By Nikki Hughes, Contributing Writer
I didn’t just wake up one morning and say “I am going to start eating foods that are traditionally prepared.” Nor did I say “I wonder what a real food diet is. I should look into it.”
No, I read a book. Cover to cover. I read the book because it had the term “diet” in it and I was looking for a new approach to an old dilemma: “how am I going to lose weight.”
I didn’t want to go on a diet. I didn’t want to make it a “big deal.” I had put on some weight (quite a bit to be exact) when I was pregnant with my first. I started losing weight but still wasn’t feeling great. I knew something needed to change.
The book was “The Makers Diet” by Jordan Rubin. It really opened my eyes. In this book he cited several recipes and other resources from a book I had not heard of before, “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon. So I then started reading that book.
I lost a solid month of “reality” as I was drawn in to the “real food” world. It was an extreme overhaul in my life. My pantry, my refrigerator, my shopping cart, you name it. I knew I had to change how I fed myself and my family, I just didn’t know where to begin. So I threw myself in, head first. I was 100% committed.
Now that I feel somewhat in control of this way of eating life, I can confidently tell you there are 6 really good reasons why you should consider (or revisit or continue) on a real food journey.
My real food journey began when I realized I needed to lose my baby weight. Truth is, before I even had my first, I was starting to “pack on the pounds.” Not enough to go on an extreme diet or to spend all my time exercising, but enough for me to notice that my wardrobe didn’t fit very well anymore.
I thought that by simply eating low fat foods and counting my calories I would lose weight. I could not have been more wrong. Unfortunately, so many people think this is true. Don’t even worry about the number of calories! Don’t count them! Fat is high in calories. Fat is good. That means calories are good. We need them to live!
Before I began actually losing weight, I started feeling better. Turns out I enjoyed that more than losing weight. Don’t get me wrong – I love being smaller now, but having more energy, clearer skin, and a better night’s sleep? It was great and a testament to the food I was eating.
Eat what tastes good without feeling limited by a “diet”
I don’t like the diets that say “Eat only this, this or this 6 days a week and then eat whatever you want on the 7th day.” That just didn’t make since to me. Why would I work so hard for 6 days to only fill my body with crud on the 7th day?
I also don’t like diets that make me give up all things that I hold dear. Bread, butter, bacon (and bacon grease) and sweets. Oh how I love sweets.
I discovered that by eating the right fats and the right sugars, within moderation, I was actually healthier. Turns out God knew what He was doing when He created us to like steak with green veggies and butter and some freshly sprouted bread or maybe some potato. The combination of those ingredients actually helps you digest your food. It makes it easier on your body to draw out the vitamins and minerals found in the green veggies. The green veggies help your body digest the meat. Isn’t that exciting?
Oh butter how I love you. You add such a wonderful touch, taste and texture to all things. Sweet, savory, it doesn’t matter. There is a place for you in my kitchen.
A real food diet loves butter. Therefore, I love butter. I don’t think much more needs to be said about this one.
If you pay attention to your grocery budget, at all, you will notice that the packaged, prepared foods are more expensive. Processed food is the number one thing you need to get out of your pantry. By doing so, your space for real food items increases, as does your cash flow. Win-win.
Food allergies and sensitivities
This isn’t what got me started on a real food diet, but it is one of the 6 things that is keeping me on a real food diet. My breastfed daughter has food allergies resulting in eczema. By going on an elimination diet, I have discovered that removing some foods from my diet has helped her skin. It is also helping her GI Tract all around. I will begin adding food back until I find what she reacts to. I will then keep that out of my system until she is done breastfeeding and out of her system until she is 2. Then I will reintroduce that food once her immune system is stronger. If it is gluten, I will introduce properly prepared grains (soaked, sprouted, soured). If it is dairy, I will limit it to raw cheese, raw milk and kefir. Having an already established real food lifestyle makes this accommodation much easier on the entire family.
A Word on Moderation
The main tidbit I share with others new on their journey, is moderation. Eat good whole foods, freshly prepared with no preservatives. Switch up what you eat. And eat all of those things in moderation.
Give your body new things to try. Give your body the tools it needs to digest. By tools I mean preparing your foods properly to allow your body to digest, process, and utilize what it is given. Without this, your body will turn food into toxins – and you will get sick, gain weight and lose energy!
The further I have gotten on my journey the more I realize there is no reason to “turn back.” This is easier, more affordable, healthier and so much tastier!
These are my reasons for embarking on this journey and staying motivated to continue. What are your reasons? Do you need motivation?
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