Wednesday, March 27, 2013

10 Days of REAL FOOD

WHAT REAL FOOD LOOKS LIKE
Well, our 10 official days are up.  I wish I could report 100% success, but I can't.  We have family visiting and Grandma (yes, she will be upset when I share this) insisted on providing some of the foods.  I tried very hard though and we didn't eat out at a fast food place at all.  So our spaghetti we had a couple nights ago was made with Grammies noodles, from a box. 

This brings up a point I want to make though.  Processed Food is different for each of us, or what we consider processed.  I entered into this pledge thinking that I needed to make everything by scratch.  I slowly discovered my idea of less processed or Real Food is different than others.  One lady assumed it meant we ate non-cooked and only raw fruits and vegetables.  Nope.  Others look purely for organic and non-wheat based products, but we didn't give up wheat.  My idea was to eat whole grains, make it myself, more local when possible and organic when possible and eating from the things I grow myself, first foremost.  We seceded in my goals. 

I had very bad cravings for the first four days.  Bear was VERY temperamental during this time as well.  She did find some candies in the car from a ladies tea I attended. I wondered at her attitude one day, it was like a light switch from happy to TEMPER and I discovered she found the bag of hard candy that I had forgotten about and she had eaten many pieces.  Less sugar is better for her and I imagine the grown ups as well.

I haven't noticed an increase of energy, but 10 days isn't really enough for that.  I would imagine as we continue on I will notice many other changes. 

My favorite meal was homemade  noodles that I made from scratch (the only way to make noodles IMHO).  I made them the same way as the noodles for the chicken noodle soup I made, but more noodlie...  *grin*  I also left out the carrots and instead of chicken used an organic beef broth, ground pepper, whole wheat flour noodles (made with my noodle recipe I will include here).  Hubs really liked the Spicy Black Bean and Quinoa dish.  The beef stew I made was well appreciated as well.  My chicken noodle soup, while liked, was to thick, so next time I will use less noodles.

Kim's Egg Noodles
3 cups of 100% wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
2 eggs
1/2 c. water:  give or take ... base amount on consistency of dough.
 


The way my grandmother made them is on the bread board.  No bowls at all and mixed by hand.  She also hand rolled her noodles with a rolling pin, and THEN hand cut her noodles.  I'm a bit more lazy.  I use a pasta maker. 
 
I put all my ingredients in a bowl and use my bread hook to mix it up.  Then I divided it into equal sections and lightly floured each section.  On my pasta make I set the dial to 1.  Next I patted each section somewhat flat and commenced to roll it flat according to the directions for the pasta machine.  Mine is a manual brand.  Sometimes a bit more flour is needed to keep the dough from sticking as its rolled.  I like thicker noodles so I generally roll it 2-3 times, each pass through the roller getting narrower.  After it has went through the flattening process I switch it over and feed the strip of dough through the noodle cutter.  I use a bit of flour on the noodles after they are done so they don't stick together. 
 
I don't let my noodles dry.  Its really an unneeded process.  I put them directly into my broth where they cook and naturally thicken the soup or noodles.  You may find you need to add a bit more salt as your dish cooks.  Pepper is generally a nice addition for flavor. 

If you make more noodles than you need, you can put them in a bag or another container and freeze for future use.  Make sure they are well floured or the will stick together. 

The bread turned out really well with 100% whole wheat flour but I am not sure the gluten was a needed ingredient.  I will admit, I went through a 10# bag of whole wheat flour this week.  I am excited to have the time to grind my own and explore how differently it tastes using no other flour.  That has been my goal for sometime.

A few things to keep in mind for when you begin eating more Real Food. 
  1. Your food budget will increase as you get use to this new way of eating.  That being said, I think it will level out and eventually as our diet and taste buds change (and I can already see that happening).
  2. You will go through more dishes.
  3. You will take longer to prepare your meals;  But the satisfaction will be worth the extra work. 
  4. Your child may go to bed hungry and that's ok.  As long as you provide healthy food, they will eventually eat it.
  5. Homemade peanut butter is easy, but dry.
  6. Don't forget your sprouts for even one day, they will start to become a science experiment.
  7. Little changes can help.  You don't need to give up everything overnight and cold turkey.
  8. You have more time in many ways.  Sitting on the couch is boring.  Facebook is boring, you get to where you want to cook.
  9. Eating at the table holds a greater appeal when you have worked hard to create a healthy meal.
  10. Don't start many projects all at once.  When you start this try to focus on just this for a week or so.  Trust me!



Onward we go, eating healthier every day and discovering what works for us as a family.  It will be different for everyone.  What works for our family most likely will not work for yours.  I am 100% convinced that it isn't so much, for most of us, what we eat as much as it's the processing that it goes through before it hits our kitchen that causes the majority of our health issues. 

5 comments:

  1. Very interesting article! I look forward to your next blog!

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  2. Eating unprocessed foods is such a great goal, and congrats on continuing on your journey, and for not eating fast food! Those noodles look yummy! I remember making whole wheat noodles for my family and they didn't like them—so different from the white flour ones they were used to. Thanks for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. I thought they tasted the same. The boxed ones do have a different taste and texture though. Not sure why. These were a hit though. Yummy in the tummy!

      Thank you, so very much!

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  3. I love what you said here about "processed food" being different for everybody. I've been on a loooong journey toward real food, and that's the biggest thing I've noticed--everyone does it their own way. Which is how it should be. :)

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