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Whole Food Eating for the Newbie

 *Be aware that the following links for Real Food for the Real Homemaker are affiliate links on my behalf.* 

Are you new to whole or real food eating? Maybe you know you need to take your meals in a healthier direction but you’re unsure how. I know that’s how I was for years. Low fat, low carb, high protein, no fat, sugar substitutes….which one is right!?

Well, I am not here to tell you what is right or what you and your family should eat or not eat. I’m just here to share my experience.

Growing up, I never thought much about what I ate. We ate out a lot and had a many frozen meals when I was a kid. Both my parents worked and I’m sure it was a challenge feeding us kids when they would work late and come home exhausted. We were definitely a packaged meal, canned soup, microwave dinner kind of family. I didn’t really know any different.

We ate that way for a long time into our marriage too. Cream of mushroom soup, processed meats, box mixes. But after my second baby, I was diagnosed with Insulin Resistance. Then with our third pregnancy, I developed gestational diabetes and they discovered that I had hypothyroidism. I knew we had to do something. I prayed, Oh God…please do something. I do not want to end up with diabetes. Please. Show me the way, Lord.

Well, God is faithful and He showed up. A friend of mine and her family invested in our lives and shared their struggle with food and how God had transformed their lives by the way they ate.

One of the kids developed Crohn’s disease. She was on countless medications and even steroids to maintain her “health.” She gained a significant amount of water weight. Then her mom found out about the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. She learned how to prepare food traditionally in order to maintain its nutritional benefits and help the human body digest things properly. After changing their diet, their daughter’s health came back almost fully! She is healthy now, following a strict diet, but she is thriving.

So what changed in my life? Well, for starters, we try not to buy processed foods. Check out this post for more details. We also stopped drinking soda. We started making food at home and we began learning about good fats and fermenting foods.

You’re probably thinking, great…but what kind of results have you had?!  At least that’s what I would be thinking….Well, since beginning this diet January 2013, my husband and I have lost roughly 15-20 lbs each. I have lost 4 inches and we have each gone down a pant size or two. Not only that, but they have lowered my thyroid medication dosage. We are on our way to healing!

Now, that being said, we do not follow this diet to a t. We are still learning and we still eat things that are probably not great for us. But you know what? That’s ok. Stressing about what we eat only makes things more difficult. We still enjoy our food, we still eat plenty, and we still go out to eat sometimes. I’m sure with more dedication, we would see better results.

Maybe you’re sitting there and you’re like I was… You know you need to make a change but you’re unsure of the direction you need to go. Well, I am here to help!

 

As you might now, I am a contributing writer for Young Wife’s Guide and the author of that website, Jami, has begun another website called, Homemaking from Scratch. Well, she and two other authors have launched a real food cookbook called, Real Food for the Real Homemaker.

I really appreciated this cookbook. It helped me simplify some recipes and also gave me ideas for new recipes which was a huge help to get my family out of our “food rut”. One thing this book helped me do was start making my own tortillas. It’s so easy! Now, I don’t have to spend a bunch of money on sprouted or simple ingredient store-bought tortillas and I certainly don’t have to give my family the GMO-ladened, store-bought tortillas either.

The book is full of helpful tips and information and great recipes to help you get started on your real food journey. Right now since they are just launching this eCookbook, it’s on sale! For $9.99, you get the eCookbook (with kindle version included), printable recipe cards, and a meal planner too.

So check it out!

Don’t be scared of real food eating. Start small and simple. Learn the basics.

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No One Told Me That…

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“We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness – and call it love – true love.” ~ Robert Fulghum, True Love

Why is it that nothing is as we think it is? Ah…such is life. Life is weird. People are weird. It’s true. I am always interested in hearing about things women thought they knew but realized they were wrong. It’s very normal for me. Nothing turns out the way I thought it would. But I was interested in hearing from you!

–Marriage– –Pregnancy & Childbirth–  –Raising Kids– and –Running a Household–

        What did other women say when I asked them what they didn’t know and what no one told them about the topics above when they embarked on this journey? Check out some of the comments!

You mean my kitchen cupboards aren’t already stocked with food when we get home from the honeymoon? I have to make that happen? Ridiculous!

-Baylie

No one told me that a man can snore loud enough to wake you out of a dead sleep…

No one told me that he would want dinner. Every night. For the rest of my life. I mean, our Moms did that for us- but it just doesn’t register!

No one told me it was possible to love a man sooooo much, yet still want to beat him to death with a stick.

No one told me that I would want to march down to his job when he doesn’t get the promotion and let them know exactly how wrong they are and what they’re missing out on.

Grocery shopping! It seemed so glamorous when I was a kid! And the cost of groceries? I remember the look on my husband’s face when I told him I mostly ate macaroni and cheese with tuna in it because it was cheap. He lived at home with Mom until we were married and expected these meals that I had No. Idea. How. To. Cook.

-Heather

You really don’t get your body fully back after delivery.

The kid always has a blowout when you forget the diaper bag.

Kid’s poop can be a variety of colors, shapes and sizes.

You will talk about poop like it’s a normal everyday thing…

-Carrie

I didn’t know that others moms don’t have it all together.  – Kate

After being in labor for over 12 hours

After being in labor for over 12 hours

I thought I’d make my own list. Here’s what I came up with.

I didn’t know that sharing the bathroom with someone else would be so easy. …and so difficult.

I didn’t know that budgets were actually important.

I didn’t know that being nervous to “let it all hang out” at the doctor was only temporary.

I didn’t know that bedtime would be my favorite part of the day.

I didn’t know that I was so much like my parents.

I didn’t know that they would want three meals a day…sometimes more.

I didn’t know that I could love someone so much and still be so angry with them.

I didn’t know I would have to deal with someone’s bowel movements over and over again sometimes many in one day.

I didn’t know I would be so tired.

I didn’t know stuff could come out of both ends…at the same time.

I didn’t know moms were human.

I didn’t know that what I eat is actually important.

I didn’t know know that I would have to clean the same room 4000 times in one day.

I didn’t know I could love someone so much.

I didn’t know that my greatest desire would be for them to grow, prosper, and live for God.

I didn’t know I would have to relearn everything I thought I already knew.

I didn’t know it would be so difficult.

I didn’t know I would learn to want so little and yet receive so much.

I didn’t know life could be so messy.

What would you add to our list?

No matter what we didn’t know, life is a gift and everything (and everyone!) that God puts in our lives is important and a blessing. And just because life is messy doesn’t mean we can’t laugh our way through. Laugh at the weird things (and weird ones!) in your life and enjoy every minute.

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Meal Plan Monday

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It’s Monday! That means I need to plan our meals for this week. What are your plans for this week? Do you have plans for the 4th?

Happy fourth of july to you and your family! Let’s celebrate the freedom we have in our country and all the opportunities we have.

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Weekly Goals

My goal this week is to start simplifying everything! Meals, cleaning, storage. I am hoping to do some of this by clearing closet space and preparing for our garage sale next month.

Breakfasts

Oatmeal

Fruit and yogurt

Eggs

Toast

Chia seed drink (recipe to come!)

Lunches

Grilled Cheese

Sandwiches

Leftovers

Dinners

Monday: Spaghetti, vegetable, and salad

Tuesday: Pulled Pork sandwiches, carrots, applesauce

Wednesday: Sausage & cheese omelets and fruit smoothies (recipe to come!)

Thursday: Happy Fourth of July!  Cookout at home. Hamburgers, homefries or potato salad, salad

Friday: Roast Chicken with potatoes, onions and carrots, beans, and applesauce

Saturday: Cookout with friends.

Sunday: Pork roast with potatoes and a veggie

So that’s our week! I hope your family has a wonderful holiday, celebrating our freedom as a nation.

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*Why do I share my meal plan? There are really two reasons. The first reason is so that I have easy access to my plan all week. It is easy for me to just sit down and type a plan and check it all week. The second reason is accountability. If I have my plan out on the internet, maybe I’ll stick to it and keep up the planning!

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Monday Meal Plan

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So tomorrow is the day we order from our co-op and so I am putting together a list of things I need to order. I thought I might share our meal plan too. Exciting stuff right there.

So for our co-op order, it depends on our budget, but here is what I am hoping to order:

  • Coconut Sugar
  • Cashew Butter
  • Chia Seeds
  • Maybe some Kombucha.
  • Sunflower Oil

I am also going to try to get some kefir grains (maybe water kefir!) from our co-op leader.

So for our meal plan last week, I did a two week plan. However, I will just do this week since I didn’t post it last Monday.

Breakfasts

  • Soaked oatmeal or pancakes with fruit
  • Toast (with homemade bread- Recipe soon)
  • Yogurt and fruit
  • Eggs
  • Muffins
  • Tea, milk, or smoothies

Lunches

  • Pizza Quesadillas
  • Grilled Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Sandiwches
  • Left overs
  • Salad (cobb or taco)

Dinners

  • South of the Border omelets with home fries
  • Pulled pork and potato salad
  • Dutch Babies with fruit
  • Roast Chicken with baked potatoes
  • Chicken enchiladas with chips and guacamole 

I also wanted to share some time sensitive information with you! Tomorrow at 6pm EST there is a free live webcast (with speakers like Lysa TerKeurst and Sheila Walsh) through Women of Faith. Check it out! Sign up here.

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What I Want Them to Know (Plus Bonus Post: Our Summer Bucket List)

The fam. 20132.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I tend to post when I have time. Sometimes it’s every day, sometimes it’s only once or twice a week. It’s how we roll here…nothing is ever expected, normal, or as planned.

With that said, I am a planner at my core…and I like to plan ahead even though I know the plan will probably not happen as it should. Ah…such is life.

Before I get to our “plan”, I found this article the other day and it really inspired me to write down some things I want my kids to know about me. So I did it! Check out my list:

20thingsmykidsshouldknow

As I wrote this post, I thought of a few more:

21.) I don’t want you to be like me because I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I made.

22.) I love the funny things you say and do.

23.) You are growing and learning so quickly. I am proud of you.

24.) Nothing you do will change the way I see you.

25.) God’s love is free and so is mine. You never have to earn my love or favor.

My kids are young right now, but I know in the future, I will have many opportunities to share these facts with them. After all, how will they know what to get me for mother’s day (a coupon for my favorite coffe shop, of course!)? And how will they know my true intentions in every situation… unless I tell them?

I really liked this idea…it’s fun, but it also tells my kids about their mom. It opens communication, it is honest and real. How many times are we completely honest and real with our kids? Motherhood is hard…but loving our kids doesn’t have to be. Being open with them (as with any relationship) is the key to success. Do you love your kids enough to be real with them?

I encourage you to make a list for your kids and when your kids are old enough, have them make one too.

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Photo by Alsal Photography

So summer is finally here! I hope you are as excited as I am. As I was thinking about what I wanted to accomplish this summer, I realized I should write it all down so that we can check off items as we accomplish them. Hence the Summer Bucket List.

summerbucketlist2Photos courtesy of picmonkey.com

So far, we’ve already picked strawberries and planted our garden. We also hope to go to our local farmer’s market this weekend.🙂

So What does your summer look like? Do you have a list?

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Whole Food Eating: Co-op Ordering

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photo by richreed

As I was getting ready to place my co-op order last month, I decided I should do a post about it. I touched on it in my last post, but we order from Frankferd Farms. We order through a friend of a friend and it’s not really a co-op because it’s not really membership based. A co-op, or food cooperative, according to the International Cooperative Alliance (1), is:

“… an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise. Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.”

The idea for co-ops, is to provide people access to real and natural foods that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to just by shopping at the grocery store. This is especially important in areas like mine that are very small communities that have limited foods available. All we have is a Kroger and a Walmart and a small mexican grocery….SO….a co-op was a good idea for us.

There are certainly other ways to get real food. I touched on this a little in my budgeting for real food article. A really good way to get good food is to go to good people! The little guys: farmers, small shop owners, farmer’s markets, get stuff from friends or grow it yourself. But for things we can’t get this way, we order.

Like anything, we need to budget our spending for the co-op orders. Our main order is wheat berries for making our homemade bread (recipe coming soon). So when we buy those, (25lbs!!) we won’t usually buy anything else. But, since 25lbs will keep us in wheat for a while, when we don’t have to order them, we can get other things. There is a wide variety of things to order from, of course.

To look at the catalog, just go to their website and click on Our Catalog.

taken directly from the Frankferd Farms catalog

taken directly from the Frankferd Farms catalog

Most of the time, we get rice, a nut butter, baking supplies, cheese…etc.

Some of the best things to get are dry goods. Grain, rice, and beans. We do buy this stuff, but we also buy cheese and other refrigerated goods.

Rice

Photo by freedigitalphotos.net

Most of the time, if you have a co-op group, there will also be people in the group who know what is best to buy and what is not as good. There may also be people who you can get certain items from. The woman that orders for us sells chickens, eggs, and much more. She also has Kombucha Scobies, Kefir Grains, and Sourdough starters that she gives away because she’s always got extra.🙂 So check around.

Ask around at farmer’s markets or people in your area to see if they know of a co-op in your community. There are probably several. You can order from Frankferd and other co-ops independently, but it can be costly. Plus delivery can be difficult. Doing it as a group order will be most beneficial. You can even google “local food co-ops” and see if you can find one that is near you. However, I think the best way to find one, is to ask people you know.

Good food is the key to a good life.

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photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net

Sources: 1.)http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/save-money-food-coop.htm