In my very first post, I discussed some of my food philosophies, cutting out processed foods, and shared some resources for going organic, finding farmers markets, and sources of pasture-raised meats. I wanted to share some more about our journey to cleaner eating and some sites I found helpful.
Clean eating can and does mean different things to different people, this is one reason I like to say cleaner eating when I discuss our habits. The focus of our change has/is cutting out processed foods and chemicals. Our journey started out slowly by gradually cutting out processed foods like soda, frozen dinners, and most packaged snacks. Then we moved into buying organic and pasture-raised meats. We still use sugar, flour, buy chips and crackers (but ones with less ingredients), and only half our meat is pasture-raised.
My advice to anyone looking to change their eating habit is to start by cutting out the most obvious processed foods and start cooking. If you think organic is too expensive start cooking real food, and don’t worry as much about organic. See how buying real foods impacts your budget. Make small changes and don’t feel like you have to do it all at once.
If you are worried about your budget make sure you are not wasting food. This a huge focus for me and I’m so proud of our progress in this area. Planning is key to avoiding food waste. I try to find recipes where I can use the same ingredients like herbs or milk in multiple recipes because you generally don’t use up all of these in one meal. We eat leftovers for lunch at least a couple of days a week, this also helps to stretch your food budget and cuts back on waste. Another factor in keeping your food budget low is eating less meat. Pick at least a few vegetarians dishes or use meat as an ingredient as opposed to the main focus.
We shop primarily at Whole Foods, mostly for their selection of organic foods (especially vegetables). We go to the farmers market about every other week (sometimes less sometimes more…winter is less than summer and in summer we might go every weekend). We also utilize a CSA to get pastured-raised meats and sometimes vegetables.
Resources to start your journey:
The Rest of the Week:
This week I do not have very many pins for you. We made chili from leftovers (short ribs, bacon, hamburger-I forgot to freeze) and just made-up the recipe. We went out several times and had eggs and bacon another night. We did cook:
Vegetable Lentil Soup: I made this a month ago but it was worth repeating. It is easy and inexpensive.
Chicken and Dumplings: this is a weekend meal, as it is time-consuming but not that difficult. Make sure to read through the recipe before starting. I did not use sherry, and used 1/4 cup extra of chicken stock to scrape up the brown bits before pouring in the rest of the stock. This turned out excellent and I was pretty happy with it since I had never made dumplings before.