real food>fake food. nature>industry.

I've always gravitated towards the less processed and fresher foods in my life. I never really even liked that pillowy white bread that everyone wanted their PB&J on... I preferred the 12 grain bread at my grandparents's house. Anyone who has ever eaten a meal with me can vouch for the fact that I say "I love __(insert whatever vegetable I am currently eating)__" a minimum of four times per meal. My top three favorite foods are broccoli, apples, and green beans. There's something about fresh, wholesome, locally grown food that has always appealed to me. My favorite kitchen memories are helping my mom make vegetable soup or a loaf of fresh wheat bread, or picking vegetables in my backyard to make salad with. I love fresh foods, and generally don't gravitate towards processed foods. In fact, I notice distinct adverse effects when I eat foods that are more a product of industry rather than nature. As a kid, whenever we'd eat Nutrigrain bars, Otter Pops, and other artificially colored/flavored food, my throat would itch and I would cough. I'd feel tired, drained, and general pain/discomfort. It has escalated to the point that I notice it after eating almost any processed food. I feel off, less energized, irritable, and uncomfortable in general.

But, like every American, I've definitely given in to processed foods with ingredient lists longer than I'd care to read, with words more complicated than I'd care to pronounce. Looking in my pantry shocks me--cereal from the cereal party last weekend, baked Cheetos, a basket of candy/sweets given as gifts I'll never get around to eating... these things were never in my pantry two years ago! Obviously, I've made some allowances with a busier schedule. The "convenience" factor is not doing me any favors, though. It's weird to me that I'd ever opt for convenience, seeing how one of my favorite things to do is cook and bake. Being in the kitchen is one of my major methods of zapping stress. I love nothing more than to look at something, and figure out how to make it completely from scratch. So, why in the world would I buy something I can not only make myself and enjoy, but make in a way that is better for my body and soul? Why would I choose to put chemicals and additives into my body when I am so adamant about only using natural, additive free shampoo, conditioner, face products and make up? Why would I eat preservative filled food when I won't even take pharmaceuticals? It's time to create integrity when it comes to my beliefs. It's time to come full circle.

This is why I've vowed to take the 10-Day Real Food Pledge. I know already that this is a lifestyle change, not an experiment, or a fad like cleanses I've done in the past. This doesn't change our eating habits too drastically. In fact, almost all meals we make follow the guidelines, already. We already buy whole-grain instead of white and enriched, use locally grown organic produce, buy sides of beef grown in my hometown, visit a butcher who provides locally raised meats, and substitute apple sauce, honey and maple syrup instead of refined sugar in recipes. I've been dying to get a bread maker, and finally did. I've started to actually learn how to garden and not just pretend. I've been wanting chickens so badly. Basically, everything just fell into place... I'm happy to finally have a movement behind my beliefs and preferences and I couldn't be happier to finally have a structure behind my eating style. I can't wait to feel better, see the changes in myself and my husband and most importantly enlighten and inspire my friends and family into putting only real, wholesome, locally grown food into their bodies.


  1. I think this is super cool of you -- I'm excited to hear how it turns out! One of these days, when at least I am out of school, I'm going to start one of these for Randy and me. Right now it's just unfeasible. Still, we eat more real food than processed than we did last year, so that's progress.

    Keep us updated! :)

  2. Thank you Elyse! I really appreciate the interest and support. I will definitely keep updating. We start on Sunday. In the meantime, I've eaten restaurant pizza twice in the last 24 hours. Going out in style... ;)

    Really awesome that you guys eat less processed foods:) It makes such a difference. Sometimes, it's easier to just make a change gradually. Like, say, when you run out of __insert processed boxed good here__, just replace it with an organic or local or less processed equivalent. Even though you have to be really smart about "organic" stuff... labels aren't always true... that's another post, though. Haha:)