Archive for the ‘Food Shopping’ Category

Notice: I am in the process of moving all foodillusion.com posts over to 100daysofrealfood.com (my other food blog). Read more info here.

One of Michael Pollan’s many Food Rules that I love is “If you have the space, buy a freezer.” We took Pollan’s advice and bought a separate freezer (pictured below) that has allowed us to stock up on good sources of local meat as well as lots of other stuff. My three favorite things to store in our extra freezer are the following… (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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The other day my brother emailed me asking my opinion on some organic prepackaged snacks they were considering buying. He said that for their busy family (which includes two working parents and two kids, ages 8 and 4) it is important for their school snacks to be individually wrapped. After reviewing the list of ingredients he emailed me I thought the “Organic Jammy Sammy Snack Size Sandwich Bars” had both pros and cons:


  • It was organic (although just because something is organic does not mean it is okay…there are a lot of highly processed organic foods out there)
  • It contained whole grain oats
  • It contained whole grain barley flour
  • Salt was the last ingredient on the list, which means it was what they used the least of


  • The first ingredient (and what it contained the most of) was the strawberry filling which lists cane juice (a sweetener similar to sugar) as its top ingredient
  • The strawberry filling also contained rice starch and pretty much anything with the word starch (like corn starch) is highly processed/refined
  • The strawberry filling also contained citric acid (a preservative)
  • In addition to the cane juice in the strawberry filling these bars also had two other forms of sweeteners listed – agave and more evaporated cane juice (more…)

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One of my favorite Food Rules from Michael Pollan’s latest book is “Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry.” Now how could anyone argue the fact that that rule just makes sense? I am trying to remember why I ever even thought it was okay to feed my kids (and my husband and myself) foods that contained things like maltodextrin, cellulose, ethoxylated diglycerides, and polydextrose. Oh yeah, I remember how that happened…because I wasn’t even reading the ingredients to know this random stuff was in there! At least it is never too late to change.


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Most moms struggle at one point or another with a picky eater, and the most important thing I can tell you is to never stop trying with them! My youngest daughter frustrates me almost daily with her pickiness (luckily my older daughter is quite the opposite), but clearly since we are all doing the 100 Days of Real Food together I have had to try almost anything and everything to get my 3-year-old to eat healthy foods. I hope some of these tips that I have learned along the way (which are all based my own personal experiences and observations) can help you make some breakthroughs with your picky eater as well. And of course please keep in mind that each suggestion is not necessarily going to work for every child out there, but you certainly never know until you try. And as always, if you have any additional tips or suggestions from your own experiences please feel free to leave a comment!

  • Take baby steps when trying to convert your kids to whole foods. First of all, start with the things that they know and like by switching out their beloved processed version for a healthier alternative. For example, my daughters both used to love the white store-bought flour tortillas, so one of the first things I did was make them some homemade whole-wheat tortillas instead. (more…)

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We are all very big milk drinkers in our house (4 – 5 gallons a week)…and to be honest I don’t think we could live without it! The good news is after switching to a more optimal milk source and type of milk we certainly do not have to give it up. I used to buy the standard store-brand skim (for the adults) and 2% (for the kids) from our local supermarket. I even switched to the organic variety earlier this year. Organic is certainly better than conventional, but I felt there were still some additional factors that continued to be overlooked.

My biggest concern about the milk we were drinking was if it came from cows that were being fed grass. I did a post awhile back entitled “You are what you eat eats too”, and this couldn’t be more true when it comes to milk. Cows are actually designed by evolution to eat grass, and a large majority of factory-farmed cows are instead taught to survive on corn (a super cheap grain). In some instances the corn makes the animals sick, which is part of the reason why they have to be administered so many antibiotics. (more…)

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A while back I did a post on not judging food by its cover, and it seems as though I am always coming across products to add to this list. Before diving in, here is a quick summary on the topic in case you missed the last post. There are a plethora of food products out there that have been positioned (based on the look, pictures, and/or buzzwords on the front of the package) as a “healthier” alternative. Upon looking a little closer (specifically at the ingredients), however, you often discover the real truth. Here are some more examples… (more…)

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