Monday, December 27, 2010

11 Real Food Resolutions

In 2010, I set a goal to eat more vegetables.  My means for measuring was approximately 60 percent of every lunch and dinner plate consisted of vegetables.  I attained this goal by replacing meat with vegetables in many family favorites, sprouting, and making meals out of side dishes.  The idea evolved into eating less meat as well and I taught classes based on this concept, naming it “vegetarian-ish.”  You can check out some of my ideas here, here and here.

Many, many people set a New Year's resolution to eat better and fail year after year, or at least feel like they fail, when they have really made some unmeasured progress. In my opinion, the goal is too broad. Narrow it down and greater sucess will ensue. Here I have 11 ideas for you to get the ball rolling;
  1. Find a Pasture.  Eating pastured meat or eggs and dairy from pastured animals is expensive and takes a lot of time to research and track down.  But, I bet you could pick one thing to change over and you will be better for it.
  2. Bag the Boxed Cereal.  I know you are probably not going to be able to just throw out the cereal boxes that are in your house, I might even have a hard time with that.  But what if you stopped buying cereal for a given amount of time, say 6 weeks?  You let your stores deplete, the more you prepare good wholesome breakfast's the slower you run out, it's good motivation.
  3. Move to Organic.  Pick a couple fruits and vegetables (from the dirty dozen) that you are going to resolve to only buy organic.  If organic is not available, you do without.  I have done this with berries, it has made me revamp some recipes and keep my eyes peeled for a good deal to buy a load to freeze.
  4. Avoid a known toxin. Soy, hydrogenated fats, high fructose corn syrup.  Look at the ingredient label on the products in your house and make note of the ones that you are going to look for alternatives to.
  5. Grow Something.  Most of you have a few months to stew on this one for a few months :)  Clear a small plot, or buy a pot or two. If you have a garden, resolve to expand it or learn a new technique to increase yields.  I always recommended to start with herbs, they are easier to grow, more expensive to buy, harder to keep on hand and are great for upping your consumption of vegetables because they will taste extra yummy with your fresh herbs.
  6. Dismantle the Microwave.  Unplug it or even better, move it to the garage for a month.  Figure out how to do without it for a while and when you bring it back, you will naturally use it less.
  7. Learn to Like Something New.  Anything you "don't like" is really just something you "haven't learned to like yet."  Choose something uber healthy, obviously.  Learn about all it's redeeming qualities, buy it every couple weeks and cook it in a variety of different ways.
  8. Upgrade Your Cooking Oil.  Switch over from canola, or any other over processed, cheap oil you are using to coconut oil for cooking and baking and extra virgin olive oil in raw foods.
  9. Get a Grip on Your Sweet Tooth.  Don't sabotage yourself by demonizing all sweet treats.  Make a goal to limit the number per day or per week.  Another idea is to grade all your favorite desserts and just avoid the more junky of the junk.
  10. Get a Culture Growing.  Sourdough, yogurt, kefir.  Track down one of these easy to use starters and get started!
  11. Cook Less.  It takes work to consume raw food, everything is pasteurized, heat processed and cooked to death nowadays.  With a dehydrator and good blender, there are tons of possibilities; raw breads and crackers, green smoothies, juices, nut based sauces, granola and desserts.
If there is something here you are going to resolve to implement, let me know.  Make sure I have your email so that I can check in with you throughout the year.  Nothing helps motivate like a mentor who holds you accountable.  I have loads of other ideas, if you would like me to recommended something more personal, shoot me and email;  Tell me your story, where you are with your diet and any concerns you have.  I will email you back with some questions, you reply with your answers and I will recommended around 3 suggestions.  Be sure to tell me which one you choose, so that I can follow up next month.  Happy New Year!
links; Top Ten {Tuesday}, Tuesday Twister, Hearth and Soul Hop, Tasty Tuesday, Frugal Friday's, Happy Homemaker Monday, Nourishing Resolutions


  1. What a great post! All these are simple, yet excellent, ways to change to a more nutrient-dense way of eating. Someone could work on one of these points at a time if they feel overwhelmed by trying all at once. Really good advice!

  2. I love this post! What a great list. When it comes to me, I try to make small changes, and over time, they add up. :)

  3. I love this list. I will be referring to it often. If I commit to one thing, it will the kissing boxed cereal goodbye. I would love to start making granola and oatmeal more regularly.

    In recent months, I have enjoyed making yogurt a couple times a month and hope to continue that practice.

  4. Hi! I linked over from Twister Tuesday. I love all these ideas. I am not doing all of them, but most. One of the biggest things I did in 2010 was to completely give up artifical sweeteners. I know it's a big one. I was completely addicted to Diet Coke. I now use stevia, maple syrup and honey. Drinking kombucha and herbal teas has been a tremendous help.

    Cooking less and growing something would be great goals for me in 2011.

  5. Aiming4Simple, go for it! Making large batches helps a ton.

    Lisa, way to go with the soda and sweeteners! Sprouting is a great way to get started with both of those new goals.

  6. I think it is good to make a list of resolutions when it comes to eating healthy. I am glad to see that some of your list I have already checked off. My list looks different but we both are aiming for healthy real foods! Thanks for sharing this with the Hearth and Soul Hop!

  7. what a fantastic post! great suggestions!!!

    i always tell my kids you have to taste something 10 times before you decide if you like it or not... on 10 different occasions... and each taste is several giant bites! hahaha

    great motivation for adding a few more steps to our stairs towards healthier living!

  8. Great post! It is a good idea to break it down into small doable steps rather than just resolving to eat healthier.

  9. Please, someone, tell me... what is the problem with using a microwave oven? I don't use it a lot, but it is great for certain things.

  10. Fabulous ideas! I'm shooting for the "upgrade your oil" goal. I bought some coconut oil (probably after reading something on your blog) a few months ago but have yet to use it. Do you have some posts, or ideas as to where I should use it and replace the canola? Thanks!

  11. The microwave gives off radiation, changes the molecular structure of foods, alters protein chemistry and zaps nutrients. Dr. Mercola has a lot to say about them.

    You can always do a blog search at the top for coconut oil, but really, it works for canola oil in every recipe. The only two things to remember is the coconut flavor it adds and it hardens below 76 degrees, so anything that will be stored in the refrigerator (like dressing) will need to be heated slightly before it will pour again.

  12. I am friends with Emily Childers, I found your blog when you did a guest post for her ages ago. I love your recipes, and have printed and used many of them. Thank you for sharing your good taste with us ;-). My nutrition goal for the new year is to fix and eat more vegetables. My kids eat their vegetables just fine, but with three small kids needing attention I often struggle just getting an entree on the table, and a side dish seems almost impossible! So my goal is to plan and prepare at least one vegetable or salad per day for myself and my family.

  13. Nice to meet you, Anna. I love that goal. You might want to look at my recipes for taco meat, shepherd's pie and enchilada casserole. They are sneak the veggies right in with the main dish to save you time!

  14. Great suggestions. I have definite plans to work on #9!

    It was fun seeing you last weekend. I hope your first day of the year went smoothly for Primary.

  15. Hey there - I have slacked in visiting your site! So now I am catching up... Great ideas for the new year. I'm gonna have to mention this post on my blog. Happy New Year!

  16. Just stopped by from Kitchen Tip Tuesday and wanted to tell you that this was a great post. We have slowly been making all of these changes and I love it! You put this in a very concise and easy to understand format. It can be a little bit of culture shock to jump into, say, Nourishing Traditions! ;o) It's all about making baby steps that you can stick with.


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