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Eat Real Food – Do Not Focus on a Specific Diet

There is so much confusion about what to eat and what we need to avoid, etc. It can really be discouraging with so much information available when searching for the perfect diet. Well, remember this… there is no such thing as a perfect diet.
 

I emphasize YOU (should make the decision) because everyone is different. There is NO one diet that benefits us all. Everyone’s makeup is different and your diet should be tailored to your body’s need, your lifestyle, etc.

The ideal/perfect diet that will benefit everyone doesn’t exist!

Because you might notice that even certain real foods cause digestive (or even other) problems for you. It’s important to listen to the feedback of your body so that you can avoid those foods until you have a better understanding of why they are causing such issues.

Yet, still I have faith in REAL FOOD and I know that eating REAL FOOD that is grown in it’s natural environment without toxic pesticides, without being genetically modified, but as God intended is best. 

I know one thing is for sure. There are so many foods within the entire REAL FOOD spectrum that anyone can find enough food to eat and enjoy to his or her full satisfaction.

The intent of this website is to help you define what REAL FOOD  is – for you. Because everyone’s body is unique and we are all at different points along our health journey. 

Only YOU can truly decide which REAL FOODS are ideal for your body at any point in time. Eventually you will figure out what does and what does not work for you. The important goal is to focus on eating REAL FOOD .

Real Food (Definition):

REAL FOOD is prepared with fresh, non-refined, preservative-free and chemical-free, whole food ingredients — and it’s best when prepared by you.

Here are some examples of real foods:

  • Fresh Fruits*
  • Fresh Vegetables*
  • Whole Grains (wheat, barley, oats, quinoa, rice: brown/red/black/wild)
  • Nuts and Seeds (Dry roasted without added oils or salt, or better yet, raw nuts and seeds)
  • Beans and Legumes (Soaked and cooked at home, or canned with no added ingredients)
  • Meats/Poultry/Eggs** (Preferably, grass-fed, pasture-raised, and roaming)
  • Fish and seafood** (Preferably wild caught and not farm raised.)

*If Frozen, chose those with only fruits/vegetables and nothing additional.

** Healthy (ideal) options for meats, poultry, fish and seafood will be your most expensive choice of real foods. Real fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts/seed are more affordable options.

Healthy Eating with Real Food

Here is a guidebook to download so you can get started with choosing REAL FOOD. Get started today to have the energy and health you desire. Even if you start by making small incremental steps, it will be well worth it. (And, please don’t forget to let us know of your progress so that we can share it with the community.)

“He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate – bringing forth food from the earth.”

Psalm 104:14

Related Podcast:

Podcast Episode 2 – What is real food and what are real drinks?

Kombucha

I have been making Kombucha for over 2 years. I believe it’s my husband’s favorite drink. If you like caffeine and carbonated drinks you should love Kombucha. Kombucha contains Saccharomyces Boulardii which is supposed to be a great probiotic strain that helps fight against Candida Overgrowth. When I did drink it…it seemed to help with the brain fog that is a result of Candida Overgrowth but unfortunately, I had to stop because I could not handle the caffeine. So instead, I take the capsule form of Saccharomyces Boulardii on occasion.

Kombucha is easy to make. I even grew my own “scoby” starter mushroom from a single bottle of store-bought Kombucha. The “scoby” is what you see floating at the top of the fermentation bottle. I use 1/2 gallon mason jars which will yield about 6 servings at 8 ounces each.

Ingredients:

  • Scoby Mushroom 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick
  • 2 cups of Kombucha (from the previous batch or purchase a bottle of original, plain Kombucha from the store
  • Tea bags to make 6 cups of black tea (black tea is best)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Mason Jar: 1/2 gallon size
  • coffee filter (preferably non-bleached) or a clean kitchen towel (lint-free!)
  • 1 rubber band or the ring of a mason jar

    Directions:

  1. Make 6 cups of tea
  2. Add 1/2 cup of sugar and stir well
  3. Allow the tea to cool to room temperature (usually I allow to cool overnight) 
  4. Add the sweetened tea to 1/2 gallon mason jar 
  5. Add 2 cups of Kombucha (this is your starter and is necessary to begin the fermentation process and prevent the batch from spoiling) 
  6. Add the scoby, use very clean hands or a plastic spoon. Don’t touch with metal utensils.
  7. Top the jar with the coffee filter (kitchen towel) and secure using a rubber band or jar ring.
  8. Place in a cabinet away from sunlight and allow to ferment for about a week. Longer if temperatures in your home are cold and shorter if your home is warm. (I suggest tasting after 5 days.)

NOTES: Once you begin making Kombucha, you will always have a scoby and Kombucha starter to begin your next batch and possibly one to share because they just keep growing and growing. If this is your first time making Kombucha, you can purchase a scoby online, get one from a friend, or grow your own. (The “grow your own” link goes to a page that says it might be impossible to grow your own using a bottle of commercial Kombucha, but the brand “Organic Raw Kombucha” usually still has enough of the mother culture to kick off a new scoby. It has worked for me every time.)

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Homemade Vegan Protein Smoothie

I have been looking into the possibility of buying a protein powder to supplement my nutrients and caloric intake. Yet, after reading the ingredients on multiple different protein powder brands, I decided to make my own.

The reason I had problems with most protein powder mixes is mostly due to my Candida Overgrowth.  I can’t have sugars, and also I need to avoid whey and most grains due to Leaky Gut (most likely caused by Candida). Also, many protein powders have added vitamins in forms that I don’t need or don’t want to ingest. I’m already taking vitamin supplements that I specifically need, so I don’t need it included in my protein smoothie.

So here is the homemade vegan protein smoothie that I came up with.

Create your own homemade vegan protein smoothie using any combination of the ingredients below.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of water (or fresh juice*)
  • 2 – 3 ice cubes
  • 1 – 2 stalks celery
  • 1 green apple, cut into quarters
  • 1 cup spinach (or kale)
  • 1 tsp Spirilina (optional)
  • 1 tsp Barley Grass (optional)
  • Other Fruit (such as bananas*)
  • 3 TBS Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein

Instructions:
  1. Add ingredients into a blender (a high speed one such as the Vitamix works nicely) in the order listed.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Notes:

Items marked with an asterisk (*) are NOT RECOMMENDED for Candida Free Diet.

Oatmeal Options

Oatmeal is my preferred breakfast food.

Note for quite some time, it was not part of my diet because it caused stomach upsets [update 10-30-2020].  BUT, now I can eat oatmeal and I have it almost daily!
It’s fast and easy to prepare and can be flavored any way you like.  I add 1/2  to 3/4 cup of rolled oats (gluten-free) and 1/8 tsp salt to 1 cup of water and allow to cook just until it starts to boil.  (You can easily double this recipe.)
Then I turn off the heat and with a little stirring, it’s done.  Oatmeal cooked in this manner will be creamy, but if you want more cream you can add almond milk.  I haven’t purchased almond milk in the store for over 5 years, I didn’t buy it often, but I don’t remember it being as creamy as the one I make on my own. You should try some homemade almond milk.
So, sometimes I have oatmeal with almond milk, raisins, and cinnamon.
Then if I want a more “fruity” version.  I add fruit (like strawberries or blueberries). Other days I put dates/raisins a little water (or almond milk), and sometimes cashews into the Vitamix and mix until smooth and creamy.

BlueberryOatmeal
Oatmeal with Blueberry Sauce

My goal is to use fresh natural sugars to sweeten my oatmeal. My daughter who likes oatmeal and totally loves blueberries thinks it’s the best-flavored oatmeal she’s ever had (much better tasting and surely better for us than any boxed version).

This basic oatmeal recipe can easily be doubled. Also, make sure to cook over low heat so it doesn’t burn.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/8 tsp salt (optional)
  • 1 cup of water
Instructions:
  1. Add all ingredients to a pot over low heat for creamy oatmeal or wait for the water to boil to keep oats separate.
  2. Stir frequently
  3. Enjoy with some recipe add-ins.

Steel Cut Oatmeal
Steel Cut Oats

These days, I also enjoy steel cut oats to switch things up even more. Note, steel cut oats take more time to cook, but they cook up quickly and easily in the InstantPot [5-minute manual setting and 3 cups of water to 1 cup of oats].

Another add-in idea:

Oatmeal and Bananas
Pumpkin seeds, cranberries, cinnamon, and a banana

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Popcorn (Stovetop)

Ingredients:
1/2       cup popcorn kernels
Possible toppings:
sea salt
turmeric
nutritional yeast
cinnamon
Directions (air popped):
1.    Pop the kernels in your air-popper, following directions for use.
2.    Melt coconut oil & drizzle it on the popped corn.
3.    Sprinkle with turmeric & salt. Enjoy!
I use a POPCO Popcorn Popper to make popcorn. I am not normally an advocate of the microwave, but when it comes to making popcorn I am. I can make oil-free popcorn easily using this popper.

Important note: I only recommend air popped or a microwave popper so that your popcorn can be prepared without oil. Oils add calories and extra fats of a type that works against the liver.

Directions (microwave popper): 

1.    Add kernels to popper (and any other desired ingredients)
2.    Cover with lid
3.    Put in microwave and press the ‘popcorn’ button (about 2 and 1/2 minutes)
4.  Eat directly from the bowl or transfer to another heat safe bowl.
    NOTES: Oil-free popcorn is ideal because oils can cause adverse reactions for those with IBS.  In fact, it’s not recommended that you eat popcorn while experiencing painful IBS symptoms, but once you get your symptoms under control, popcorn makes a good snack. Most can have up to 7 cups popped.


    Since popcorn is a grain it should be avoided while on all healing diets. Yet, popcorn is a great REAL FOOD snack when prepared at home using fresh, NON-GMO, and organic ingredients. It was the most difficult grain for me to “give up” while healing, but it was definitely worth the wait.

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    Kale Chips “Your Way”

    Potato chips are not currently in my diet because potatoes should be avoided on the GAPS, SCD and Candida Free Diets. So, when I want something crunchy other than my homemade crackers, I make kale chips. I’m saving so much money by making them on my own also.

    Additionally, I prefer to make them myself because I know exactly what I’ve put into them and I can “mix it up” based on my own preference. Ideally for best results, you should use a dehydrator – but an oven will work too.

    These are YOUR home-made Kale Chips. So many of the ingredients listed below are optional including the nuts, but they do add a special crunch when used in a recipe. Add seasonings/spices to taste and any combination that you like (keep them light, will be stronger once dehydrated) Listed below are some that I use often.
    Ingredients:
    • Dehydrator (or Oven set to it’s lowest setting. 200 degrees Celsius is the max temperature)
    • 1 bunch of washed kale, not necessary to fully dry the leaves
    • (I’ve used both “common” kale and “lacinato” kale)
    • 1/4 – 1/2 cup nuts or seeds (Most commonly used ones: Walnuts, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds. Nuts are optional, but most commercial recipes use them to create a denser crunchiness.)
    • garlic powder to taste
    • turmeric
    • cayenne pepper
    • onion powder
    • curry powder
    • 1/4 cup (yellow, orange or red) bell peppers or tomato (these add liquid to the mixture in addition to the oil)
    • salt to taste
    • nutritional yeast will give it a cheesy flavor – use about 2 TBS or even more 
    Instructions:
    1. Add everything except for kale to a blender or food processor.
    2. Taste your recipe. Remember the flavor will be a bit stronger when dehydrated.
    3. Add just enough water, if needed, to enable you to pour your flavor mixture over the washed kale – kale does not need to be dried. The water will evaporate.
    4. Massage the mixture into the kale. They might begin to look a bit wilted, but that’s OK.
    5. Spread the kale onto the dehydrator and dehydrate between 105 and 135 degrees Celsius.
    6. (At 135 degrees Celsius, the kale will be ready in 2 – 3 hours. Yet, many raw food proponents suggest keeping temperature under 115 degrees Celsius.)
    Notes:
    Here is one specific flavor combination that I enjoyed recently:
    1/4 cup walnuts + 3 TBS almond meal (mix with water to form nut butter/paste)

    Other recipe ideas:1. Nutritional yeast is really tasty with cashew nuts plus other seasonings
    2. Sunflower seeds and sesame seeds (keep whole) with coconut oil (no olive oil) plus other seasonings 3. Add Stevia for sweetness (perhaps if you are going for a B-B-Q flavor combination)

     
    ANOTHER OPTION: You can add some Kale to one of the flavor mixtures which includes nuts and spread the paste onto a baking sheet to make homemade crunchy crackers. By adding nutritional yeast and a little cayenne, you just might end up with some "Cheez-It" type snacks.

    My dehydrator is by Nesco. I purchased it from Kohl’s for about $35 (year 2012) or less when I used my Kohl’s coupon. I haven’t had the privilege of trying an Excalibur dehydrator. But this one does just fine.

    Infuse water with fruits and veggies

    Looking for an alternative to juicing? Well not really an alternative because juicers perform very specific jobs, but here is another option for getting some good nutrients. Nothing like a cool drink of water, right?

    I like to infuse my water with fruits and veggies from time to time when I feel like I need a real thirst quencher. I normally use cucumbers, but since I didn’t have any – this was my combination today.

    This combination is safe for Candida Dieters once they have passed the first 3 weeks of absolutely NO FRUIT! (Green apples and berries are allowed after 3 weeks.)

    Ingredients:

    • 2 celery sticks
    • 1/2 green apple
    • 1/4 cup blue berries
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 2 cups filtered water
    • a couple of ice cubes, or you can place into fridge to cool

    Directions:

    1. Place all ingredients into a Vita-mix or high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
    2. Filter the pulp using a strainer or a nut milk bag (what I like best).

    That’s it. Simple as can be. So when you make your “infused” water, post your comments below and let others know of what combinations you create.

    Note: You can always use the left-over pulp in your cooking, perhaps when making pancakes or muffins for instance.

    Blend your favorite fruits and vegetables together with water and strain. Below is a good combination to try.

    Ingredients
    • 2 celery sticks
    • 1/2 green apple
    • 1/4 cup blue berries
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 2 cups filtered water
    • a couple of ice cubes, or you can place into fridge to cool

    Instructions

    1. Place all ingredients into a Vita-mix or high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
    2. Filter the pulp using a strainer or a nut milk bag (what I like best).

    Notes: You can always use the left-over pulp in your cooking, perhaps when making pancakes or muffins for instance.

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    Coleslaw

    Coleslaw is a great salad option. What I like about it mostly is that it won’t get soggy like romaine, green leaf and other softer lettuces. I can season and put dressing on it, store in the fridge and have a tasty salad immediately when I’m ready to eat. It’s very flexible I like to add broccoli, dried fruits,

    apples and you can even add cooked bacon! See the recipe below for other add-in suggestions. Be creative and enjoy your REAL FOOD!

    Ingredients:
    • 3/4 cup broccoli stems
    • 2 medium carrots
    • 1 small red (or green) cabbage (or 1 1/2 – 2 cups)
    • juice of 1 whole lemon (or lime)
    • salt
    • pepper (and/or cayenne pepper)
    • 2 TBS vinegar (apple cider vinegar, preferably)
    • 2 TBS cashew butter (optional, for creamier version)
    • Fruit Add-Ins (I prefer this option in place of adding sugar. Yet, if you can tolerate honey – it would be good too.)
    • 1/2 mango
    • 1/2 green apple
    • 1/4 cup raisins
    • 1/2 cup pineapple
    • Other possible options: sunflower seeds (or other nuts/seeds), cilantro, corn

    Instructions:

    1. Mix all ingredients into a bowl and season with spices to your own tastes.
    2. Makes about 2 – 3 cups.

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    How to juice without too much pulp going to waste

    Many believe that juicing produces too much waste in the form of leftover pulp. We all know that juicing helps our bodies to feel better, so here are a few suggestions that will hopefully get you back to feeling good (even conscientiously) about the whole process.
     
    Option 1:  Put your pulp into a compost pile or compost bin.
     
    Option 2:  Add it to your baked goods, such as quick bread recipes.
     
    Option 3:  Juice green vegetables instead of root vegetables. Green vegetables leave behind less pulp.
    Green juice equals less pulp
     
    Notes: the green juice (in the photo) was a mixture of 3 large green leaves, 1 cucumber, 1 stalk celery and 1/2 green apple which only produces 1/3 cup of pulp but a full 12 ounces of juice
     
    Yes, it’s true that carrot/apple juice is a beneficial juice (used by Gerson Cancer Therapy) and also one that’s very palatable to beginners.  But, if you’ve been juicing for a while and are ready to try some great juices for body cleansing, try a glass of green juice.
     

    Zucchini Noodles and Spaghetti Sauce

    I cannot seem to get enough of zucchini noodles.

    Today I had zucchini noodles and sauce.

    Here is the recipe:  I made the sauce in the Vitamix.  I made just a few changes from the “Fresh Tomato Sauce” recipe in the Vitamix Whole Food Recipes Book. This recipe is for one serving.

    Step 1.  Place the following ingredients into the Vitamix:

    • 3 Roma tomatoes, quartered
    • 1/4 small red onion
    • 1/2 small carrot
    • 1 TBS tomato paste
    • 1/2 garlic clove
    • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
    • 1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice
    • 1 tsp RAW honey
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • dash of pepper
    • dash of smoked paprika (to spice it up a bit, optional)
    Step 2.  Process on high speed for about 3 minutes.
    Step 3.  Pour into saucepan ans simmer for 30 – 40 minutes.
    Step 4. When sauce is just about done, use Spiralizer to make noodles using 2 small to medium size zucchinis.
    Step 5.  Pour sauce over noodles and add fresh basil and parsley.

    It was a good serving size.  It looked like a lot, but it tasted so good that I finished the plate and found the serving size to be just right.

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