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Monday, January 16, 2012

Whole Foods 101

Hello!  Welcome to Whole Foods 101 where I hope to encourage and help you to lead a more whole and local food life.  This is a follow up of my last blog post, Whole Foods Budgeting 101.  It got such a huge response (I got tons of emails, facebook posts, and comments!) that I knew I was onto something.  People are ready to hear this information like never before, and with a few quick tips and ideas, recipes and budgeting advice, I'm pretty sure that 2012 is going to be the healthiest year yet for our nation! 

I've been working on a book that will help simplify your families switch to eating local and organic foods in 12 months or less.  Why 12 months?  Because, let's face, Learning all of this new knowledge, potentially changing your budget, changing where and how you buy your foods, how you prepare them, etc. can be very overwhelming!  My friend Angela told me awhile back, "My goal is to have us totally switched over in 12 months."  I thought- BINGO!  Starting somewhere is the best place to start, and I believe I have a reasonable system that will help you start with your perishables and work your way to your pantry so you don't have to throw anything out (OK, maybe the red food coloring) and you can feel good about the foods you are feeding your family!

I hope the budget sheet in my last post will help you see that you can make these changes without crazily changing your shopping list.  Now, if you were buying everything on your grocery list with conventional (non organic)/processed foods, and switch to eating all of those same exact foods in the organic version, your grocery bill would go up by about 20-30%.  We don't want to do that!  Finding ways to use whole ingredients in simple recipes will not only taste delicious, but simplify your meals.  Unless I am roasting a chicken, my meals literally take anywhere between 5-30 minutes. 

In the prologue of my book, I have a section designated "You're Doing Your Best, and That's Enough."  OK, I just made that up, but it sounds good!  Hear my heart, oh wonderful mother (or father!).  The last thing I ever want is to make a mother feel less-than because she feeds her child hamburger helper.  You have done, and I know you want to do the absolute best thing for your child!  I KNOW this about you!  So, don't for one second look back and dwell on or feel guilty about the past years you have fed your children certain foods you want to stay away from now.  Also, if you feel overwhelmed, don't feel badly about the changes you haven't made yet- feel FABULOUS about the changes you ARE making.  Keep  that positive attitude, ask questions, and have fun with this.  When you know better, you do better, and all you are ever asked to do is your best.  And guess what?  Your best is good enough!

One more note.  I am much more interested in learning what I want to do to be healthy and stay out of the medical statistics than I am about bashing policies and politics around the nation.  I am going to focus on whole foods, real foods, and leave the FDA and other topics alone.  Deal? 

OK, now that you've heard my heart, let's dive in! 

Food Pyramid Photo

Here is an example of a different kind of food pyramid.  I found this at http://www.nourishingourchildren.org/.

As you can see, protein, fats, grass fed milk (preferably raw), and produce are the core of this diet, and carbohydrates via grain are a sprinkling in the mix.  I love this!  It looks to me like this person just walked through a beautiful market in France and now has a few days worth of fabulous meals!  This looks like my fridge when I open it up.  What does yours look like?  It should be colorful, simple and not very full so you don't have food going to waste!

Let's stop here and ponder this today.  Go back and reread the budgeting 101 post if you need to refresh or if you are new to my blog.  Take a look at this food pyramid, and dream of what your life would be like if you made delicious and simple meals for your family!  It's a good feeling.  It makes me think of living in France, n'est pas?  I think I'm creating a new genre of books: "self help cookbook."

Bon appetit,
Anna

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