Five Tips for Saving Money on Real Food

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When people ask me what my blog is about, I say something like, “How to eat whole foods affordably” or “How to save money on a whole food diet.” And just about every time, the people I’m talking to tell me how much they want to do that. They want to eat better and shop better. It’s easy to let your grocery budget spiral out of control. But with focus and planning, it’s quite possible to eat real food on a budget. If you want to get better about this too, follow these five tips to rein in your grocery spending while focusing on whole foods. Saving Money on Real Food Plan your meals. If you follow only one of these tips, follow this one. It’s an essential stepping stone to controlling … [Read more...]

How to Peel Tomatoes

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I love seeing tomatoes filling the markets this time of year. It's a great time to stock up and make your favorite sauces, salsas, and soups with local, farm fresh tomatoes. The one challenge to cooking with tomatoes is getting those pesky skins off them. The last thing you want in your homemade pasta sauce is a piece of tough skin in every bite. How to Peel Tomatoes Here are three ways to get those skins off your tomatoes in preparation for cooking. No matter which method you use, it helps to wear food prep gloves if you have sensitive hands like I do. Blanching Many types of produce need to be blanched in boiling water before freezing them. This process kills the enzymes that can … [Read more...]

100 Days of Real Food Cookbook Review

100 Days of Real Food cookbook review

I’ve been following Lisa Leake’s blog, 100 Days of Real Food, for a few years. In fact, I used her 10 Days of Real Food challenge as the starting point for this blog over two years ago. I’ve always looked at the success of 100 Days of Real Food as an indicator that there’s a real need for guidance and support in healthy eating. So I was happy to receive a copy of Lisa’s new cookbook, 100 Days of Real Food, for review. I’m encouraged and inspired to see that this new book is currently one of the top-selling books on Amazon. People are tired of eating processed food, and they’re looking for guidance about how to move away from the Standard American Diet. This book is full of helpful … [Read more...]

Healthy School Lunches

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Packing healthy school lunches is the best way to oversee what your children eat while they’re at school. In my experience, homemade lunches fare better than school-issued lunches when it comes to whole grains, healthy protein, and produce that children will actually eat. It’s also more affordable to pack your own lunch, as I detailed in this post about saving money by packing lunches. Packing Healthy School Lunches It’s easy to get in a rut with packed lunches. Below you'll find a list of different components that can go together to make a healthy, satisfying packed meal. Whole grains, produce, and protein should always be part of the equation. I include examples in some of the … [Read more...]

Benefits of Cooking Classes for Kids

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If you ever have the chance to send your children to a cooking class or cooking camp, do it. We recently came off a week of cooking camp for my 9-year-old daughter at Create a Cook. Each day, she brought home a full dinner for the family. Not having to plan meals or cook for a week was fantastic for me, but the camp was even better for my daughter. Benefits of Cooking Classes I cook quite a bit with my children at home, but there are some limitations when it comes to teaching your own children to cook. Sometimes, they’ll listen better and be more open to new things when the message is coming from someone else. Here are several ways your child could improve in the kitchen with a little … [Read more...]

How to Store Fresh Produce

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Eating lots of produce is one of the best things you can do for your health. A recent study suggests that eating seven servings of fruits and vegetables each day can help reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases. That means we all have to bring lots of fresh produce into the house to keep up with our daily servings. Learning how to store fresh produce properly is essential if you want to avoid throwing away wilted lettuce and moldy berries. Here are five tips that will help you to keep your fruit and veggie supply fresh until you’re ready to eat it. Storing Berries One bad apple spoils the bunch, and it can be true of berries, too. If you leave berries in their supermarket … [Read more...]

Savory Snack Recipes Without Added Sugar

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Healthy snacks are essential for people living a real food lifestyle. I can usually manage to keep breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the right track, but if I don’t have healthy snacks available, that’s when I get into trouble. Even when I eat a big meal, I still need a little something between meals to keep me going. I have over 100 healthy snack recipes on my blog, but most of them are sweets. I typically use maple syrup, honey, dates, and bananas to sweeten my recipes. But still, sugar is sugar once it gets into your body. Many Americans are addicted to sugar, and it’s a big part of the obesity epidemic. After seeing the movie Fed Up, I was reminded of the importance of limiting added … [Read more...]

Fed Up Movie Review

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I had the opportunity to see an advanced screening of a new food documentary called Fed Up. Produced and narrated by Katie Couric, this film analyzes the obesity epidemic of the past several decades. With two out of every three American adults either overweight or obese, this has become the biggest public health issue in America. Fed Up follows several obese children who are doing their best to “eat less and exercise more,” as their doctors advise them. Despite their best efforts to follow this advice, these children aren't losing weight. With the obesity rate continuing to steadily rise, there’s something very wrong with the way we’re addressing this problem. We can’t exercise our way … [Read more...]

Converting Recipes to Real Food

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I didn’t truly know how to cook until I transitioned my family to a real food diet a few years ago. Sure, I could follow a recipe and put a nice dinner on the table. But I didn’t really have to think. I didn’t know how to make substitutions. I didn’t know how to adapt recipes if I was missing some of the ingredients. I couldn’t look at a bunch of leftovers in the fridge and figure out how to pull together a meal with them. Switching to real food taught me how to think in the kitchen. Now I make substitutions almost automatically, and I switch out ingredients without worrying that things might not taste right. I’m constantly playing with recipes, and I’d like to share some guidelines that … [Read more...]

Ten Healthy Easter Basket Ideas

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This time of year, I’m on the lookout for healthy Easter basket ideas. My children will get some of their candy favorites in their baskets, but I don’t want to bring a month’s worth of candy into the house. There are so many healthy alternatives to fill up Easter baskets. Here are ten ideas that will appeal to a variety of ages. Healthy Easter Basket Ideas Fruit infusion water bottle: This device helps make water taste more like a treat. Easter Eggstravaganza Mad Libs: This activity book is a fun way to pass the time if you’ll be on the road for Easter. EOS lip balm: My daughter loves this lip balm, which is shaped sort of like an egg. She'd love this limited edition spring … [Read more...]