My Hearth and Heart

Because my heart is always at home

Real Talk: Food

6 Comments

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about what exactly it is that we are doing with our diet. The truth is, it’s a learning process for us too because we have to TOTALLY revamp the way we eat. So I thought I would talk a little bit about what our thought process was when we made a menu, made a list, went grocery shopping, and entertained friends this past weekend.

It started with D saying “I wouldn’t be opposed to changing our diet.”

That sent me into SUPER research mode. At one point, I lost fifteen pounds in a little over a month by pulling ALL the sugar out of my diet (as recommended to me by my naturopath after my miscarriage). I fell off the wagon because, well, let’s face it, I love sugar. And it’s really hard to do something like this without your partner on board. I would watch him eat regular bread and crave it even more. So, when he said he was on board for change, I started to look into it…

I came across a digital cookbook called “The Clean Eating Cookbook and Diet” By the Rockridge Press. It talks about how “clean eating” isn’t a NEW concept, but one that’s gaining popularity because it just works. It’s NOT about eliminating whole food groups (i.e. Grains, meats, etc), but about eating natural, unprocessed foods that nourish your body.

I know what you’re thinking… All food is processed on some level. I’ve heard that 1000 times from people in the last few days. I get it. It’s not going out, killing a wild boar, and eating it right off the bone. Although if that option were available to me? I’d take it. So, we make do.

This is all about choosing foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. For example: do you know what goes into your store-bought bacon? I bet you’ve never looked at the label. Sugars and salts are required to cure that bacon and get the flavor we all know and love. The solution? Purchase uncured bacon, or better yet, purchase uncured bacon from a local farmer! Or, if you have the resources, time, and money… Grow your own pig. That’s about as close as you can get to knowing what goes into your meat, wouldn’t you say?

That’s the whole idea behind what we are doing. Sugars, refined grains, additives, saturated fats, etc. it’s all gone from our lives. And it’s pretty adaptable, you can use old recipes (like my chicken parm… More on that in a second) and just replace old stuff with new. However, there are some general guidelines.

55% of our meals are complex carbohydrates, broken down into 35% non starchy, 20% starchy.
27% of our meals are a lean protein and
18% of our meals are healthy fats.

So.

How about some roasted pork tenderloin, blanched green beans, and roasted sweet potatoes (in olive oil)? Sound delicious? Well, as long as the green beans and sweet potatoes aren’t out of a can, you’re doing amazing.

It’s really a lot easier than we thought it was going to be. Here’s a list of things we eat:

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So when we started making a menu, we picked out meals from the cookbook (along with a few others) that fit the above list…

Have you ever heard the saying “if you stay around the edge of the grocery store, you’re getting everything you need?” It’s true. We only went to the middle for things for O.

And all your old recipes are adaptable. We had friends over this weekend for chicken parm. I made homemade marinara (tomatoes, carrots, celery, garlic, basil, onion), rolled the chicken in whole wheat breadcrumbs, baked… Topped with goat cheese. It was amazing, and while not traditional, it was WAY better for us than frying the chicken in oil.

So. There it is. All laid out for you guys. It’s been a lot easier than I thought it would be. I’m not starving all the time, and while I do miss the Pop Tarts, I found my homemade granola and Greek yogurt to be an amazing substitute.

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Author: Meghann

Stay at home mommy, wife, daughter, sister and friend. This is my place to brag about my kids, my husband, my family, my friends... and to get a little opinionated.

6 thoughts on “Real Talk: Food

  1. Even if I don’t 100% agree with the principle, I’m having a lot of fun watching along from the sidelines.

    Two comments:

    1. Making your own bacon, as it turns out, is really easy. If you have access to a pork belly. Let me know; I’ve done it myself before, turns out well.

    2. Goose/Gander — why not do the same foods for O? (your comment about going to the middle of the store for O).

    Good luck! 🙂

    • O has sensory issues. He is literally afraid of most foods. I’m hoping it’s something that he grows out of, but it’s not something we fight about. If he wants to try it, great, if not, that’s cool too. He just gets this look of sheer terror on his face when you try to introduce anything new (food and otherwise).

      We just choose not to eat bacon currently because it’s fatty. So, when we get to that point of reintroducing some things we love, I will let you know. We are currently in the process of possibly growing our own pig. I’m excited.

      • Ah, ok on O, I didn’t know that. I can see the point of not fighting the unwinnable battle. 🙂

        Growing your own pig, eh? Fun. I’d love to have an acreage someday to do things like that but I don’t think wifey will ever live out of town.

    • Also, just for arguments sake: what is it that you don’t agree with?

      • Just for the sake of argument (not that I’m discouraging of your life choices or changes, because I think they’re ABSOLUTELY a good change), but…A couple of points, I guess:

        A) not all that is artificial or processed is necessarily bad, so to ascribe to a diet that focuses on only non-natural things isn’t necessarily scientific, but more idealistic. Ibuprofen isn’t natural but is a damned handy drug. Baby carrots are “processed” but that doesn’t necessarily make them bad. Perhaps not the best of examples but I think you get my gist. I do think there’s plenty of arguments to BE had in that area that the natural/unprocessed/minimally-processed ends up being better than the extra-processed, but I think making a blanket statement is throwing the baby out with the bathwater without any solid proof of it.

        B) There’s levels of “natural” and so forth that I think one can move towards as it makes sense financially and what have you without going to the extreme. For instance, you made the comment about canned food. Now, not all canned food is good, because some is full of salt, etc. But much of it is, and even if it’s not the same as the raw ingredient, it’s a far cry from not having veggies at all or having much worse things.

        C) Different things work for different folks; your list above is still pretty carb-heavy, which works well for some and poorly for others, even if they’re complex and more natural carbs. So, again, a blanket solution doesn’t necessarily hit all points, but I agree it’s better by far than the alternative of doing nothing at all.

        Anyway. Not to argue much because I think you’re doing very well, but those are the things that come to my head. 🙂

      • Valid points, all of them.

        I get agitated with people who can’t point out what it is that doesn’t click, or that they don’t understand, about what we are doing (hence the post)… So thank you for vocalizing and pin pointing instead of just saying it sounds like a lot of work. Or saying “all food is processed.”

        The biggest change for us (and I think what most people don’t understand about food) is the switch from canned/processed to more “natural” foods changes the WAY our body breaks things down. Without all the added sugars, salts and additives, it’s breaking down food the way it needs to in order to function at its best. Yes, the list is complex carb heavy, but it takes longer for your body to break that down, thus providing more energy for longer, and stabilizing your blood sugar eliminating the cravings for snacking. I haven’t felt hungry in days.

        I agree that canned veggies are better than none, ESPECIALLY when you’re on a tight budget. But for those who may be reading these comments and thinking that applies to them, the best way to cut the cost down is to eat seasonably. You know, apples in the fall, berries in the summer, etc. I have found that has helped a LOT in our budgeting. And by the time I’m over sweet potatoes, they’re out of season anyway. Lol.

        And I agree with the not all that is artificial is bad. I still use OTC medication if I need to, and my shampoo is from the store (although I DO use coconut oil in my hair), and I use olive oil to cook with. The thing is, if I can’t pronounce it, or I can’t find it in the food’s natural state (i.e. Salt in canned tomatoes), then I don’t want it in my food unless I put it there. So like red 45 or whatever, and corn starch, and high fructose corn syrup is all out. But you’re right, there are some things that cannot be helped (olive oil, yogurt, milks – nut or otherwise).

        Wall of text crits for 50k. 🙂

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