Category Archives: Kitchen & Real Food How-to’s

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Tips to Help You Eat More Real, Whole Foods!

By | Gardening & Sustainable Living, Health & Wellness, Kitchen & Real Food How-to's | No Comments

Okay, so this month we are focusing on eating more Real, Whole Food. For some of us, this isn’t TOO difficult on most days. But for others this is uncharted territory and feels really overwhelming.

If you fall into the latter category, even those of us who having been doing this real food thing for a while have been where you are.

It’s so important to have support and to take things slowly. That’s why this challenge of only ONE simple change per month is so important.

That being said, I want to share a few tips that might be helpful as you aim to eat more real foods this month.

1. Read Labels

Do you recognize ALL of the ingredients? Can you pronounce them? If you answer no to either of these questions, it’s probably NOT Real food. Don’t buy it.

Whole foods like fruits/veggies, lean meats, nuts, whole grains, seeds, etc., don’t need ingredient labels (or their labels only have 1 or 2 things listed….)

Related post: How to Eat Real Food: Read Those Labels

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2. Clean Out Your Pantry

Throw out (or give away) all the stuff with nasty ingredients or names you can’t pronounce. If you get rid of it and replace with more real food options, there will be no available temptation. You can do this slowly or all at once, depending on your personality. I’m an all-or-nothing sort of person, but do what works for you!

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3. Eat more Fruits/Veggies

Shop the produce section. Fill up your cart! Eat fruits and veggies for snacks. Incorporate more veggies into your main dishes. You will feel better, your body will be getting great nutrition and antioxidants and it’s a proven fact that eating more fruits/veggies will cause your body to actually crave more of them. (it’s a phenomenon called “metabolic reprogramming”).

Our family does this a few ways – fruits and veggies in a capsule or gummie form (Kids Eat Free, too!) AND through an organic produce delivery in non-summer months. AND by doing the next thing……

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4. Grow Your Own

If you have some space, grow a garden! You can plant a LOT or even just a little! Container gardening is handy if you don’t have a lot of space.

Another great option is a Tower Garden. It’s a way to grow your produce right on your back porch/deck or even inside, aeroponically. You can learn more here, including ideas, tips and a great video about how it works. No gardening experience needed!

Disclaimer: The company I work with offers both the fruit/veggie capsules and the Tower Garden.  I make a commission if you purchase one through me. I just like to keep things real. :-)

Remember, any new change takes time! You are creating a new habit and taking “baby steps” will help these changes last. This is why we are only focusing on ONE change per month.

Also remember that no one can eat perfectly all of the time. We follow the 80/20 Rule at our house. Don’t stress but do the best you can and make choices that you know will help you feel better!

 

 

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One Simple Change: More Whole, Real Foods!

By | Health & Wellness, Kitchen & Real Food How-to's | No Comments

Happy May Everyone!

I am hoping you will all join me as we embark on a new focus here around Real Food Eater…

We’re going to do One Simple Change per month. Healthy Living can be so overwhelming, especially if you are new to making changes in your lifestyle. Making slow and steady changes will help ensure more lasting results AND habits!

Each month we will focus on a different area where we can make a simple change (sleep, water, exercise, etc).

For the month of May, we’re going to focus on Eating More Real, Whole Foods.

This means we will all be attempting to eat more food:

– without labels

– fewer ingredients

– not from a box

– not processed

Obviously, doing this 100% of the time may not be possible for everyone. But that’s okay. Even making some basic changes can go far! Focus on grocery shopping for things that are whole foods – fruits, veggies, fish, nuts, seeds, whole grains, whole milk dairy/yogurt/cheese.

Take a look in your pantry. Stop purchasing things that have lots of ingredients, especially if you don’t know what some of the ingredients even ARE! Replace them with healthier versions or something new.

We’re going to be supporting each other on this venture, so if you’d like to join us, you can come and request to be added to our Facebook Page HERE.We will offer encouragement to each other, share ideas and tips. If you come across an article, post or recipe that you would like to share, feel free to do that here or on our Facebook page, too! It will be very interactive!!!

I’ll be posting on topics that fit into our focus each month. The goal is for each of us to take steps towards our mutual goal each month. Some may be starting further along in their goal (maybe you’ve already removed a lot of processed foods, etc), and some may be brand new. Either way, my hope is we can do this TOGETHER!

Invite your friends, your family and those that you care about to join us here on the blog or the Facebook page!

A company whom I partner with has a great video (with one of my favorites, Dr. Sears), sharing about One Simple Change and some ideas for Eating More Real, Whole Foods:

While I’m not going to get “salesy” on here, our family really loves using Juice Plus+ for a lot of the reasons they mention in the video. If you’d like to learn more, visit my Virtual Franchise here. You can contact me through that page if you have questions or need more info.

 

Please join us! The more the merrier and each month we will focus on a different One Simple Change we can make towards better health!

 

 

Should you consider an Organic Produce

Should You Consider an Organic Produce Delivery?

By | Kitchen & Real Food How-to's, Vegetarian | 3 Comments

Are you an investigator like me?

Sometimes I drive myself nuts. I get so busy looking into this and that and then I NEVER do anything about it. I’m trying to get better about this as I found that it just stresses me out and nothing changes.

I’m like that with fruits and vegetables.

Let me explain….

For a long time, I saw advertisements for local and non-local produce deliveries. The first time I looked, the place I wanted didn’t deliver to my address. So I kept looking.

Eventually, I heard from a friend or two (isn’t that the best kind of advertisement?) that they liked Doorganics. I had been using another great organic produce delivery that I was happy with, but I as I looked into Doorganics I found that they really aim to source as local as possible. I liked that.

And weirdly, I like that they use these cool green boxes. They deliver your goods in it and then the next week on delivery day you leave the green bin out and they leave your filled one.

I absolutely LOVE the fact that awesome fruits and veggies come right to my door every week (you can choose every other week, too).

I love that I can set my “likes” and “dislikes” so they don’t put them in my box AND that we can substitute out 4 items each time if we’d like. (For example: All summer I subbed out tomatoes EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I was so sick of looking at tomatoes due to my own spazzy tomato plants.)

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So, should you consider an organic fruit and veggie delivery?

Here are a few reasons why you might want to:

1. You are busy.

Who isn’t? My goal is to go to the store almost never. I HATE going to the grocery store. It’s much more enjoyable to pick out my fruit/veggie menu from the comfort of my couch. In fact, I hardly have to pick them out. I get the list on Thursday, I look through it and sub out anything that I don’t need/want and VOILA! Produce shopping is DONE for the next week.

They even have OTHER products you can add to your box if you’d like…I’ve added organic, fair trade coffee quite often.

2. You value organic produce.

More and more folks are learning the benefits of eating organic. Not only will you be avoiding pesticides and toxins, but you’ll be supporting local organic farmers, too. I love that. And shopping for organic produce in local grocery stores can be difficult, lacking in variety and expensive.

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3. You want to feed your family more fruits and veggies.

Again, who doesn’t want to do this? One thing having Doorganics delivery has done for me is to figure out creative ways to use the veggies. If you aren’t creative, don’t worry! They send a recipe in your bin each week and they have recipes on their site.

And you know what? Eating more fruits and veggies is linked with being happier. It also boosts your immune system and delivers antioxidants.

4. You want to save money.

This might sound silly, especially because the convenience of organic fruits and veggies delivered to your door has a cost. But hear me out…

Staying OUT of the grocery store saves me money. It prevents impulse-buying. Honestly, the more I can plan my meals and shopping, the better. It’s another reason I love being a part of a buyers club.

All of these reasons are why I love getting my veggies through Doorganics. If you’d like to give them a try HERE and you’ll get $5 off of your first box. If you don’t mind, put “RealFoodEater” when is asks who referred you! THANKS!

IF YOU LIVE OUTSIDE of the West Michigan area, try Doortodoororganics.com instead and see if they deliver to you!

 

Here are 2 other convenient ways to get more fruits/veggies into your bodies:

1. Concentrated fruits and veggies in a convenient capsule or chewable (kids 4 and over eat free with a purchasing adult). Contact me via email (melissa@realfoodeater.com) for details or to order and sponsor a child. All others can order at my Juice Plus Website.

2. Grow your own with an aeroponic Vertical Tower Garden System.

 

 

 

Homemade Sauerkraut (using 1 head of

Quick Sauerkraut with a Head of Cabbage

By | Kitchen & Real Food How-to's, Vegetarian | No Comments

Have you ever made homemade sauerkraut?

Even if you think you don’t like it, please promise me you’ll give the homemade type a chance. It’s SO much better. Not only is the texture and flavor better, but it’s PACKED with beneficial bacteria (aka probiotics) to help your gut.

Personally, I like the flavor, color and texture of RED cabbage the best.

Plus, making sauerkraut is actually really, really easy. At the least, you just need cabbage, salt and some jars.

FIRST, you’ll want to weigh your cabbage – AFTER you take off the first couple layers of leaves AND the core. (If you need a great, inexpensive kitchen scale that weighs in ounces, pounds and kilograms AND that you can “zero out” to weigh things in a bowl, etc., I highly recommend this one that is shown in my picture):

cabbage on scale

Next, shred the cabbage in a Food Processor or chop finely with chef’s knife.

Place shredded cabbage in a large bowl and add 4 Tablespoons of salt for every 2lbs of cabbage. This one above weighed just over 6lbs, so I tripled that.

Sprinkle salt over cabbage and start kneading/squeezing cabbage with your clean, bare hands.

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Within a couple minutes, the water should be dripping out of the cabbage every time you squeeze it. Keep it up for a couple minutes until it’s pretty juicy.

Next, pack into clean mason jars – I have found several small ones work better than one large one. You’ll want to use the wide-mouth jars if possible so that you can use a smaller cup to press the sauerkraut down. The goal is to cover the top of the sauerkraut with the juice.

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Then, put lid on and store in a dark, cool place. I chose a kitchen cupboard. AND learn from my previous mistake by putting something under the sauerkraut….I had one erupt as it fermented and it makes a MESS. I simply used a pie plate this time around:

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(this is only using 1/2 the head of cabbage)

 

Just check the kraut every day or two, taste it with a clean fork to see if it’s at the texture you prefer – if not, squish it back down with a small cup again to get liquid covering the top layer.

Once it’s the right taste/texture, simply place in the refrigerator for long-term storage. The refrigeration will stop the fermentation process and you’ll have FRESH, tasty, probiotic-rich sauerkraut!

If you want to learn more about fermenting, I highly recommend this beautiful book full of colorful pictures and easy-to-follow directions (probably BECAUSE he has so many pictures):

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What have you fermented at home?

(and yes, BEER counts!)

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“Real Food for Rookies” Online Class – 25% off (limited time)!

By | Books & Resources, Kitchen & Real Food How-to's | No Comments

 

Are you someone who desires to eat more Real Food but doesn’t know where to start?

Do you learn best by being shown how to do something, not just reading about it?

Do you have health problems (either small or BIG) and wonder if a change in your diet might help?

Then THIS CLASS is for you! (and it’s 25% off right now!(

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My friend Kelly over at Kelly the Kitchen Kop is having an AMAZING sale for a short time on her “Real Food for Rookies” online class. BE SURE TO use coupon code 25OFFDEAL to get 25% off of her class!

Learn from the comfort of your own home with video tutorials, info, recipes and more.

What You’ll Get:

  • 12 weeks of online classes with videos, downloadable audios, and written materials.
  • LIFETIME access! Read/listen/watch at your leisure: on your break at work, while the kids are sleeping, in your pajamas, whatever! If you have a busy week, no big deal, just pick it back up on your own schedule.
  • Exclusive expert interviews with Sally Fallon Morell (President of the Weston Price Foundation), Dr. Kaayla Daniel (author of The Whole Soy Story), Jane Hersey (Director of the Feingold Association), Tom Naughton (“Fathead” filmmaker), and now one more: Jimmy Moore from the Livin LaVida Low-Carb blog!
  • BONUS: Free copy of the Kitchen Kop Real Food Ingredient Guide.

You’ll Learn How To:

  • Save time and money while serving Real Food
  • Read labels and avoid dangerous ingredients
  • Make nourishing “fast food” meals to avoid last-minute trips to the drive-thru
  • Find healthier alternatives for soda pop, refined sugars, heart-killer oils, sugar-bomb breakfast cereals, factory farmed meat and more
  • Serve nutrient-dense foods that are necessary for good health
  • Take control of your health and change your family’s future!

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(and be sure to use coupon code 25OFFDEAL at check-out to get 25% off!)

 

Kelly has been “into” Real Food for quite some time. She trustworthy, has done her homework and desires to share her long-earned Real Food knowledge with us! This class in invaluable and is backed up with advice from Real Food experts.

Kelly had a rough couple of months (see her blog for updates) and I’d love to be able to bless her by sending some new “Real Food Rookies” her way!!!

Will you be one of them? I know you won’t be disappointed!

I’d tell you more about the class, but she’s got some great intro videos and testimonials over on her class site – go check them out!

 

 

 

 

Back to Butter: A Traditional Foods Cookbook Review (and Giveaway!)

By | Kitchen & Real Food How-to's, Special Deals & Giveaways | No Comments

BacktoButter

As a blogger and Real Food eater, I come across LOTS and LOTS of books. Sometimes, they are even mailed to me (in hopes I will read them, review them and write a blog post).

Occasionally I will get an email asking if I would like to review a book and also offering to give one away to my readers.

Honestly, I don’t say “yes” to many of them. I’m pretty picky about what I spend my time reading/reviewing and if it isn’t Real Food or Holistic Health-related, I say a polite “no thanks”.

That being said, I promise you that THIS BOOK was worth reviewing.

And it’s worth me saying “yes” to the authors giving one away to one of my readers.

The authors, Molly Chester and her mom Sandy Schrecengost, have changed their health using traditional foods. After trying every other diet and fad out there, they finally turned to Traditional Foods. They saw their GERDs (acid reflux) and PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian System) slowly disappear.

Without medications.

Just real, Traditional Foods.

Red Cabbage Kraut with Fresh Dill

Red Cabbage Kraut with Fresh Dill

 

These changes prompted them to give up their high-paying jobs and buy a 160-acre farm in southern California. This makes me a little jealous.

What are Traditional Foods, you ask? Thinks like Fats/Oils, Sustainable & Pastured/Grassfed Meat, Full Fat/Raw Dairy, Nuts/Seeds/Beans/Grains that are prepared properly, Natural Sweeteners and Fermented Foods.

Sometimes books on Traditional Foods end up being a little textbook-y. You know, so much detailed info that your head hurts when you read it. But NOT this one.

The authors are succinct and no-nonsense in their approach to sharing info. They provide valuable, researched nutrition info. The authors do a GREAT job at explaining in common terms what Traditional Foods are, how to prepare them and WHY!

And not only that, but the pictures are BEAUTIFUL!!!

Roasted Shrimp Salsa

Roasted Shrimp Salsa

 

Even within the recipe portion they include little tidbits of helpful information for those aiming to eat more Traditional, Real Foods. Nutrition-dense foods are what our bodies need and crave!

I truly think this is a very helpful and real-life book that every Real Food eater should have in their library. While I haven’t been able to try any of the recipes yet (bad timing as we just sold our home and are packing things up), I cannot wait to try some of the mouth-watering recipes like this one:

Roasted Cauliflower with Pine Nuts and Parmesan

Roasted Cauliflower with Pine Nuts and Parmesan

 

AND, I am so excited that the authors are giving away ONE COPY of this book to one of my readers!

Enter to win below! And if you aren’t feeling lucky, you can hop on over to Amazon and buy the Kindle version for $11.99 or the paperback version for $15.99 now!

 

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