I love my Real Foodie blogging friends, almost everyone I asked responded to my request: I asked them to answer 4 questions that I thought would interest all of you…
If you didn’t get an email request, I promise it wasn’t on purpose, but I sent it out late late one night and my mind was mush. Any bloggers I missed or readers, if you’d like to add your own responses, I hope you’ll do so in the comments!
Here’s what I asked for it in one sentence:
1. What was your biggest struggle early on in your Real Food journey?
2. What is your biggest struggle these days?
3. When you are at the store and see what others are grabbing off the shelves, which items MOST make you want to shout out warnings to them about the crap they're buying?
4. What is your hands-down, all-out, total favorite Real Food?
I’ll share my own answers at the bottom, including our son Kal’s answer for what is his favorite Real Food.
These are listed in the order received…
- Stanley from Tender Grassfed Meat:
1. To actually find real food to eat, in the desert of the supermarket, before I found the internet, local ranchers, and farmer's markets.
2. To convince the people in my life and others that eating real food only is the solution to almost everything, when they believe the garbage taught by the government, the medical profession, the media, and marketing.
3. Soy milk, canola oil, margarine, soybean oil, corn oil, butter adulterated with vegerable oil, anything with aspartame or any other artificial sweetener.
4. A three inch thick, bone in, fat on, grassfed Bison ribsteak, with two bones, marinated, basted with hot Bison fat, cooked very rare in front of a hardwood charcoal fire, comes out tender enough to cut with a spoon.
- Jo-Lynne from Musings of a Housewife:
1. My biggest struggle was simply siphoning through the information and finding good sources for real food.
2. These days, my struggle is more with snacking than with meals; it's tempting to snack on “organic junk”.
3. Oh gosh, I guess it's the sheer amount of processed foods I see on the conveyor belt — cereals make me cringe, and boxed meals.
4. Hmmm, all out favorite real food… I'll go with raw milk. 🙂
- Richard from Free the Animal:
1. Sugar and sweet drinks and dessert was never my thing, so I'd have to say burgers, pizza and bread.
2. I can't say that I have one that stands out to me. Rather than agonize over not eating bread I just go ahead and have a cheat meal every now and then so it's not a daily struggle.
3. Heavily processed packaged stuff like “Hot Pockets,” and sugar drinks and fruit juices. I suspect the average shopping cart has over 30% of its calories in beverages.
4. A nice grilled steak with a carefully prepared red-wine and bone stock reduction. Vegetables optional.
- Hallee from Hallee the Homemaker:
1. Not eating fast food while out and about.
2. Completely changing over the way I bake, including not using refined sugar.
3. Anything pre-processed, especially deli and bakery items that “feel” like homemade but are SO full of just yuck.
4. My whole wheat honey oatmeal bread.
- Marilyn from Urban Homemaker:
1. I was afraid of Real Milk and fermented veggies making me sick.
2. Not falling back into old habits.
3. Stuff in a box such as mac and cheese, or Soda Pop, white bread, and iceberg lettuce.
4. Crispy nuts, butter, real milk.
- Elizabeth from The Nourished Life:
1. I struggled with trying to be perfect and do everything, when what I really needed was balance and some good old-fashioned perspective.
2. I honestly feel sometimes like I know too much about health and nutrition, and I have to work to make peace with food rather than worry about all the wrong decisions I could be making according to this expert or that expert.
3. Soy milk and “heart-healthy” margarine!
4. This one's easy: raw milk!
- Ann Marie from Cheeseslave:
1. Grains — all the soaking and sprouting seemed overwhelming so I just avoided them.
2. Working with whole grain sprouted flour — getting it to rise and behave properly
3. Soy milk and 1% skim milk, especially when they have kids in the cart.
- Jimmy from Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb
1. Justifying in my mind whether paying nearly double the price for the food was really worth it.
2. Feeling caught between the real food purist mentality and the occasional non-real-food treat.
3. Sugary and even diet sodas, breakfast cereals and oatmeal that make insane health claims, pasteurized and homogenized skim milk and orange juice, and ANYTHING in a box!
4. No contest: Grass-fed beef steak (pick your cut) cooked in coconut oil with sea salt and crushed pepper. YUMMY!
- Jenny from Nourished Kitchen:
1. After having transitioned from a whole foods veg*n lifestyle, learning to embrace meats proved to be my biggest, but most important, struggle.
2. We've been traveling a lot recently, and the biggest struggle I face is accessing or preparing real food on the road – finding good sources, avoiding sneaky refined foods in restaurants; it's tough, and you have to ask a lot of questions.
3. I mostly shop at locally owned health food stores and farm-direct, and I cringe every single time I see someone pull a carton of soy-milk, -cream, -cheese, -flour while waxing poetic about the (supposed) benefits of soy.
4. Hands-down it's my sage and chicken liver pate. I've even served it at children's parties and community harvest suppers, and everyone loves it.
- Kimberly from Hartke Is Online:
1. Learning all the new cooking techniques and recipes, I was quite intimidated!
2. Dirty pots & pans tend to pile up, and there are always umpteen bottles to wash!
3. Soy products, processed milk, boxed cereals.
4. Clabbered milk, I use it for soaking grains and then make pancakes, waffles or other such baking projects.
- Matt from 180DegreeHealth.com:
1. Overcoming extremism.
2. My greatest struggle these days is the struggle to not struggle. Most people these days think that health improvements come from struggle, but with health it's usually the opposite – the less you try the better you feel, and more importantly the better your life as a whole.
3. Vegetable oil hands down. Switching from margarine and vegetable oil to coconut oil and butter is not only the most significant but by far the least painful of all dietary changes one can make.
4. Foie gras. But I've never met a shellfish or bowl of real, southern,homemade creamed corn I didn't like.
- Soli from I Believe in Butter:
1. Trying to decide exactly which change to implement first
2. I hate to admit it but I've been indulging in some things which my body doesn't need right now, extra grains and sugars.
3. I've been reading The Whole Soy Story by Dr. Kaayla Daniel, so anyone grabbing soy milk, soy-based fake meats, etc., because it's NOT a health food!
4. A nice, rare, grass-fed, locally produced sirloin!
- Wardeh from Gnowfglins:
1. Getting used to the sad fact that you can't find real food many places – but that's still a frustration for me.
2. Milking our family Jersey cow – she's a first-timer to milking, and I'm a first-timer to milking cows (prior to this we've only had milk goats) so we're still getting to know each other and learning the ropes. (However, I can't forget that most blessings in life are worth a little extra effort, and bringing in a few gallons of raw Jersey milk each morning is an incredible blessing!)
3. Everything, of course, but what bugs me the most is margarine and also those processed food desserts like Twinkies and Little Debbies.
4. Kefir: with up to 50 strains of beneficial bacteria and yeast, saturated fat from whole milk, essential fat soluble vitamins, and other vitamins, enzymes and minerals, it is a power food that supports gut health, digestion, and immunity.
- Lisa from Real Food Digest:
1. Finding the time to read and learn about REAL nutrition at the same time applying this knowledge in the kitchen with 2 toddlers and a newborn.
2. The constant exposure my kids have to junk foods in school, friend's houses, and family events and lack of local grass-fed meats and pastured poultry available due to kosher restrictions.
3. Sodas, margarine, and artificially colored/flavored foods being bought for young children.
4. So hard to pick just one … how about one category – real fats!! (Especially butter and coconut oil).
- Katie from Kitchen Stewardship:
1. Two hardest parts: figuring out what information actually made sense, and finding the time for new routines.
2. Is it bad if it's still just about the same? There's always more to learn and conflicting information to find, and I'm really tempted lately to compromise because I'm weary of all the time I spend in the kitchen.
3. Ooo, tough one. I think I want to scream the loudest when people are really trying to be healthy but missing the mark so badly, like a cartload of diet soda and “low fat” and fake food dieting crud, or organic everything including puffed rice cakes and UHT skim milk.
4. Homemade yogurt, with frozen fruit we picked ourselves and raw honey. I lick the bowl. 😉
- Kat from Kat’s Food Blog:
1. Finding good real food sources and knowing what to ask stores, restaurants and farmers.
2. As a Celiac it's hard to find restaurants who can truly accommodate gluten-free and provide real nourishing food.
3. Kid's cereals!
4. My favorite these days is real, raw cream.
- Kate from Modern Alternative Mama:
1. Finding the darn food — where was I supposed to get raw milk, pastured eggs and meats, reasonably priced organic produce?!
2. Restaurant food — I grew up eating out a lot and I still miss the experience (though I don't do it TOO often, just more than I should).
3. Honestly when they have a cart full of crap — but probably the packaged low-fat products make me scream the most. They think they're being healthy!!
4. I love so many…but I'll go with cheese, I just love it in so many ways!
- Lydia from Divine Health:
1. Cutting back so drastically on processed packaged foods without always having a plan of what to make or feed everyone.
2. Finding bacon that is pastured and affordable and tastes good, so I end up buying store bought bacon.
3. Low fat milk, soy milk, soy anything, fat free anything, and juice boxes (I shop at places that don't have horrific garbage food).
4. Hmm, hands down my favorite real food currently would be pastured eggs, otherwise I'd say raw cream.
- Stephanie from Keeper of the Home:
1. Learning to make soaked or sourdough baked goods that weren't a complete flop.
2. Finding creative new ways to keep my family's taste buds happy while on a restrictive diet that we're doing to improve our gut health (the GAPS diet).
3. Probably margarine. I honestly almost shudder when I see it and want to just snatch it off the conveyor belt, and until you asked me this question, I didn't realize that I wasn't the only crazy real foodie who had these strange urges!.
4. Homemade ice cream made with raw milk, raw egg yolks, seasonal berries and maple syrup. Yum, yum, yum.
- Andrea from True Nourishment:
1. I grew up in Colombia, eating real food, so I didn't really struggle when I got back to it. I just thought it made sense. At the time I was so sick with a — supposed —chronic sinus infection that turned out to be gluten intolerance, that I would have done anything to take the pain away. I went gluten free cold turkey and I have never looked back.
2. Even though I eat MUCH less sugar than I did at some point, I still have more than I'd like to. I've come to realize that sugar affects me greatly, and I know a very low-carb diet is best for my body, but I like chocolate too much!
3. Hydrogenated oil spreads and boxed fruit juice.
4. Freshly whipped, raw, very yellow heavy cream. 😉
- Sarah from The Healthy Home Economist:
1. I struggled for well over 10 years to conquer my sugar addiction but never finally succeeded until I drastically changed my diet and began eating a very high saturated fat diet which includes lots of butter, cream, whole milk, whole yogurt, and cheese.
2. My biggest struggle currently is keeping my constantly used kitchen cleaned up enough so that it doesn't always look like a bomb went off in there.
3. I have no urge to talk to people buying garbage in regular supermarkets as these folks are completely asleep at the wheel anyway, but the folks in the healthfood store that are buying the canned organic soups loaded with MSG and the cartons of soymilk need to have a serious talking to because they are sincerely trying to change but are striking out big time.
4. I could live on a desert island and be completely happy with just Raw Cream!
- My own answers:
2. Finding enough time in the kitchen to experiment with new recipes.
3. Ultra-pasteurized organic skim milk, any of the fake fats like margarine or “I can’t believe it’s not butter”, tortillas (because the ingredient label is so bad on all of them), Velveeta, breakfast cereal, soda pop, geesh… guess I should stop looking eh? (My cart isn’t perfect either.)
4. Butter! Also I love a good grass-fed roast cooked all day in the crock pot in its own broth, with some garlic and a little red wine. Lots more: An omelet packed with goodies, homemade ice cream, homemade popcorn with coconut oil, homemade onion rings. I just asked Kal what his favorite Real Food is, and he said it’s this recipe: Yakisoba.
NOW ADD YOURS IN THE COMMENTS! 🙂