Have you ever thought about food as being “real” or “not real”?
In this episode Shonda and Patryce discuss the many aspects of what real food and real drinks are. How to identify real foods from the grocery store. We also discuss some suggestions on how you might begin to make small, incremental steps to benefit your health journey and we share our health journeys with you. Let’s get empowered together to make real food choices that can benefit us all.
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Related blog article: Eat Real Food and Do Not Focus On a Specific Diet
In this episode we mentioned juicing often and that we would have a link to bottled options that you might consider purchasing. Please see “What’s bottled juice all about?” for more insight.
As an added treat, here is a link to a real food, rocky road ice cream recipe for your enjoyment.
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Healthy Eating with Real Food Guidebook
Intro with music (00:10): Hi, and hello, welcome to the real food and drinks lifestyle podcast. We're building a community to talk about nutrition, lifestyle choices, and just feeling better. This is Shonda, and this is Patryce. Let's just be real. [inaudible] Here's our disclaimer. We do not professionally practice in any of the various subjects that we discuss. We are only sharing our personal experiences with you to a healthier lifestyle. Please do your own research before taking part in any of these practices.
Shonda (00:55): So what do you want to talk about today?
Patryce (00:58): Let's talk about what is real food and what are real drinks, right.
Shonda (01:05): I think that's a good place to start.
Patryce (01:08): It's interesting how there are so many different perspectives on that opinions. What have you, um, maybe one day we can actually share some of those, but today. What, what, what do you, what do you think real food and real drinks are Shonda?
Shonda (01:26): Well, and the reason why I started blogging about it was that I was having a lot of issues with, uh, brain fog was my main thing. And so, um, I wanted to find a way to detox my body and just get into a healthy state because I had gone through a process called chelation and after the process was over, that therapy was over. ...I felt so much better. And the purpose of the therapy is to detox your body. So I wanted to learn how to detox my own body myself without the chelation process that I had gone through. I wanted to do it in a more natural way. So the idea came we're eating all these foods that have added chemicals and things that our bodies do not need, and that our bodies have to process our bodies, have to detox these chemicals and added things out of our body in order to, um, keep functioning well.
Shonda (02:33): So my goal was to limit the amount of toxins that I was eating in my food. So that's when I started saying, Hey, if I just eat real food. So my definition of real food is mostly staying away from packaged foods and, and trying to eat more, let's say out of the produce section of the grocery store. So a banana is a banana and nothing's been added to it. I try to eat as much organic produce as I can to in order to avoid, um, added, uh, pesticides and things like that. But I think when we think about real food, staying in the produce section is a really good start for creating food and drinks using those products. What do you think?
Patryce (03:27): I agree, uh, staying on the outer perimeter, starting mainly and concentrating in the produce section for your fresh vegetables, your fresh fruits is ideal. And, um, not to say that there aren't things within the inner part of the store you won't get to, but we would focus mainly on those things on the outer perimeter, in the produce section, um, for healthier eating. I totally agree. And for me, um, I think I just got to a point of wanting to eat foods like those that my grandparents raised us on or exposed us to. I mean, my grandfather had a corner garden, literally a garden that took up the corner of the street and collard greens, all these fresh vegetables. Yeah, very nice. And then my mother, well, and I just have relatives that had farms as well, but for me, just having remembered that as a child and not getting, not going out to eat much. That was a treat to eat out.
Patryce (04:35): Most of your meals were prepared and not from a box ...that they picked some of the vegetables and they may have had a protein. And there was not as many processed ingredients, even cornbread was made from all the ingredients itself, not from the box. And then when I got older, I remember straying away from that. And I think looking back mainly because of convenience, and then I remember working at McDonald's and Wendy's, these are fast food restaurants in high school. And just my own personal experience was not a pleasant one with the food that was being, I say, processed there. Um, you know, it seemed like almost instant food. And I started thinking, this is not real and everything microwave and everything out of a container. And, and then the back in the day, thankfully, they don't use the styrofoam now, but everything was then layed in a styrofoam container.
Patryce (05:33): And I just, you know, you start smelling those things when you worked there. And it was a turnoff for me to be honest. So that was in high school. I still ate a lot of that food, honestly. But then when I got into college, I attended a health fair. I met someone who was a raw foodist enthusiast. And, um, I think that really helped me begin a journey of inquiring about what are healthier food choices. And then lastly, when I became, you know, I was married and then we were expecting our first child. I worked for a company that traveled a lot, but they, I was afforded a wonderful, uh, expense account. So I was able to eat anywhere and they were paying for it. So I would eat at the whole food equivalent where I was working. And that really opened my eyes to so many different ways to eat more well, whole foods, real food, um, not completely at that time plant based, but more of a plant based diet.
Patryce (06:36): And then realizing that it made me feel better. And I felt it was so important at the time being pregnant to be feeding my child good food too. So I think that began my journey about, um, what real food is and realizing it's not always about convenient. It has to be intentional. But once it becomes intentional over time, it becomes a habit. And then you also start... For me... I realized all that food I had started to consume in high school and thought was okay. It became not even a taste tasty to me anymore because I do think you can retrain your taste buds.
Shonda (07:17): Right? Wow.
Patryce (07:19): That's pretty much how my journey started.
Shonda (07:22): I was just listening to that. And there's just so much wisdom in that you are not only feeding you, but you were feeding your child. You know, I mean, that's a great thing to consider... To know that what you're eating is going to be fed to your child. It's not just some byproduct and little chemicals and vitamins, but it's real food, you know, real, whatever you consume, your child is consuming. So that's so good. I had a total opposite experience growing up. Okay. So I grew up mostly in I, what I would call... Spent most of my time in what they call now, food deserts. You know what I remember going to the grocery store a lot with my grandmother. I don't remember produce departments. All I remember are the frozen food sections and the meat sections and like deli meat cheese, and it was American cheese.
Shonda (08:27): Okay. We're not going to go there, but you know, I don't even, I don't even remember if we, I don't, I mean, I can visualize all these other aisles in the grocery store, but I cannot visualize the produce department at all. I mean, at the most as a child, what I remember having as produce in my refrigerator would be cucumbers, grapes, plums, maybe an Apple, oranges or whatever, but there was not many vegetables at all. There were more fruits, you know, a vegetable, a vegetable salad would be lettuce, tomato, and cucumber. That was probably as far as it went. And I mean, I'm like, now, what I, the way I prepare my salads, it's like, wow, what I was missing out on as a child, the, the amazing salads that I missed out on. Um, so I'm making up for them now, does,
Patryce (09:33): I know you are Shonda,
Shonda (09:36): I love making salads.
Shonda (09:38): But so that's just, you know, totally opposite upbringing, you know? And then, I mean, I had to discover these things on my own, you know, as I grew up and I had friends that would introduce me to other foods to eat. I grew up on fast food. I mean...
Patryce (09:55): So many people do.
Shonda (09:56): Yeah. I grew up on fast food and sandwiches and cereal. So, you know, no wonder...
Patryce (10:03): I had my share of those.
Shonda (10:03): No wonder why I experienced what I did, but I'm so thankful to be where I am now to know better, to have gained knowledge. And, um, so that's what I'm hoping to share with everyone. And you were talking about how your taste buds can change. It's it's really like you're, you know, and I'm, I'm not a doctor, but I've heard many doctors say it's all about your microbiome changing. You know, it's like your gut, that changes. And so as you feed it better, it wants better. It's going to crave the foods that it needs to build a better body. It's going to want natural sugar. It's going to enjoy fruits and things like that more than sugar. And that's just been my experience and also could have something to do with the way my brain is wired. Now. It's like, no, I spent all that time eating the wrong food, feeling bad, it's time to live life and feel better. So I'm on the other side.
Patryce (11:05): That is awesome. And I love how you brought about microbiomes. I don't know as much as you, and that sounds like something we could explore another time, even further our education and understanding of it as well as our audience. But, um, and I guess the reason I brought up the taste buds is that I'm a person who honestly, I ate because it tastes good.
Shonda (11:29): Right.
New Speaker (11:29): And I ate more than I needed too many times because it just tasted good. Okay. Those spaghetti and meatball dinners or spaghetti dinners,
Shonda (11:38): I love some spaghetti.
Patryce (11:40): Oh my goodness. As a kid and back then, I actually ate cheese in high school. I mean, high school was probably the worst time for me eating wise, but you know, I, I could not resist a good real cheese sandwich and I looked back and I'm like two and three grilled cheese sandwiches and then spaghetti, what are two helpings with those? Not so good for you noodles, but that's because it all tasted good. And back then I was doing some cross country training doing athletics. So you are hungry. But if only I knew that it would be just as fulfilling to eat some other foods that were better for me. Um, wow. I would have had a jumpstart, but it is what it is. You know, we all are on a journey and I'm still on the journey.
Shonda (12:27): Yeah. We're all still on our journey for sure. But I could never eat for the taste, buds because I felt so bad after eating. I mean, I would just drop all energy. So I didn't even have the opportunity to enjoy the food. And I'm, I'm speaking more on the sugar line, cause that really would like knock me out and just mess up my brain. And you know, I want to be in control of my brain. So, you know, if I ate sugar, I would just be wiped out tired and couldn't do anything else. So, because I wanted to do something else that just never was a satisfying thing for me, you know, to eat sugar and I've never been able to enjoy sugar. Like everyone else enjoy, Oh, you know, I could see someone eating cake or pie, whatever. Oh like, Oh, this is so delicious. This is just so good. It's just like, okay, never experienced that because I know what's coming next. You know,
Patryce (13:24): That is so interesting that you brought that up because I wonder how many other people have maybe a negative reaction to what they're eating, but for whatever reason, they're not acknowledging it. They're not aware of it because now that you brought that up, I know from a young age donuts, like kids love donuts in the morning, right. Sometimes, you know, it's a treat. Someone brings you a doughnut. You get to eat in the morning. I never could because similarly to you, I just, well, for me, I just got dizzy. If I had a donut and I haven't had real food before it would go straight to my head and I'd feel dizzy and yucky. And I just didn't like that feeling. But, and so for me, I just, I could eat sugar, but I could not eat it first thing in the morning since a young child.
Patryce (14:13): So I just abstain from that. But then I realized when I got older, I used to like ice cream all lot. And there's certain brands are way good to me. But anyway, that's another story. I would indulge in a whole pint in that day and it tastes so good. But you know, I realized every day I would do that the next morning, my nose would be stuffy. And I feel like I have cotton mouth. And I just began to, I look back now and many years I just did that and I just chalked it up to, Oh, that's just how I'm going to feel. It even became my new normal, but until I started to slow down and then I, I got more information and then I started experiencing how it feels not to feel that way. Then I too, like you would abstain. And even to this day, I don't eat regular ice cream.
Patryce (15:08): I don't really eat ice cream... Once in a while. I'll indulge in a vegan ice cream. If there's a parlor ice cream parlor that has an extra good one, but I don't bring it into the house. I don't eat it. I don't, I don't desire it or crave it anymore. But I think I finally took the time to listen to my body. And that's something I've really admired about you Shonda is that I feel that you learned that earlier on. Well, maybe because you had, but you not only listened, but you actually modified your behavior as a result. So it's one thing to hear it, but then to take positive actions, that's what I've really admired about you.
Shonda (15:49): Well, thank you. Thank you so much. I don't know if we should reserve this for another podcast and probably should, but I'm just going to share this when my kids were small, I could not eat food during the day because I would not have energy to do anything with them. And I was I'd say, less active as a parent that I would have liked to be because I didn't have it together in this food area, at the time and, and I just craved more energy, but I didn't have it when they were younger. So, you know, these are just some, some reasons and things that spurred me on, like, I've got to solve this one day. I'll have grandchildren and I'll have energy for them.
Patryce (16:34): Amen. Amen. And wow, thank you for sharing that Shonda, because I'm wonder how many people out there listening on some level can can identify with something you're saying,
Shonda (16:47): Wow. Yeah.
Patryce (16:49): And maybe they can, you know.
Shonda (16:50): Yeah.
Patryce (16:51): If anyone out there you can always contact us. Number one. But mainly we want you guys to know everyone out there, anything we're touching on it's to let you know that there is hope. There is hope.
Shonda (17:04): There is definitely hope. And so someone can approach this in a number of ways. We may have someone who likes to cook. Um, and I'm one of those people. I do enjoy cooking, especially when I have time. And so I went, I, I approached this as, wow. I get to, I get to create in the kitchen. I get to, to make something else. I get to learn how to make something else and make a food that's good for me taste good. You know, when I have time, I do focus on that, but then there are some who do not cook and we need to come up with some solutions for them too. And that would be more like what I do on a normal basis is I don't have time to cook. And I'm more like a snacking person throughout the day. I may just grab a little Cole slaw I have in the, in the fridge that I mixed up really quick and easy. And then like, just pair it with the, you know, maybe some beans and some quinoa, I love quinoa. Some people do some people don't or just brown rice. And we're talking about whole grain brown rice. We're talking about whole grains. The goal of a real food is to try and eat less processed. And whole grains means not processed.
Patryce (18:29): So glad you brought up that we have different people. Every once in a different season of life. And there may be that person, like you said, who loves being in the kitchen and it's like, wow, I get to create like you described. But then there's the other person. Who's a working single mother. And she is just busy. Even if she wanted to be in the kitchen for a few hours, she doesn't have the time. So we want to be able to, uh, lend hope to all the audience members because we understand that everyone is that in different seasons of life, but there's a solution for all of us to do better. Even for that working parent, who's super busy. There, there may be more prep work, you know, prep time. You might do it that way, but there's always something you can do to, to make it a better meal for you or more real food or a healthier meal.
Shonda (19:25): Right. And you know, I think, you know, it's not like one day you eat this way and one day you eat the new way. It's, it's, it's about making progressive steps. For me, the first step was problems eating wheat. So I had to remove wheat and that, that was a level that's like, Oh, I feel better. And, and then I removed a dairy and um, these, these things helped me. Although, you know, I mean, these are real foods. I mean, you can make a real whole grain, um, wheat bread, but it's very possible, but it's just me knowing what did not work for me. But we are talking about if you're going to eat bread, uh, we recommend something like the Ezekiel breads, you know, a sprouted grain bread, or that you really are going to need to learn how to bake your own bread, to get a real in quotes bread.
Shonda (20:21): I think everyone should just start making steps, start reading those packages. You don't want high fructose corn syrup. And you'll see like in many of the tomato, well, ketchup now it says across the front, no high fructose corn syrup. And that is something that you do not want in your food. It's not real, it's not natural and removing it will help your body and help the process of healing in your body. And there are tons of lists like that. Um, I don't know where we were, can probably post this somewhere for, to share with you. So yeah, definitely. I know we need to upload this to the real food and drinks website because, um, there are a few documents there now, but we can start getting more specific in the subjects that we're talking about. So we'll make sure to do that for our listeners.
Patryce (21:20): That sounds like a great idea. And I love how you touched on reading labels. I don't know if we have time to go and we could maybe do a whole podcast, but it is yes. It's the beginning step because I have two kids in college, a freshmen and a sophomore. And my freshmen said that, you know, mom, you know, I went to the grocery store a couple of times with friends and, and I started reading labels out of the habit of doing it with you. And there were things that I still, I didn't want to buy anymore because like you pointed out reading labels is empowering. And one simple thing we can start with, like you said, Shonda, no high fructose syrup, any corn syrup, any of those, those things and anything with it, -O-S-E or things that you and I don't know what they are right away.
Shonda (22:13): If we can buy it and bring it home and put it in our kitchen, we don't need it.
Patryce (22:19): Exactly. Because some of those labels to be honest, have a lot of chemicals. And so if you wouldn't go to the store and buy the chemicals, why would you feel it's just okay to eat the chemicals in the food, just because it's out there and offered to us. So I think reading labels is the first step and empowering yourself.
Shonda (22:43): That is such a good word. I mean, to be empowered. Because lack of control or let's say when we feel like we are out of control, okay, that takes a toll on us. We want to be in control. We want to go after this idea of we know what we can do, where we can actually make a difference in, in feeling better. So that's empowering, that's, I'm in control and no one can take that away from me.
Patryce (23:13): That is so true. So I liked that. Yes. Empowering is a good word. When it comes to how we choose to eat. Can't let it go without saying another thing to notice on these labels, because the red dyes just any dye. You want to try to avoid that too. And, and that's something where my kids were in track for years and they had two coaches, their whole career, but one of them was very much about not only they do on the track, but their whole being in school and their health, their wellbeing, um, as a whole. And that's one thing he would say to these kids, even though you might drink Powerade or Gatorade, he'd say, try to go for the clearer ones. Don't go for the red dye. That is not probably the, that's not the best for you. And I know my daughter actually had reactions. She had some of all things, a birthday cake, she went to a party and it had red coloring on it for decoration, her lips swelled up. They became swollen.
Shonda (24:21): Wow. Yeah, that was the first thing that we took out too that over that I took out of their foods and I would warn them about it, you know, at school. And I did things like, uh, one of mine had an allergy to ice cream and we actually found out it was the added ingredient carrageenan, which, um, that was 14 years ago when I discovered that or more. And now we do see it on labels, no carrageenan now, but back then I had to either make her ice cream or I had to really go and search for special ice cream that did not include carrageenan that did not include the color yellow, that did not include all these things in order for her to enjoy, you know, being at school. And she, as a child, even as a child, she recognized the difference. You know, she recognized that she didn't have this negative effect, uh, after eating what everyone else was eating, the ice cream that she just, you know, she wanted to feel better too. So it was okay to bring her own ice cream, to enjoy with her friends. It was still ice cream. So, um, that was part of our life when they were younger.
Patryce (25:39): I remember that. I remember a couple of times we visited and we, we were able to benefit from that because we got some of that yummy, that delicious, homemade ice cream you would make at times. And, uh, yeah. Do you remember, and now that you mention it, we have another friend whose daughter, there only certain brands of the main line of ice creams that they can eat as well. It may be because of that same ingredient.
Shonda (26:07): Yeah. You know what I think we should do. We should do a podcast on milk and dairy. So we can go into details because there are lot more things that we can discuss other than we're able to put in our intro to real food and drinks right now.
Patryce (26:26): That's true. So I think that's definitely a must, put that on the future podcasts list. Awesome. But you know what, we've talked a lot about real food, but let's not leave out and real drinks and people might wonder, well, what is that? I may drink is a drink. Well, actually not all drinks are created equal. Would you say they are?
Shonda (26:49): No? I mean, well, just like we were talking about the Gatorades and the Powerades with their colors and things, uh, there are many other options to choose and you know, like in the summer, and then my, I think most of my 21 year old enjoys this, when I do this, I have this picture with a filter and we can just stuff it with fruits and it flavors the water. And sometimes we drop uh steveia in there or honey or something, just a light sweetness. I mean, not much in those, those same. Yeah. They drink a Powerade and Gatorade the say for electrolytes, well, the same thing happens when we just soaked the fruit in the water. Fruit is full of electrolytes. So eating the fruit or drinking, you know, part of this essence has the same effect. And so that's a light drink. And even to go further, I don't think I would have been able to successfully get through what I got through years past without juicing fruits and vegetables. So that's my passion because vegetable juice, I mean, once you drink it, it's within ...all those nutrients or within your body in like 15 minutes, it's really uplifting. It's really energizing. And I, we'll go, we'll have to do another podcast on that too. And I guess the last one would be uh smoothies. What's your experience with smoothies?
Patryce (28:30): Yeah. Well, my kids love him. I have my experiences that they're awesome. And uh, you know, people have different preferences and of course, people want some fruit in the smoothie, nothing wrong with that, but you don't want to make all your smoothies only with fruit. It's great to expand what you're putting in your smoothies. For example, you might have your bananas and maybe some blueberries, but also putting that kale and spinach in it is yummy. And then also instead of just ice or water, um, a lot of times the kids will put either almond milk or whatever nondairy milk. But I knew when they ran a lot, speaking of hydration and electrolyte potassium, they used a lot of coconut water. Coconut water is an awesome drink as well. I know a lot of people, we can't forget the fact that water is key too. We need to all drink good water and ample water to keep ourselves hydrated. But I know that can be a challenge for some people for different reasons. They may just not drink enough or they don't like the taste of water. So ...
Shonda (29:42): You can add lemon to water.
Patryce (29:44): True. You can add lemon and they're always telling you get those sports drinks in them. Okay. Well, there's a reason why you need to do that, but it can be the water. It can be water with lemon or infused with other fruits and it could be coconut water. All those things
Patryce (30:02): Would be great because you want to keep yourself hydrated and like, and like you said, Shonda juuicing is awesome, but I am one of those people. And then we can talk about that later for, for some of us I'm speaking for my own personal experience, juicing, I did not take to it as well as you did. I have to be honest.
Shonda (30:24): You probably didn't need it as much as I did.
Patryce (30:28): Well, I also found it labor intensive.
Shonda (30:32): Right.
Patryce (30:34): And I wasn't sure of the cost, but we can talk about things in more detail. I'd love to hear, you know, we could do another podcast about juicing, but I do know there are people out there. Um, similarly to me, where there'll be like, well, I don't have time to juice. Because it does take time. And then you're wondering how much it costs. So ideally I think making juice, and even if it's, I don't know how many ounces you make a day, but maybe realizing that you're not going to have to need 16 ounces of juice per person. Right.
Shonda (31:10): Exactly. Yeah.
Patryce (31:12): Yeah. It's not the same need as when you go to the store and you grab the bottle. So when you juice, and those are things that you could probably guide us in a lot better,
Shonda (31:21): I look forward to it.
Patryce (31:23): Yeah. And there are options for those who are very busy and you still want the benefits, but you can't do it exclusively yourself. I have to put in my plug for the Trader Joe's carrot juice. That's just one option to help you maybe start towards juicing. If you're not able to do it, you may not have a juicer right now, or you don't have that time. There's still ways to start benefiting from juice.
Shonda (31:53): Yeah, definitely. And so we'll have to post some of the products that, you know, or those we would still consider real food and, and, uh, something that we can do if we can't do our at home, um, processes of creating these drinks. So definitely. Yeah. So just remember to read those labels and make sure that they include fresh food in those drinks. That's key.
Shonda (32:24): So there we have it, what our ideas are, for real food and drinks. Uh, if you'd like to share with us. There's a link on anchor where you can send us your recordings, and we'd like to hear from you.
Patryce (32:40): That would be awesome... To hear from as many of you that we can... So that we, as a community can learn and grow together.
Patryce (32:50): Until next time. Remember be real.
Shonds (32:55): Let's be real. Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoyed today's podcast. Remember you can catch show notes and additional details at realfoodanddrinks.com under the podcast menu. Also subscribe to our podcast if you aren't already a member of our community. And if listening through anchor, please send us a message of topics you would like to hear us have conversations about until next time. Let's just be real.
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