Baby Steps to Eating Better… {part 1}

BSTEB

Most of us didn’t grow up eating home grown organic produce and butchering our own meat.  Instead we ate large servings of Hamburger Helper for dinner, sugary cereals for breakfast, a hot lunch at school, and Little Debbie’s as an after school snack.  That wasn’t just me right?  Are parents weren’t trying to poison us, they just didn’t know better.  But if you’ve read the labels to any of the above foods you know they are anything but nutritious.  You may be trying to break the generational curse, going back to the food of your great grandparents.  Yet with all the ‘healthy’ claims and labels on food now your simply confused.  That’s okay, everyone starts there.  But you don’t have to stay there.  These are my top baby steps to going REAL with your food in 2014.  Take it one month at a time and by the end of the year you’ll look back and see you’ve come a long way.

fats(1)

Fats….

Yep, you’ve been lied to.  Truth is fat isn’t all that bad for you.  Unless your eating that man made stuff.  But the fat of our ancestors, okay think great grandma really are good for you.  Really.  One of the easiest things to do when starting a real food diet is to throw out that margarine and vegetable oil and replace it with good fats.  Go for organic with fat when you can.  Pesticides/chemicals store in the fatty tissues of animals.   Take one month and focus on buying these good fats, once your in a habit or reaching for that grass-fed butter, move on to step two.

Fats to eat: grass-fed butter (we like Organic Valley’s pastured butter and Kerry Gold), organic virgin coconut oil, virgin olive oil, ghee, lard*, or tallow*

*Lard and tallow were used by most in America up until the early 1900′s.  If you use lard and tallow which are both high in vit. D make sure it isn’t hydrogenated.  Either make your own, or buy from a local farmer who renders his own lard/tallow.  Most of the stuff you’ll find in the grocery store is hydrogenated and that equals trans fat..stay away from any hydrogenated oils/fats.  

making stock

Meat…

Meat is one of those things that we choose to buy quality and eat less.  Your standard grocery store meat is laden with chemicals to keep it fresh.  Ground beef has been reported to contain ammonia (to kill bacteria).  Chicken and pork isn’t much better.  We buy 90% of our meat from a local farmer or a health food store who purchases their meat from local farmers.  On occasion when we move to a new state and haven’t located a local farmer we will purchase organic or grass-fed meat from the store.  Another reason to stay away from grocery store meat is that unless it says organic you can bet the animal was fed GMO’s which then transfer to you and your kids.

Meat to source: Local meat from farmers you trust.  Visit the farm, see how their animals are treated and fed.  Look for animals that are on pasture or strictly grass-fed.  Don’t know how to find a local farmer?  www.localharvest.org is a great resource to help you find a farmer near you!

Take a couple months to adjust your budget and eating habits so that you can afford quality meat.  Yes, you’ll probably have to eat less, but it will be better for you in the long run.  We generally only use a 1/2lb per meat in a main dish.  I use a lot of beans/legumes as fillers and to increase our protein intake.   Once you’ve mastered this step move onto baby step 3 which you’ll find in part 2 of  this series.

Linked To: Juggling Real Food and Real Life

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Katie is a military wife and mother of 4 with 1 on the way. She is passionate about family, food and serving the LORD. By day you may find her changing diapers, folding laundry, home educating her older children, and cooking three meals a day with a baby on her hip next to a sink of dirty dishes. By night she writes and shares recipes, tips, and tutorials for economical, nourishing and simple gluten-free foods at Simple Foody.

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Comments

  1. says

    This is a great series! Check mark on #1) fats (though we also use high oleic sunflower oil, what are your thoughts on that?)… and we have been raising our own meat the past 2 and 1/2 years but I am a bit nervous on the next part in this series :)

    Looking forward to learning more ~ Thanks Katie

    • says

      Sunflower oil is great in moderation. I use it to make mayo every now and then. I’m a wee bit jealous that you’re able to raise your own meat. We did butcher 5 chickens for the freezer this year from our laying flock. And we are thinking of getting meat rabbits. That’s about the extent our landlords will let us go. ;)

  2. says

    This is a great series, Katie. You are a woman after my heart. Thanks for sharing this with our Let’s Get Real readers. I tossed my vegetable oil and never looked back. My primary oils these days are olive oil, coconut oil, and bacon fat. I also found that if I was going to switch to organic meats, that I was going to have to cut back. I now use meat as an ingredient rather than as the entire entree most of the time. I need to feed 6 of us and this strategy has really helped us with our budget.

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