I plan on having most, if not all, of my recipes on this blog follow what I call my “food philosophy”. It all basically comes down to this: REAL food. When I say “real”, I mean wholesome, natural, and unprocessed. Foods that either grow out of the ground (fruits, veggies, nuts, legumes, whole grains, etc.), have a mother and a father (meat and fish), or came from something that has a mother and a father (dairy). Foods with a short list of ingredients that you can actually pronounce. In my opinion, this is always the best choice, whether you’re just trying to eat healthy or even lose weight. Real food has more nutrients, fills you up, and gives you more energy. Plus, it’s been consumed by humans for a lot longer than processed food has, so your body recognizes what it is and how to digest it. I’ve noticed that a lot of well-known chefs, nutritionists, fitness gurus, etc. have been emphasizing this lately as well. It’s the new black. And for good reasons.
When it comes to organics, I just try to be realistic about it. It’s not plausible for some people to be able to afford to eat 100% organic. If I were feeding growing children with developing immune systems, I would probably try to make it work. It’d be worth it. But it’s just me, and I think choosing real food over processed food is enough of a step in the right direction as is. Fortunately, it seems like every major grocery store has jumped on the organic bandwagon lately and offers great organic items at affordable prices. Even Target and Walmart have. A good rule of thumb is to know the “Dirty Dozen” and the “Clean Fifteen”. The Dirty Dozen are the foods considered to have the most pesticide residue, while the Clean Fifteen have the least. So if you’re going to buy organic, focus on the Dirty Dozen, and don’t worry so much about the Clean Fifteen. We can’t all be Jamie Oliver and have a huge organic garden in our backyard where we can just go outside and basically pull our ingredients out of the ground or cut them off a vine, as much as we may wish we could. But we can at least mimic that idea.
I’m also a huge believer in local food. Take advantage the nearest farmer’s market, or find small family-owned farms that sell their produce to private consumers. You’d be surprised how many options are out there. It’s fresh, organic, delicious, and inexpensive since it doesn’t have to travel far. They love to bargain with you, let you taste something before you buy it, tell you all about how they grow it and why it tastes so good, and even give you tips on ways to prepare it. For foodies like me, it’s paradise. I’m like a kid in a candy store at farmer’s markets. Once you start going, you’ll be hooked and it’ll become a regular routine in your life. Trust me. Go out and support your local farmers – it’s a win-win.
So join me if you want, and get real. Literally. As my mom would always say whenever I moaned and groaned about having to pose for pictures: “You’ll thank me someday!”