shift in my thinking towards a whole foods lifestyle and away from the Standard American Diet (SAD).  My journey will never end, as it is a daily process of learning and trying new things.  I am definitely not an expert, still have baby steps I need to take, and still have a huge amount to learn.  Although, I hope that as you follow me on my journey you will learn and grow with me, and even offer me your input and/or advice!

As I talk to others about the foods we like, why we like them, what we ate growing up at home (which usually becomes our "comfort" food) I find that I ate different then most.  The majority of people my age grew up on highly processed food that came out of the industrial revolution--boxed foods, canned foods, sugar cereals, and pop just to name a few.  I did not grow up eating a huge amount of this type of food, we did eat some but it was not the norm.  The normal meal in our home was made from "scratch" on the stove or in the oven, not the microwave.  We even went a lot of years without a microwave till my older brother couldn't figure out how we lived without one and bought one for my parents!  To this day I still use the stove and oven over the microwave, but more on that in another post.  I was not allowed to have pop till we were in high school, before that is was only for VERY special occasions.  I also did not grow up eating sugar cereals. I remember looking forward to camping because we were allowed to have all those fun cereals the few days we were at the lake.  I have to always shake my head when I go to the store and watch as moms send their kids down the cereal isle to pick whatever they want, which is usually filled with food dyes, sugars, chocolate, marshmallows, and who knows what else because that is the only types of cereal at a kids eye level.   I'm not placing judgement, I just find it sad that this is what the American food industry comes up with for kids food, especially since breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Many parents seem to fall into the trap of it being ok since the box says it includes whole wheat and vitamins.  Sorry I got off the subject!  

As I moved to college and started cooking in my apartment where I lived with 3 (sometimes 4) lovely woman I realized how different all of us ate.  I tried to cook things from scratch, but with college being crazy I started picking up frozen and boxed foods here and there to save me time.  Although, I never strayed away from my roots of good home cooking.  I have many memories of all of us cooking in our smelly moth invested kitchen, using recipes we grew up--homemade egg noodles, soups, lasagna, and many more!  In college I also found my love for Dr. Pepper and Pepsi, one love that I will never forget but that is usually not a part of my daily life anymore!  Needless to say, college brought about a lot of unhealthy eating habits that I still struggle with today.

I believe that my parents began instilling a "whole foods" thinking in me before I even knew what that was and I will be forever grateful for that.  Because of this I started with a good foundation for moving to a whole foods lifestyle.

Several years ago I discovered several blogs that got me started down a course of changing how B and I eat.  I haven taken baby steps, with B dragging his feet sometimes and other times being a great participant, and I think he is slowly seeing the benefit of whole foods and not missing his processed foods as much.  We still have lots of progress we can make in our eating, but as I said it is all about baby steps! Through these blogs-- Kelly @ Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Jo-Lynne @ Musings of a Housewife, and Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship I started learning what real and whole foods are and why they are so important.  I also have read several books that have helped me in my journey--Real Foods by Nina Planck, Real Foods for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, Ph.D. Another great resource for information is the Weston A. Price Foundation.  There are many other books on my list that I hope to get to in the coming months, ones that I will share with you once I have read and know they are good resources. 

In the coming months I will share with you what baby steps I have taken over the past several years in hopes you will both learn and be encouraged to start eating more whole foods.  Some may think I'm crazy and think the changes I have made in our eating is too expensive and not worth it.  I know some of my family, including B, has thought I was a nut at times.  But I truly believe that our bodies our temples the Lord gave us and we need to take care of them.  Eating is a huge part of our lives (5 small meals/day in mine), it is how all of our body functions continue to work and how we have energy to do things throughout the day.  Being conscious of what we eat helps our bodies run and operate more smoothly.

If you have questions please leave a comment, email or FB me. If you are currently working towards a whole foods diet I would love to know what you are doing and what baby steps you have taken.  I look forward to hearing from you! 

Til' next time,

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