Real Food Wednesdays: 5 Tips for Transitioning to a Real Food Diet

This week, Kelly is rounding up tips from those of us who've made the transition to a Real Foods diet. What is real food? Basically, it's food that has a source, a face, a name. You know who made it, grew it, milked it, collected it, etc. Besides trying to locate sources for all of this real food, it can be very tricky to actually process it and make it into something appealing that your family will enjoy! Fortunately there are many resources on the web that focus on this very subject. My blog network, Real Food Media is a great place to turn for lots of wonderful information from bloggers from all walks of life, sharing about the practical application of a Traditonal Foods lifestyle. You can also read about how our family came to eating Real Food here. Here are 5 Tips I have for transitioning into a Real Food Diet.

1) The Pantry Purge. If you don't own it, you won't eat it (at home, at least). Donate boxed junk food that contains more than 5 ingredients (or so) to the Food Bank. Clean out your fridge of fake food dressings, sauces, juices, and anything else laden with high fructose corn syrup, rancid vegetable oils, and white flour. A well-stocked, Real Food pantry/fridge should contain these types of items. Note: If there are adults in your household who won't go with it, then this will take great self-discipline. If you are the cook in your home you can have total control in this area. It does depend on your situation, and I come from the perspective of a mother with young children and a generally cooperative husband who doesn't subvert my efforts in this area!

2) Go gradual. Start by taking the foods you love and looking for ways to substitute more traditional foods. If your family loves spaghetti and meatballs, for example, start using Sprouted Wheat Pasta and making the meatballs with grass-fed beef with a little bit of sneaky liver or heart blended in. Replace white flour tortillas with sprouted what or sprouted corn (available at Health Food Stores). Replace boxed cookies and cakes with homemade goodies, made with soaked flour and natural cane sugar such as Sucanat or Rapadura. Instead of potato chips and candy bars for lunches/snacks, try this nourishing green popcorn or these delicious "Lara" bars.

3) Adopt the DIY mindset. Traditional food is rarely about shortcuts. It's about patiently centering your day around meal preparation. Start simple by beginning to set goals for yourself on what you want to eventually make for yourself. Of course you can buy many traditional foods; healthy, plain yogurt, kombucha, lacto-fermented sauerkraut, and others, but you will pay more. A little investment of time and energy can go a long way toward improving your health and saving lots of money. Set a goal for incorporating 1 new home-made item per month. If your family loves yogurt, for example, start making yogurt and cream cheese from the yogurt.

4) Start menu planning. We're talking breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you have a plan, you're likely to stick to it and purchase only the food you know you'll need for your meals. It really helps you avoid buying junk or impulse purchasing! Check out a sample traditional foods menu of mine for ideas, and here are my menu planning tips.

5) Realize that your body needs and wants Real Food. Give yourselves time to adjust. Tastes do change, and soon your body will start to crave the good food and cease to desire what is bad. Kombucha is a powerful aid in fighting bad food cravings, especially for sugar and soda.

For more Rookie Tips on Transitioning to a Real Foods Diet, visit Kelly the Kitchen Kop!


Kelly the Kitchen Kop said...

GREAT tips, Carrie, this is just the type of info I wish I'd had when starting out! :)

Anonymous said...

Really helpful tips Carrie! Do you have any advice about sneaking in that liver or heart? What are some good resources for rookies who want to learn how to prepare that stuff?

Anonymous said...

Hi carrie,
I really love reading your blog. You have some great information here.

Carrie T said...


Thanks, I wish I had known these things as well!

CMB (I love your name!!),

Great question! I will be devoting an entire post to this and include some great resources and links as well. Look for it early next week!


Thank you so much for the encouragement!

Blessings to you all,

Anonymous said...

Thanks! :) I'll definitely check back in next week.