- Created on Wednesday, 31 August 2011 22:41
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It is amazing to me how little real food you will find in the average supermarket. I'm serious. I recently made the move to eating unprocessed, "real food" to see if a more natural diet will have a positive affect on my cholesterol levels as well as my taste preferences. I discovered just how little I could buy at the supermarket knowing that it contained no preservatives, hydrogenated oils, hormones, processed grains or added sugar. I now shop very little at the supermarket and spend a lot more time (and money - much more money) at Mother's Market, Trader Joe's, Sprouts and the local Farmer's Markets. Plus, organic and local farm produce is delivered to my door once a week. Once I find a good source, I may stop delivery and buy most of my produce at the Farmer's Market. For now it's a great way to try fruits and vegetables I've never had before and find new ways to prepare old favorites. By the way, I loved the image to the left and borrowed it from someone who borrowed it from its creator, Adam Fields.
Before I left the house this morning, I boiled two kinds of beets and pickled them. I will make beet greens and chard tonight for dinner. Last night I made free range ground chicken garlic burgers for Eric and I. Mine was completely "real", with fresh butter lettuce, raw white cheddar and mustard on whole wheat sourdough (the real deal) with steamed organic broccoli on the side. Eric's burger was on a processed wheat bun with bacon, American cheese and Stubb's barbecue, so not all that real, but he told me it was the best dinner I had ever made. Last week, he told me my best meal ever was the chicken, twice baked potatoes and southern braised greens we were eating at the time. We've also made the switch to lightly pasteurized, unhomogonized cream top milk (Abe likes it because it comes in bottles). It's very tasty and we can make whipped cream (with honey) from the bit at the top, rather than shaking it all into the milk. Too bad Abe didn't realize that there was a hunk of cream at the top the first time he opened a bottle and poured it into his coffee. Plop!
I read that once you've started eating this way your sense of taste becomes more attuned to what you are eating and you no longer want the super sweet or salty un-foods you ate before. So far so good. I haven't really had any cravings for anything or felt like I was missing out. When Abe and I ate at Marie Calendar's the other night, I was pretty hungry and the corn bread looked good, but I was able to wait for my meal and skip the processed grains and sugar in front of me. I'm not so sure that the fish, veggie and rice I ordered were all that healthy (What oils and spices did they use? Is the salmon from a sustainable source?), so I feel a little guilty now when I eat out. But I went from barely cooking to eating home-prepared food most of the time, so most anything is an improvement. And I will cheat once in a while to a meal of dubious origin, when I really want it. So far I've only really cheated with an ice cream sundae from Farrell's. The one with peanut butter in it. It was fantastic, but I was actually full after eating maybe half and would gladly have shared. I've found that Chipotle serves naturally raised meats, real cheese and mostly unprocessed ingredients and my family loves it, so for eating out it is a handy option. Also, Flame Broiler veggie bowls with brown rice are a great option for eating lunch out when I don't have time to pack something for work.
In other news, I will be given 20 copies of The Book Thief next month for World Book Night that I am to distribute to young folks who don't really read. It will be a challenge to find these young people and approach them with a free book without looking like a weirdo, but I shall prevail. And I will actually update this blog to let you, the reader (I am sure there is at least one of you) know how it goes. In the meantime, I plan to finish reading Les Miserables, which has taken me forever and a day. The stories of Jean Valjean, Inspector Javert, Fantine, Cosette, Marius and Eponine are excellent, but I must admit that Hugo is quite prolific and a political reformer to boot, so there are sections of the book which are a bit tedious for a 21st century reader who is not completely enamored with French history or politics. I plan not to stray to another book until I finish this one, hopefully this weekend.
I also plan to update again soon with more about my adventures with real food, World Book Night and of course Eric's graduation, which is coming up in a couple of months! Until then, take some time when you are in the supermarket next to read the labels, not for calories and fat content, but ingredients and see how many packaged items you can find that contain nothing but actual food instead of, as In Defense of Food author Michael Pollan would say, edible food-like substances. Or better yet, take the 10 Day Real Food Pledge.
What I've Been Reading...