March 23, 2012

food on friday :: introducing the original food diet


Source: tastykitchen.com via Mandy on Pinterest

I'm excited to bring you a brand new series for {food on friday}! You might've heard a little bit about it over here... ;)

I'm finishing up the details this week for a crazy experiment I will start in April. I'll be following a strict whole foods diet, and will be sharing about it here on Fridays!

I'm going to cut out refined and processed foods {and phase out artificial sweeteners too, hopefully} over the next 6-8 weeks, which I'm hoping will be long enough to create a life-long habit.

The idea behind this project is that I want to eat natural, real food in the form in which God made it. For example, instead of eating bread, I'm going to eat only whole wheat grains boiled. Instead of cereal, I'll eat just natural oatmeal.

I think it's going to be hard... {bye, bye, sweet pre-packaged chocolate chip fiber granola bars...! I'll miss you!}, but it won't about tracking calories as much as it will be about tracking actual intake. I want to consider what's really going in, and how does it affect my body and mind?

I'll be tracking any differences I notice in the way I feel {physically and mentally}, exercise, and look {skin, nails, hair, body composition}. I'm so excited! Slowly but surely I hope to carry it on to the whole family. :D

I love a good challenge, and though I eat well it's hard for me not to eat something junk food related like a bite of cookie or a handful of chips or cereal at least a couple times a day. I also love Splenda, but I would be thrilled to eliminate it from my diet. I'm not a fan of ingesting large amounts of chemicals! {though I do it! sheesh!}

Oh, and I completely love desserts. Sweets are my downfall! {are they for you, too?} I've never gone without them completely. Wow.

goodbye sweets, hello sweet potatoes!
I'm both nervous and excited. I won't be crazy obsessive about not eating something not on the plan if it's presented to me, but I will try my best to avoid it when I can to see how I really feel when I only eat the food God has provided in it's natural form.

I'm hoping this project will be like a spring cleaning for my body, so to speak. :) I'll be setting up the rules for my own experiment right here next Friday, and you're welcome to join me in the challenge if you want to! I'd love to hear about your progress!

I will be posting lots of real food resources and recipes along the way {as well as spilling the beans about what it's like to suddenly change your diet ;)}. Oh, and for fun we can have a little Twitter support group called #foodsGodmade throughout the week if you want to ask questions or post your thoughts! :D

One quick question for you though: have you ever strictly followed a real food diet? I'd love to hear your experience! Any recipes or resources you'd recommend? {there were some awesome ones you guys posted over on facebook!}

52 comments:

  1. I do try to do this.I am in a First Place 4 Health group and the emphasis is on making healthy choices.

    I look forward to this. I may try to join in (without becoming compulsive).

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  2. There's a great website I go to for real food recipes called "the gracious pantry". You should check it out, her stuff is delish!!

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  3. Sounds great, very interested in this as well.

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  4. I'm really looking forward to learning more! I've tossed around the idea of going to a whole food and organic way of eating, but both the time commitment and the cost have always worried me. I can't wait to hear your thoughts and experiences!

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  5. Never had Splenda before, or any artificial sweetener at that. But at the beginning of the year my husband wanted to lose some weight. Instead of sugar now we use Sweet Leaf Stevia in our coffee and tea. French Vanilla flavored in our coffee and Berry in our tea. I didn't diet like he did, but I did cut sugar and sweets (sooo hard!!) and I lost 10 pounds! We feel a lot better now. Just wanted to tell you about that. Stevia is from a plant. But I don't know if it's chemically altered. I think Splenda is.

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  6. I'll second stevia as a good natural sweetener--my family uses too much Splenda and one of my goals is to start replacing it with stevia and sugar alcohols instead (though really its just better to get used to not having sweets LOL!

    Danielle mrsjhm@yahoo.com

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  7. Thank you for the reminder! I've fallen off the healthy wagon for the past few months and need to withdraw from processed foods as much as possible...im taking the challenge with you to eat as natural as possible.

    Thanks-
    Aurelia

    In the past I found these sites helpful...
    1.) Whfoods.com. this site is very informative from nutrition to recipes. I highly recommend it!

    2.) Elanas pantry blog.

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  8. I can't wait to read about this!! I have been wanting to do a diet like this since it will help your mind and body plus hair nails & skin!! I really can't wait for the recipes I hope they will be budget friendly :)

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  9. I can't wait to follow your journey! I'd love to give this a try sometime. We also use Stevia as a sweetener!

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  10. Why do you eat a different meal than your family? If you believe what you are eating is healthy and nourishing why not serve it to your growing kids? I hope this doesn't sound rude. I am honestly just a little confused why you would do that unless you have allergies.

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  11. Love it! I'm going to be doing a challenge similar to this in April (I think) but not as detailed! (More of a sugar detox!) Can't wait to see how this goes for you!

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  12. Would love to win a washer/dryer set!!!
    Love your blog :)

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  13. I just found your site (from Karen Ehman's site) and I think it's great. I'm going to do the 40 days with you. I have tried before but failed because I just didn't plan out the meals. I'm hoping reading what you're eating will help me so I don't eat the same things over and over and get bored. Let's do this!

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  14. I am excited to see how this works for you. We generally eat pretty healthy, but we can always do a lot better. :) I think it is great you are taking on this challenge as you feel called to do, I am reminded of Paul saying he "buffets his body" Praying encouragement and strength for you!

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  15. I've been on a gluten-free diet for over a year & a half. (I'm allergic to wheat) My husband and I really try to eat healthy, organic whole foods, but have been on a tight budget the past few months. I can tell a huge difference when we had to go to foods that are processed and not organic. It has made me feel so fatigued. Today I decided I HAVE to change what I'm eating!!! So, I'm happy to make this a goal along with you!! It is very difficult also when you catch yourself hungry without a plan or healthy options. It really helps me to plan out meals and snack options sometime in the beginning of the week. That way it isn't so tough to stick to the "rules." When you go to social gatherings, perhaps you can take a healthy option for you to enjoy and also, never go hungry! Try to eat something you enjoy before you go so it isn't such a temptation to eat things that are "off-limits." I'm so excited to have your blog posts to look forward to! I know it will be tough, but like Meggan said, it is an investment in our health!!! :)

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  16. Also, Whole Foods is the BeST grocery store Ever!!! http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/ Their website has lots of information and recipes! The staff is super helpful if there is one in your city!
    Another great website is by Dr. Axe. http://www.draxe.com/ :)

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  17. i have never tried a "real food diet" personally but have been encouraged to do so by my adult children! i haven't had a real plan so thank you for posting yours! i am excited to follow your progress & plan to start "spring cleaning" my pantry so that i might join you!

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  18. Boo :( I commented on this post yesterday from my phone and it's not here now! Not to worry, I just wanted to tell you about a blog I'm subscribed to called "The Gracious Pantry". Tiffany has changed to a clean eating diet and posts her recipes daily. You should check it out, she's great!

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  19. We've been doing whole foods for a few months now and we love it. We feel great physically and don't feel bad about what we are eating.

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  20. MommiesandchickadeesJanuary 29, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    Do you think your grocery budget will go up? Do you think you'll have to cook an extra meal for yourself in addition to your family meal? Will you be tempted to eat breads if the family is eating them? Just curious! I would love to try this eating experiment!

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  21. so encouraging we really want to try this also!

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  22. I've been reading about and pondering this recently myself. I will be quite curious to see how it goes for you. Good luck with making these changes!

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  23. We have been gluten free since January 2011. Then, quickly became free of dairy, egg and soy. We are now free of nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplant), sugar, vinegar, fruit (unless it's first thing in the morning and on an empty stomach or at least three hours after eating anything else). It's tough, but we feel so much better. We're in the process of ridding our bodies of candida (yeast) overgrowth. The goal is to repopulate the gut with good bacteria (probiotics, cultured foods, etc.) and then heal our guts so we can get rid of food allergies, food intolerances, and a TON of other issues related to gut health.

    I'm really looking forward to reading about this on your blog. For your sake, I hope it goes well and you (and your family) see the benefits. For my sake, I hope you have some more ideas. My ideas are getting pretty boring!!

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  24. I'm a new reader of yours and am excited to see how this turns out! My husband and I already try to eat less processed foods than the average american, but we're not ready to take the leap into all-raw foods. I try to make as much from scratch as possible, and I find that it is so gratifying to know exactly what was put into each thing you eat! Good luck!

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  25. this is something to think about. i have a few friends that are doing something similiar that i can ask them for the website

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  26. Good for you! I think cutting out processed food is awesome - especially sugar. With the whole soda thing - you can totally do it. I'm currently following something similar to the paleo diet.

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  27. Oooh! I love when people do experiments like this! I usually eat a vegan/vegetarian meal breakfast and lunch and then whatever I'm making for the family for supper... but man! Snacking is my downfall, though. Will you have any suggestions for that?

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  28. I am also interested to see how this goes for you! In the last six months, I have made changes to make more fresh foods instead of buying processed products. It is so gratifying to provide your family with a healthy meal that you (really the Lord) created! I've tried the Ezekial bread and it is good but my husband was not on board with the new stuff.

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  29. I'm so excited you are in!! :D wohoo!! Thank you for the advice- it's good to hear from someone who has been there!

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  30. wow girlie!! that's amazing!! what do you guys normally eat now? I'd love to hear!

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  31. I have tried to go vegan, and I hope someday I can. I did it for three months before I failed. I have. To say the first two weeks were the hardest I had bad headaches, and I felt super sick. But after that my nails seemed to grow at super speed and my hair got shinier too. And my skin had a better glow. One thing I was able to cut out and keep out was the artificial sweeteners, I now hate the way they taste. Can't wait to see how well you will do, maybe it will be the inspiration I need to get back on the sadle.

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  32. I have done a whole food/no processed diet for my family of 5 for nearly 2 years now. I'd have to say the hardest part is social gatherings, parties, school, etc. where there are temptations at every turn. My kids have been absolute troopers and it has totally changed our life! I no longer have headaches and most importantly, my 2 oldest boys have much fewer asthma related problems! Now, I would never go back to putting processed foods into my family's bodies. It's worth whatever inconvenience that arises. It can be expensive, but we consider it an investment in our health. Trader Joe's is a great resource if you have one in your area. A blog I've come across "100 Days of Real Food" is also very inspiring! Good luck to you and you'll find it's contagious. Soon, your friends and family will begin making better choices! I heard one statement that I loved. "We vote with our dollars", so if we all continue to make healthier choices, maybe the food industry will start to understand we can't tolerate all of the chemicals/food dye/sugar in our diets any longer.

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  33. Mandy, take a look at Ezekiel bread and cereal as an alternative... They're the clean, natural alternative to breads and cereal.... I love the Ezekiel products... They have English muffins too...

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  34. I can't wait to see how this works for you. I will be anxiously reading each friday. Maybe I will join you. I'm curious as to how you get family by in - from those who have done this already.

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  35. At the ripe old age of 49 I think it is high time for me to get healthy. However, I'm a carb/sweet freak and don't know if I could actuall do this. I've looked at this eating plan for years but never had the guts to try it. I look forward to seeing your experience and maybe easing myself into it as well. Happy Weekend.

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  36. I am really interested to read the recipes! I have "talked" for a long time about cutting out the junk in our diets! What a challenge with picky boys! I would love to join in a healthier way of eating....

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  37. You may want to look into The Eat Clean Diet by Tosca Reno, she will give you all kinds of great ideas. Also Ezekiel Bread/products are a clean product as is Muesli if you look at the ingredients first. I'm a new clean eater myself.

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  38. I have wanted to do this same thing for my family for so long. I start out strong, but then turn into a big loser. I am excited to start again and join you. Maybe feeling like someone is with me, will help.

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  39. how exciting! just last week, i started doing this too. along with my shaklee whole food supplements and a clean diet, i cannot believe the difference already. skin, hair, energy! it's also really important to be careful what you put ON your body, too. like soaps, detergents, etc... those chemicals seep into our bloodstream storing up toxins.

    the 'diet' something i had been doing, but fell behind on, but God reminded my husband and i that we are supposed to teach good habits to our children, as our bodies are HIS temple. can't wait to see what you experience! xoxo

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  40. I'm looking forward to hearing more about this in the weeks to come. It is something that appeals to me in theory, but truly cutting sugar and all refined things, is something that I'm not quite ready to do. And my husband isn't a fan of the idea either...but I can't wait to learn more from you :)

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  41. thanks for the tips! I think I actually have that book in the office and you just reminded me! thank you!

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  42. I already eat a different meal than my family- usually just a salad or soup or chicken and veggie, so I don't think that will be hard, but the bread at a restaurant calls my name, and I usually munch a few bites of whatever I'm making for the family. I think I have no idea how much I eat of that! I'm not imagining it will go up since we buy a lot of these things anyway, and I'm cutting out more. I'm excited to do this along with you!! :D

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  43. I'm worried about the change- especially with my exercise plan, I'm going to have to make sure I eat enough carbs. I'm excited to hear you cut out the sweeteners! I think I can, I think I can! :D with God's help anyway! lol

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  44. And what's funny is, I never even think about the outside. I'm slathering on petroluem at every turn... yikes! I'm so glad we get to do this together! wohoo!

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  45. That's awesome Meggan! So encouraging to hear that you've done it! I'm thinking social gatherings will be the hardest. I love what you said about voting with your dollars- so true!!

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  46. Happy weekend to you too! I feel your pain btw! ;)

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  47. I only read 2 blogs on a daily basis: Yours and heavenlyhomemakers.com. She feeds her family of 6 whole foods and has spent a great deal of time patiently explaining their journey and posting tons of recipes! She's who encouraged me to begin the slow process of changing our eating habits. I try to switch something every week or so. No more Poptarts...I have a recipe for a homemade version! I don't think our family could make a complete change in 6-8 weeks, so don't be discouraged if it takes you longer. Which leads me to ask, are you involving the rest of your family in this change? I hope you are...little ones will adapt better than spouses and if this is all they know then it will be easier in the long run (not having to break bad eating habits in a teeneager)! And you won't be tempted to munch on their food if it's the same as what you're having. ;) I look forward to following you through this adventure!

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  48. Mandy,

    I'm 21 years old and a senior in college. I love your blog! I know I'm not your typical reader, but I'm always encouraged and inspired by your thriftiness, love for the Lord, and passion for homemaking.

    My boyfriend and I have been together for 2 years, and we've been talking a lot about marriage and how we want our home to run in the future. Just last night we were discussing how often we eat out and what we're putting in our bodies, and I was thinking about how difficult it is to order a dish that is chock-full of nutrients as opposed to calories!

    Good luck in your whole foods adventure. I'll be rooting for you from St. Louis!

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  49. Hi Mandy, Your Food on Friday series sounds awesome .... I'm really looking forward to learning a lot from your posts and incorporating what I learn into my life. I'm 54 and this is the year for me to get healthier and have it become a way of life for me. I think for me, baby steps is the way to go until ... slowly but surely ... a healthier way of eating has infiltrated my way of thinking and food choices. So many unhealthy food choices lead to inflammation in the body ... chronic and damaging. I'm excited to learn more!

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  50. A couple years back we overhauled our diet by removing artificial colors/flavors, as well as HFCS, BHT, TBHQ, and pretty much ate how you are talking. It was very hard, but so worth it. We have since added just a couple of other things back in (ie we can read all of the ingredients and they are "whole" ingredients too.) I love eating this way and we are healthier now and I love that this is a way that our family can eat for the rest of our lives.

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