In September, I wrote two posts about reading Tina Holden’s Real Food Journey and how it changed the way I eat and cook. I realized that I never really finished the series with how things panned out in my attempts to integrate these in our daily life. Did the changes last?
We have officially converted to buying only whole milk, which I am very happy about. It is conventional milk, though sometimes I grab a half gallon of organic or grass fed dairy just to mix it up a bit.
There were two major areas of the book that I didn’t address which I’m going to talk about now: grains and sweets.
OK, so I get this, I really do. However, I just don’t have the time or money to buy wheat kernels and grind my own flour. I have, however, significantly cut down on the amount of bread and other grains in my diet in an effort to control blood sugar. That said, I love bread. I’m a sucker for big crusty loaves of homemade bread. My favorite bread flour is the King Arthur unbleached bread flour. I do buy store bought bread for my kids, but we have been cutting back. I buy a whole wheat store brand bread that doesn’t have much added garbage in it, (no high fructose corn syrup, thanks). I’ve considered returning to making my own homemade bread, but it was a ton of work, and I never could make the whole wheat variety turn out.
But I do have a sour dough starter from a friend that I’ve been playing with, which is supposed to help make the sugars hit the body more evenly. I’ve been looking for ways to experiment with uses sour dough more, so I’m happy to add it to as many recipes as possible.
At first I thought I could never handle soaking my grains, but it’s actually become a regular part of my routine now. Not for everything, but I try to do it when I can. I converted Trina’s soaked muffin recipe so that it meets my son’s dairy requirements. Because I’m making homemade yogurt regularly now, I always have plenty to use as an acidic medium to soak my whole grains. My kids seem to have gotten used to it and no longer complain about the taste, I’m not quite there yet. The soaked dinner rolls looked pretty and tasted fairly good. I also incorporated a sourdough starter the night before so they were very tangy. I think next time I’ll add it in the morning. We’ve also done soaked pancakes and baked oatmeal. Both were eaten without complaint, but not raved over. It’s still a process.
That being said, last night I made sour dough dinner rolls. They were puffy, crusty and amazing. I know they probably weren’t as healthy a choice as the aforementioned soaked whole wheat dinner rolls, but I think there is room for moderation.
We also tried the soaked cornbread, and it was OK, but I do miss my usual homemade corn bread, perhaps I need to use a little more money next time. Which leads me to my next topic.
Choosing Natural Sweets and Enjoying Them Wisely
This is tough for me. I love dessert. I’ve recently cut back to having dessert only on weekends. (If I really need something on a week night I have some fruits and nuts or chocolate yogurt). Sugar isn’t heavily used in our house, but it is used. But with my kids especially I try to opt for alternatives specifically honey. We have done the local and raw honey route, but it is rather pricey. So I’ll try it again occasionally but not to the exclusion of conventional honey.
We recently made our first batch of homemade ice cream sweetened with honey. It was great. We made it with fresh peaches too, and the honey and peaches complimented each other perfectly. I’m looking forward to trying maple syrup next.
I also believe strongly in moderation. There are things that I know I will eat that aren’t good for me. But I’ve also learned which things are worth it. I learned this well when I had gestational diabetes during my last pregnancy. I decided quickly which things mattered enough to waste my carb ration on. I once actually threw away a cookie after I had one bite and determined it wasn’t worth it. So I’m not about to give up sugar laden holiday treats, but I can try to limit them the rest of the time so that I can enjoy the indulgences when they happen.
My other small victories on this real food journey are buying my first batch of farm fresh eggs last weekend and trying to incorporate fruits and veggies into almost every meal, at least for my son. (My daughter is so picky that I’m happy if she eats the veggies I serve with dinner. Much slower baby steps for her.) I’m also returning to the pattern of making more things myself. We’ve cut back on buying store bought snacks and trying new ones, like Energy Balls and Chia bars. (Though we’re currently taking a hiatus since my food processor broke). My kids are enjoying these snacks and I like knowing exactly what’s in them.
As you approach your own healthy eating journey, remember that small steps do matter. Don’t try to change your kitchen or your life over night. Find small changes you can live with. Real Food Journey by Trina Holden can be a great resource to help you on your way.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free in order to review it. But my opinions are my own. However, this post may also contain affiliate links. Thanks for your support.