I’ve mentioned several times that we eat mostly gluten free due to gluten intolerances. But I don’t know that I’ve laid out exactly what we eat, and why we choose to eat the way that we do. That changes today.
In order to tell you how we eat now, we need to start at the beginning. Ten-ish years ago, newly married me knew how to cook just a couple things. I mentioned those at the beginning of this post, but basically, we ate a lot of cereal, sandwiches, and boxed helper meals.
As we started to look into losing weight, we came across different ideas of healthy eating. I learned how to bake more, and a few new cooking skills, but we still ate quite a bit of processed food and plenty of restaurant meals.
Jonah had a sensitivity to tomatoes when he was younger (that he has since grown out of), which was the first time I really had to pay attention to ingredients and cook a certain way. When our family grew to four people big, we started experimenting with different ways of eating for a month at a time: vegetarian, no cereal for breakfast, paleo, and more.
By the time we figured out Hannah’s, and later Elizabeth’s and my gluten intolerances, I’d become very comfortable in the kitchen and with maneuvering around different ingredients and substitutions.
And now we’re here. I believe in eating mostly real food. To me, that means food as God intended it to grow and be eaten, without all of the extras involved. It means we try to stick to mostly vegetables, fruits, meats, healthy fats, and grains that we can handle. Unprocessed versions are ideal, although we don’t always eat them (more on that in a minute).
I also believe that each person works best with different foods. No one method of eating is going to work for every person, but chances are a method of eating will work for someone somewhere. Paying attention to your body and how it reacts to different foods can give you incredible insight into what’s best for you, but it does take time.
I believe in simple food without unnecessarily complicating things. That’s the whole idea behind Oat Flour Muffins – gluten free baking that doesn’t require a whole new pantry or language.
I stick to a pretty conservative food budget, which means I’m constantly looking for recipes that are cheap as well as tasty. It means I use my freezer a lot. And it means I shop in bulk.
I follow my grandma’s advice – if it isn’t easy, I’m not going to make it. She had 9 kids, so she knew all about feeding a bunch of hungry people. And while I enjoy food and cooking, I don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen.
And I believe in moderation in theory. The 80/20 rule is a great idea. But I’ve discovered that I actually do much better with stricter rules in place. (If you’ve read Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before, I’m definitely an abstainer). However, I don’t want to deprive myself of some of my favorites 100 percent of the time. So that’s something I personally struggle with.
So what does this look like in our day to day?
We eat a lot of budget friendly meals.
We eat mostly gluten free foods.
We make exceptions for several processed items because time is limited. I rarely make my own tortillas, although this recipe is delicious. I’ve abysmally failed at making my own yogurt a few times, so I buy that. I do make my own broth, but only because I can do it overnight with very little effort and it’s free.
We still snack on junk food like chips and cookies, although I always feel better when I make the effort to make things myself.
I know about levels of good/better/best when it comes to sourcing meats and fats, eating locally, and buying organic, but I also know that most of that isn’t in our budget right now, so we eat standard grocery store meats and milk from the dairy case (as opposed to, say, pasture-raised chickens from a local farm and raw milk).
If we’re eating a lot of produce, I figure we’re probably doing okay. Everything else is just a bonus.
So that’s where I stand on food. I do the best I can with what I have, and I don’t worry about the rest.
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