8 Week Real Food Revamp

real food revamp

Unsplash-Andy Chilton

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Eating should be a joyful event that we are privileged to participate. Processed foods, diets, digital scales, food replacement programs cast a dark shadow over food concealing its intended purpose. Food radiates the goodness of God. The 8 Week Real Food Revamp will help you regain a healthy and holy perspective on food and establish a lifestyle of healthful, realistic, and sustainable eating. The next several weeks will be an investment in your health.

The unique factor in this revamp is that it is FREE! In order to complete the revamp, you don’t need to buy anything. If there is a resource that captivates your attention or enhances your real food journey (and if it is in your budget), then I encourage you to invest in the resource.  My advice is to complete the preparation steps before making any purchases other than food then determine which tools and resources you need.

At the end of the revamp, you will face the processed food world with a renewed strength and happily decline the sugar-laden mass produced cupcakes in your office break room. You will kick convenience store snacks to the curb. Why? Over the next few weeks, you will determine that those types of foods just aren’t that special because they are fake.

real food

Unsplash-Bethany Newman

Real Food Revamp Guidelines:

Alexander Graham Bell declared, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” Follow the guidelines and begin your eight weeks of gradual change that could (ultimately it is up to you) last a lifetime.

Pledge

The Pledge offers a sense of accountability with your commitment to the 8 Week Real Food Revamp. Download the pledge and read it carefully. In her book, Animal Vegetables, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver shares her thoughts about pledges:

the facts is, though, millions of families have food pledges hanging over their kitchens—subtle rules about going to extra trouble, cutting the pasta by hand, rolling the sushi, making with care instead of buying on the cheap. Though they also may be busy with jobs and modern life, people the world over still take the time to follow foodways that bring their families happiness and health.

Purge

After signing the pledge, download the Ultimate Guide to Real Food Living Ebook and sign up for my newsletter.  The Ebook provides the materials you will need for the first step in the revamp: purging your pantry and kitchen of processed foods. Leave no processed foods behind! Cast them away forever.

If you already have the Ebook and receive my newsletters, then skip to the next step!

Practice the Following Lifestyle Changes:

  1. Rabidly read food labels
  2. Avoid refined and processed foods (flour, sugar, bread, etc.), preservatives, color additives, stabilizers, emulsifiers, and fat replacers,
  3. Choose organic when possible
  4. Drink 2 liters of water per day (using a reusable glass water bottle, remember environmental stewardship!)
  5. Cook with the right fats: olive (good olive oil), avocado, unrefined coconut, butter (preferably from grass-fed dairy cows), and tallow (beef fat). This list of fats should get you started.

People

You need a support network of people who will encourage and inspire you on your journey. Join the holyandhealthyliving Facebook community and interact with others who hold an interest in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Once you sign the pledge, visit my Facebook page and share your revamp start date with the community.

Share your successes as well as your struggles on the comment thread. I invite you to join my Instagram community as well.

Enlist the support of your family and friends by lovingly informing them about your new real food revamp. Remember that every situation requires careful consideration of the feelings of others.  If your friend bakes your favorite chocolate chip cookies as a kind gesture then humbly indulge in a cookie (not five or six).

Keep in mind, you are forging a lifestyle of real food living. Embrace the revamp as though you are training for a marathon rather than a 5K: slow and steady.

Gratitude

Food is a part of God’s divine creation. He provides food for us so that with every bite we would become overwhelmed by his kindness for such a gift. God did not create food so that we would make an idol out of food or use food as a license for gluttony. He did give us food so that when we taste the juice of an orange, it points to the Giver.

The pinnacle of eating is not to fill our bellies and wait for the next meal. When we consume food, it should cultivate a deep desire to glorify God.

We are in the midst of a war with food because our energy is on worshiping the food rather than the Giver of food. Begin your revamp with an attitude of thankfulness for God’s creative glory and for the provision of food.  Begin by going back to consuming food as close to creation as possible.

    1. Pause and offer thanks for your food
    2. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full
    3. Eat slowly to savor the flavors and enjoy the gift of food
    4. Write down your thoughts in a gratitude journal (USE MY FREE DAILY TO DO LIST)


Meal Plan

Planning is crucial. You’ve been eating at least three meals a day, probably more if you count snacks, since your birth.  The act of eating is not a new behavior.  It’s no surprise that your body will need food every four to six hours so plan how you will fuel your tank.

During the next eight weeks, you will plan every meal and every snack.  There are several ways to meal plan.  Some people prefer writing out meal plans while others gravitate to snazzy electronic meal plans.  Aside from sheer personal preference, your budget and schedule will also help you determine the best way to plan.

Depending on your personality, meal planning is second nature and for others, like me, not so much.  When I don’t plan for my meals, I am left scrambling around trying to create some semblance of a decent meal.

As you plan, use real food ingredients, nothing processed. All three meals must include real food. Remember, food is a gift that God created for his glory. Matt Chandler reminds us, “that should “spark worship in us—not worship of food, of course, but of the Creator of food.”

In case you are new to the concept of meal planning here are three plans to get you started:

  1. Spring Meal Plan
  2. Meal Plan
  3. Tessemae’s Meal Planner

Learn to experiment with different meal plans as long as they originate from real food. Eventually, after eating a variety of real foods, you will decide with confidence what works best for you and your family.

Cooking is a skill that requires practice and a handful of moxie.  We live in an era where cooking classes are a click away.  Technology affords you every opportunity to develop, refine, or enhance your culinary skills. Kingsolver reminds us that approaching mealtimes as a creative opportunity, rather than a chore, is an option.

Pack a cooler for family trips /work and stash real food snacks in the car.

Prepare Your Table

The table is where we fortify relationships and our bodies; the kitchen table has the capacity to transcend cultures, economic status, and generations. No matter how we try to avoid it, food is at the center of every culture. Many Americans relegate meals to Lunchables or a number on the drive-thru menu. Grace your table with bowls and plates filled with foods that nourish your body and ignite conversation.

As a nation, we devote one day a year to acknowledge and express our gratitude for food. The other 364 days we mindlessly eat in front of the television or hurriedly consume fast food in our cars. Very few families share a table and lean in and listen to stories about the day.

Regardless of the style or size of your kitchen or dining room table, make it the meeting place for meals. Meals have the potential to reveal God in Creation.

real food

Unsplash Hannah Busing

Real Food Practices

  • Eat at home as much as possible
  • Remove electronics from the table
  • Eat slowly
  • Engage in conversation at the table
  • Eat sitting down (preferably at a table)

What Happens When My Real Food Revamp Is Over?

Eight weeks of healthy eating habits will equip and strengthen you to boldly enter the universal food world. You are forging a path that leads to a long-term real food lifestyle. Your eight-week courtship with nutritious food will make it difficult for you to turn your back on something that brings joy and gratitude with every mouthful.

Real Food Revamp Resources

If you are at the stage where you feel the need to gather new resource, here is a list of what you will find on my bookshelf. Some of these resources I use on a daily basis.

Books

Nourishing Traditions

Real Food: What to Eat and Why

The Real Food Cookbook: Traditional Dishes for the Modern Cook

Clean Slate: A Cookbook and Guide: Reset Your Health, Detox Your Body, and Feel Your Best

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

Websites:

Environmental Working Group

100daysofrealfood

livingnaturaltoday

intentionalhealthyliving

tracyshealthyliving

gracefilledplate

Local Harvest

Sustainable Table

Eat Well Guide

The Nourishing Home


Thrive Market

6 Real Food Breakfast Ideas That Will Rehabilitate Your Morning Meal

 

Busy Person’s Guide to Clean Food Eating

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