Archive for the ‘Lunch’ Category

I would be lying if I said coming up with a variety of healthy, real food, peanut-free, tree nut-free, portable lunch options wasn’t a challenge. I understand that the school is trying to protect children with severe peanut/tree nut allergies, but I have to admit that I often feel their little rules conflict with what we are trying to do…eat real food that is. On the school’s “safe snack list” which offers hundreds of “approved” options I literally found only 15 items that we would also consider to be “approved” for our kindergartner. They seriously have “Wendy’s Frosties” listed as an approved option so I suppose they would rather me send in one of those or something like a package of goldfish for her snack instead of a little all-natural cashew/dried fruit mix? (more…)


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Since the most popular Food Illusion post to date has been “A look inside a whole foods pantry” I thought it would be appropriate to expand things by moving onto our fridge. Before I get started I want to answer one question though…yes, I cleaned out my fridge prior to this little photo shoot.  But for those of you who know me (and my type A personality) well, you also know that this is not very far from the truth. And aside from eating healthy foods or not, I am a true believer of everything in one’s fridge (and pantry) having its very own spot. It drives me crazy when we are staying at someone’s house and you have to spend five minutes trying to find that bag of grapes you know you saw earlier. At our house the answer is always the same…it is in the fruit drawer!

So let me break down the picture starting at the top… (more…)

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Since we started our 100 Days of Real Food pledge eating at restaurants has become quite a challenge, but we have also learned a lot from the experience. Below are some tips and suggested meals if you also want to try to stick to whole foods while eating out.

General Tips:

  • Avoid bread items such as rolls, breadcrumbs, tortillas, pasta, breading, crusts, etc. Unfortunately even if something is called “whole-wheat” it is rare to find items that are truly only made with 100% whole-wheat (unless the restaurant can confirm the ingredients for you).
  • If the waiter/chef doesn’t know (and can’t find out) the ingredients of an item then they probably don’t make it fresh in house which means it likely has all sorts of stuff (like sweeteners and preservatives) in it you don’t want or need.
  • If they don’t know where the meat came from then I can guarantee it is not from anywhere special (like a grass-fed local farm).
  • For children (more…)

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If you have been working hard to cut out processed foods and start eating organically and/or locally grown foods, does that mean you can still eat meat? The answer is…sometimes. According to Michael Pollan:

There are literally scores of studies demonstrating that a diet rich in vegetables and fruits reduces the risk of dying from all the Western diseases. In countries where people eat a pound or more of fruits and vegetables a day, the rate of cancer is half what it is in the United States. We also know that vegetarians are less susceptible to most of the Western diseases, and as a consequence live longer than the rest of us.

So becoming a vegetarian doesn’t exactly fit into your lifestyle? Not to worry, because you can still reap the same health benefits as a vegetarian if (more…)

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A couple of people have asked me “what do you eat exactly?” so I decided to keep a little journal last week. For 3 consecutive days I wrote down everything that both my daughters (ages 2 and 5) and I ate. My husband mostly ate the same thing as I did, but I didn’t include him in this journal because he was working and I don’t keep tabs on him like I do my children!

When I first went through the transition of cutting out processed foods myself, I remember feeling like it would be so difficult (almost impossible) to come up with enough variety and options for us to eat. It has gotten so much easier over time, and I hope this rather personal depiction of our eating habits might help others make the transition too!

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You have to wonder…if one of the main ingredients in Half & Half is cream (which is perceived as fattening) then what in the world do they use to make “fat free” Half & Half? And what about mayonnaise? A recipe for homemade mayo calls for oil and eggs – both contain fat grams. So how do they make “fat free” mayonnaise? And should we really be eating it?

I was surprised to learn that there actually used to be a food industry regulation requiring manufacturers to clearly label foods like these as an “imitation”. Of course these products were looked down upon, and so it is no surprise that the ever-so-powerful food industry hated this rule. According to Michael Pollan “in 1973 [they] finally succeeded in getting the imitation rule tossed out.” Suddenly, what was once almost considered to be fraud now in some cases appeared to be even healthier than the real thing (if you are only judging by added nutrients and reduced fats that is). (more…)

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If you feel like you are doing the right thing by buying and eating “wheat” bread from your grocery store – you could be wrong. And if you are buying white sandwich bread or some sort of whitewheat bread (like I used to buy) you might really be in for a surprise! Have you checked the list of ingredients on your sandwich bread? If you were to make your own bread at home, what ingredients do you think you would need? It really only takes a few essential ingredients to make bread: (more…)

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