Thursday, August 8, 2013

Answer to my most frequently asked Question...What do you eat?

What do you eat? This is my most commonly asked question.  
At first I want to say, what don’t we eat, we eat everything?? 

But then I remember…..

I remember when I thought I was eating healthy when I ate a Lean Cuisine every day for lunch….. I remember when I thought having a low fat (sometimes sugar free, yikes!) Yoplait yogurt was healthy…or thinking having Wheat Thins and reduced fat cheese spread was a wholesome snack….

Now, knowing what I know… I can never look at those seemingly “healthy” snacks /meals again.

Yes all of those things might help you lose weight, might curb a craving, and might be a better choice than you once were making before, but what is that food doing for you?   Is it even helping you lose weight?  Do you feel good when you eat it?  Is it serving you or taking from you? Is it full of toxins, dyes, and processed who knows what?  Is it part of the circle of life? Do you recognize everything on the label as something you can hunt, grow, or gather?    
Would you break it down ingredient by ingredient and eat each one separately? Does it pass the REAL FOOD test?

Seriously, ask yourself those questions the next time you: go grocery shopping, look in your pantry, and search pinterest for your next recipe idea.  Would you REALLY eat everything that is on that label if it was broken down?  Broken down, ingredient by ingredient, put in bowls (if possible), and served to you. I wonder what a plate of Soy Lecithin tastes like? Aka one of the top 10 ingredients used in processed foods.  What is Soy Lecithin anyways?

"Soybean lecithin comes from sludge left after crude soy oil goes through a "degumming" process. It is a waste product containing solvents and pesticides and has a consistency ranging from a gummy fluid to a plastic solid. Before being bleached to a more appealing light yellow, the color of lecithin ranges from a dirty tan to reddish brown. Historian William Shurtleff reports that the expansion of the soybean crushing and soy oil refining industries in Europe after 1908 led to a problem disposing the increasing amounts of fermenting, foul-smelling sludge. German companies then decided to vacuum dry the sludge, patent the process and sell it as "soybean lecithin." Scientists hired to find some use for the substance cooked up more than a thousand new uses by 1939."
"One of the biggest problems associated with soy lecithin comes from the origin of the soy itself. The majority of soy sources in the world are now genetically modified (GM). Researchers have clearly identified GM foods as a threat to the environment, pollution of soils and a long-term threat to human health with links to of the world with unnatural genetic material that may have unknown long-term consequences with links to decreased fertility, immunological alterations in the gut and the exacerbation and creation of allergies."
 Ok.... I digress....

The point about the Soy Lecithin is that it is in everything processed (ok I might exaggerate, but seriously look next time).  In our house we have tried to eliminate all processed foods, we  avoid foods that come in a box!

OK OK ENOUGH ABOUT SOY LECITHIN – you get it... it's bad…now get back to the real question, 

What DO you eat?

We eat Real Food


These are high quality, organic (if possible), grass fed, and best if bought from the person who raised the animal!  Now if you can’t find this, then buy your meat from a reputable source, as close to its natural form as possible (aka bone in, skin on)

  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Turkey (we do eat ground turkey)
  • Goat (did you know this is the #1 most consumed meat in the world!?)
  • Lamb
  • Wild Caught Salmon and other fish
  • Shellfish
  • Venison (if we are lucky)
  • Organ meats – liver, gizzards, heart, etc
  • Broth - made from the bones of all these meats - super food!
  • Bone Marrow
  • Bacon, lots of bacon
  • Eggs – pastured, fresh local eggs – look on craigslist or ask around, there are fresh eggs for sale everywhere and it is on my list of “MUST BUY from the Local Guy” because it is so easy!  

Fruits and Veggies

Eat them all! Fresh, local, organic (if possible and especially if on the dirty dozen list), and best if bought from the person who grew it! Venture out to your local farmers market; get the kids involved in the shopping.  Having them help choose the items will help them try new foods.  Find a local farmers market here

**Potatoes – we choose to only eat sweet potatoes and yams, we have found the hi-glycemic index in “regular” potatoes does not do our body well.  Now if you found a local farmer raising heirloom style purple, gold, and other yummy potatoes, I would go for it.


  • Coconuts and Coconut Oil
  • Avocados – lots of avocados, I probably eat at least  ½ to 1 whole avocado a day.
  • Nuts (this does not include peanuts as they are not really a nut)
  • Olive Oil
  • REAL butter from a local dairy or made from raw milk
  • Bacon Grease
  • Schmaltz (from a grass fed source)
  • Lard (from a grass fed source)

Fermented Foods

This is such an under rated food group in this country, I will be posting more about this soon.
  • Sauerkraut – homemade or Bubbies Brand
  • Pickles - homemade or Bubbies Brand
  • Kombucha - homemade or store bought (just watch for sugars exceeding 5g/serving)
  • Yogurt – homemade from raw milk (yes I make yogurt, it is super easy, I will post about this soon) or store bought, plain, full fat, with live active cultures, no added sugar
  • Kefir - homemade (we make this as well, we will do a post soon) from raw milk or store bought plain, with live active cultures, no added sugar


  • Clean water -drink from a glass or stainless steel container - I will save my rant post about bottled water for another time
  • Kombucha – homemade or store bought (just watch for sugars exceeding 5grams or more per serving) 
  • Bone Broth - homemade broth/stock - quickest way to really heal your gut naturally
  • Unsweeted Herbal Tea or Coffee – hot or iced, could be sweeten with raw honey and raw milk   
  • Raw milk (sparingly) -
  • Almond Milk
  • Coconut Milk
  • Wine (lots of good wine, of course I recommend my parent's Tenbrink Vineyards)

Sweet Stuff

  • Raw Honey – find this locally, you want raw, unpasteurized honey.  Local honey will help you with your seasonal airborne allergies too. Ask where the bees where located when they produced the honey you are buying.
  • Real Maple Syrup
  • Black Strap Molasses
  • Dried Fruit (sparingly)
  • Palm Sugar
  • Chocolate - high quality, must be at least 60% cacao, preferably dark chocolate
  • Dates


  • Spices - anything goes here, just READ THE LABELS. Try to buy the spices individually (fresh is best) and make your own mixes
  • Mustard
  • wheat free soy sauce (Tamari)
  • homemade ketchup
  • homemade BBQ sauce
  • oyster sauce
  • fish sauce
  • olive oil mayonnaise – best if homemade or lacto fermented 
  • Tomato sauce – look for brands that are lower in sugar (but no fake sugar added) and gluten free… yes they add wheat into tomato sauce… WHY??? Grrrr….
  • real salsa
  • real pesto
  • curry paste 

I hope this list inspires you to focus on what you CAN eat and realize it is all about simplifying your grocery list. 

All you need to do when you go grocery shopping is:
  1. Hit the produce section (stay here the longest), fill your cart with everything that looks good that day.  That is of course if you are not signed up with a CSA or heading to the farmers market this week.
  2. Hold your breath when you walk through the devil area the bakery that separates the produce isle from the meat department...why do they do that to us??? You think I am kidding... I look down, sprint and hold my breath to make it through that evil, evil area! I am sure people look at me like...ok who's the crazy with the kid in the Ergo carrier in isle 1.   
  3. Hit the meat department, we get a mix of chicken, beef, pork, turkey, and fish for the week.  
  4. Swing by for a couple dozen eggs
  5. Then finish off in the yogurt section if you are going to include plain, yogurt with active cultures.    

Be prepared to get funny comments and questions from the checker... here are my fav's

Do YOU eat all of this?
Ohh.... you must have a tortoise (yes she really said this!)
Ummm... what is this? when they hold up a parsnip, swiss chard, or bunch of kale
Why are you buying all this "stuff"
One lady in line seriously asked me... "you don't feed HIM this do you?" pointing to our cart full of AMAZING groceries, then to our son.  I looked at her and said... "yup right after he breastfeeds!"

Seriously folks, it is time for a change, we need to get back to our roots, back to eating FOOD, REAL FOOD, not make believe food that has been altered to look and taste "like food". Do it for yourself, do it for your kids, do it for our future generations, do it because you CAN!

I promise to help you along the way; to post recipes, to show you it is possible to change the way you and your family eat.  Let's get healthy together.

Are you in??
 Leave me a comment below to tell me how you are going to get started!


  1. I would love to do this and would like to help my family be healthier - what are some low cost options? Is it pretty cost efficient? You know I love food but I'm still trying to get meal planning squared away in my household. :)

    1. Hi Tiffanie! Our motto is the more you spend on healthy food, the less you will spend on health care and medicine. We believe it is an investment in your health. If you start cooking more at home, you will save money. Plus by reducing your groceries to just fresh veggies, fruits, meat, and healthy dairy, you will stop spending money on packaged goods that are pricey.

  2. Love the check-out comments! I have had to explain to the cashier what vegetable they are weighing for me: rutabagas, jicama, turnips...

  3. I really need a class or demonstration on fermenting. I have been doing a lot of research by haven't you feel like doing a demo?

    1. Jenny, I would love to do a demonstration. I would be ready to show how to make Kefir, Kombucha, and Yogurt now. I am working on homemade Ketchup, Mayo, and other Lactofermented foods. Let me know what you are thinking and we can set something up local.

  4. What are some of your favorite local farms or farmer's markets in the Chandler area?

    1. We like the Gilbert Farmers Market on Saturday Mornings, and we LOVE LOVE LOVE getting weekly deliveries from the Backyard Farmer. Every week you get to pick out what you would like delivered (for free) to your home. On your delivery day you place coolers on your front porch and a magic little fresh veggie elf fills it with yummy fresh, organic produce. great prices in my opinion as well.

  5. I love your blog! I went to high school with Cliff and I am facebook friends with him. He saw that I am always posting crazy "the FDA is trying to poison us" types of posts and then posted about your blog which immediately perked my interest. :)
    I became a vegetarian two years ago, roughly for the same reasons you are changing your family's diet; I was terrified once I started doing a little research about the foods we had been eating. When you learn that things like asapartame and sucralose are making it into your dairy products without you knowing it or being required to know it and make it your own choice, it's a bit of a let down to know how little the-powers-that-be actually care about the health of the general public.I know your blog isn't necessarily a political one, but I see a strong correlation between eating organic whole foods and good health. It's amazing to me that a government who cares for Its people wouldn't be encouraging the same.
    Anyway, it is very refreshing to see a woman, highly educated in the science of food, saying and doing all that you do. Thank you for this! I hope to see a continuing trend of people taking their health into their own hands by researching the foods and products that they buy. - Christine Torosian

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting Christine! I could not agree more. We need to take control of what we put into our bodies and learn that we cannot trust labels, marketing, or "regulatory agencies". It is critical to simplify our diet so we know exactly what we are eating, where it came from, and how it was produced. So happy to have you as part of our community of like minded people!

  6. YAY!!! So glad you are doing this! I love reading your blog! Especially since I try to feed my family as "clean" as possible! Now I have a great resource I can share! xoxo

    1. Thanks Bianca! So proud of you for feeding your family as "clean" as possible, you rock girl!

  7. I would love to know what brand of oyster sauce, fish sauce, and tomato sauce you like that are gluten free and not full of sugar? Love the blog!


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