Stace at random

Random ramblings of a California girl living in a Kansas world

Simple Tips & Tricks For Eating “Real Food” {Plus Food Inspiration}

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real food tips

Have you ever really stopped to look at the ingredients of the foods that you buy on a regular basis? It’s mind blowing, how much “stuff” is put into packaged foods.

I began my “real food” (aka “clean eating“) journey in 2006, due to health issues and food sensitivities. For me, this means avoiding highly processed foods and sticking with foods that have 5 ingredients or less. (Yes, it can be done!). 

I will admit, it has been a struggle to get my kids on board. They are old enough that this feels like “work” to them. We’re working on that 😉

We are in no way perfect role models, but I think that we do pretty well at not eating highly processed foods.

If you’re looking to incorporate more real food into your diet, here are some tips and tricks that I’ve picked up along the way:

  1. “Real food” doesn’t have to mean “make every single thing from scratch”. It’s okay to eat canned foods, store-bought bread, etc. I have found that for most items, there is a brand out there that does not contain preservatives, hydrogenated oils, etc. Sometimes this might mean that you have to read labels on multiple brands before you find the product in it’s more natural state, but the more you read labels, the easier it gets. You will start to learn which brands are less processed than others.
  2. Real food doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Shop sales, use coupons, buy clearance items, make foods from scratch. Many items can be stored in the freezer, so stock up or bake/cook in large quantities for use later on.
  3. Don’t be so hard on yourself. This was probably one of the most difficult things for me. It took me a long time to learn that it’s okay to not be perfect. It’s okay to stray off of the beaten path sometimes – as long as you get right back on.
  4. Plan ahead! This is probably obvious, but I don’t know how many times I have sabotaged myself by not being prepared and then eating whatever I could get my hands on (and most likely overeating) because I was starving. Freezer cooking is a huge help for me – I try to always have cooked chicken or ground beef, or soups, or frozen meals on hand.
  5. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Play around with seasonings and sauces; make it a point to buy something that you’ve never tried before; experiment with new fruits and veggies. I get bored really easily, so I am always looking for new ways to eat foods that I buy on a regular basis.

A couple of my favorite blogs are Kath Eats Real Food (lots of photos and easy meal ideas – just a great example of what “real food” looks like) and 100 Days of Real Food.

If you’re needing a little bit of food inspiration, here are some examples of what I have been eating lately (as you can see, I eat very simple meals – this helps me stay on track and not get overwhelmed):

Disclaimer: I am NOT a food photographer. 😛

20160419_142839Mesa Sunrise cereal with frozen berries
20160412_131040Maple Baked Salmon and roasted Brussel sprouts
20160404_075659Salmon scrambled eggs (cooked eggs like usual, but added salmon about half way through – if you like salmon, these are amazing!)20160426_122020Leftover pulled pork, yellow pepper and green beans20160425_130123Grilled chicken salad, with yellow pepper slices and avocado
20160329_123518Chickpea Curry with Rice
20160421_195052Quiche and berries (I buy frozen, then thaw them halfway)
0819151849aSalad bar salad w/homemade croutons and fresh pineapple20160506_071059Overnight oats w/sunbutter, fruit and Mesa Sunrise cereal20160504_123229Pizza (homemade is best…in my opinion 🙂 )20160401_071340Boiled eggs (great for breakfast or snack)
20160321_123508Steak salad

Please note that I am not a doctor, dietitian, or nutritionist. I am simply providing this post to show you what is/has been working for me. 

What is your favorite “real food”??

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One thought on “Simple Tips & Tricks For Eating “Real Food” {Plus Food Inspiration}

  1. Pingback: Why I Created This Random Blog | Stace At random

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