As 2013 finishes up, I can’t help but reflect on the crazy real food progress I’ve made over the past 12 months. I’ve worked on so many mini changes to what I eat during this year that it has resulted in a pretty major overhaul of my family’s kitchen. Much of the journey has been documented on this blog, which I started in April after several years of researching, cooking and sharing healthy food.
It has been such a pleasure to share my experience with you. This blog has connected me with so many on your own real food journeys, and made me feel a little less alone and even less like a kooky food nutter. I know that the Lean.Green.Kitchen community is all over the map in their views and dedication to real food. We embrace anyone making conscience decisions around their food choices and support and encourage everyone to figure out their next steps and take them. And this definitely includes me.
Without further ado, here are the five biggest real food changes I made this year.
5. I stopped buying 90% of the processed food I had been purchasing. This was a major reduction, because I had already massively cut out processed food over the prior few years. It mostly entailed kids snacks, and “special treats.” I spent the year focusing on cleaning up the kids’ food, which resulted in them eating lots of popcorn and fruit for snacks and homemade treats. We realized that if it’s not in the house, we don’t eat it. A smart way to get out of (some) kid food battles – don’t have anything battle-worthy in the pantry.
4. I switched all our dairy to full fat organic sources. I even splurged a few times and bought raw whole milk. Hubster buys wine, I buy raw milk. Everyone’s got their thing. I stopped buying ultra pasteurized products. I sent a few emails attempting to find a raw milk local source, but haven’t had any luck yet. I’ve opened myself up to the universe to find a reasonably priced raw milk source, so fingers crossed for 2014!
3. I stopped cooking and baking with vegetable oils. I now use extra virgin olive oil for my cold oil needs and organic butter, coconut oil, tallow (from my bone broth making) and bacon drippings (from million dollar high quality bacon) for everything else. These traditional fats are not only delicious, they are nutritious and essential for brain maintenance. Our family jokes that the healthiest thing about our whole wheat toast is the beautiful butter on top of it.
2. I sourced the majority of our meats and eggs. I bought a cow for butchering and found local sources for eggs. It was a life changing process. We eat meat and eggs from animals who lived quality lives and honor them with our energy, health and vitality. We no longer support (with our money) deplorable animal living conditions and nutrient-depleted chemical-full meat options.
1. Anyone who follows Lean.Green.Kitchen on Facebook will not be surprised by my number one real food change this year. I have become a wee bit obsessed with the process of fermentation and the amazing role that our gut health plays in our overall health. Through this transformative process I have sipped the Kombucha kool-aid and now find my house filled with homemade kefir, yogurt and Kombucha as well as probiotics, sauerkraut, bone broth, sourdough and real deal fermented pickles. After so many years of eating a diet filled with depleted dead food, it has been an exploratory adventure to become friends with yeasts and bacteria. I think the answer to many of our modern-day health issues could be remedied with attention to cultivating the good bacteria in our gut. This has been revolutionary in my real food journey, and I have so much more to learn!
So I am absolutely thrilled that 2014 is upon us as I move forward and learn and change, and learn and change, and learn and change. I’m working on my list of mini changes for the new year, and will be sharing them soon. Hope you will join me!
Have a wonderful final week of 2013. If you have made any real food changes in 2013 due (in any small part) to the influence or inspiration of this blog, I would LOVE to hear about them. It has been true joy to hear your stories along the way. My phone is full of photos of your trials, emails with questions, and celebratory “wahoos” via text or Facebook when you’ve succeeded with something new. I love it! Keep them coming.