{Real} Food in 2014

Back in October of last year, Randy and I made the decision to cut carbs and simple sugars out of our diet. Our main reasons being weight loss and general health. The first few weeks were pretty hard, mostly because there are some carbs that we both l-o-v-e. A lot.

But we have both seen (almost) immediate results. Randy lost 12 pounds like it was his job and I lost 10 like it was a moderate hobby. Men and their weight loss ability make me sick. Can I get an “amen”, ladies?

We aren’t huge sweets people. I mean, I love chocolate, but we don’t keep sweets in the house. Randy is addicted to popcorn like nobody’s business. And not the kinda-healthy-kind. The 2-buckets-at-the-movie-theater-before-the-movie-is-even-over kind.

Breakfast is pretty easy, just cut the toast (or tortillas). We eat a lot of eggs and meat. Most of the eggs we eat are from our own chickens. We don’t have “free-range” chickens, but we know what is going into their little bodies. We don’t eat pork (for non-religious, non-health reasons) so our meat mostly consists of chicken, beef, and turkey anything. 

Lunch is usually pretty easy (except when you are super hungry and there are almost no appetizers anywhere that aren’t fried or served with a bread of some sort). We take lunch to work with us a lot (tuna, salads, fruit, nuts, etc.). I did used to have a standing lunch order on Mondays in Newnan of a spicy chicken pizza (thin crust and pretty small) with a side caesar salad that I split with Avery. Had to give that up. And now I actually have to make a decision about what I am going to eat which is a total bummer.

Dinner is sometimes difficult because it’s the meal where we most often want a variety. We use Google a lot and have found some great sites that offer more options. Paleo recipes are perfect and there are a ton of them out there.

The hardest part has been finding snacks. When you eat veggies, meat, and fruit (and eggs) exclusively, you get stay hungry. I tried kale chips today and they were actually pretty good.

I will also say that I really miss:

  1. Chips and salsa
  2. Pizza
  3. Chocolate ice cream
  4. Krystal Burgers
  5. French Fries
  6. Tortillas

None of which I ate on a regular basis, but still.

But in all of this, what started out as a weight loss plan and wanting to be healthier, has become more. Randy and I are (fingers crossed) about to embark on our first garden because, ya’ll, organic is e.x.p.e.n.s.i.v.e. And after a lot of reading, we are becoming more and more aware of what we are putting into our bodies. We are even considering buying a cow and splitting it with another family to raise and feed ourselves, so that when the time comes to slaughter the cow, we know that our beef is grass fed with no added hormones or chemicals. A friend recently told me about a farm in south Georgia that is an organic chicken farm and one of 3 in the U.S. that humanly slaughters their chickens (not sure that I have a stance on the latter part, but for those of you who do…) and this farm actually sells their chicken at the Uptown Farmers Market in Columbus.

I bought Jen Hatmaker‘s book “7: An experimental mutiny against excess.” No, I am probably not going to adapt to everything that Jen (whom I think is one of the funniest, down-to-earth, Jesus-loving, honest women I have ever come across) tried in her 10 months of cutting excess from her life and that of her family’s. But her month spent with only 7 foods spoke to me on a lot of different levels. The following paragraphs on Michael Pollen and Barbara Kingsolver are  based on ideas from Jen Hatmaker’s book  “7”.

Michael Pollen wrote a book called “In Defense of Food” where he lays out the idea that we should eat “real food”, meaning it came from the ground, trees, plants, or an animal without all the added hormones and chemicals that the FDA says are so good for us.

And I have to believe that he is right.

Why else would our culture here in America become so overwrought with health problems ranging from diabetes to heart issues to cancer to obesity?

Part of the problem is that the majority of Americans-and I include myself in this- are addicted to convenience. We like things to happen quickly and are on-the-go more than any other generation or time period. Believe me, it is a lot easier to ask Randy to pick up a Zaxby’s salad or even CFA nuggets than coming home and cooking after a long day at the office. And believe me when I say that I do ask him to do just that.

I am about to quote Barbara Kingsolver and I believe and agree with this quote. And I will probably get some death stares from my fellow females, but here goes:

When my generation of women walked away from the kitchen we were escorted down that path by a profiteering industry that knew a tired, vulnerable marketing target when they saw it. “Hey, ladies,” it said to us, “go ahead, get liberated. We’ll take care of dinner.” They threw open the door and we walked into a nutritional crisis and genuinely toxic food supply…But a devil of a bargain it has turned out to be in terms of daily life. We gave up the aroma of warm bread rising, the measured pace of nurturing routines, the creative task of molding our families’ tastes and zest for life; we received in exchange the minivan and the Lunchable.

Yeah, there are days when the last thing I want to do is decide what we are having for dinner, much less prepare it. And I am not saying that Randy shouldn’t/doesn’t help. What I am saying is that the time spent in the kitchen, with our food, (and with my husband) is worth it. We feel better, our clothes fit better, and I can’t remember the last time either one of us felt that “I-am-so-full-I-feel-sick” feeling.

This new lifestyle is a work in progress. We don’t have all the answers and there are definitely times when temptation wins, but the effort is there and 9 times out of 10, we succeed. We are paying more attention to our food in 2014. If we can’t pronounce, we aren’t going to eat it. We are sticking to the outside aisles of the grocery store and working on getting back to the basics of food. We live in a great state for agriculture and are blessed to have access to so many options when it comes to our meat, produce and dairy. For more info visit www.georgiagrown.com

Other sites we love:

www.ohsheglows.com

www.paleoplan.com

Breakfast/Anytime recipes 

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