Defining Real Food
Defining Real Food
Our family’s eating habits are determined many nights by our lifestyle. My husband works in a different city and commutes an hour to work. Usually, that means I’m left with getting kids to tutoring, helping with after-school projects, and carpooling to practices and games. So many days, that can mean grabbing dinner out or popping a pizza into the oven.
Every New Years, we try to introduce a healthy habit for the year. As a family, we decided that this year, 80% of what we eat would be healthy. They say it only takes twenty-one days to build a habit, so Jeff and I have been trying especially hard to feed both ourselves and our kids real food lately.
Essentially, real food is unprocessed outside of preparation – cutting, grinding, churning, etc. It has no additives, artificial colors or preservatives. Grains, fruits and veggies are raised non-GMO and organically. Meats and fish are grass-fed or caught wild. Dairy products come from cows that are fed this way as well.
During my time on the planet, here’s what I’ve learned about eating whole, real food:
We are fortunate as we have multiple gardens and an orchard on our property. I prepare sweet corn, strawberries, cherries and peaches for the freezer and can tomatoes and green beans to go in the cellar. We have chickens that produce eggs and bees that make honey. Yes, it is time consuming, but that’s real food.
While you may not have the resources to start a backyard garden of your own, there’s many things you can do to implement real food into your diet. Shop at a Saturday farmers markets and grab the food that’s in-season. It tastes so much better than your grocery store produce and encourages you to try new foods. If you live in a metropolitan area, research to find a local community garden and start a small garden patch of your own. Not only will you live a healthier life, but you may even find a new hobby. I realize it’s impossible to ditch the grocery store entirely, so look out for products that meet the real food standards. Transparency in what you’re eating is crucial.