Eating Whole Foods

Hello friends and welcome to my blog. In my last post, I defined the term whole foods. In this post, I am going to blog about how I started my family on the road to a healthier whole foods diet. Our first conversion was to start incorporating milk back into our diet after not drinking milk. I decided to try drinking organic milk after reading an article about Organic Valley. So we drove an hour away from hour to a grocery store that sold it. From that day on we have drunk nothing but Organic Valley milk and use many other products from their product lines. The first part of the change in our diet came from switching what we could that was non-organic in our diet to organic (milk, eggs, butter and produce). When we couldn’t find organic (way back in 2004) then we purchased produce from friends that weren’t using chemicals in their farming practice. From there I began to make as much as I could from scratch.

The first thing I began to make homemade was applesauce. The reason why I chose applesauce was that it is part of the packed lunch I made/make for my husband every week. Our goal here was to remove as much high fructose syrup from our lives as possible. Thus helping to pave the way to consume more whole foods. The applesauce recipe posted above in the applesauce link has eight ingredients, but I make it without using salt, lemon juice or cinnamon. The second product that we use a lot of is spaghetti sauce. We have a pasta dish at least once a week, but sometimes two times depending on our appetite for it. The third ingredient in store bought pasta sauce is high fructose syrup. My husband and I were so over high fructose syrup by this time. Virtually everything we were eating had high fructose syrup in it. Here we were riding our bikes all over Wisconsin trying to get and stay in shape and our diet high in fructose syrups was sabotaging us. Here is the recipe I use for homemade pasta sauce (roma tomatoes work best for homemade pasta sauce).

Before long I was making homemade applesauce and pasta sauce like a pro. Each time we were going to have a dish that required pasta sauce, I would pull out the Roma tomatoes I’d frozen for just such an occasion and use them to make the sauce. Prep time for the sauce is about 5 minutes and cook time is 30 before your sauce is ready to eat. Double the batch if you are going to be having a pasta dish later in the week. This sauce will keep for 5 days in your refrigerator.

So let’s do a rundown of the things changed so far in my family’s diet at this time. First off non-organic milk to organic milk and other organic dairy products, 2nd- produce from farmer’s markets, our own gardens or other people’s gardens vs. canned store-bought fruits and vegetables, and last but never least the elimination of foods heavily preserved, or containing high fructose syrup.

I would be lying to you if I told you the transition doesn’t take time. It does. You will meet resistance from your family and there will be a lot of times that you’ll want to do what you perceive everyone around you is doing and that’s buy everything pre-made or frozen pre-made or microwaveable and throw in the towel. Time constraints will cause you to cheat.. It happens. There have been a few times I didn’t have enough tomatoes or I had something else to do after dinner and I just went out and bought a jar of Ragu. But the good news is as time goes on and you grow more confident in your ability to provide good, safe, and nutritious food for your family -you will feel empowered. If the grocery stores ran out of food (temporarily) tomorrow, I’ve got enough tomatoes and frozen vegetables put by to feed my family for at least 2  possibly three weeks. I’ve also got enough flour to make homemade bread, homemade pasta noodles,and pie crusts galore. As long as power isn’t lost. Because we buy a lot of produce every week, even in the winter, we’ve always got fresh food on hand no power required. But a generator is definitely on our wish list.

Every time you go to a farmer’s market buy a couple ears of sweet corn, or 2-3 roma tomatoes or 2 or more squash and take them home and process them. I have a new blog post almost ready on freezing roma tomatoes. As far as corn- just cut it off the cob, toss in a freezer bag and freeze. I use the corn for soups and stews all winter. With squash I line a cookie sheet with halved squash brushed with butter and bake until tender. I let cool once out of the oven, then scoop out the shells, and put 2 halves worth of squash in each freezer bag and tuck them away in the freezer. I roast peppers for homemade pizza, which both my husband and I love, and love having a taste of summer on a pizza mid-January. Don’t let the process of the transition to whole food living overwhelm you, take it a day at a time and you will be there in no time.

I’ve included some pictures of what I’ve been cooking- fried zucchini, kale and red potatoes in olive oil and real butter ; homemade pumpkin bread made from all freshly grown/produced ingredients; small farmer’s market haul-mid week ; everything put away- yes I refrigerate potatoes ; much requested picture of my refrigerator (notice not everything I use is homemade or organic-it all takes time), kale and homemade chili tucked away ; roasted peppers and roma for sauce.  Later this week I will post about freezing roma tomatoes for sauce and also talk about using a real pumpkin for pumpkin bread vs. canned pumpkin along with a whole foods menu and cooking times. Until next time always remember to eat good food!