Welcome back to The Real Food Experience 2014. We are working week by week to change from a processed food diet to a real food lifestyle. So far we have included 2 fruits or vegetables in each meal, eaten more whole grains, cut out artificial colors, switched to using only natural sweeteners, made the switch to real beverages and limited ingredients in our food to 5. We have been going along pretty smoothly until this last week. I’ve been rather impressed with everyone. They have been making this transitions rather easily……..until this week. I got all kinds of feedback about how finding foods with only 5 ingredients has proven to be problematic.
Thank goodness! This transition was difficult for me as well and let me tell you……..it took a lot more than a week for my family to make this change. I was beginning to think that I was the odd one for taking so long to make the transition from a mostly processed food diet to a real food lifestyle.
What I found is that there are very few processed food products that have only 5 ingredients. We really live in a highly processed food society. That is why we are going to spend another week working on reading labels and trying to find foods that we can eat while following our 5 ingredient guideline.
In our Real Food Experience Facebook group we are going to start sharing brands and foods that meet this guideline. I invite you to do that here as well.
Why 5 Ingredients?
That’s easy. We have to pick a number and this sounds good to me if we are trying to avoid a highly processed food diet. I’ve also found that if I stick to this rule for my family, then I am also more easily cutting out artificial colors, processed sugars, and all of the other ingredients that I am trying to avoid.
Where did we start? Whole foods. We shopped the perimeter of the grocery store and spent lots of time at the farmer’s market. I prepared really basic meals with lots of fruits and vegetables. There are lots and lots of wonderful real food recipes, but to keep it simple………..I started by eating vegetables with butter and salt and fruit salads with orange or lemon juice squirted over it. Carrots. I eat lots and lots of carrots. They are just the crunch I need when I’m craving potato chips. Cucumbers work for this too. I love a really simple Garlic and Lemon Hummus with them. My friend Nicky at Little Family Adventure has a great Sun Dried Tomato Hummus to try too.
Are there foods that we miss? At first, there were plenty of food that we missed. My kids wanted their chicken nuggets and chocolate milk. I learned to make chicken nuggets from scratch and switched my very addicted to chocolate milk little guy to maple milk. It is difficult with children (and some husbands) to completely change what they are used to eating all at once. Each of our meals brought conversation about the food and how we could make it better. All of a sudden, I had a house full of food critics. I was plenty discouraged at times when they didn’t all like things that I took so much time preparing. I didn’t give up. How could I expect them all to like one meal when I couldn’t get them to all agree on the same fast food establishment.
So…….give it another week. Let me know how you are doing and we’ll start sharing what we find here and on Facebook. We will move through this real food journey together and come out on the other side as much healthier families. We will have the energy to keep up with our busy family schedules and fight off disease. Remember……..we truly are what we eat.
Let me know what you eat that meets this 5 ingredient rule. What foods do you miss the most? What are you having a hard time finding a replacement for? What resistance are you getting from your family?
Can’t get enough Juggling Real Food and Real Life? Make sure you subscribe to our email list so you don’t miss a post. You will also want to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Just look for the buttons at the top to follow us on your favorite social media. We also have a Real Food Experience Facebook group. If you would like to join us, leave me your Facebook email address (the one you sign on with) in the comments below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.