Transitioning to Real Food: Ruth’s Story

Some people have grown up eating real food, but most of us have had to transition from eating what goes for regular food. Every transition story is a little different. Here’s how I made the transition.
What did you eat growing up?
I was lucky in that my mother cooked a lot of food from scratch. We did, however, often have good ol’ Campbell’s soup for lunch, processed cheese (which I quite liked at the time), margarine, corn oil… many things I wouldn’t touch today. My mother was very careful to use very little fat. While I don’t believe in eating low fat, if the fat in question is corn oil and margarine – the less you get, the better.

Were there any defining moments that affected your attitude towards food and health? Tell me about it.
When I was in elementary school, one of my teachers conducted an experiment. She got two hamsters. One was fed junk food (potato chips, sweets etc.) and the other was fed “good” food, such as Velveeta. Well, everything is relative. I was in charge of feeding them. You could clearly see that the hamster eating the good food was thriving while the other one looked bad. That message hit home.
What’s your transition style: Gradual? Were there a few stages? Cold turkey?
Over the years, I’ve taken two steps forward, and one step back, but there’s been a steady progression towards eating more naturally. 
I’ve had chronic fatigue syndrome all my adult life. It’s usually manageable. However, at the end of 2009 it got really bad and I was totally out of commission. I couldn’t do anything but read, and that’s when I discovered the Weston A. Price organization. I started reading day and night about food and making all the changes I could. It was a shock to discover that some medical issues, big and small, that I’d thought I’d just have to live with got better or disappeared. For instance, occasional intense bouts of stomach pain disappeared. I realized that I was just like that hamster. Eating good food made a clear difference to how I looked and felt.
When you made changes, was it just you or were others such as a partner or children involved? How did they manage?
I have two grown kids, one of whom is living at home. I was surprised how accepting they were of new and sometimes strange things entering our kitchen. They grew to love some new foods – like pickles, salsa, and other fermented foods. 
My son is now pretty much eating real food. With the help of the GAPS diet, his stomach feels more settled and he easily lost a lot of weight. 
My daughter is happy to eat foods I prepare, but isn’t ready to give up all the bad stuff. If you look in my kitchen cupboards, you will, I confess, find her boxed cereal, pasta, and even the very occasional soft drink.
Which changes were easy?
I was super motivated, so many changes were easy.
What did you find more difficult?
It was difficult to read articles written for an American audience and translate that to my life in Israel. When someone says you can get something at Trader Joe’s, that doesn’t help me much. So I went through a lot of trial and error with no one to guide me, but now I’ve got most of it figured out.
So what do you eat?

I get a weekly delivery of organic vegetables from Chubeza. I can get frozen grassfed beef at my supermarket (yeah!) but no pastured chickens, so I eat regular chicken, which I'm not too happy about. 
I try to eat liver once every couple of weeks and I make a steady supply of fermented vegetables. I eat lots of organic eggs, which I buy directly from a farmer. He also supplies me with raw goat’s milk and he just bought a cow, so I got raw cow’s milk for the first time last week. I make my own goat’s milk cheese and cow’s milk yogurt. I don't eat a lot of hard cheese, which don't love me as much as I love them, but when I do, I get top quality French AOC raw milk cheeses. Good quality cream still eludes me, so I use ultra pasteurized cream in my coffee. Sigh. 
As for fats, I use lots of coconut oil, olive oil, and butter. I do eat carbs in the form of potatoes and rice, but no grains. I'm not a big fan of labels, but if I had to decide, I'm closest to the Perfect Health Diet.

What improvements to your diet do you still want to make or what things would you like to try?
It is time for me to learn how to prepare fish and start eating it regularly.
What old foods do you still crave?
As long as I’m eating something that tastes good, I’m not missing other foods.
Is there anything you know now that you wish you knew then?
I wish I knew it all way back when.  
This post was shared with Homestead Revival, Real Food Freaks, Food Renegade, The Nourishing Gourmet, Gnowfglins  Healthy Home Economist, Butter Believer, and Kelly the Kitchen Kop..

Have you already heard Jamie Oliver’s inspirational Ted Talk?

Jamie Oliver doesn't mince words. He says the situation is dire and a revolution is needed. He's trying to bring that food revolution about. While some people who eat Paleo or Primal or according to Weston A. Price won't agree 100% with what Oliver considers healthy cooking, he is an advocate of real, local, freshly prepared food. That is so overwhelmingly better than what is currently served in schools, at restaurants, and in many homes.

Even A Stubborn American Can Learn New Tricks . . .

This is a guest post by Jen of Real Food Freaks. Enjoy!

I realize that we real foodies often blame the S.A.D. (standard American diet) on Big Ag, Big Pharma, politicians, Monsanto, the industrial medical complex,  etc. (see here)  However, the problem can’t be blamed solely on these organizations.  Really.  The U.S.A. is called the Land of the Free.   With that freedom comes responsibility.  All too often we have abdicated our responsibility for our food choices to others and have neglected the time honored traditions of health and well-being passed on from our ancestors (laziness perhaps?).  There are consequences for abdicating responsibility so easily. 

Is it Genetics or Lifestyle? Dr. Terry Wahls Video

Remember Dr. Terry Wahls? She's the MD who cured her MS through diet. In this short video, she discusses the effects of genetics on health as opposed to lifestyle.

A Rich Tomato-y Vegetable Soup

Hot soup on a cold day is comforting. This one is quick to make and just right for a winter’s day. The trick is to fry the tomato paste before you add the water, for extra flavor.
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