Things I've learned and recipes tried in my journey to get my health back!!! Here you will find tips, articles and healthy recipes that taste spectacular, yet contain nothing artificial, refined or processed!

Is it hard?

I had a friend tell me yesterday that "you have a very complicated eating life , you wear me out. lol" It made me wonder if other people might think eating naturally is complicated, hard or confusing. It really isn't. My "diet" breaks down to this; no refined sugar, no dairy, and no processed food. How is it simple? I no longer buy things that come in a box(other than the occasional whole grain, quinoa or rice noodles from the health food store). I'm not saying it doesnt take a little research either. I've spent a lot of time reading articles and reading labels at the grocery store. Getting back to nature eating what God put on this earth, what is complicated about that? I admit there were a few things that threw me for a loop that I thought were natural but aren't. Another thing that really shocked me is some of the items I've found that have High Fructose Corn Syrup(HFCS) in them, a few examples: Yogurt, dried cherries, "100%" fruit juice/frozen concentrates, mayo, A1 sauce, and ketchup just to name a few. Eating naturally is so easy, even the cavemen did it(yea I know it was cheesy, but it is the truth)! It is less complicated than following any of the fad diets out there! I dont count carbs, I dont count calories, and I dont count fat, and there are no phases either, so it really isnt hard at all.

Some tips for shopping healthy:

1. buy as many organic products as you can instead of non organic.

2. stay away from boxed or white foods, the few exceptions I have to this rule are organic canned tomatoes, and organic beans. I can get these items organic and to be certified organic they can not have anything in them are not naturally occuring. Not to mention that I cant get organic fresh tomatoes(which go bad quickly anyway and are more expensive) and I cant get dry organic beans either.

3. sugars. these took me quite a while to figure out and has been the hardest aspect of getting healthy. I have a family of 5 so I had to find something that was healthy yet affordable at the same time. Agave nectar is an awesome natural sweetener but pretty pricey so it wouldnt work for my family. I finally decided to use turbinado sugar for several reasons, first is that the sugars dont enter your bloodstream as rapidly as some of the others(honey, syrup etc) which is a big thing for me because I have hypoglaucemia. It can be used in recipes the same way as regular sugar(I use less than what recipes call for though with good results) and you get more bang for your buck with it. You can get turbinado sugar at the health food store, but in doing my research I found that turbinado sugar is evaporated cane juice, and I also found that florida crystals makes an organic cane sugar that is quite a bit cheaper and more easily found. You can get it at walmart which is where I do most of my grocery shopping anyway. The ingredients are, organic evaporated cane juice.

4. always make extra! make extra dinner and eat the leftovers for lunch, this saves time, money and frustration. You dont have to worry about finding healthy lunch ideas, and you save money by not buying bread(which has HFCS in it anyway), lunchmeat and those nasty cheese slices. It saves time because you dont have to plan different lunches and shop for extra items. It saves the frustration of trying to figure out alternative lunches when you get bored with what you normally have. You get something different everyday, and most meals that are truly healthy taste better the next day anyway.

5. buy oatmeal in bulk if you can. I buy mine 25lbs at a time. for me a 25lb bag costs around $17.21. oatmeal is so virsatile too. I use it in everything, like baked oatmeal for breakfast, and I grind it up in the blender and add 1/2 tsp. guar gum to it too use as an all purpose flour for cakes, cookies, breads(quick bread, no yeast), and a thickening agent. 25lbs lasts my family about a month, but I make a cake at least once a week, 2 9x13 pans of baked oatmeal a week, several dozen cookies and a loaf of bread. It does take a *little* extra work, but knowing that its healthy and yummy at the same time makes it totally worth it!

I have tons more tips that I will add at a later date. Its getting late here and I can't think of anymore at the moment. If anyone has questions about natural cooking/baking please ask and I'll answer as best I can!

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