Search Results for: sugars

Sugar Should Be a Treat {31 Days of Real Food Reality ~ Day 15}

31 Days 300

The day we started pouring sugar on our salads is the day um…salads became, you know, less healthy.  (Now, that’s a brilliant quote worth sharing if I ever saw one.)

Sugar on our salads?  Surely not!  Why would anyone do that?  Just read a bottle of salad dressing from the store.  Almost every single one contains a lot of sugar – except for the ones that contain high fructose corn syrup, which is, of course, even worse.  If I want sugar, I’ll have chocolate, not a salad.

Salad Dressing

Sugar is in almost everything – especially processed foods…and salad dressing.  But somehow, saturated fat gets blamed for causing obesity and heart disease.  We interrupt this post for a fatty, sugary history lesson:

Before 1910, many people ate lots of meat, eggs, butter, cream – and very little sugar.  People worked hard and were rarely sedentary.  Heart disease was almost non-existent. Then, between 1910 and 1970, animal fats and protein consumption took a huge dive – because experts began to tell people that they were bad.  These experts had “research” to back up their claims, which many additional researchers found to be flawed.  Nonetheless, the concept of cutting out animal fats and protein gained publicity (and that was before Facebook – amazing).

At the same time, sugar and processed food consumption increased by 60 percent.  Also during that time, while the amount of butter people ate was dramatically reduced, the percentage of vegetable oils in the form of margarine and shortening increased by (wait for it) 400%.  Guess what else happened?  Heart disease, which was almost non-existent before 1920, became the leading cause of death among Americans.  (source)  And we blamed the saturated fat in butter?  I’m speechless.  (Not really.  I have more to say.)

So back to drizzling sugar on our tossed salads…

The simple truth is that we have to cut back on our sugar intake in order to be healthier.  The issues our bodies have as a result of eating too much sugar go way beyond cavities and hyperactivity.

Cutting back on sugar has been one of the most difficult adjustments for me to make personally.  (Remember my Pepsi addiction?)  I have always loved my sugar.  Who doesn’t?  Sugar tastes really, really good!

Since beginning our healthy eating journey, I’ve tried to at least stay away from most refined sugars, and instead stick with raw honey, real maple syrup, and sucanat.  You can read more about those natural sugars here.  I notice a big difference in how I feel after eating white sugar as opposed to one of the healthier sugars mentioned.  Yet while these choices are much better than white sugar and corn syrup, they are still sugars and they still effect our bodies negatively if eaten in too large a quantity.  Remember, we’re going for nourishment here - not just trying to fill a hole.  Sugar offers so little in the way of nourishment.  When we eat more than just a little bit of sugar, our bodies simply don’t know what to do with it.  Therefore, it stores it away and it becomes extra pounds on our hips – or wreaks havoc in many other ways in our body.

Here is what has worked for me as I’ve cut back on sugar for my family:

  • Stop drinking your sugar.  If I can do it, you can do it.
  • Cut back on the sugar called for in recipes – yes even in my recipes.  I now cut the sugar in half in my recipes.  They’re still plenty sweet.  Cut back gradually if you need to.
  • Eat fruit – it has natural sugar, but it also has loads of nutrients!
  • Watch the white flour, white rice, and white pasta.  They offer few nutrients and turn to sugar in our systems.
  • Make sweets a treat instead of consuming sugary foods all day long.

And for certain, my most important advice in an effort to cut back on sugar:  Pray. I am a sugar lover.  The fact that I have been able to cut way back on sugar is only possible with the Lord’s power, not my own will-power.

And as for putting sugar on our salads – I have several real food, no sugar or low sugar dressing recipes here that are delicious!

Do you struggle with eating too much sugar?  What are some habits you can begin in an effort to cut back?

 

One Step at a Time {31 Days of Real Food Reality ~ Day 2}

31 Days 300

It’s an exciting time!  The holidays are over, and many of us are looking forward to starting fresh and becoming healthier!

Looking forward to chucking all of the processed foods in your house, eating three vegetables with every meal, transforming your refrigerator so that it only contains homemade condiments, keeping up with meal planning consistently, packing healthy lunches every day for your kids, making all of your own baked goods using only whole grains and unprocessed sugars, and never touching store bought candy again for the rest of your life?  That’s awesome!  These are all wonderful goals.  Hoping to do it all by tomorrow?  I love your ambition, but chill out with a piece of chocolate.  That may not be reality.

As someone who is encouraging you to eat a healthy diet, let me be clear.  When I say, ”chill out with a piece of chocolate,” I totally mean, “relax while you munch a radish.”  Obviously.  But my point is that if you try to make too many good changes at once, setting 42 healthy living goals in an effort to completely transform your life overnight, you may become so overwhelmed that within two days you’ll decide that there’s no way you can keep up with this healthy, real food business.  At the very least, you’ll likely freak out the people around you, giving them the impression that life as they know it and their loved one’s sanity (that would be yours) just got thrown out with the Fruitie Magrooties.

Let me remind you that every healthy change you make is a wonderful step in the right direction.  Usually, taking one step at a time makes the transition from junk food to real food much more doable as opposed to making many drastic changes all at once.  People who go from all to nothing (or nothing to all, as the case may be) are much more likely to get frustrated, become overwhelmed, and give up before they even really get started.

You didn’t learn to count, add, subtract, multiply, divide, reduce fractions, and master hyperbolic trigonometry all in the same day did you?  Neither will you transform your kitchen and eating habits all in the same day.  Or week.  Or month.

Take small steps toward switching from processed food to real food.  Begin to cut out the bad slowly, while introducing the good at a pace that is doable for you and your family.  Why not make a list of healthy habits you’d like to begin, then prioritize them in order of importance to you?  Or start with the easiest ones first.  Once you get the hang of one, you can tackle another.

Before you know it, you’ll be a whiz at hyperbolic trigonometry.  Or rather, you’ll be like me and have no idea what that even is.  But by golly, you’ll be drinking plenty of water and eating much less sugar than you used to.  And on it goes.

Fruitie Magrooties, it was nice knowing you.  Healthy living, here we come!

What is one step you can start taking today that will be doable for you and your family as you work your way toward a healthier lifestyle?

Healthy Living eBook Bundle – Brought Back One Last Time!

Did you miss the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle the first time it came around? We’ve heard from so many people who were disappointed they missed out the first time around, that we’re happy to announce the Encore Flash Sale for Black Friday weekend only!

What’s in the Bundle?

Get Educated

We took 86 eBooks (plus 1 eCourse) by popular bloggers on topics like real food & recipes, green living, natural cleaning and beauty, mental and emotional health, fitness, herbal remedies and more.

Get Mentored

Then we added the brand new “Coffee Table Conversations,” a 12-week series of author mentorship through interactive online conference calls and private support groups.

Get Equipped

We finished it off with 9 bonus sponsors offering you $150+ of incredible products and services to help you along your way. This includes bonuses like $25.98 of FREE eco-friendly laundry detergent from Dizolve (because we all need clean clothes). This bonus nearly makes up for the entire cost of the bundle!

How Much Does the Bundle Cost?

Ultimate: Maximum; decisive; conclusive. The best or most extreme of its kind.

We wouldn’t call it the “ultimate” bundle if it wasn’t true.

As our hard-working team pulled together the Ultimate Healthy Living 2013 Bundle Sale, we had 3 basic goals: to put a comprehensive health library at your fingertips, to offer something for everyone, and to provide so much value for an itty-bitty price that it would be irresistible.

In a nutshell? This bundle is brimming with more than 80 ebook and ecourse resources, from authors and bloggers known as authorities in their fields.

For less than $30, you can pick up your own bundle complete with more than $800 of ebooks, $67 of interactive “coffee table conversations” with their authors, and $158 of products and services to help you on your way toward healthier living. That’s over a $1,000 value!

Additionally, 25% of this flash sale’s proceeds go to a few of our favorite non-profit organizationsShelter Box (specifically for Philippines relief aid), Compassion International, Hope for Women, and Love146!

But you don’t want to wait! This bundle is available for only 4 days, from 8 a.m. (EST) on Friday, November 29 to 11:59pm (EST) on Monday, December 2. After this time, this bundle will never be available for purchase again.

Get yours now for just $29.97!

(Psst… did you know that you can add on two extra bundles for the price of one? Just choose the bonus 2-for-1 option during checkout!)

What’s Included in the eBook Library? ($800+ value)

Real Food Cookbooks

Allergy-Friendly/Special Diets

Menu Planning/Meal Prep

Natural Skincare

Natural Health

Healthy Lifestyle

Fitness

Gardening/Sustainability

Green Living

Special Health Concerns

Healthy Kids & Babies

Learning About Real/Whole Foods

What are Coffee Table Conversations? ($67 value)

For 12 weeks starting in January 2014, we’ll offer a series of weekly one-hour live conference calls, where you can join in and ask your questions on relevant and timely healthy living topics to a panel of eBook authors. We’ll look at issues like allergy-friendly cooking, fighting fatigue (and finding energy!), eating well on a tight budget, an introduction to alternative health and herbal remedies, and tips and tricks for making real food in less time. You’ll be able to listen to authors converse with each other on any (or all) of the 12 calls that you choose to take part in, and get answers to your questions in real time!

We’ll also provide a private Facebook group, where that week’s “mentors” will pop in as often as they can and chat with you on the topics at hand. Talk about up-close and personal learning!

What are the Healthy Living Bonus Offers? ($150+ value)

  1. Dizolve—A FREE 128 Load Twin-Pack of Dizolve Natural Laundry Detergent. Dizolve laundry detergent strips are an innovative, phosphate-free way to clean your clothes. ($25.98 Value. Standard shipping rates apply. Limited to the first 5,000.)
  2. Bulk Herb Store—An instant download of their instructional video Making Herbs Simple Volume 1 for only 1 cent. ($14.95 Value. No shipping restrictions.)
  3. Wise Choice Market—A FREE $15 store credit to be used at Wise Choice Market on the Finest Real Food around, including traditionally-made bone broths, organic fermented vegetables, wild salmon, sprouted breads, and many more. ($15.00 Value. Standard shipping rates and restrictions apply.)
  4. Fit2Be Studio—A FREE Two-Month Membership to Fit2B Studio (for new members) where their wholesome workouts for the whole family are TummySafe™and particularly target Diastasis Recti. Current members may apply the coupon code for $20 off a 1-year membership. ($19.98 value. No shipping restrictions.)
  5. Jenuinely Pure—$15 off any $30 order at Jenuinely Pure on the beautifully-crafted natural skincare products. Make the switch to natural skincare with Jenuinely Pure. ($15.00 Value. Standard shipping rates apply.)
  6. Plan To Eat—A FREE 4-Month www.plantoeat.com subscription. Plan to Eat is an online menu planner that uses your recipes scheduled when you want them — and they make your grocery list! ($19.80 value. No shipping restrictions. New accounts only. Offer expires Dec.15)
  7. TrilLight HealthFREE $15 store credit to be used toward Trilight Health‘s Fast-Acting, Great Tasting Liquid Herbal Formulas, or anything else in their store. ($15.00 Value. Standard shipping rates apply.)
  8. List Planit—Your choice of 3 FREE ePlanners OR a 3-Month FREE Trial Membership to ListPlanIt, where you can organize your life with hundreds of lists that you can create and manage at home or on the go. ($15.00 value. No shipping restrictions.)
  9. Cultures for Health—A FREE sourdough or kombucha starter from Cultures For Health PLUS a $5 credit to put toward anything else in store. (up to a $17.95 Value. Both the starter and the $5 credit can be used in the same order! Standard shipping rates apply.)

All bonus offers are available for redemption until December 16th, 2013.

Important stuff you might want to know

  • Read the fine print. The details matter!
  • Check out our Frequently Asked Question page, particularly to learn about file types, how downloading works, transferring to eReader devices, redeeming bonus offers, and all that good stuff.
  • Remember, this bundle is available for only 4 days, from 8 a.m. (EST) on Friday, November 29 to 11:59pm (EST) on Monday, December 2. After that, this particular bundle will never be available for purchase again.
  • Affiliate disclaimer: As one of the authors in this bundle, I receive commission on each bundle sold through the purchase links on this page.

Let’s Learn About Healthy Living Together!

All caught up on laundry?  Me neither!!!  Want free laundry detergent?  Me too!!  Want to save $1004 dollars within the next ten minutes?  Yes, I’m serious!  Keep reading and you’ll be as excited about washing 128 loads of dirty socks as I am…

What do you think of when the topic of “Healthy Living” comes up?  Here’s what often comes to my mind:

  • Eating healthy food (yes at my house, food always comes up first)  :)
  • Using non-toxic cleaners and household products
  • Getting and staying fit
  • Learning about natural healing and home remedies
  • Gardening
  • Natural skincare

And what about maintaining healthy relationships and becoming emotionally healthy?  Yes, there are so many aspects of healthy living.  And that is why I am so excited to be a part of the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle sale!  Figuring all of this out can be so overwhelming.  That’s what makes the resources made available in this package invaluable.  You and I will benefit so much for what is offered in this bundle.  In fact, since I started looking through these resources last week, I have learned tons already.  And I’ve barely scratched the surface.

It is an amazing blessing to have access to all of these books (forever!) to help us all on our journey.  Plus, the price is set to make this attainable for all who want to learn more about healthy living!  97% off all of these eBooks, a conference providing personal mentoring on all these subjects, plus 9 awesome bonuses??  Yes, please!

This bundle is not being offered right now.  Be sure to subscribe so I can inform you of other bundle opportunities!

 

What’s in the Bundle?

Get Educated

We took 86 eBooks (plus 1 eCourse) by popular bloggers on topics like real food & recipes, green living, natural cleaning and beauty, mental and emotional health, fitness, herbal remedies and more.

Get Mentored

Then we added the brand new “Coffee Table Conversations,” a 12-week series of author mentorship through interactive online conference calls and private support groups.

Get Equipped

We finished it off with 9 bonus sponsors offering you $150+ of incredible products and services to help you along your way. This includes bonuses like $25.98 of FREE eco-friendly laundry detergent from Dizolve (because we all need clean clothes). This bonus nearly makes up for the entire cost of the bundle.  (You’ll want to hurry though because that particular bonus is only for the first 5000 people!)

How Much Does the Bundle Cost?

We wouldn’t call it the “ultimate” bundle if it wasn’t true.

As our hard-working team pulled together the Ultimate Healthy Living 2013 Bundle Sale, we had 3 basic goals: to put a comprehensive health library at your fingertips, to offer something for everyone, and to provide so much value for an itty-bitty price that it would be irresistible.

In a nutshell? This bundle is brimming with more than 80 ebook and ecourse resources, from authors and bloggers known as authorities in their fields.

For less than $30, you can pick up your own bundle complete with more than $800 of ebooks, $67 of interactive “coffee table conversations” with their authors, and $158 of products and services to help you on your way toward healthier living. That’s over a $1,000 value!

But you don’t want to wait! This bundle is available for only 6 days, from 8 a.m. (EST) on Monday, November 4th to 11:59pm (EST) on Saturday, November 9th.

Get yours now for just $29.97!

What’s Included in the eBook Library? ($800+ value)

Real Food Cookbooks

Allergy-Friendly/Special Diets

Menu Planning/Meal Prep

Natural Skincare

Natural Health

Healthy Lifestyle

Fitness

Gardening/Sustainability

Green Living

Special Health Concerns

Healthy Kids & Babies

Learning About Real/Whole Foods

What are Coffee Table Conversations? ($67 value)

For 12 weeks starting in January 2014, we’ll offer a series of weekly one-hour live conference calls, where you can join in and ask your questions on relevant and timely healthy living topics to a panel of eBook authors. We’ll look at issues like allergy-friendly cooking, fighting fatigue (and finding energy!), eating well on a tight budget, an introduction to alternative health and herbal remedies, and tips and tricks for making real food in less time. You’ll be able to listen to authors converse with each other on any (or all) of the 12 calls that you choose to take part in, and get answers to your questions in real time!

We’ll also provide a private Facebook group, where that week’s “mentors” will pop in as often as they can and chat with you on the topics at hand. Talk about up-close and personal learning!

What are the Healthy Living Bonus Offers? ($150+ value)

  1. Dizolve—A FREE 128 Load Twin-Pack of Dizolve Natural Laundry Detergent. Dizolve laundry detergent strips are an innovative, phosphate-free way to clean your clothes. ($25.98 Value. Standard shipping rates apply. Limited to the first 5,000.)
  2. Bulk Herb Store—An instant download of their instructional video Making Herbs Simple Volume 1 for only 1 cent. ($14.95 Value. No shipping restrictions.)
  3. Wise Choice Market—A FREE $15 store credit to be used at Wise Choice Market on the Finest Real Food around, including traditionally-made bone broths, organic fermented vegetables, wild salmon, sprouted breads, and many more. ($15.00 Value. Standard shipping rates and restrictions apply.)
  4. Fit2Be Studio—A FREE Two-Month Membership to Fit2B Studio (for new members) where their wholesome workouts for the whole family are TummySafe™and particularly target Diastasis Recti. Current members may apply the coupon code for $20 off a 1-year membership. ($19.98 value. No shipping restrictions.)
  5. Jenuinely Pure—A $15 discount off of any $30 order to be used at Jenuinely Pure on the beautifully-crafted natural skincare products. Make the switch to natural skincare with Jenuinely Pure. ($15.00 Value. Standard shipping rates apply.)
  6. Plan To Eat—A FREE 4-Month www.plantoeat.com subscription. Plan to Eat is an online menu planner that uses your recipes scheduled when you want them — and they make your grocery list! ($19.80 value. No shipping restrictions. New accounts only. Offer expires Dec.15)
  7. TrilLight HealthFREE $15 store credit to be used toward Trilight Health‘s Fast-Acting, Great Tasting Liquid Herbal Formulas, or anything else in their store. ($15.00 Value. Standard shipping rates apply.)
  8. List Planit—Your choice of 3 FREE ePlanners OR a 3-Month FREE Trial Membership to ListPlanIt, where you can organize your life with hundreds of lists that you can create and manage at home or on the go. ($15.00 value. No shipping restrictions.)
  9. Cultures for Health—A FREE sourdough or kombucha starter from Cultures For Health PLUS a $5 credit to put toward anything else in store. (up to a $17.95 Value. Both the starter and the $5 credit can be used in the same order! Standard shipping rates apply.)

 

Important stuff you might want to know

  • Read the fine print. The details matter!
  • Check out our Frequently Asked Question page, particularly to learn about file types, how downloading works, transferring to eReader devices, redeeming bonus offers, and all that good stuff.
  • Remember, this bundle is available for only 6 days, from 8 a.m. (EST) on Monday, November 4th to 11:59pm (EST) on Saturday, November 9th.
  • Affiliate disclaimer: Because I’m one of the authors who contributed a book to this bundle, I receive a portion of each sale generated through the links in this post.  Thank you!

Let’s all learn more about Healthy Living (and grab some free laundry detergent) together!

 

24-Hours Only! The Gluten and Grain Free Bundle is Back

When Bundle of the Week ran this special back in March, it was a popular one.  And so, through 8:00 Saturday morning only, the Gluten and Grain Free ebook bundle deal is back!

gf bundle

Going grain-free can be overwhelming for families dealing with gluten-intolerance or Celiac disease, and this week’s bundle includes more than 275 gluten-free and  grain-free recipes plus a wealth of information and tips from the  authors’ own experiences. Today only, get all 5 ebooks for just $7.40 (a savings of more than 80%)!

Against the Grain by Kate Tietje Grain-free doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, it can include  all kinds of interesting flavors, spices, and even sauces. Against the  Grain is a cookbook full of delicious, fun to eat, whole food recipes  that are grain-free — and mostly dairy-free and GAPS-friendly as well. You’ll  even find a few bread and dessert recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Beyond Grain & Dairy by Starlene Stewart In Beyond Grain & Dairy, Starlene shares 113 grain-free recipes that contain no grains, no gluten, no dairy, no soy, no corn, no gums and no processed sugars. With full-color photos and a handy ingredients index  to help you find recipes by ingredient, Starlene has put together a  cookbook to show you that there’s no reason to feel deprived!

The Grain-Free Snacker by Carol Lovett Going grain-free doesn’t mean you have to give up tasty snacks, and in  this brand new ebook, Carol offers more than 45+ homemade, grain-free  recipes — everything from gluten-free dorito chips, crackers and cookies to ice cream, frozen treats and mini pizzas.

Best of the Grain Free Meal Plans by Cara Faus Cara has helped people from all over the world enjoy their  grain-free transition with her meal plans, and she’s now packaged the  best of her menu planning service in a helpful, full-color cookbook.  With more than 70 child-friendly, easy-to-follow recipes for busy  households, this ebook makes going gluten-free fun and exciting rather  than stressful and overwhelming.

Gluten Free and Good for You by Kimberlee Tandy & Laura Coppinger Filled with tips and information to help you to eat gluten-free or serve gluten-free meals and snacks to family members and friends who have  special dietary needs, Gluten Free and Good for You is both a handbook  and a cookbook that uses basic, everyday ingredients that you’re likely to have on hand in your kitchen. Laura and Kim make gluten-free cooking accessible for every family!

You can’t beat this deal - so if you want it get it now.  This price will only be good for 24 hours!

Click here to learn more about this bundle and to purchase.

Gluten Free and Grain Free eBook Bundle of the Week

gf_bundle

I am excited to share that I have an eBook included in this week’s Bundle of the Week!

Well, it’s not completely my book.  My friend Kim helped me write it.  She’s the gluten free expert.  I knew many of you would benefit from a book which includes gluten free recipes made with wholesome, real foods.  So I asked for Kim’s expertise.

This week, Gluten Free and Good For You is bundled together with four other ebooks.  The entire set of five eBooks is selling for just $7.40!

Here are the details:

Going grain-free can be overwhelming for families dealing with gluten-intolerance or Celiac disease, and this week’s bundle includes more than 275 gluten-free and  grain-free recipes plus a wealth of information and tips from the  authors’ own experiences. This week only, get all 5 ebooks for just $7.40 (a savings of more than 80%)!

Against the Grain by Kate Tietje Grain-free doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, it can include  all kinds of interesting flavors, spices, and even sauces. Against the  Grain is a cookbook full of delicious, fun to eat, whole food recipes  that are grain-free — and mostly dairy-free and GAPS-friendly as well. You’ll  even find a few bread and dessert recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Beyond Grain & Dairy by Starlene Stewart In Beyond Grain & Dairy, Starlene shares 113 grain-free recipes that contain no grains, no gluten, no dairy, no soy, no corn, no gums and no processed sugars. With full-color photos and a handy ingredients index  to help you find recipes by ingredient, Starlene has put together a  cookbook to show you that there’s no reason to feel deprived!

The Grain-Free Snacker by Carol Lovett Going grain-free doesn’t mean you have to give up tasty snacks, and in  this brand new ebook, Carol offers more than 45+ homemade, grain-free  recipes — everything from gluten-free dorito chips, crackers and cookies to ice cream, frozen treats and mini pizzas.

Best of the Grain Free Meal Plans by Cara Faus Cara has helped people from all over the world enjoy their  grain-free transition with her meal plans, and she’s now packaged the  best of her menu planning service in a helpful, full-color cookbook.  With more than 70 child-friendly, easy-to-follow recipes for busy  households, this ebook makes going gluten-free fun and exciting rather  than stressful and overwhelming.

Gluten Free and Good for You by Kimberlee Tandy & Laura Coppinger Filled with tips and information to help you to eat gluten-free or serve gluten-free meals and snacks to family members and friends who have  special dietary needs, Gluten Free and Good for You is both a handbook  and a cookbook that uses basic, everyday ingredients that you’re likely to have on hand in your kitchen. Laura and Kim make gluten-free cooking accessible for every family!

To learn more and to purchase this bundle, click here.

P.S.  I am not an advocate of eating grain and/or gluten free “just because.”  I think it is a good idea to get a nice balanced diet, including whole grains – if you are able.  But, even if you don’t have grain allergies or a gluten intolerance, I believe you can still benefit from these great books.  :)

Can You Lose Weight (or Keep from Gaining Weight) When Eating Whole Foods?

weight

Before I begin this post, I want to say this:  Being “skinny” is sooo big fat not the goal when it comes to eating a whole foods diet.  Our goal is to be healthy, not to have a Barbie doll figure (who, by the way, is made of plastic and is susceptible to having an arm or leg snapped off, just ask my brother).  Okay, now let’s begin:

I often receive emails from readers asking me:  “I have some pounds to lose.  Can I lose weight while eating whole foods?”  or “How do you stay slim while eating such a high fat diet?” or “I want to start eating real foods, but I’m afraid of gaining weight.”

These questions and fears are very valid and I understand why these emails are coming in.  I was afraid of the very same things when I first learned about eating whole foods.  For as long as I can remember, we have been told from experts that eating a high fat diet is bad for us.  That drinking whole milk and consuming other full fat dairy products is terrible.  That butter is a huge no-no.  That we needed to eat fat-free yogurt.  That we should avoid red meat and focus on lean, white meat.  That eggs were horrible and full of cholesterol.

To replace each of these, we were provided with “low fat” and “fat free” substitutes of sour cream, cheese, and milk.  We were offered “egg-beaters” to replace eggs in recipes.  Margarine became the “healthier choice” because it was lower in saturated fat.  And most other processed high fat food companies came out with “low fat” varieties for those who were “health conscious”.  (Fat free mayonnaise, anyone?)

I bought into it for years.  I think many people did.  Most nutrition books on the market still suggest that eating “low fat” varieties of food is the healthier way to go.

I will say this much in their defense:  Many of the tests done on animal products (dairy, eggs, meat) that “proved” that those higher fat items were bad were done on animals that were not being raised in a healthy environment or being fed healthy foods.  Therefore, sure, eating those particular products can do some damage to our bodies.

But does that mean we should stop eating those foods altogether?  In addition, does that mean that eating “food substitutes” like margarine, egg beaters, and the like is the healthier way to go? And if so, why are so many who are eating these low fat, “healthier” foods still struggling with their weight or developing additional health issues?

Here’s what I learned while eating a “low fat or fat free” diet for many years:  Any time I got into patterns of over-eating – even if it was food that was low in fat – I struggled with maintaining a healthy weight.  In addition, I craved more sugar since many low fat foods have sugar added to make up for the loss of flavor that happens when you take naturally occurring fat out of food.

Once I began eating a real food diet, which is higher in real fat – real butter, real cream, whole milk, real sour cream, whole milk yogurt, eggs, beef, lamb (along with whole grains and lots of fruits and veggies) - I found that these foods are so satisfying that my body wasn’t consistently craving what it wasn’t getting!  I found that the food tasted so good that I wasn’t constantly disappointed with dry, tasteless food.  I found that I had more energy and healthier skin.  I found that overall, because I was eating whole food in its original form, I felt so much better than I’d ever felt when I had been eating food that had been stripped of its natural fat.

So can you eat whole foods that are naturally high in fat and maintain a healthy weight, or even lose weight if you need to?  Yes!  I’ve watched friends arrive at a healthy weight once they began eating a real food diet.  Once they gave up eating processed foods, and even “low fat foods” and began to instead eat a diet of unprocessed, whole foods – the extra pounds just fell off!  And I can tell you that for myself, after 15 years of following the latest diet trends (low fat, calorie counting, etc) in an effort to “not gain weight” - eating a diet of real, whole foods (going on eight years now) has been the easiest way I’ve experienced to maintain a healthy weight. 

I’m going to say this again:  None of us should have being ”skinny” as the goal as we look at this subject.  We should be focused on being “healthy”.  Eating a well balanced whole foods diet is healthy.  And wow does it ever taste good!

Here are my top five tips (besides eating a whole foods diet) for maintaining a healthy weight:

  1. Don’t Over-Eat: Too much healthy food is still too much food.  Eat when you are hungry.  Stop eating when you are full.  It’s really quite simple.  (Except for when it’s chocolate.  Then it is difficult.  Self control, Laura everyone, self-control.)
  2. Be Balanced:  Sure, I love butter and believe wholeheartedly that it is a healthy fat.  But man (or Laura) shall not live on butter alone.  Eat a wide variety of whole foods for a healthy balance that will meet all of your body’s needs.
  3. Go Easy on the Sugar:  Yes, even natural sugars like honey, sucanat, and maple syrup.  And desserts made with chocolate.  But I covered that already.
  4. Exercise:  For so many reasons, just do it.  You will not regret it, and your body will love you for it.
  5. Eat Healthy Fats:  Avoid processed, manufactured fats like vegetable oils, crisco, and margarine.  Our bodies don’t recognize them, can’t utilize them, and therefore store them in our bodies as fat.  Coconut oil, real butter, and palm oil are all fats our bodies can break down and utilize for energy and nourishment.

I hope you will all feel comfortable leaving a comment to share how this journey has been for you.  Have you found that eating real, whole foods has helped you achieve a healthy weight?  Are you afraid to eat a whole foods diet?  Have you been eating a whole foods diet and been happy with the results?  Do you believe me when I say that being “skinny” is so big fat not the goal here?  :)

The Health Benefits of Fermented Vegetables

It likely doesn’t sound good to most of us.  Fermented black radishes?  Really?

Admittedly, fermented black radishes aren’t my favorite side dish.  But sauerkraut (which is fermented cabbage), served alongside my steak?  It’s really not too bad.  Especially when you realize how much eating them benefits your digestion.  And fermented carrots are a delicious addition to a salad. 

So what’s so great about fermented vegetables?

Well, for one thing, they are raw.   And when you make them with unpeeled veggies, they contain all sorts of wonderful nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and enzymes.  But the fermenting process gives them a huge jump in the additional health benefits regular vegetables offer.  Once fermented, these veggies contain live, healthy bacteria that helps strengthen your immune system, helps heal your gut, aids in digestion, regulates the sugars contained naturally in the vegetables, and so much more.  You can read more about specific benefits to fermented vegetables at Wise Choice Market

Through the years, I’ve experimented with making my own fermented vegetables.  Since I haven’t figured out the “perfect recipe” yet to share with you, I did a little online searching and found another great post to send you to which gives a great “how to” on making fermented veggies.  Or, if you want to give them a try but aren’t ready to make your own yet, Wise Choice Market has them ready made for you.  Their Grated Carrots are our favorite.

What has been your experience with fermented vegetables?  Tried them?  Like them?

 

Mother’s Day Cake Update – Finally

My apologies that it took so long to give you an update on what in the world my family was baking for me while I was shut into my office yesterday afternoon.  As soon as the mystery dessert was finished baking, we headed out to play some “Mother’s Day Soccer”.  My choice. As in, I actually chose playing soccer over taking a nap.  Go figure.

By the way, if you would have told me a year ago that this year I would suggest that we play a family game of soccer in honor of Mother’s Day, I would have laughed.  But indeed, now that I’m getting fit and learning to enjoy playing with my kids, I just can’t get enough.  Soccer on Mother’s Day just seemed like the perfect idea.  And it was.

So back to the dessert you’ve been waiting to hear about.

Oh, but another reason I couldn’t update you on this mystery earlier is because after we played soccer, we had a nacho and movie night – with popcorn.  Yes, didn’t you know that it’s always good to have nachos and popcorn together?  Eh, it worked and it made everyone happy.

We are pretty good popcorn makers around here, always using coconut oil to make delicious popcorn.  But this time, we used a fun new recipe from the Deliciously Organic cookbook.  It was fantastic.  However, we did have a wild ride in the kitchen while I was making it because I didn’t use a big enough pot.  You know what happens when you don’t use a big enough pot when you’re making popcorn on the stovetop?  The popcorn just keeps popping, and the lid comes off the pan, and popcorn goes absolutely everywhere.  Jen was over hanging out with us, and Matt was in the kitchen too – both of them being very supportive while I was standing at the stove feeling rather helpless while popcorn started overflowing and flying.  Matt offered some suggestions.  Jen handed me a bowl for the flying popcorn, but with it, I only managed to make a bigger mess.  Oh, you should have been there to witness the madness.  ;)

This is the popcorn that managed to make it into the bowl.

But really, back to the dessert you’ve been waiting to hear about.

If you can believe it, the dessert recipe they picked wasn’t chocolate.  I know, shocking.  But wow, was it good.

They picked a “Hot Milk Sponge Cake” recipe from my old, worn out Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.  Then, like good children, they figured out how to adapt the recipe to use healthier sugars, fats, and flours.  Is that not impressive?  More on that in another post.

So apparently that’s what all the beating was about.  Sponge cakes take a lot of beating.  Thus, the beaters were running for minutes on end.  :)

Then, if you can believe it, they made a “Broiled Coconut Topping” to go on top.  I’m telling you, they outdid themselves.  Talk about tasty!


This cake was delicious.  My family is the greatest.  And without a doubt, I will look up the recipe, ask them about their adaptations, and post it for you so that your family can make it for you sometime.  Or so that you can make it for them.  Or whatever.  ;)

Deliciously Organic – a Cookbook I am SO Excited About!

The cookbook (and deal) I am about to tell you about makes me very, very excited!

You all know how I cook, right?  I use basic, real food ingredients.  I don’t make anything fancy.  I bake with real butter and coconut oil.  I grind my own wheat to make flour.  I use unprocessed sugars.

Carrie Vitt, of Deliciously Organic, cooks just like I do.  Never, since we began our healthy eating journey, have I been able to pick up a cookbook and make a recipe from it without exchanging ingredients and adapting it in some way.  But with Carrie’s cookbook, Delicously Organic, I can do just that!

As I turned the pages of this book (full of beautiful pictures!), I was so amazed that could hardly sit still.  I could make just about any of these recipes without going to the store – her recipes call for ingredients I always have on hand!  (maple syrup, heavy cream, oats, frozen berries, flaxseeds, nuts…)  She buys her meat like I do, she uses farm fresh eggs.  Without a doubt, Carrie Vitt and I speak the same kitchen language.  I love her cookbook!

In addition to having a wonderful cookbook, on her website, Carrie also offers meal plans that help answer the never-ending (and sometimes mind numbing) question, “What’s for dinner?” Her meal plans include 5 complete meals for the week, a few desserts, a snack or two, and a comprehensive, itemized grocery list to make shopping easy and convenient. Click here for more details on the Meal Plans and an example.  Be sure to pay close attention to Carrie’s Menu rules, each week that she posts a new menu, the oldest menu rolls back into her archive and is no longer available to the public, so be sure to print them as they come available!

And now the very exciting deal that Carrie has put together for you:

From now until May 17th at Midnight PST, Heavenly Homemaker readers can choose from 2 options listed below. Just click on the link to access your special deal:

1) Her fabulous cookbook, Deliciously Organic, with 5 weeks worth of archived menus (no longer available to the public) for just $25 + shipping (regularly $37.87 + shipping)

2)  3 months of weekly meal plan access (Choose 1 Menu–Classic, Gluten-free, or Grain-free) for only $10.00 (regularly $9.99 per month or $29.97 for 3 months)

I’d love to see you take advantage of this deal.  You will love having this cookbook on your shelf – and Carrie’s menu plans are super helpful!