Ok……..so it looks like I have my husband on board with our new Real Food way of eating. Hooray! We can do this!! I am going to save my family from our horrible eating habits. Then………I remembered the other four I had to convince. The little (and not-so-little) over-achievers. I certainly couldn’t let them starve to death if they decided to go on a hunger strike. How do I bring them over to the healthy side? I am a former board president of a mental health agency, so I prepared to speak with my children like I was preparing for a board meeting. I gathered all of my back-up materials and made my presentation to each one. I had scientific data showing just how horrible artificial colors are.
I spoke to them about having the energy to keep up with their busy schedules. I talked about eating the right food to make their brains work. I talked about building muscles and looking good. I also showed pictures of what Real Food looked like. They all agreed that it didn’t look too scary, but none of them were jumping up and down and congratulating me on my brilliance. I was going to have to prove to them that eating healthy was still going to taste good.
My oldest was going to be home from college for the Summer in a few weeks. I knew he would be the easiest to win over. That boy loved cooking shows as he was growing up. He has more cookbooks than I do and even owns his own Iron Chef apron. I knew he at least liked food and had an adventurous spirit about him. That evened the odds. I now had three on my side. That’s enough to begin the kitchen clean out. Out with the processed and in with the Real!
There are a variety of definitions or rules that Real Food eaters follow. I’ll start with what we cannot eat. Again, these are rules that I have decided on for my family. I really and truly believe that even small changes in diet can have significant results.
What to avoid when eating real food
1. Refined grains: We no longer eat refined grains. That means we no longer eat white flower or white rice. Another thing we look for on our labels is that it says “whole wheat” and not just wheat. Those food people can be pretty tricky.
2. Unknown ingredients: We try to limit things we eat out of a box, bag or can to only having 5 ingredients or less.
3. Deep-fried foods: We no longer eat deep-fried foods.
4. Artificial sweeteners: The only sweeteners we use on a regular basis are honey and real maple syrup. Staying away from artificial sweeteners means I had to kick my Diet Coke habit. Not easy!
5. Don’t over do it: We’ve also agreed that just because it says it’s organic, doesn’t mean we can eat the whole box.
6. Artificial colors: We’ve decided to avoid artificial colors. This one is tougher than you would think.
7. Fast food: The toughest one for us…. NO “FAST FOOD”. No more driving through a line and getting our dinner at a window.
So, that’s great Christina………..you’ve given us a nice list of what not to eat. How about giving us something that we can eat.
This has been one of our Summer staples. It is so quick and easy to make and seems to go with just about everything. These are tomatoes from my Dad’s garden, grass-fed and antibiotic free mozzarella cheese and fresh basil from the farmer’s market. Drizzle a little olive oil, a little balsamic vinegar and a dash of salt and pepper. Yum!
Make sure you subscribe to our free newsletter, so you don’t miss anything. Next time we talk about what we are able to eat these days. I prefer to focus on the positive. And oh boy……….there is so much good to eat when we stick to real food.
Keep reading for what to eat when living a real food lifestyle.