Sometimes the prospect of making our diets healthier can be so overwhelming at the beginning. Sometimes we have the luxury of taking our time in the transition. But when there are dire health concerns in your family, you sometimes have to transition faster than you'd like. Here are ten easy, sneaky ways to make your meals more nourishing and nutrient-dense that your family most likely won't notice!
1)Replace white flour pasta with brown rice flour noodles. Trader Joe's has a very inexpensive line of brown rice pastas including spaghetti, macaroni, and fusili noodles. These taste great and work very well in any Italian dish! (Here are my favorite things at Trader Joe's).
Even better, if you need to go grain-free, low-carb, try delicious, low-calorie spaghetti squash. Bake the squash at 350 for about an hour, then when finished slice in half and spoon out the pulp in the center. Then fluff the rest of the flesh with a fork and spoon out the "noodles".
2) Buy pasture-raised, free-range eggs. No one will notice the difference and they will add tons of nutrition to your diet. Think it'll break your bank? Here are my thoughts on the real value of cheap eggs.
3) Replace juices with a refreshing iced herbal tea. Blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry are some of our favorites. Add a bit of stevia to sweeten and for very few calories you have a refreshing, tasty beverage to enjoy!
4) Make blender waffles or pancakes! These simple, frugal, whole-grain, versatile treats take minutes to prepare, and your family won't notice the difference! If you want a no-grain option, these fluffy, low-carb pancakes are made with coconut flour and are amazing!
5) Replace white rice with brown, and cook the rice in mineral-rich chicken broth (check out my easy crock-pot chicken stock recipe here). For even more minerals and nutrient-density, consider sneaking in a little bit of liver as seen in this versatile recipe! Make a basic, everyday dish like rice into a nourishing, one-pot meal!
6) Replace your boxed cereal with homemade, soaked oatmeal or a grain-free cold cereal that we like called Almond Raisin Bran (recipe to come!).
7) Replace pasteurized milk with real, fresh raw milk. Find a safe source from Real Milk's website.
8) Add coconut oil to your diet by using it in place of shortening. Coconut oil is naturally rich in monolaurin, which is a strong anti-viral and anti-fungal. It's a great source of Medium-Chain Fatty Acids which are converted to energy in the small intestine to provide quick energy. Here's where you'll find the best price on coconut oil!
9) Replace organic ground beef with grass-fed, pasture-raised ground beef. Even better, grind in a small amount of liver (no more than 1/4cup) or heart for added nutrition.
10) Think outside the bun. Even though you may not be sensitive to gluten, it's not a bad idea (for health reasons involving insulin and mineral absorption) to limit your intake of grains. Typically, it's easier to feed our families grain-rich meals because they tend to be more convenient. Challenge yourself to have at least two grain-free days per week and focus on good quality meat with fresh veggies! Soup is a great, frugal way to get nourishing, good quality meats and veggies into unsuspecting children!!! Here are some my favorite, simple soup recipes.
For more great Real Food Tips, visit Kelly the Kitchen Kop! and Food Renegade's Fight Back Fridays!