In our culture, we have an abundance of food. Perhaps that is why a pervasive disconnect exists with our relationship to food. Rather than joyful eating, we complicate food which diminishes the pleasure of eating. In America, we view healthful eating as restrictive and flavorless. In reality, healthy foods offer the gift of nourishment as God intended. When we develop a lifestyle of consuming clean, real foods, we build a positive relationship with food. A clear understanding of what to eat places food in its proper perspective. Rather than viewing food as enemy born out of guilt and self-denial with every forkful, learn to prepare and eat wholesome, clean food.
[bctt tweet=”Kitchens are no longer viewed as the traditional gathering place where cooking and feasting take place. Instead, we often view our kitchens as a drive-through” username=”DeniseSultenfus”] Kitchen tables should be the places where we cultivate conversations that build trust and intimacy and feast, without guilt, on the abundance of real food graciously provided for our good and God’s glory.
Busy Person’s Guide to Clean Food, Real Food
Begin Eating One Clean Meal Per Day —Begin With Breakfast
The average person eats three meals per day. It’s wise to begin your clean eating lifestyle one meal at a time. My suggestion is to start with breakfast. For most Americans, breakfast consists of sugar-laden, processed cereals. Their alluring shapes and galactic colors serve as the primary food for the first meal of the day. Kicking the cereal and doughnut habit will be the most challenging food habit to break.
Focus your meal on:
- eliminating processed foods
- using fresh ingredients that grew in a garden, not a lab
- maintaining a food budget
- expanding the colors of your food palate (sweet potatoes, yellow beets, kale)
Instead of filling your bowl with sugar-coated grain, try a nutrient-dense breakfast bowl
- 1 package of nitrate-free, sugar-free Apple Sausage Links
- 5-6 medium sweet potatoes
- 5 medium size apples (Gala, Golden Delicious or combination)
- 5 cups baby kale or chopped kale if using large leaf kale
- Coconut or Avocado oil
- PEEL and dice the sweet potatoes and place in a bowl with enough oil to lightly coat the potatoes. Toss to coat evenly. Spread potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast at 400 until potatoes are soft, approximately 15 minutes.
- MEANWHILE, melt 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. When the oil is melted, gently add the sausage and cook until the links brown, approximately 2 minutes for each link. Remove from heat.
- PEEL, core, and thinly slice the apples. Melt 1 Tablespoon of oil in the same skillet that you cooked the sausage and transfer the apples to the skillet. Cook until apples are soft. Add more oil if needed.
- IMMEDIATELY toss kale by handfuls in the same pan with the apples and pan steam the kale until dark green and tender.
- ADD sausage, sweet potatoes, apples, and kale to a bowl. Toss. Season with salt and pepper.
Collect 5 Clean, Simple, in-season Recipes
The seasons determine the availability of certain fruits and vegetables. Depending on where you live, a year-round array of fruits and vegetables may be at your fingertips. Whereas some of us rely on the calendar to determine the availability of certain produce. When you select recipes that feature ingredients grown locally, you are assuredly guaranteed an abundant of varieties to choose.
Get in your kitchens, buy unprocessed foods, turn off the TV, and prepare your foods. This is liberating. Joel Salatin, farmer, author, and environmentalist
My goal is to prevent you from becoming overwhelmed so find recipes that have just a handful of simple ingredients.
Whenever possible, Eat Out Only 1 Time Per Week
Restaurants are making progress at providing unprocessed foods on their menu, but they still have a long way to go. Schedules get crazy, and by mid-week, you may feel the slight sting of overwhelming. Rather than revert to your processed food habits, give yourself a break and IF you need a break find the cleanest way possible to eat away from your kitchen.
Restaurants that serve clean food:
Panera ( avoid the soups and lunch meat, ask questions about the ingredients)
I am sure there may be more to add to the list but here is a beginning.
Subscribe to 3 Clean Eating Websites
You should fill your inbox with information from websites that promote clean, sustainable, real food. Most of the time, the information is free, just learn to check the reliability of specific claims.
Read 1 Book A Month on Clean Eating
Information gathering on the topic will equip you for a lifestyle of eating clean, wholesome, organic (when affordable), sustainably grown, and humanely raised. Until you make a habit out of clean eating, don’t go on a shopping spree and binge on cookbooks. For now, use your library as a resource for information gathering on clean food recipes. Search the internet for free, real food recipes. Resources can be costly so use free resources like the library and the internet. Here is a brief list of reputable resources that are available at most libraries. If you are at the point where you can and want to own these resources they are available on Amazon:
Visit 1 Farmer’s Market
A farmer’s market allows the consumer to ask the farmer questions regarding the food you are about to purchase. You can’t do this at a supermarket. Farmer’s markets connect you directly with the grower of the food you will feed to you and your family. Food grown locally offers a more vibrant flavor which enhances a recipe.
You want to support your local agricultural community, and the best way to do so is to buy directly from the grower.
Try Your Hand at Growing 1 Herb, Flower, or Vegetable
Anyone that consumes food should try to grow something to eat. Growing food, even on a small scale, connects you with your food. Once you try your hand at growing food, you will get a glimpse into farm life. One raised garden bed that you sustain helps you understand the tireless work required by farmers and ranchers to produce food for you and your family.
Nothing can compare to a handful of juicy, ripe berries plucked from the plant and toss into a muffin recipe. Succulent vine-ripe heirloom tomatoes quartered and mixed with a simple green salad serves as a staple in our household during the summer months. Tomatoes are one of the easiest crops to grow. Our modern world makes gardening so convenient that you can grown produce on your patio. Next, to your tomato plants, you can cultivate a row or pot of Genovese basil.
A person who is growing a garden, if he is growing it organically, is improving a piece of the world. He is producing something to eat, which makes him somewhat independent of the grocery business, but he is also enlarging, for himself, the meaning of food and the pleasure of eating. Wendell Barry