Real food is not complicated and uses simple ingredients which are wholesome.
Let’s rewind 100 years ago, families traditionally ate simple food which was seasonal and had no preservatives or additives. Back then there was no such thing as low-fat, gluten-free or sugar-free products. Over the years food production has changed, we now see big businesses producing food that has little or no nutrient content. They opted for cheap fillers and have added plenty of preservatives to their products to hold shelf life.
food n 1. something that nourishes, sustains, or supplies
real adj 1. true and actual; not artificial
What I think real food looks like?
Meat: Should be organically farmed with the animals allowed to free-range in paddocks and have plenty of pasture to graze. Feeds for the animals should also be organic and have no hidden growth hormones. When buying meat from the butcher or farmer buy cuts that have no additives or nitrates. Also some of the best cuts are those that most of us have lost touch with – hearts, livers, the blood and of course bones.
Eggs: Should come from chickens or ducks that have been raised organically. In Australia the definition of free range is very relaxed and over crowded egg farms exist. You want your chooks to have grass underfoot and feed that is not full of growth hormones making for happier chickens. I think that if you can’t get access to real eggs get your own chooks, three is enough for a family of 4.
Fats: Butter from happy cows, extra virgin olive oil, macadamia oil, coconut oil, avocado oil and lard. Seriously fats are not bad, just eat them in moderation – simple.
Fruits and Veggies: Should be in season and grown as local as possible using organic farm practices. Ask around your local farmers market to get the best produce available. You will also find that seasonal food is also cheaper. Don’tt forget to eat plenty of herbs too.
Grains and Legumes: Whole grains (wheat, rye, spelt, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth), beans, peas, nuts, and seeds. Any wholegrain is good for you, once things start to get striped of their nutrient content you are not left with much except filler – so be mindful of your purchases and how you use them. I tend to use wheat to make my own sourdough which natural ferments and breaks down gluten.
Dairy: Full fat is best (cow, goat or sheep). All the low-fat stuff has hidden ingredients to make up for the good stuff which has been taken out. Read your labels. Once again everything in moderation is good.
Salt: Real, unrefined salt that hasn’t been stripped of minerals. Himalayan, sea salt and macrobiotic salt.
Seafood: Fish caught at sea or in rivers and not farmed is ideal.
Sweeteners: Honey is by far the best way to sweeten a dish it also has loads of vitamins and minerals. Raw sugars which have not been striped of their nutrients are also great.
This is how my grandmother still cooks today. This is how my mother cooks and how I have learnt to eat. Food is meant to be nourishing for your belly. You don’t need to give up on cakes, pizza‘s or chips – you just need to make your own using simple ingredients which are packed full or the real stuff.
I often get asked about what we eat. Most of the time it is meat and three veg with the occasional treat thrown in for good measure. I bake once a week; cakes and bread for the family along with a roast – the leftovers are to eat during the week. I don’t believe in cutting out carbs, sugars or fat, all of those things should be eaten in moderation, my gran would only let us have a small slice of cake for morning tea and that was it.