Real Food Confessions!

This month, we’re going to switch it up a little bit.  I usually do “Monday Health & Wellness” but I’m going to let that go for this month — we’ll pick it up again in August and definitely get back to it in time for the winter and “sick season!”  For now though… real food confessions!

If you’re new to real food — or even if you’re not — does it ever seem like real food bloggers “have it all together?”  Does it seem like we’re stricter than you are or that we constantly feed our children only the healthiest, most nourishing food?  Does it seem like we “know it all” and are unreachable?

I have a feeling that it does.  I read what other real food bloggers write, and sometimes I feel like I’m not good enough!

Since I don’t want you to feel that way, I’ve decided to do this series!

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I’ll be featuring one or two bloggers answering questions about their family’s actual real food consumption.  And you might be surprised by what they confess!  They’re not perfect. :)

My Real Food Confession

I’ll kick off the series by confessing myself!  Come back on Wednesday to see more!

How “into” real food are you? (how long have you been doing it, how many different foods do you make from scratch, etc.)

I’ve been “into” real food for about three years now, although I’ve been “really” into it for just over two (we started brewing kombucha, sprouting grains, etc. around April 2010).  I make most of our foods from scratch at this point, especially any baked goods, cultured foods, and other things that I cannot buy at a store.  If I can buy it and it’s not prohibitively expensive, I might do so.

What is one food you just can’t make yourself? (even if you’ve tried a lot…!) 

I’m not very good at making cheese yet…nor do I have the equipment for aged cheeses.  I’m only just figuring out milk and water kefir now (finally got a batch of milk kefir that is actually thick!  After…oh…5 – 10 attempts?).   Sourdough still doesn’t go very well for me.  Fermenting vegetables…umm…yeah.  Not so good.  And I really wish I could.  Fermenting in general, if it isn’t kombucha and now kefir…I’m not so good at.

How much of what your family eats is *really* homemade? (vs. storebought, restaurants, etc.) 

Uh…about 90%, I believe.  I have been known to buy the occasional bag of olive oil potato chips or veggie chips or organic mac’n’ cheese from time to time.  I really try to cook most things at home, though, and I do buy stuff if I’m busy.  We also eat in restaurants twice a month when my parents visit, although we’ve been striving for local, organic restaurants lately.

What is one junk food or processed food your family still eats? 

Veggie chips are probably the most common.  If they’re on sale, I buy them, and we take them when we are out at a playground or other “fun” activity for several hours.  Boxed mac’n’ cheese is another although I don’t buy it too often (once a month or less).  Most processed foods don’t make us feel good so we don’t.  We buy string cheese if that counts…although it’s just mozzarella cheese.  Occasionally I buy white pasta to add to soups or for side dishes, mostly to stretch the grocery budget.  I don’t base whole meals on it, though.  I also sometimes like to bake with white flour because I just like that fluffy texture it produces!  I made coffee cake yesterday that was a little more than 1/2 sprouted flour, and about 1/2 white flour…and it was yummy, too!

What is the worst thing your family’s eaten in the last few months? Why? 

Probably any of the things containing white flour — pasta, something I’ve baked, etc.  I don’t do well with it but it’s easy because I don’t need to soak it or anything.

What’s one area where you won’t compromise, no matter why? Why? 

Hydrogenated oils, especially soybean; anything else that’s soy; MSG; really any item that has no redeeming value.  My rule about treats is that it has to have some redeeming value.  So I might buy ice cream that contains skim milk, cane sugar, and natural flavors.  But I won’t buy ice cream that contains hydrogenated soy oil, carageenan, preservatives, and so on.

What’s your best tip for eating real food in the real world? 

We can’t be perfect.  Strive for unprocessed.  If that means that you buy non-organic food at the grocery store because that is what you can afford, so be it.  But choose real ground beef, chicken breasts, fresh or frozen fruits and veggies, plain dairy products, etc.  Buying “real” is still a large step up from soup in a can or a frozen pizza.  Then, whatever your family eats the most of, and whatever is available to you and you can afford, buy “better” when you’re ready.  It’s a process and that’s okay.

We started out buying grass-fed beef; then a couple months later we experimented with water kefir (and sort of failed).  Months after that, we tried out sprouting grains and found a raw milk and pastured egg source and started brewing kombucha (and all of those things happened after I started this blog!).  Every few months since then I’ve tried to tackle a new real food area.  I still am not good at fermenting many things.  I still fail to keep enough healthy snack foods on hand (although part of that is us, the grown-ups, being picky…I usually have several options that the kids will eat and we will not).  I will never be able to “do it all” and there will always be something I can’t afford, don’t have time for, or just can’t seem to master.  I’ll keep trying. :)

**This post has been entered in Frugal Days and Sustainable Ways.**

Where do you struggle?  What’s your best tip?


  1. says

    It’s so overwhelming trying to get it all perfect….. at this point in my life, working full time AND part time and trying to be a wife and mom, there’s no way. I just try to do as good as I can as often as I can and I have a list of five things I ALWAYS feed my children (incl probiotics, organic fruit/veggies, organic chicken and/or broth and fresh juice daily) , hoping that will counteract the white flour and stuff they still get, and a list of five things I try to NEVER feed my kids ( I figure if I can do as much of the good, and as little of the bad as possible, we’ll be ok until the day comes that I can do better.

  2. francine says

    Many real food bloggers seem like know-it-alls and as if they think they are better than others, but I have never thought that real food bloggers seem like they, ” ‘have it all together.’ ” I love eating healthy, real foods, but I love my family more. I won’t let striving for a healthy diet through time-consuming food preparation, recipe experimentation, or time online writing about or researching food take away precious time I have with my kids or husband. I want my kids to remember me playing with them and being present in their lives not spending days cooking or being on the computer. Having it all together, to me, means putting people (emotionally not just from a food perspective) first. I’m glad to know that you feel the same!

  3. Kate F. says

    So timely! We are switching to a more paleo lifestyle (in hopes of helping a medical condition) and I’m struggling with it. It’s been hard looking at food bloggers and then looking at myself. It kind of makes me think of the parallel between the airbrushed models in magazines and what we see in the mirror. Don’t get me wrong, those (bloggers/models) are two completely different arenas, but it’s easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to someone else. Thanks for the refresher!

  4. says

    :) I was justing thinking about doing the same thing with a blog post! It’s always nice to know I’m not alone in areas that I “cheat” on or things I haven’t mastered. Sourdough is a tough one but I’m working on it. :)

  5. Marie says

    Thank you SO MUCH for this post! I have often felt this way (bloggers have it together and I don’t), but I always remind myself that even if i fall short in preparation etcetera my family is better off now (health-wise) than we were before real food.

    I’m not sure if this is okay to post, but if you have trouble with Sourdough, I highly recommend the Sourdough e-course at Before i took the e-course, I always had rock bread when I made sourdough. Now I can actually make a delicious loaf of sourdough bread as well as homemade sourdough tortillas and more. She has instructional videos so you can “see” how to knead, shape dough and more. She has other courses too. Just a thought!

    We are all on a “journey” when it comes to real food and I appreciate your honesty about your journey toward better health! Best wishes!

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