Crunchy · Intentional Living

#AtoZChallenge: Food

Welcome to a new week of the A to Z Challenge! After a day off for Sunday, I’m back and ready to write. So come on in, sit down, and let’s talk about…

Food.

Now, food is an easy thing for me to talk about. I love to cook, I love to bake, and I love to eat. 🙂 So I could talk about food for a while. But today I’m going to write about a topic I first mentioned a few weeks ago: Real Food. (Let’s Get Real with our Food post here)

Summer plans!
Summer plans!

Since I wrote that post, I’ve been trying to eat more and more real food, and it’s been eye opening. So much of what we buy from the store is processed with random additives here and there. I’ve been reading more labels, which is both terrifying and enlightening. So what exactly is Real Food? Well, there are official rules, but I’m adapting them a bit. The idea is to eat foods with 5 ingredients or less, unless you make it. Now, I bend that rule if there are more than 5 ingredients, but they are all recognizable English (aka no partially hydrogenated whatnot or excessive preservatives). For example, I bought some salsa the other day. But it was all organic and had only veggies, lime juice, and spices on the label. I call that a win (and it was delicious).

A great look at how we eat...disclosure, I just started it last night, but it's already great!
A great look at how we eat…disclosure, I just started it last night, but it’s already great!

I also don’t necessarily buy into the 100% whole grain and 100% no sugar part. It just doesn’t work out well for my area or my family. Sugar has been around for….well, a long, long time. And sometimes it’s hard to find 100% whole grain pasta. When I did, it had numerous ingredients compared to the one ingredient in the non-whole grain pasta. So I tweak things to what’s available in a small Midwestern town. And that’s okay!

"Healthy" food (oatmeal)...why so many ingredients? Is it really healthy?
“Healthy” food (oatmeal)…why so many ingredients? Is it really healthy?

I went grocery shopping for the first time since I’ve been intentionally trying to eat real food, and it was interesting. I read every. single. label. And I was delighted to find things like applesauce that only had apples, water, and ascorbic acid (aka vitamin C), or guacamole that had a real ingredients. Sorry, but guacamole and me have a love-hate relationship…love it, but hate that the avos have to come from far away.

Growing celery from the often disposed of butt. Yes, ironic it's in a baked bean can... :)
Growing celery from the often disposed of butt. Yes, ironic it’s in a baked bean can… 🙂

I look forward to starting my garden this summer, eating seasonally and locally, and preserving my own food for the winter months. I’m not Amish, but that’s just being sensible. In the meantime, I’m paying a lot more attention to what is in what I eat, and restructuring my eating habits a bit. And though it’s a little difficult, it’s also fascinating. And I’m enjoying it.

I *might* have had a little April Fool's Fun here....
I *might* have had a little April Fool’s Fun here….

If you’re interested in eating “real food”, 1. Leave a comment so we can chat about our adventures in real food eating 2. Check out the 100 Days of Real Food website and 3. Find Michael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food”.  Michael Pollan’s tagline is “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” To me, that just seems sensible.

-Jen

 

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4 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge: Food

  1. I’m curious as to how you feel about GMO’s. Too me, it is becoming hard to find foods that have not been modified in form. I read ingredients this days and I cannot even find anything in those ingredients that fit to the food. Let’s use pancake syrup as an example. It’s a mixture of caramel color and corn. Do you find that as odd and unsafe as I do?

  2. I love Michael Pollan’s books. I own a couple. My favorite “food rule”? Don’t eat anything your grandparent’s wouldn’t recognize as food. And we all know how grandma cooked 🙂

  3. I try to only eat real foods, but sometimes when life gets overwhelming I fall off the wagon. Time to get back on again hehe. I like to grow my own veggies, but I also discovered a local farmer’s market for when I can’t grow my own. I’m so excited to check it out when it opens in a couple of months. 🙂

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