Veggie-n-Egg Scramble ~ A Great Last Minute Meal Idea

I think this Veggie-n-Egg Scramble might become one of my favorite and most relied upon go-to meals.

Veggie and Egg Scramble

I used to make something like this years ago, but kind of forgot about it. Weird how that happens.

A few weeks ago, I needed a quick meal before we headed out to a soccer game. I didn’t have time to cook meat, but I did have a fridge full of veggies and a few dozen eggs. I called the boys into the kitchen and started throwing vegetables and knives at them. Hold on. That didn’t come out right. I didn’t throw knives at them. (Peppers maybe, but not knives.) I’m just saying I started handing out jobs and we all worked together to make this quick and nourishing meal.

Everyone started chopping until my big electric skillet looked like this:

Veggies for veggie scramble
All the veggies are good in this Veggie-n-Egg Scramble, but I will suggest that onions are a key player. Onions give this dish such amazing flavor! Sweet peppers are a close second. Broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, and spinach come next. The beauty is that you can use whatever veggies you like and whatever you have on hand.

Saute the veggies in olive oil or butter until tender. Scramble in some eggs with salt. Toss in a little cheese for extra amazingness. So much deliciousness. Very little work. Extra wonderful nourishment.

Veggie-n-Egg Scramble ~ A Great Last Minute Meal Idea
 
Author:
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • 4 cups chopped veggies (onions, sweet peppers, zucchini, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, or any others you like in any combination)
  • 3 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • sea salt to taste
  • shredded cheese to taste
Instructions
  1. Saute vegetables in oil or butter until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, crack eggs into a bowl and whip with milk.
  3. Pour egg mixture over cooked veggies and salt as you like.
  4. Scramble the eggs with the veggies until they are cooked through.
  5. Sprinkle cheese on top to melt.
  6. Serve

I at least double this for my family of 6 big eaters. Plus we serve it with fresh fruit. Buttered toast also helps fill them up. Seriously. We really do eat and keep eating at our house.

TIP: If you happen to have leftover ham or bacon – even chicken or beef – hanging out in your fridge, those would be a wonderful addition to this dish.

This meal has become one of the easiest ways to get my family to eat a big variety of veggies in one meal. It ranks right up there with Easy Noodle Stir-Fry.

Easy Veggie and Egg Scramble

Do you ever make a meal like this at your house? What veggies would you or do you include? 

It’s meals like this that make “teaching our kids about nutrition” quite natural.

P.S. It is worth noting that this dish makes it possible to feed my family very well for about $1.00 per plate. (We won’t talk about how many plates we go through during a meal…)



Fat vs. Sugar. Which is the True Enemy?

Today let’s talk Fat vs. Sugar.


I was a little girl when I began to hear people say things like…

  • “Low fat is the way to go. We should only eat #?# fat grams per day.” (I can’t remember the exact number. I just remember faithfully counting my fat grams daily as a teen.)
  • “A bacon cheeseburger? That’s a heart attack on a plate.”
  • “Butter?! Butter is terrible for you! We only eat margarine.”
  • “No beef. Just chicken. White meat. Skinless.”

I remember vividly when my mom started following a low-fat diet. I joined her because I was a teenage girl who most certainly didn’t want to get fat by eating fat. I remember hating my fat free turkey breast on low fat bread with fat free mayonnaise. But I ate those sandwiches faithfully for lunches because I was convinced that was the “healthy” way to go.

Oh my gag-ness. I can still imagine the taste of fat free mayo and it makes me turn green. What was in that stuff?

It’s funny (not funny) to me that I actually thought I needed to sacrifice good tasting food in order to be healthy. What a sad mis-conception.

I remember snacking on baked, fat free chips (aka salted cardboard).
I didn’t even like them, but seeing as I was into eating healthy…I made the sacrifice.

That was over three decades ago. I’d like to think we are making progress toward getting away from these untruths about what is actually healthy or unhealthy about our food.

I’m grateful to see that at least the coconut oil trend has caught on. But I still frequently hear people talk about fat as if it is the enemy. I’m determined to educate people about this.

A New Generation of Fat Eaters? Maybe?

Justus, my 16-year old, doesn’t get why people get freaked out about fat. He’s been eating the “real food” way since he was 6 – so fat isn’t scary to him. He knows what it means to eat food our bodies recognize, and he definitely knows that the real food at our house tastes great (atta boy). Recently he was talking about a conversation with friends. He had been telling them about his “mom’s homemade french fries” and they were like, “What? You eat french fries? At your house? I thought you only ate healthy food!” And he was like, “Ummm. Yeahhh???”

Friends of Asa, our oldest son, watched as he salted his food liberally in the college cafeteria. We chuckled when we heard his friends’ conclusion that, “He’s probably doing that because he’s used to eating bland, healthy food at his house.” Hahahaha! Please pass the sea salt and slather on the butter and watch me eat the crispy, flavorful skin of a chicken. Real food tastes so amazing I don’t even know where to begin.

I suppose I could begin by comparing it to that Fat-Free Mayo. Gag me.

Well anyway.

So not everyone is there yet. There is still a lot of confusion as to what actually is good and healthy. Since we have believed (and taught our children) for several decades that fat is bad, I believe it will take a few more decades to undo the damage and re-educate people about whole foods and nourishment.

coconut_oil

Good Fat is Good

I’ve done extensive research on the subject of fat. I didn’t jump aboard the “fat is good” train just because I heard someone say it once or because I “read an article somewhere.” After all, I was riding the “fat is bad” train for many years, so getting on a different train was a little bit hard for me. Real butter? Are you sure I should it eat?? Beef? I don’t know. Bacon? Well now you’re pushing it. I really don’t want to get fat. I’m not sure I can eat this stuff.

So I read and I researched and I found sources and I asked questions. (Some of my favorite sources include Weston Price Foundation and Dr. Mercola. Note that this article I found in my research quotes 73 different sources. These people are thorough!)

I looked in depth into the history of food trends and the health problems that came with them. The results of my research tell a story that is almost completely upside-down compared to what I had heard about fat. (Ironically, I’d never researched the low-fat thing when I started eating a low-fat diet. I just went with what I heard and stuck with it for years. Not smart.)

The truth is that the instances of heart disease and obesity did not rise until after the low-fat trend began. Alternatively, as people started cutting the fat, many started consuming much larger quantities of sugar and refined carbohydrates.

Fast food replaced home-cooked meals. Fruits and vegetables took a back seat (or didn’t even get a seat at all). Donuts and poptarts and sugary cereal became a morning standard. White bread and chips filled the lunch boxes.

Ultimately, we forgot to give our bodies nourishment.

Occurrences of destructive health conditions soared. We blamed the fat.

jelly-beans_fyb6Xwtu

I actually thought jelly beans were healthy because they were fat free.
Avocados, though. I stayed away from those high-fat things. What???
Let us all rejoice that I actually started reading the facts and using logic. 

So fat vs. sugar?

Refined sugar doesn’t nourish. It’s fun and it’s tasty but what does it offer the body so that it will thrive? On the contrary, when we eat it, our bodies have to work very hard to find something to do with it. When it finds little to no useful nutrients, it calls in the reserves, depleting us and killing our immune system. Then often, whatever can’t be used gets tucked away in storage (aka, it turns to fat).

Some would tell you to never eat refined sugar. I say: be informed and use wisdom. Treats are fun. But keep ’em treats. ;)

butter

Shall we go crazy with the fat then?

Our bodies are smart. If we listen, they tell us what we need, what to eat, and when to stop. Your body doesn’t want you to eat an entire stick of butter in one sitting just because it’s good for you. But your body probably won’t mind if you eat a nice thick pat of it on your veggies knowing that it adds great nutrients and amazing flavor.

It’s important to remember that we need to eat food in balance. I don’t think we need to go overboard – keeping track of what we eat when and how much and what time and with what. When I say “eat food in balance” I mean that when we eat a variety of wholesome foods, we will naturally be eating the right blend of nutrients and getting the right amount of naturally occurring fats, sugars, proteins, vitamins, etc.

All food comes perfectly packaged with a lovely blend of nutrients. Some food is naturally fat free and high in natural sugar. (Have you met my friend the strawberry?) Some food is naturally high in fat and tastes amazing with a strawberry. (Cream, meet Strawberry. Be my BFF.)

We eat a lot of fat in our house, but it’s all balanced with many other high-nutrient foods that work together to nourish.

Fats to Avoid

There are certainly fats I stay far away from. Some fats are manufactured and our bodies cannot use them for nourishment. When considering which fats to focus on and which to avoid – remember that we’re going for nourishment, helping our bodies thrive on food that offers cells something to work with, not fight against.

This article on fats says it all much better than I can, so do go read it. In summary:

  • Hydrogenated Oils cannot be digested and utilized in our bodies.
  • Soybean oil, canola oil, and most vegetable oils aren’t great for many reasons. What most resonates with me is that they go rancid very, very quickly and can turn into trans fats when heated.
  • Margarine didn’t even make this list of fats, so I’m going to take that to mean it doesn’t count as food, the end.

Fats that Nourish

Obviously, not every person can tolerate every food or fat. But these are the fats that should be considered for nourishment. (Again, details here.)

  • Coconut Oil
  • Real Butter
  • Palm Oil
  • Olive Oil (at room temp)
  • Animal Fat from Meat, Eggs, and Dairy
  • Natural occurring fat in nuts, avocados, and seeds

Why We Need Good Fats

Fats carry vitamins and minerals to our cells. Fats give us energy. Fats help us fight depression. Fats help us concentrate. Fats satisfy and keep us from excessive hunger. Fats help us maintain a healthy weight. Who knew? Fat doesn’t make you fat.

Always Consider: What Nourishes?

To feel your best, focus on eating food that nourishes. Our bodies need food that feeds the cells with what they can absorb and utilize.

Obviously, there is so much more that goes with optimal health (exercise, hydrating, so much more). But when it comes to food choices – we must choose real food that nourishes.

Weigh In

I’d love to hear what you learned about fat while you were growing up. How has that effected the way you eat now? What is your current status in the fat vs. sugar debate?

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Are you in? Join many others who are making simple, healthy changes this month to take steps toward better health. Learn more here. (There’s a $100 prize involved!)

Ready to join? It’s free and refreshing to know we’ll be working on this as a team. Sign up here!



“We eat a lot of veggies because they’re cheap” – A Young Bride’s Perspective

Veggies are cheap? How’s that for a young bride’s perspective?

food1303

She said it as she sat in our living room beside her fiance. Matt and I have been meeting with them once a week since November, offering mentor-ship and guidance before they tie the knot in March.

This particular visit, we were discussing finances. Were they on the same page about spending and saving? Did they have any questions about necessary line items in a budget? Did they plan to have joint accounts? How did they plan to communicate about spending? How might they handle potentially lean times? What challenges had they already encountered? What might offer the most financial peace in their marriage?

Somewhere in there, one of them brought up grocery shopping. They already cook many of their evening meals together, either at her apartment or his – so beyond paying for all the aspects of an upcoming wedding (oy!) they had definitely experienced times of figuring out money and spending and budgeting together in the area of food. Imagine our shock, then, when this young couple offhandedly said, “Whenever we find we’re spending too much money on food, we also recognize we’re eating less healthy, too. So we cut back by buying more vegetables since they’re so cheap. Then we’re saving money and eating better too!”

I guess she hadn’t heard (the myth) that it costs too much to eat healthy. That they needed to skimp on the grocery budget by avoiding the fresh produce. Instead, she’d already figured out the truth:

Vegetables are a great way to stretch the grocery budget and stay healthy too.

This young bride-to-be went on to share that she’s found it easy to buy several different kinds of veggies to make soups and stews and stir-fries for very little money. Certainly this is much cheaper than eating out! But they found that it was also cheaper than shopping most of the aisles in the grocery stores. When they stayed on the outskirts of the grocery store – mostly getting veggies, fruits, meat, and dairy – the savings really showed.

As far as I could tell, this couple hadn’t read this information in any article or book. They’d simply learned by experience. Eat out – spend more, feel worse. Walk the aisles and throw tempting boxes and packages into the cart – spend more, feel worse. Fill the cart with vegetables and a little meat then make homemade meals – spend less, feel better.

I’d say “out of the mouths of babes” but I believe this really is more of a case of “wise beyond their years.”

Great Ways to Save on Fresh Veggies and Fruit at the Store

Gardens, farmer’s markets, and orchards aside – here are the best ways I’ve found to save oodles of money at the store on produce.

1. Comparison shop or price-match.

Last week, a pint of blueberries was marked at $3.54 at Walmart. A store within my price-matching range had them priced at $1.69/pint. Yes, please. I bought four. Twice.

2. Buy “in season.”

When it’s strawberry season, I can get them for $1.50 or less per pound. When it isn’t strawberry season, they look terrible and cost almost $6.00!

3. Consider the staples.

Carrots, onions, cucumbers, and lettuce (different varieties) are almost always low in cost – on sale or not. We keep those on hand at all times and we go through them like crazy. While not fresh – I’ve found that it’s also financially savvy to always have a supply of frozen peas and green beans on hand. I supplement these staples with produce in season and on sale – but I know that if all else fails we have carrots and green beans.

What ways have you found to be most effective to save money on vegetables and fruit? Do you find that buying fruits and vegetables actually helps you save money?



29 Fun Treat Recipes for Valentine’s Day – With NO Red Food Dye

Low Sugar Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait 1

Traditionally we think of red or pink food dye squirted into white frosting to make festive Valentine’s Day cookies and cupcakes. Want to put some fun Valentine meals and treats on the table this year – but want to keep the food real and avoid food coloring?

It is a true fact that food exists that is red without any help from outside sources. There’s also this lovely thing we like to call chocolate. It’s not red, but it certainly says, “I love you,” don’t you think?

Here are 29 great recipes for you that can be turned into Valentine’s Day goodies for your family. You might be able to tell that I am desperately hoping for fresh strawberries to be in season and on sale THIS WEEK.

29 Fun Treat Recipes for Valentine's Day with NO Red Food Dye

Red and Pink Treats (No Food Dye!)

Don’t forget obvious foods that are red – like tomatoes, sweet peppers, strawberries, grapes, cherries, raspberries, and oranges. Ha. Just seeing if you were paying attention.

Chocolate Treats

Do you have foods you traditionally make and serve on Valentine’s Day?



You Know My Family Hasn’t Always Eaten Healthy, Real Food – Right?

When people read about the way I feed my family now, many assume I’ve known about healthy eating forever and that nothing about this is difficult for me.

Not true. We have not always eaten healthy.

Several years ago (when my blog was a baby) I wrote a series sharing my family’s healthy eating journey. Ugh, was it ever a journey. It still is.

All the fears and unknowns that many of you feel when you start reading about what is healthy and what isn’t – I totally get it. I’ve been there. Sometimes I’m still there. I haven’t arrived at perfect eating and never will. I’m pretty sure it’s not even possible.

So to encourage you to take some baby steps and to reassure you that you are not alone – I’d love for you to go back and read through this series of posts: Our Healthy Eating Journey. If nothing else, you’ll enjoy reading about how I  became completely convinced that I should be eating organic food and free range everything, but like a crazy lady, I still guzzled down a Pepsi to go with my meals. (I told you. I get it.)

healthyeatingjourney

Our Healthy Eating Journey

If you’re interested, we have put together a simple eCourse to walk you through some steps to begin your Real Food Journey. You can tailor make this to fit your family’s needs. It’s called You Can Do This! Because truly, you can, do this. :)

What are some steps you’ve taken on your healthy eating journey?



What to Eat When You Need to Lose Weight. Or Gain Weight. Or Maintain Weight.

My appetite has been silly for about a month now, many thanks to the rounds of flu and whatever else that has hit our household this winter.  (Yes, I realize that it’s now spring, but until I can plant a garden…)

I’m not the only one with an abnormal appetite.  None of the boys felt like eating when they were sick, and a couple of them caught two different varieties of the crud.  All that to say – some of us are on the scrawny side right now.  It’s not a big deal.  We’ll be back to fighting weight in no time.  But while thinking about what foods we should focus on eating as we gain strength, this occurred to me:

When people ask me what foods they should be eating in order to lose weight – and when people ask me what foods they should be eating to gain weight – and when people ask me what foods they should be eating to maintain weightmy answer is the exact same.

What to Eat

How can this be?

This can be because I always recommend eating real food.  I always suggest that we focus on eating many fruits and vegetables.  That we focus on eating plenty of healthy fats like coconut oil and butter.  That we eat plenty of good proteins like eggs, meat, and nuts.  That we eat nourishing broth and a few whole grains.  That we avoid empty foods that don’t contain nutrients.

So those are the foods I recommend people eat when they need to lose weight.  Or gain weight.  Or maintain weight.  How about that?  When eating the right amount of the right foods, in balance, according to your body’s needs – most of us will find our healthy weight.

Now, there are other things to consider like allergies and body types and exercise and age and chronic health issues and what size shoe you wear (except not really about the shoes).  Not everyone loses or gains weight in the same way and not all of us can eat the exact same diet.  I’m not trying to write a perfect prescription for perfect weight for all.

I’m just saying that intentional nourishment is the biggest key to helping each of us find a healthy weight.  Not dieting.  Not binging.  Not depriving oneself.  Not being extreme.

So let’s all eat real food.  No matter what size you are or need to be.  Real food is tasty, satisfying, nourishing, and you can spread butter on it.  It’s a win, win, win, win.  :)

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Hey, quick reminder about this great eBook deal, which expires Monday, March 23 at midnight.

Heavenly Homemaker’s Guide to Gardening and Preserving ebook
with FREE Eat Your Fruits…and Veggies Too eBook

$5.00

Add to Cart

 

(When you put the Gardening eBook in the cart, it automatically comes with the Fruits and Veggies eBook too!)



Delicious and Healthy Ways to Use Coconut Cream – Your Ideas?

I picked up some coconut cream concentrate about 8 years ago because I heard it was really good for us.  But it was early in our healthy eating journey, so I really didn’t know what to do with it.  Coconut oil was still new to me at that time, so coconut cream concentrate?  What was I supposed to do with it???  I was actually a little bit afraid of it.  So I left it on my shelf until it expired – like really, really expired.

During the past few weeks, I’ve come across several articles sharing delicious recipes we can make with coconut cream.  I told myself that the next time I found it on sale at Tropical Traditions and it is a free shipping weekend, I’m going for it.  

That weekend is now.  I just ordered myself two 16-ounce jars of Organic Coconut Cream Concentrate for half price, and I paid $0.00 in shipping.  Next week, this will arrive at my house:

coconut cream

What do I plan to do with this coconut cream?

For starters, I’ll be putting some in my coffee as a super-healthy coffee creamer.  I also plan to spread some on my toast (like butter or peanut butter).  Then I’m going to play with some healthy treat ideas using this high-nutrient food.

If you need to eat dairy free, you’ll want to add this to your safe and healthy food options.  Even if you can eat dairy, I think you and I will still enjoy this food.  And we’ll all benefit from the high fiber content and healthy fat it provides.

If you’ve been using coconut cream concentrate for a while, I’d really love for you to share how you use it. Have any great recipes?  

If you’re able, take advantage of this great BOGO deal with free shipping at Tropical Traditions.  I’m looking forward to my order coming next week!

Order Details:

Find two jars of Organic Coconut Cream Concentrate for just $20 and add them to your cart (before midnight Sunday). If you shop through that link (which is my referral link) and you are a new customer with Tropical Traditions, they will throw a free copy of Virgin Coconut Oil Book in with your order.  Use the code 31516 for free shipping to apply.  This code is valid through Monday, March 23.

I look forward to adding this great product to our diet and hope you’ll share your ideas so we can all learn more about using it!

This post contains affiliate links.



Build a Fruit Salad Bar

Create Your Own Fruit Salad

Sometimes fruits and veggies just need to be served in an exciting way to make them more appealing.  That – and some people in my house just won’t eat bananas.  If there are bananas in the fruit salad, one of my kids will refuse the apples, strawberries, and pineapple too.  “I’ll just put the bananas on the side,” thought I, as I prepared to make a fruit salad for dinner.  But then I got the better idea to put everything “on the side” so each person could fill their bowl as they like.  Fun!

As it turns out, I got all the boys involved in prepping a fruit.  The result was a beautiful spread of choices that everyone was excited to dig into.

Build a Fruit Salad Bar

Justus (our 15 year old) built his salad and took this picture.  Beautiful!

There’s nothing complicated about this:  Simply slice or chop whatever fruit you have on hand and set it out for people to pick from as they fill their bowl.  Lay out shredded coconut, dried fruit, and nuts if you like.  Real whipped cream or cottage cheese added to the spread wouldn’t hurt my feelings.

This was a perfect side dish with our pasta and mixed greens tonight.  I’m thinking it would be fun to serve for breakfast some time soon, too!

What are your favorite fruits to add to a salad?

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Quick Note!

I made a mistake on yesterday’s Visit Omaha giveaway post.  Durham Museum IS NOT free.  my bad  It’s the Joslyn Museum that’s free.  I made the correction on the giveaway post, but wanted to make sure you got the update!



Because This Will Make You Want to Eat Cucumbers

So you say you don’t like cucumbers?  Ah well.  I know exactly how to help this situation.

Zebra Cucumbers Taste Better

See?  You peel stripes out of the cucumber and then you slice them and then they become adorable stripy zebra cucumbers which will then make cucumbers perfectly irresistible.  Mmm-mmm yummy cucumbers.

I personally think stripy zebra cucumbers are more fun to eat than non-stripy, un-zebra cucumbers.  (Let’s be clear that I’m calling these stripy {long i} and not strippy {short i} because there’s a difference that I’d rather not go into here.)  I think stripy zebra cucumbers look pretty on a plate.  That’s why I had to take a picture to show you how fun these are.

But what if you just really, really don’t like cucumbers?

I like cucumbers.  Yay, me.  But try as I might (and trust me, I really did try – more than thrice), I cannot make myself like jicima.  We got two lovely jicima in our Bountiful Basket last week, so even though I don’t like them, I tried making jicima sticks for easier dipping.  Also, doesn’t it just sound fun to say, “Yum! We’re going to snack on some jicima sticks!”  (In case you’re not sure, the “j” in jicima is pronounced with an “h” sound.  It’s not a jicima, it’s a hicima, like hiccup, even though it’s spelled jicima.  It’s just that you need to say it right when you exclaim, “Yum! We’re going to snack on some jicima sticks!”)

jicima and rose

This is a jicima.
I took a picture of it beside the rose we got at
Asa’s basketball Senior Recognition night because who doesn’t like
jicima and rose together in the same picture, and also because
the rose is in its final hours and I never got a picture.

I talk all this semi-nonsense about zebra cucumbers and jicima sticks to tell you this:

I give you permission to not like every fruit and vegetable in the grocery store, farmer’s market,and garden.

Now if you haven’t tried it, you don’t get to say you don’t like it.  But if you’ve really, really tried (and even cut it into zebra stripes or dipping sticks) and you really, really don’t like it – you can just not like it.  Guilt free.

So I don’t like jicima.  So what?  I love and eat close to 50 other fruits and veggies (aka freggies), so I’m probably okay without the important vitamins and minerals obtained from eating jicima.  This is a very good thing since I didn’t even know jicima existed until about three months ago.

But what about you?  Is your fruit and veggie palate growing?

You need to know that it has taken me years to develop a taste for a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.  (What can I say?  I liked Pepsi and chocolate chip cookies better.)  But as I learned the importance of nourishment, I was open to trying.  I tried hard.  I forced myself at first to eat vegetables I only thought were “so-so.”

I went from liking and eating only – I kid you not – four vegetables (green beans, carrots, peas, and iceburg lettuce) and one fruit (apples) as a young adult to LOVING dozens of different fruit and veggie varieties.  It took time.  It took being intentional.  I know my palate will still grow.  (Who knows?  Maybe one day I’ll even like jicima.)

Sooooo, I encourage you to try your least favorite fruits or veggies from time to time as truly, our taste buds do change.  But I also know I don’t need to feel bad about not liking every fruit or vegetable out there.  Just be sure you continue to make freggies a priority.

Now tell me: What fruit or veggie have you tried multiple times but just can not make yourself like it?



Do We Need To Be Eating So Much Bread?

breakfast_cake_muffins_1

My grandpa always held a slice of bread in his left hand while his right hand held his fork.  A meal was not a meal to my grandpa unless it included my grandma’s homemade bread.  He often used his bread to sop up gravy.  Or he would slather his bread with Grandma’s homemade jelly or applesauce.  If there was no bread – well, there just always had to be bread.

Let’s pause now to give three cheers to my grandma who had nine children, the tiniest kitchen I’ve ever seen, and never failed to provide homemade bread at every meal.  She was a rock star.  Grandma made bread like a boss.  (They’re compliments, Grandma.  Really.)  

I also grew up with bread served at every meal, likely the result of having a dad who had lived with a dad who always needed to hold a piece of bread in his left hand – we’ve already been through this.  Thus, I began our married life always including a side dish of bread with our meals, which Matt held in his right hand – if you can possibly imagine (because yes, my husband is a lefty).

Now, of course, there are all the experts who suggest we eat “low-carb” and others who insist we all need to go “grain-free” and someday soon like tomorrow there will be a new diet claim that suggests that if we all avoid eating (fill in the blank) we will all be healthier, skinnier, and have a perfect complexion.  I am not interested in a one-size-fits-all diet, fad, or bandwagon because I believe in eating real food, in balance, in its whole form, according to an individual’s needs, for the sake of nourishment and good health, all the time. It’s not a diet.  It’s a lifestyle.

We interrupt this post for some important disclaimers before I share my overall thoughts on eating bread:

  1. Some truly need to avoid all grains.  If that’s you, then do it.
  2. Not all grains agree with everyone.  This is a real thing.
  3. My grandpa probably needed more carbs (and food in general) because he was a farmer, doing hard physical labor for many hours every day.  Most of us don’t work that hard on a daily basis anymore.

Now these thoughts:

Do We Need to Be Eating So Much Bread

I do not believe that bread is evil.  

However, many of us eat more bread (and cookies and cakes and muffins and donuts) than we should.  To say nothing of the empty (negative) calories we consume in white flour products which do very little to nourish us – I would suggest that many of us even eat more whole grain products than our bodies actually need.  Especially if we compare it to the amount of other nutrient-rich food we are consuming – like fruits and vegetables.

Oh, you knew I would bring up the fruits and veggies.  The good ol’ F&Vs.  May as well shorten it to save time since we talk about it so much around here and simply call them freggies, don’t you think?

Bread (and pasta and rice) can really fill us up, leaving little room in our appetites for other necessary foods that our bodies crave.  (Like freggies.  There.  I’ve used it twice, so that makes it a real word.)  Sometimes we even load our families with grainy foods in an effort to save money as they appear to be an inexpensive, filling food choice.  I totally get it.  I feed five hungry men 3 meals plus snacks every day, and they definitely like grain based foods.  These foods have their purpose and they are filling.  But…

As  you think about the food you plan to put on your table, consider the variety of nutrients in the meal.  A spread of spaghetti, corn, and bread offers little compared to a meal of spaghetti, salad, green beans, and cantaloupe.  See the colorful and nutrition-packed difference?  If we’re already serving rice, pasta, or potatoes at a meal, we probably don’t need bread, rolls, or bread sticks too.  But an extra side or three of veggies along with a delicious bowl of fruit – well now our bodies are happy.

Fruits and vegetables are the most important part of our meals and snacks.  The other parts are important too – we just need to make sure we aren’t going overboard with the bready stuff and neglecting other important food groups.

So less bread, more freggies.  What do you say?

No seriously.  What do you say?  What are your thoughts on eating bread?  And also – what do you think of the word freggies?  I am so going to start saying that now.