STEP 2 EAT WELL & BE FREE – PLAN & SHOP

STEP 2 – Plan & Shop!

This is the second STEP in our simple 3-step plan to help you eat well, get slim & healthy and be free from dieting. 

  1. STEP 1:  PURGE – clean out the house & start fresh.
  2. STEP 2:  SHOP & PLAN – Squeal!  This part is fun!
  3. STEP 3: COOKING ESSENTIALS – Get prepared, get prepped, Go!

Today, let’s get started with the plan and some shopping.

The first thing you need to do is set a date.  I am an extreme person.  I am also strong-willed, stubborn and hard-headed.  This is a gift and a curse.

It is a gift because if I do something I do it to the extreme.  I am either going to do something 200% or not at all.  I am all in or all out.

I am this way with my eating as well.  When I made the change to real foods I went all the way and really haven’t looked back.

If you have a birthday, wedding, vacation or other event coming up on the calendar, you may want to schedule your start date after that event.  It is important that you ditch ALL processed foods for a minimum of 30 days to get started right.  This time of extreme avoidance will allow you to break food addictions and detox from sugar.

Let’s Get this Party Started!

Once the start date is set- you are almost there.  Now that your home is free from the junk – let’s fill it with life!  It’s time to stock up on healthy, life-giving food that will give your body restoration, healing and the nutrients it needs to thrive.

I want you to know that you are a hero.  You are making a difference.  Your children will look at food differently, they will know what is real and what is fake.  You are giving your grandchildren (or future grandchildren) the knowledge of real foods.  Eating them, preparing them, shopping for them, harvesting them.

This so fun!  It’s time to plan and shop for what you’ll be eating!  Yay!  Food!

Eating real foods isn’t hard at all really.  If God made it – eat it.  If man made it – don’t.

START ON THE RIGHT FOOT

There are only 2 things you must do to change the way you eat forever.  The first one is non-negotiable.  The second one is optional but will make your life better.

  1. Eat Real Food

  2. Enjoy Fresh Baked Bread

NUMBER 1:  EAT REAL FOOD

Here is a list of real foods: 

  • Grains:  whole wheat berries, whole grains, whole corn, whole spelt, whole kamut, whole rye, whole oats.
  • Dairy:  Milk (raw or organic is best), raw cheeses, butter (raw or organic is best), sour cream (homemade is best), yogurt, buttermilk, cream, whip-cream (homemade & sweetened with maple syrup), etc.
  • Meat & Eggs: any eggs, chicken, duck, rabbit, venison, beef, pork, fish, etc
  • All Fruits & Veggies
  • All beans, legumes, nuts & seeds
  • Sweeteners:  Real Maple Syrup, Honey, Molasses, stevia (the plant)
  • Beverages:  Any natural drinks, includes kombucha, juice (fresh is best, never with added sugar), milk, tea, beer, wine and any other natural beverage.

This list is not exhaustive, but you can see, this list covers an incredible variety of whole foods.

Make a list of whole foods (foods without ingredients) that you enjoy.  I think it helps to organize by going by meals.

Start with Breakfast.

BREAKFAST

What do you want to eat for breakfast?  You can have anything as long as it’s real food.  Berries and homemade whipped cream? (sweetened with maple syrup)  Eggs & bacon?  Sausage?  Biscuits? (made with fresh flour, of course).

Coffee & heavy cream?  Yes, you can even have a teaspoon of maple syrup or honey in your creamy coffee!

You don’t need to eat traditional breakfast foods for breakfast – you can have leftovers.  You can have a meat and cheese plate.

I usually don’t eat breakfast.  I never have.  I know this breaks all the rules of every diet book in the world.  Everyone says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  That it kick starts your metabolism.  That people who eat breakfast eat fewer calories throughout the day.  I know all of this.

I’m just not hungry.  To make all the diet books happy, sometimes I’ll cram a bite of whatever my kids are eating into my mouth so I can call it breakfast and go on with my day.

I usually have 2-3 cups of coffee in the morning (only 1 cup of caffeinated).

LUNCH

Salads, meat, leftovers, sandwiches (on homemade bread with fresh flour).  In our house, we are addicted to avocado toast.  We make a little guacamole, smear it on a slice or 2 of toasted whole-wheat (homemade) bread and top it with a fried egg.  It’s unbelievable.  The yolk turns into golden gravy when you cut into it coating the entire thing.  So good.

What do you like to eat?  Hard boiled eggs?  Cheese?  Veggies and hummus?  Avocados? High protein salads?

I usually eat eggs for lunch.  I know.  I’m so weird.  Coffee for breakfast and eggs for lunch.  I don’t like to eat in the morning because I don’t want to.  BUT I LOVE breakfast food.  So I usually have an omelet or some scrambled eggs and ham or a fried egg with bacon or pancakes (fresh flour only) or something else usually found on a brunch menu.

SNACKS

I drink fresh juice for my snacks almost every single day of my life.  I LOVE fresh juice.  And, I’m not the kind of girl who sits around munching on celery.  Drinking a fresh juice helps me get the recommended servings of fruits & veggies.  It also gives me energy and it’s delicious.

Other snack ideas:  hard boiled eggs, ham slices, raw veggies and fruits, fresh cheeses, baked brie cheese with a drizzle of honey (served with green apple slices for dipping),  guacamole with flatbread chips (homemade), dried fruit, dehydrated fruit, nuts, seeds, and berries.

SUPPER (OR DINNER) 

What do you want to eat?  You can have anything as long as it’s real food!

Let’s Hear it for the Meat!

Steak? Chicken?  Duck? Roast?  Pork chops?  Brisket?  Pork butt?  Ham?  Round steaks? Rabbit?

Anything you want is yours – just be sure that you are purchasing healthy meat.  Look for pastured meat, grass-fed or free-range.

Dish up some Side Dishes!

Now for the sides.

3 seasons of the year I go to the garden to shop for sides.  Whatever is ready to be harvested is what we eat.

In seasons when I buy vegetables from the grocery, I usually let my kids help.  I challenge them to buy 10 different vegetables each week.  I feel like they are more excited about eating the foods if they helped pick them out (this is true if they helped grow them as well).  If you don’t have any kiddos around – just pick a bunch of veggies that look good to you.

Try new things!  You may consider joining a CSA for a couple months.  You’ll pay a monthly fee to be a member and get a basket of fresh, local food every week.  One of the best parts of a CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) is that you get a basket of food every week with new things in it.  There is nothing like a basketful of rutabaga, beets, and leeks to turn the kitchen into an adventure.

Use all the veggies throughout the week to create healthy dinners.

Each night you’ll prepare meat & fix 2 of the veggies and dinner is done!  We usually have fresh bread with dinner too, more on that in a minute.

Some veggies to consider:  

Leafy Greens:  Collard Greens, Kale, Spinach, Butter-crunch lettuce, Green Romaine,  Red Romaine, Turnip greens,  Swiss Chard, etc.

Roots & such:  Radishes, carrots, Beets, Potatoes, Turnips, Sweet Potatoes, Parsnip, Rutabaga, onion, garlic, etc.

Gourds:  Pumpkin, Spaghetti squash, butternut squash, Zucchini, Yellow squash, etc.

More Green Veggies: Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, beans, etc.

Others to Consider: Okra, Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant, Cucumber, Endive, Leek, Celery, Peas, Avocado, etc.

There are really so many great foods to chose from!

OTHER THINGS TO HAVE ON HAND 

There are a few staples that will get you through this that don’t really fall into a meal category.  Here are things I always have on hand:

Honey – If you can find it, get local honey.  It is like a natural allergy shot to your system.  Filtered, raw honey is great.

If you happen to be addicted to sugar (like most of us) honey will be your best friend during this escapade.  Honey is also a huge part of baked goods.  If you plan to mill wheat berries and bake bread products – you will need oodles of honey.

Maple Syrup – The real stuff.  If you’ve been eating Aunt Jemima’s or Mrs. Butterworths, you have not been eating syrup.  You’ve been eating a deadly combination of corn syrup, artificial coloring, and other non-food additives.  Real Maple syrup comes from trees.  It is tree juice.  Trust me, I know, I make it.  The only ingredient in Maple Syrup is “maple syrup.”  Kinda like eggs.

You will be able to use maple syrup to make muffins, scones, biscuits and many other baked goods.

Cooking Fats – Start to think about what kind of fats you would like to use in your kitchen.  Some healthy fats are: bacon grease, lard, coconut oil, olive oil, butter, ghee, grapeseed oil, and tallow.  All organic.  With a variety of these in your home, you should never need those evil, processed oils again.

Heavy Whipping Cream – When you cut out processed foods and refined oils, you need to replace them with something rich and satisfying.  Creamy based meals and side dishes are great at quenching the craving for something naughty.

Wheat Berries –  If you decided to start making bread you’ll need some of these.  Head to your local Whole Foods market and pick up some wheat berries to get you started. If you want to switch to a homemade bakery (where you make all your baked goods) you can invest in larger quantities of wheat berries.


NUMBER 2: ENJOY FRESH BAKED BREAD

For most people, if you take this step, you will be enjoying fresh bread for the first time in your life.  This is a big jump and I realize it.

By suggesting you begin making bread I am suggesting:

  1. You buy a mill ($200)
  2. You probably should get the Bosch Mixer too ($389)
  3. You are going to be spending precious time maneuvering bread dough

To all of these objections, I say, “Yes, I know.  Yes, it’s expensive.  Yes, it takes time.  Yes, it is a life change.

but…

It’s WORTH IT.”

There are few changes you can make to your diet that can do what fresh-milled wheat can do.  We usually have fresh bread of some sort with our meals every day.

FRESH BREAD WILL PROBABLY NOT MAKE YOU SICK

As long as you don’t have Celiac disease (or some other medical reason to avoid gluten) homemade bread should not make you sick.  If bread has ever made you bloat, or retain water or feel terrible – I would challenge you to give fresh wheat a try.  I can eat all the bread I want as long as it’s homemade with freshly milled flour and it makes me feel good.

FRESH BREAD WILL KEEP YOU FEELING FULLER LONGER

Fresh bread won’t make you fat.  It shouldn’t make you bloat.  It can actually help you lose weight.  Fresh bread is a great source of protein, it is nutrient dense and it is satisfying.  It shouldn’t take much to fill you up.

At dinner, when we have meat, 2 veggies and some fresh bread I am full and happy until morning the next day.  I don’t get hungry later in the evening and I don’t want to snack.

FRESH BREAD WILL CURVE YOUR SUGAR CRAVINGS

Freshly made bread is delightfully sweet and satisfying.  If I am having a craving or want something sweet – a roll or slice of bread will always do the trick.

FRESH BREAD IS NUTRITIOUS

Fresh milled wheat berries contain 40 of the 44 essential nutrients (that come from food) needed to sustain life. (Source)

“Whole wheat” flour or bread from the store is not the same.  More on this here.

FRESH BREAD WILL MAKE YOU HEALTHIER 

It just makes sense that if your diet is healthier (insert a slice of bread) then your body will be healthier.

I really have no idea how balanced my diet is.

  • I don’t keep track of essential nutrients.
  • I don’t count calories, points or fat grams.
  • I don’t know what is on the food pyramid and don’t really care.
  • I eat real food.   I enjoy healthy meat, fruit, and veggies every day.
  • And I eat wheat products made with fresh-ground flour.

Real, bread is like the natural multi-vitamin.  It is the cushion that can save you.  It is the insurance that ensures your body gets what it needs to be healthy and strong.  You won’t need to worry about nutritional details, because the bread will be filling in any gaps.

FRESH BREAD WILL SAVE YOU MONEY

Whole wheat bread is simple to make and contains just a few ingredients:  wheat berries, yeast, oil, honey & salt.  Recipe here.

When I add up all the ingredients I need to make my fresh bread it all comes to a grand total of about 25 cents per loaf.  That’s all it costs me to make my own bread.

FRESH BREAD WILL KEEP YOU REGULAR

All I’m going to say is that if you grind fresh wheat berries you will never have constipation in your home again. Everyone will be pooping and your main bathroom will never smell nice again.

FRESH BREAD TASTES BETTER 

Homemade bread from fresh flour is super soft.  It’s slightly sweet.  It’s wheaty and nutty in a GREAT, AWESOME way.  I’ve never eaten bread from a store that tastes like my bread.  Homemade bread from fresh ground wheat is going to be different because of all the natural oils and protein found in the whole wheat berry.  The bread is not hard, dry or crumbly.

You just have to taste the bread…. you’ll want to eat it forever.

For more on bread made with freshly milled flour:


On Your Mark! Get Set!  Go!

You got this!  Here’s your todo list:

  1. Set your start date.

  2. Make a shopping list (real foods, healthy meats and 10 veggies for the week).

  3. Consider Bread-making!

If you want to jump into the world of fresh bread (which I recommend you do)…

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  1. A Mill – You need a mill to grind wheat berries.  Go here to see several options.
  2. Whole Wheat Berries – You can order these from Walmart’s website or buy them from whole foods.  Check with your local grocer & see if they sell whole wheat berries.
  3. A Method to Knead Bread Dough.  You can use your hands.  You can use a Kitchen Aid to make 2 loaves at a time.  Or, you can get a Bosch.  I have a Bosch mixer that can knead 6 loaves at once.  I have had it since 2004 and I love it.

Once you have some wheat and a mill you can begin making these healthy breads in your home:

Go here for more details on breadmaking and where we buy all our breadmaking supplies.

Happy Shopping!

XO,

CJ

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