As I was driving along today running some errands, I was thinking about my real food journey and how far I've come in the past 8 months or so. I'm really proud of the way I eat (for the most part) these days and I'm still excited to learn more new things every day. I know I still have a long way to go to get to where I want to be. Sometimes the allure of the convenience foods, still pulls me. What I am starting to learn though, is that after I eat the food that I thought was convenient, I don't feel as well. I'm more tired, or more bloated. Not to mention going to get a fast food, really isn't as fast as you'd think.
The other night, I was pretty worn out from a very busy day. Dinner plans had gone awry and in the past it would have been a perfect excuse to call out for Chinese or pizza delivery. Instead, I just made a simple dinner of bacon and eggs for everyone. It was Real Food, and took less time to make than it would have taken for the pizza to arrive. The meal only dirtied one skillet and I felt good after eating them. That night I went on a bike ride, which I know I would not have been up for if I'd eaten delivery pizza. It really got me to thinking.
I've also noticed how far I've come in deprogramming myself from the grips of commercial food conglomerates as far as snack foods go. In the past, I felt like I needed a granola bar, a peanut butter cracker package, a small bag of mixed nuts (that I now know has MSG added) or other pre-packaged snack foods with me at all times. I used to be hypoglycemic and if I didn't have food on me at all times, I'd get dizzy, irritable and light headed until I ate something. Now, I rarely ever get that way. I still keep a bag of soaked and dehydrated nuts (to get rid of the phytic acid) and dried fruit in the diaper bag, but when I eat Real Food meals, full of real fats, I don't usually need a snack in the middle of the day. I was cleaning out my pantry the other day and I found a few packages left over from 8 months ago when I last bought boxes of those pre-packaged snacks I mentioned before.
At first I felt like I should save these packages as a "just in case" I needed them for something. Then it dawned on me, that even if I did need a quick snack, I no longer would choose to eat those kinds of foods. I read somewhere, "I can not unlearn the things that I have learned." And that quote has really stuck by me in my Real Food adventure. When you are really present to the chemicals and genetically modified foods that do harm to your body, you really don't want to eat them any more. In the past 8 months instead of grabbing those packages, I grab a hunk of cheese, a glass of raw milk, eat a small bowl of yogurt or many other foods that don't come in cute packages with bright graphics.
The other day, I had to pack a lunch to go for my twins. In the past I would have packed a sandwich, some crackers and maybe a string cheese. Not horrible, but not great. Instead I packed a hard boiled egg, a few soaked & dehydrated almonds, a small serving of raisins, a hunk of real cheese broken into bite size pieces and a banana. It just looked healthier. There was a naturalness about it. Plus, without filling them up on carbs, but more protein, it gave my girls the energy they needed to get through a big day.
These days, when I'm at the grocery store filling up my cart, I actually am proud of my food choices. I no longer cringe at myself as a case of soda rolls across the conveyor belt knowing it wasn't good for me but feeling helpless and powerless not drink it. As time goes on, I want to get further away from a conventional grocery store and learn to buy most of my foods from local farmers and ranchers, but I'm still working through the baby steps. I'm starting to think for myself and not just grab the closest food-like item to shove in my mouth. I'm taking the time to learn traditional methods of food preparation and learning to really appreciate foods for their own unique flavors, not a chemical approximation of what a consumer "should" like, coated in sugar.
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