31 Days of Real Food Reality – Featured January 2014!

Ready to drop kick the sugar habit? Excited about making healthy changes in the new year? Looking to learn more about how to cook and serve real food? Hoping to continue (or start) replacing processed food with whole food?

Want someone to make it easy for you?

31 Days

Every single day during the month of January, we’ll have a post that will equip, inspire, and encourage you on your journey to real food eating. Why is it called “Real Food Reality?”  Because as always, everything about this series will be doable for you. Real food for your real life.  There’s nothing complicated or time consuming about what I’ll be sharing. I’m not going to ask you to stop eating grains or meat or dairy or…chocolate. I’m not going to kill your grocery budget. I’m not going to insist that you eat weird food, make you give up your favorite foods, or heap on any guilt about the fact that you don’t eat a perfect diet.

I’ll share my real food reality with you – and you can simply relax and join the fun. Sound good?

Make your real food goals a reality in 2014!

Before we get started, please share: What is the biggest challenge for you when it comes to eating and cooking real foods?

Comments

  1. Tammy Egli says

    The hardest real food challenge for me is condiments. I have tried your salad dressing, ketchup, and bbq sauce recipes, but none of my family really took to it. I feel good about meals, breads, breakfasts, and snacks – but condiments are tough. Any ideas?

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  2. Sarah Z says

    Picky kids!!! It seems every healthier meal I make 2-3 out of my 4 kiddos complain or refuse to eat it! Usually w/o even tasting it first. If it looks different, they won’t try it.

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  3. Rebecca says

    Time! It takes more time to make home made bread, home made tortillas etc. If I make whole food breakfast and lunch and dinner it takes a lot of my time and creates a lot more dishes! I think it is worth it but I wish there was a more efficient way to do it all! :)

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  4. says

    My biggest challenges are laziness (being honest), lack of planning and a picky husband. But, I’m really going to try to kick the first thing to the curb in 2014 and the second thing is a project of mine for the new year. The third is a permanent thing, so I just have to make it appealing to him! :)

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  5. Ailsa says

    Juggling a 6yo, and 5 week old, breastfeeding, school runs, Hubby working 50hour weeks and finding the time to cook from scratch, grow fruit and veg which I really really want to do.

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  6. Cathy says

    Quick and easy (healthy) lunches without spending a lot of money. Five kids eating at home everyday and it seems someone is always hungry. Dinner planning is under control and on budget, now to get lunches that way.

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  7. chantay says

    Healthy lunches, my kids are not home schooled so I need something other than sandwiches that will keep in a lunchbox.

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  8. Sheri says

    I love to bake, so eating too much sugar is the problem. Homemade stuff is way healthier than store bought, but still…to much sugar is still too much sugar. I’m going to try out making something delicious on Sunday afternoon and not having sweets for the rest of the week. Not sure I have the willpower for that, but I’m going to try!

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  9. Melanie says

    All the above! Laziness at times, too time-consuming some days, picky kids on the days when I actually put the time and effort into it… lots of saboteurs! :) But I’m starting over again with the new year. Here’s to less excuses and more just doing it in 2014.

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  10. Sarah S says

    I have a hard time finding good dairy-free meals. I also have a hard time prepping dinner with a baby ad a toddler on hand. I would love to find more crock pot meals to help out with that!

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  11. Erica says

    Husband who wants the smallest amount of money spent on food( 300 a month for all household expenses) Kid freindly; fast and easy. All the above are our food challenges.

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  12. Angie says

    I was doing fairly well at switching to real food when I found out I have a gluten/egg/dairy allergy. Now it’s so much harder to accommodate my diet and still make sure my family eats healthy!

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  13. Mom in NJ says

    The comments above have really covered it for me as well. Picky children (especially regarding vegetables at meals, and desirable snacks), time-consuming nature of real-food prep (and hence clean-up!), and to a lesser degree, the higher cost of whole grains, healthier fats and sweeteners.

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  14. Ashley Bell says

    I would love to make tortillas but with 3 kids under age 5, it’s hard to find the alone time. Otherwise they want to “help.”

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  15. Emily says

    My 4 year old is totally fine. He doesn’t bat an eye at my homemade wheat bread or peanut butter. My husband who grew up on white bread and Jif, he tries but grumbles a lot! He knows my intentions are good and mostly tries to be supportive, but some days just gets grumpy about it. He wants my homemade bread to have that spongy texture etc.

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  16. Marla says

    sugar, i don’t really understand sucanat. picky kids, and too much snacking on unhealthy things.

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    Randi Reply:

    Sucanat is still sugar, just a little less refined, but sugar is sugar.

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  17. Cindy says

    I really want to eliminate sugar, but my 4 & 6 yr old girls and my 13-yr old son definitely want sweet. PLUS I have my own sweet tooth!

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  18. Melissa says

    Soda. Can’t seem to kick the habit. We eat really well for the rest of our diet, but we all love soda. We’ve eliminated the ones with high fructose corn syrup, but it’s still soda. :) Need to kick this to the curb!

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  19. Charity says

    The time it takes to plan. When I sit down to do it I feel overwhelmed and wish I had a guideline to direct me……and 3 kiddos under 5 keeps my mind other places too : )

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  20. Bonnie says

    My biggest challenge in eating real food is having it on hand and ready when I need it. I need a plan for regular bulk cooking so I can have things in my freezer. We seem to eatt things things up too fast.
    Everyone in the house will eat the real food if it’s available. I would like to work harder for a few days in the kitchen then have days where I’m not cooking so much.

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  21. Cindy says

    Planning ahead! I am terrible at sitting down and planning out what we will eat for the week and prepping ahead of time.

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  22. Lana says

    It is not really a challenge for me as we are empty nesters. Cooking for two is pretty easy and I don’t have kids complaining about the food.

    Kicking the sugar habit is easier if you can work to get the body alkaline. An acidic body craves sugar. Google it!

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  23. Sue Forster says

    A wicked sweet tooth (me and two of my kids as well)! Also not taking time to plan out meals for a whole week at a time – when I do, it’s great, but when I don’t, I tend to opt for the fast options in my pantry which aren’t the healthiest.

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  24. Laura Collinsworth says

    Change, that’s my biggest challenge. Change is scary even if it is good! I’m very excited about this new series!! Thank you!!!!!

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  25. Karen says

    My challenge is not side dishes. Everyone in our house likes at least two different vegetables.
    My challenge is feeding our family of five a healthy meat for main course. Our staples are meatloaf, tacos, seasoned chicken breast, baking a whole chicken, some kind of Italian dish and breakfast meats for dinner (preferably nitrate free).
    Its a challenge to find something different to serve.
    I’m out of ideas.

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  26. K Ann Guinn says

    Planning ahead definitely helps! I’m usually good, but have fallen off the bandwagon at times. I would say that the added expense of whole and healthy foods is the biggest challenge. Being on a tight budget, I try to balance purchasing healthy food with saving money, but it can be frustrating. Also, time is obviously a factor, as it does take more time and effort to make a healthy meal.

    Our boys (now teens), are very good eaters with few complaints; same with my husband. We have always insisted (as my parents did) that they try new foods (not even trying is NOT an option), and that they eat at least some if that is the meal being served. I do not run a restaurant, and we all try to be thankful for the food that’s been provided, prepared and served. Over time, we tend to like or at least tolerate different foods, once you’ve become accustomed to them. Sometimes I make a “compromise” (pick an item that is mostly healthy, or a little cheaper than the best), in order to please everyone and keep in the budget.

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  27. says

    Money (Can’t yet afford grass fed beef or pastured this or that), time, and laziness are my biggest hindrances. I will say we’ve done fairly well this year food wise, almost to the point of hubby agreeing to buy succanat or a reasonable facsimile instead of our regular old sugar for home usage (with the usage of said processed sugar when baking in bulk because of price right now). I can’t wait to push a little further on our journey to better eating this coming year.

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  28. Terra W says

    Honestly I’ve been trying for years, but it just gets so overwhelming to me to maintain for very long. I do NOT like meal planning or cooking; which sometimes makes it all seem like an insurmountable task. I’m terribly addicted to sugar/carbs which also makes it difficult. It’s just so much easier to go back to what I know when I get overwhelmed.

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  29. says

    I’ll be honest: It’s refined white sugar. I love healthy food, but I also love the bad sugar which is in all our favorite desserts. Not sure I’m ready to face 7 guys and tell them desserts are out!

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  30. Crystal says

    My biggest struggle is my picky family, including my husband. He loves my cooking as long as I cook it the “regular way”. He seems to turn his nose up when I try to make healthier modifications to our regular meals. Also it is time & money. I try to do your make-ahead meals but I have never done that before or had it modeled for me. When I try, it usually kills my budget because I have to buy so many ingredients in quantities I’m not used to. When I do have all the ingredients, it seems like our schedule explodes & every night & weekend becomes full. I’m sure I am going about this the wrong way, I just don’t know how to change it.

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  31. Barbara says

    I didn’t read all of the comments, but I’m sure I could give the excuse, “all of the above.” However, the biggest struggle is my husband who doesn’t eat vegetables (unless you count lettuce and corn – I don’t) and wants bread and butter to fill him up. My children will eat what I serve them for b’fast and lunch – right now I have cod and cauliflower in the oven for lunch! They don’t eat these things at dinner because their dad doesn’t. They all tend to tease me because I want to cook from scratch and made healthy meals.

    THANKS for the series you’re going to do! I appreciate your forethought and loving kindness to all of your readers!

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  32. Amber says

    My family is a bunch of “processed snack junkies”! I try to make healthy snacks but no one has much taste for them, unless it’s cookies! Husband pretty much will only eat meat and potatoes, no veggies! How do you get past that? The kids are a little more obedient when it comes to eating.
    Love all your series and can’t wait to get started on this one!
    THANKS!

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  33. Jamie says

    the sugar habit is def my downfall. I love baking, but also I’m curious what a normal diet looks like when someone says, “I’ve given up sugar,” Yes, I can do it for a few days, but I’m picturing a diet of only meat, fruits, and veggies and that doesn’t appeal to me…when chocolate is so tasty ;) I bake like you do (except I don’t use sucanat, the flavor is too strong for me, I just use an organic raw sugar if I need a solid sugar).

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  34. Joy says

    My biggest problem is getting a 7 year old to eat them. He likes some healthy foods, but it is hard to get him to eat things that aren’t hamburgers, hot dogs and mac and cheese!

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  35. Heather says

    Yes, my family has done the pickle tradition for years now! My mom’s friend was German and gave her a pickle ornament for Christmas one year and we have been hooked ever since! We are all for kicking the sugar habit on Jan 1…Let’s do it! :)

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  36. Angie Schuler says

    I’m getting frustrated! Ugh i can’t figure out how to sink your recipes with the plan to eat menu!!! Please HELP!!????

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    Laura Reply:

    Sorry, I’ve been on the road for several days. I’ll try to look into this tomorrow and get back to you!

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    Laura Reply:

    Seems I need to spend a few hours getting this set up on my end. No promises as to when I can get to this, but it’s on my list!!

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  37. Rebecca says

    My biggest challenge is the fact that I do NOT like to cook, at all…not even a little bit. There may be some laziness involved as well. Shocking, I know. Apparently I inherited this from my mother(along with the dislike of shopping). I have been doing better about cooking meals, but it is a fight(with myself). The other challenge would be that my kids(and sometimes husband) are difficult about trying things….

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  38. Sammy says

    lazy and finding time. I love to cook the big holiday meals from scratch, but during the week I either want to get our school day going or be done for the day because i’m beat. I desire a change so now we’ll see if I actually follow through with it.

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  39. Rhonda says

    Definitely ready to make a change Laura! Top four things keeping me from changing:
    1. Taking the time to plan.
    2. Lazy/lack of energy (this is a vicious cycle! I know I’d feel better if I ate better:).
    3. I love the sweets and pop. Often the cookies, doughnuts and pop are free at work. Pop is the first thing to stop!
    4. My freezer died! I’m getting by with the freezer in my frig. It does hold a lot but hard to buy great deals in bulk.

    Thankful for a husband who will eat anything I fix. The new year is a perfect time to make a change. Looking forward to your tips Laura:)

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  40. Kathi H says

    This year, 2014, I am working really hard to menu plan breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks but I am also giving up processed sugar. My husband and I have lost over 150 pounds over the last 3 years. This year we have agreed to continue eating healthy and make even more changes. No processed sugar and no pre packaged foods. Except Bologna, my Dear Husband has given up chips & soda he wont give up his Beef Bologna. I am looking forward to your 31 days of real food series.

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  41. Kathi H says

    This year, 2014, I am working really hard to menu plan breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks but I am also giving up processed sugar. My husband and I have lost over 150 pounds over the last 3 years. This year we have agreed to continue eating healthy and make even more changes. No processed sugar and no pre packaged foods. Except Bologna, my Dear Husband has given up chips & soda he wont give up his Beef Bologna. I am looking forward to your 31 days of real food series.

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  42. Rachel says

    I agree with so many above! Laziness ( on my part), picky kids, hard to find quick and easy lunches!! ( so over lunch meat every day!)

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  43. Amy says

    Preparation/laziness. I tend to bite off more than I can chew, and my plans require a lot of preparation…and then I forget to prepare or get busy and then we don’t have anything for dinner because I forgot to take the meat out of the freezer. And honestly, sometimes I just don’t want to cook!

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  44. Ellen says

    I love and have embraced cooking whole foods meals, but I still love my chips and salsa and soda at the end of the night…maybe it’s too connected to my unwinding time…maybe I need to just be more “unwound” throughout the day, huh?!

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    Heather Reply:

    Ellen, I know what you mean! I love my ice cold Coke after the kids go to bed!! :-)

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  45. Cheryl says

    Finding healthy foods that ate quick & easy to make AND the lids will enjoy. I cook for a living outside of my home & have very little desire to be in my kitchen very long when I get home.

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    Cheryl Reply:

    Oops are not ate & kids not lids.

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  46. Kathi H says

    My biggest challenge is going to be using up all the food we have on hand. We have a one year supply of food storage, a lot of which is prepackaged processed foods, white flour, processed sugars, and oohdooles of canned fruits, veggies and meats. As I use what I have on hand I will be replacing with REAL foods.
    Thank you for helping my family become Real Healthy Eaters.

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  47. Lorie says

    My biggest problem is finding ways to change real food to no wheat or dairy foods as well due to allergies :(
    I usually can with baking but it’s hard with casseroles :)

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  48. Heather says

    I know everyone says that my tastes will change but I just don’t think homemade graham crackers taste as good as Honey Maid! :-) I find it very hard to replace snacks for the kids….crackers, chips, etc.

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