So what is whole food anyway?

So what the heck is whole food anyway? Or more importantly what is it not? Whole foods are food that are unprocessed and unrefined. Obviously fresh fruits and veggies are whole food. But what else can you eat when you are eating a real or whole food diet? You may be surprised at the wide variety of super delicious and easy foods available.

For starters nuts and seeds. I LOVE almonds. I always have. They are the perfect little protein packed snack. They can be used in baking, on salads, trail mix, in pesto, and on and on.

There are lots of whole grains to choose from as well. Of course whole wheat flour and brown rice can be substituted for the white stuff in any recipe. Oatmeal is also a great option. Not just for breakfast, but for snacks and baking as well. I found this amazing recipe from the sprouted kitchen for baked oatmeal that I will share later. One grain you may not think of is corn. Mase (whole corn meal) is cheap and I am working on finding more uses for it. And let’s not forget about Popcorn!

The sweet stuff is a bit harder, but not as hard as you would think. I have a major sweet tooth. I have wanted to give up white sugar for about a year, but just couldn’t fathom leaving without my sweet treat after the kids go to bed. It turns you can do a lot with Honey, maple syrup, and fruit. Don’t worry, there are many recipes to come.

For last couple of months my family has been loosely following the “rules” set up by Lisa Leak from 100 days of real food (listed below).

What you CAN eat:

  1. Whole foods that are more a product of nature than a product of industry
  2. Lots of fruits and vegetables
  3. Dairy products like milk, unsweetened yogurt, eggs, and cheese
  4. 100% whole-wheat and whole-grains
  5. Seafood
  6. Only locally raised meats such as pork, beef, and chicken
  7. Beverages limited to water, milk, all natural juices, naturally sweetened coffee & tea, and, to help the adults keep their sanity, wine and beer!
  8. Snacks like dried fruit, seeds, nuts and popcorn
  9. All natural sweeteners including honey, 100% maple syrup, and fruit juice concentrates are acceptable in moderation

What you CANNOT eat:

  1. No refined grains such as white flour or white rice
  2. No refined sweeteners such as sugar, any form of corn syrup, cane juice, or the artificial stuff like Splenda
  3. Nothing out of a box, can, bag, bottle or package that has more than 5 ingredients listed on the label
  4. No deep fried foods
  5. No “fast foods”

My family has and will be eating a variation of the “rules”, (though I must say we will be following them more closely than ever before). For example it’s really expensive to eat local meat where we live. My husband is the only real meat eater in our family. I’m a vegetarian and my kids (ages 3 and 8mo) don’t eat that much meat at this point in their lives. So if I stick with natural and organic meats I think I can feel good about that. I also feel that eating things in moderation is just fine. For example, In the last couple of months my husband has had sugar drinks only on the weekends, and that will most likely continue. I don’t think I can find good replacements for things like ketchup…but I’ll try. I’m also comfortable with eating packaged food with less than 10 ingredients as long as I would cook with all of them in my kitchen.

So let see what I can do with my measly $80 a week and $50 a month for stocking up on deals. Can I do it???

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