Real food. A popular phrase that you’ve been hearing a lot of lately if if you are remotely into the health scene. But what does it mean, and how does one go about learning to eat better? And what do you do when everyone is shouting different recommendations at you? It can all be rather confusing and overwhelming at first.
The first step for us was getting rid of junk and trying to buy foods that are as close to their original form as possible. The next steps? We’ve been working on lowering our sugar intake and upping our nutrient-dense options. We’ve been trying some soaked grain recipes, and we can make a mean sourdough after a year’s worth of practice. We are trying to purchase better meat and egg options when our budget allows it. We try to source a lot of our food from our backyard or our own kitchen. We’ve come a long way, yes- but we still have a lot to learn! (This past week I shared a bit about our family’s real food journey if you want to read more.)
Then Trina Holden came along with her newest book, Your Real Food Journey, to meet me where I was at with all of my newest questions: What’s up with people fermenting everything? Should I really bother with raw milk, and if I do, how do I make the most use of it? Can I soak grains without it turning out a funky texture? And how in the world am I going to keep up with these dietary changes?
Trina gently leads her readers into their own journeys, covering topics like good fats, healthy dairy choices, well-sourced meat, and various cultured foods. She also covers grains and sweets (two of my favorites), and rather than shunning them, demonstrates how to incorporate them wisely into a nourishing diet.
But the best thing about Trina’s book? She makes eating real food manageable, and guides you through the process with a healthy dose of grace.
I don’t know about you, but for us, making a lifestyle change takes lots of time. Trina, however, makes the brilliant suggestion to just incorporate one change at a time. When you try to completely change your diet all at once, you are setting yourself up for frustration and burnout. But when you try just one little change (making homemade yogurt, for example), and do it for a few weeks until it’s second nature, then it’s much easier at that point to try another new change.
Another one of my problems with attempting a real food change is that often, I just don’t know where to start with any one particular principle. Sure, I’d love to try making lacto-fermented vegetables because I hear it’s so good for digestion. But with so many different recipes on the internet, it’s hard to know which one to try first. (And I’ll be honest- I don’t want to risk my time and ingredients on something that’s going to turn out gross!)
But for every single dietary change that Trina proposes, she offers an easy starting recipe and ideas for use in your daily routine. So now, fermented veggies are no longer such a huge mystery. I have several recipes to try, and I know some simple ways to incorporate them into an appetizing meal. So next week, I will be trying sweet gingered carrots in a home stir-fry. That doesn’t sound so bizarre, right?
Trina further helps to tame the real food onslaught with convenient meal-planning suggestions and tips for bulk food preparation. She provides multiple recipes to jump start your meal plan for the weeks to come. I know this busy mama certainly appreciated Trina’s sensitivity to the need for time-management!
But then, despite all of our best intentions and available help, I know that we will backslide. One week I’ll be eating super healthy meals full of grass-fed meat, healthy fats, and homegrown veggies- then the next I’m running to the fast food joint twice because I didn’t plan to pack lunches. I ate Domino’s a couple of days ago. I’ve been consuming too many cookies and store-bought bagels. I’ve been falling off the boat in the healthy snack area. It’s been a busy week, and my real food ideals are crashing. (Ironically, the same week I’m writing this book review!)
But the nice thing about reading Your Real Food Journey is that I didn’t feel a giant guilt trip about my backslides. In fact, Trina embraces seasons in life, fully acknowledging that there are times that you just get busy, or are traveling a lot, or are sick and can’t manage to spend all that time in the kitchen preparing better food. And that’s okay! The point is that you take advantage of the times that you can eat better, and don’t fret about when it doesn’t happen. After all, regardless of our best intentions, we’re not really in control of every aspect of our health to begin with!
Who would benefit from Your Real Food Journey? Anyone interested in:
- Cooking more meals from scratch with whole, healthy ingredients.
- Trying new healthful recipes for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks.
- Learning how to get more nutrition from grains & make them more digestible.
- Finding out about dairy options and discovering the best route for your family.
- Discovering methods for culturing various foods.
- Finding ways to sneak more nutrition into your every day recipes through bone broth, good fats, and well-sourced proteins.
- Making healthy eating fit in with your unique lifestyle.
- Exploring a summary of real food information in a convenient package.
- Reading information on real food without the guilt trip!
I very much enjoyed this book, and Trina, I may just be your new biggest fan. You’ve re-inspired me to jump back on the wagon for real food, and helped me to remember how easy it can be to make little changes for a BIG return on our family’s health. And you’ve done it all with accessible information, a realistic outlook, flexibility, and a whole lot of grace.
Want your own copy? You can purchase an instant download of Your Real Food Journey here for $9.99 via Trina’s blog. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!
I received a free copy of Your Real Food Journey in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed in this post are mine.