Monday, September 1, 2014

Real Food

I have been thinking a lot lately about health and real food and have bought a few cookbooks including "100 Days of Real Food" book which arrived in the mail yesterday.  This is about a family in America in 2010 who thought they were eating healthy options found out what was in these so called "healthy low fat" options and decided to go 100 days with real food and blogged about it here.  The book covers how it all began, what is real food, shopping for real food, making changes, don't overthink, just start, getting your family on board, food budget, tips and meal plans and of course a whole host of recipes for breakfast, lunch, snacks and appetizers, salads and sides, simple dinners, special treats and homemade staples.

Last night I was reading the beginning of the book and even though I'm a "Label Reader" at the supermarket this book does enlighten the reader to the tricks of the labels and the companies that want you to think these products are healthy.

One thing that I read was when shopping for cheese you can either buy block cheese and grate it yourself or as with most of us that are a little on the busy side or buy the packet of grated cheese for the convenience.  In the book it talks about block cheese vs grated cheese so here is the reminder where we think "cheese is cheese" and I'm being healthy by buying the normal cheese vs the low fat cheese.  "Bagged, preshredded cheese usually contains an anticaking agent called "cellulose 33" that's sometimes made from wood pulp, and is an extra unnecessary "powdery" additive you won't find in a block of cheese. Um...I think I will be buying block cheese and grating it which would be a fun job for James and Sienna to help out in the kitchen.

Vitamins and Minerals listed as Ingredients.  You might think it's a good thing for a product to note the addition of vitamins and minerals but it's misleading.  It's the classic sign that a food product was stripped of its natural vitamins and minerals in the first place, and food scientists are attempting to add them back.  What does that mean?  You're dealing with a highly processed food product.  No formula developed in a science lab can truly emulate the "real" thing provided to us by nature.  

I think we are all aware that foods with the least "HI" (Human Intervention) are going to be best for us however we can also be fooled by making really healthy sensible choices in the supermarket even when we are conscious of shopping healthy and including reading food product labels.  I think everyone has an opinion about this however anything I can read or learn to navigate a better path for my family is a good thing.  I will not being doing 100 days of real food even if I know the benefit would far outweigh the initial pain of that however I can learn from lots of things this family did including their recipes.

I read this post by Greer on "Typically Red" blog which I could really relate to here and here and it pretty much sums up how I was feeling.  Although I'm really good at baking at home and making delicious home cooked meals I'll happily (well, lazily) buy them MacDonalds as well if we are in between outings and won't be home.  Today the kids lunch boxes have all home made things like Zucchini Slice for lunch, a raspberry muffin, apple and Anzac biscuits which they were thrilled about and it makes me feel good as well.  For now I'll keep reading and added better recipes and knowledge about food to my mindset.  Then there's a whole other level to get to with "refined flours, sugars" vs "whole flours" etc. so I will keep at it and improving our way of eating.  The kids absolutely LOVE hands down our homemade food including the amazing home made baked beans that I keep raving about.  I think for our health the least amount of chemicals and additives the better and of course it is real live and everything in moderation.

I have also purchased a couple of Dr Libby Weaver's Books here and here.  There's a lot that can be said about these topics but for now I'll post a quote which I came across today from Michael Pollan of "In Defense of Food" and "Food Inc" fame which I found to be very simple but very powerful.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kathy. Just calling in to say hello. I am sure you enjoyed hearing Rhonda yesterday. She spoke here in Toowoomba a couple of years ago and our Simple Living Toowoomba group started up after that. Rhonda is very inspiring, isn't she? That is an interesting post you wrote. I will have to read it again later when I have more time. Thanks for sharing.