The truth about real food

 

Since starting to live a more intentional and  conscious lifestyle, I have been researching the many ways in which the choices I make can impact not only on my life but the lives of my family and even those further afield.

One area I have been looking hard into is the food we eat.  I have to admit that since I started university, we have been having more and more convenience food. Ready meals, sauce out of a jar etc and I have felt a real difference in my health. A lot of it is down to the fact that I’ve not got myself organised enough to plan ahead and shop for the ingredients that I need for the recipes I want to create.

There are so many blogs around featuring such great recipes that there no reason why I shouldn’t cook from scratch more often and this is where real food comes in.

Real Food

What is real food?

Real food, to me, is produce that uses ethical methods to grow food that respects all parties involved. It is wholesome and nourishing, unprocessed and created from scratch. In essence, untouched by man,  the food our ancestors ate before mass production took hold.

So, what does this really look like?

Grass Fed, Pastured Meats: From animals that have been looked after, allowed to enjoy their lives in green fields. Using all parts including bones to make broths. Beef, lamb, pork, chicken and wild game.

Seafood:  Raised in the wild instead of a fish farm.

Eggs: From chickens that have been pastured, allowed to roam free and enjoy their environment.

Dairy: Raw (or low heat pasteurised) and full fat from grass-fed cows (or goats or sheep). Where you see the words low-fat or fat-free, a lot of junk has been added to make up for the nourishing healthy fats.  Includes milk, cheese, yoghurt, sour cream, and cottage cheese.

Fats: Such as butter from grass-fed cows, unrefined coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, rapeseed oil, and lard.

Grains and Legumes: Beans, nuts, whole grains and seeds. If you can’t tolerate grains, grain-free flour substitutes like almond and coconut flour can be used for baking.

Fruits and Veggies: Mainly seasonal and grown as locally as possible,using organic practices. Plus  lots of fresh homegrown herbs.

Salt: Real, unrefined salt that hasn’t been stripped of its nourishing minerals.

Sweeteners: As natural as possible, such as raw honey (local honey is always preferable due to its health benefits), pure maple syrup, and sugars.

Real Ingredients

It won’t be easy, but I am taking little steps to change the way we shop, eat and live and I will be sharing this journey, the recipes we use and the tips I pick up along the way.

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23 Comment

  1. Good luck on your journey and I think little steps are the key! I’m making a similar pledge to myself, as it can be easy to turn to convenience in a busy life but ultimately we know that we feel better when we eat well. I love your photos too!

  2. I eat far too much rubbish at the moment, and it’s down to stress, and time-sapping to-do lists. I feel much better when I prepare food thoughtfully, from scratch, but there seem to be too many days when I don’t have the energy for it. And then it becomes a cycle. Totally agree with you about salt and fat. Having seen in minute detail what low fat products do to blood glucose levels, I’m a complete convert back to full-fat, full-flavour foods, in sensible quantities. Fat and salts are not the enemy they’re branded to be, as long as they’re used in moderation, like everything else.

  3. I look forward to following your journey – I’m a believer in balance. As much fruit and veg as possible with the occasional lapse into convenience foods.

  4. Lianne says: Reply

    Great idea, lots of luck! I really need to take a leaf out of your book and look a bit closer at the food I eat.

  5. I find a useful measure of how well you are eating is to look at how many VATable foods you have bought. Obviously common sense applies, but if it is VAT free by and large it is good for you.

  6. Good luck on your journey. We do some of these already, but I think we could make a few more positive changes.

  7. Good luck on your journey with this! We try to buy less processed foods now, and to cook from scratch when we have time. x

  8. Chelle says: Reply

    What a really interesting post. We are re evaluating our eaten habits and there’s so much to consider!

  9. Real food is my passion. I pretty much cook from scratch daily. I want my boys to think of chopped frozen onions as convenience food rather than ready meals. I am really worried about what I put into my body and my kids bodies. I carry a genetic spelling mistake for cancer and I would hate for my boys to to have the same issue, but I won’t know until they are tested at 18 (if they choose to). I worry what turns that gene on and try to avoid processed as much as I can ,

  10. We’re no angels here but I do make conscious decisions about food. This morning I have been to the local butcher’s to buy our meat for the week. We took on an allotment last year in order to grow most of the vegetable and soft fruit we eat.

  11. Thank you so much for sharing this. I am keen to eat better and already started implementing changes for me and my girls.

  12. I have made an effort to buy butter over margarine and free range eggs but have not gone as far as you

  13. Joanna says: Reply

    Good Luck on your journey I’ve been eating rubbish for awhile now and need to start being more healthy.

  14. Best of luck! It’s not an easy path… so that to me is really admirable 🙂

  15. Fi Ni Neachtain says: Reply

    Good luck on your healthy eating journey. It’s one everyone should undertake I think.

  16. I think there needs to be a real movement back to real foods and away from salt and sugar laden processed ready made meals.
    So many healthy alternatives and so easy to cook basic food.
    Good luck with your journey

  17. Completely agree. As much as possible, I eat foods that are nourishing and from animals that have lived healthy, happy lives. Haven’t gone as far as having raw milk though. And it’s still important to be wary of natural sweeteners – honey and maple syrup are still sugars at the end of the day.

  18. Changing the way everyone in the household eats is not an easy challenge… I have been struggling with it myself lately, and I guess it is all about taking small steps. Good luck on your journey!

  19. Thank you for sharing this – it is so easy to get carried away and forget what ‘real’ food is! Kaz x

  20. You know I never thought of the ingredients they use to subsidize natural fats in fat free dairy but it makes sense that it wont be good for you despite its claims.

  21. Good luck on your journey, I’m on a mission to eat clean too xx

  22. Anthea says: Reply

    We’re mainly a ‘real food’ family although the odd ready meal slips in for convenience. Once you get into the swing of it you’ll find it hard to believe you did anything differently before

  23. We are about 6 weeks into ‘clean eating’ and are definitely starting to feel the difference. I have so much more energy and my tummy doesn’t feel constantly bloated. Good luck x

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