"Gypsy gold does not chink and glitter. It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark."

~ Saying of the Gladdagh Gypsies of Galway

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Switching to a Whole Foods Diet - What I've Ditched!

As I slowly learn more and more about what us Americans consider food, I throw up in my mouth a tad, and then become horrified at what used to be in my cupboards :) I know, I lay it all out there, no holds bar!

Seriously though, it's amazing what so many people don't know. And there is so much info out there to sort through and comprehend that it can be overwhelming. So, here and there, I thought I would share some of my take-aways from this learning process in the best layman's terms possible!

First, you must understand, I have a husband who needs everything to be black and white and very convincing with a first time impression, otherwise, forget it. If you have ever read about Jessica's 'Hungry Angry Husband', I swear he must be a long lost brother to my husband! So, in short, I can't serve tofu and if it is something new & different, it has to be husband approved and not take 12 hours to cook either! Trying to change our whole diet as we knew it has been no easy task and not something we are even close to completing-- but I can tell you, my husband is coming around and he understands where I am coming from with why I am doing this. But sometimes, he just wishes there was a can of Cheese-Whiz in the cupboard, some Oreos and a Big Mac!

If anyone else is interested in making these changes, I know it is intimidating and that can keep a lot of people from trying. I wanted to share a few things that were easy no-brainers to start with!

Cooking Oils
No more Canola & Vegetable Oil in the cupboards. I only use Olive Oil (usually extra virgin) and Coconut Oil on a regular basis. There are some others for special dishes, like toasted sesame oil too, but they aren't used almost, if not, daily. This was an easy switch and quite frankly, using coconut oil for high temp cooking is great! I love it. It doesn't smoke or seem to burn things or stink! It's great! And, no more spraying cooking pans and sheets with nasty Pam...buy yourself a spritzer and pour your olive oil in it!

I never had margarine in the fridge (except for the one time I used it for a fly repellent experiment!) but if I did, it would have been one of the first too go. I just stock up on unsalted butter. Since most baking recipes call for unsalted and most dishes I can salt to my own taste, I stick with unsalted.

It is all about the full fat dairy over here so we only use Whole Milk. The closer to its natural form, the better a food is for you. Without going on too long of a tangent, drinking skim milk is basically just drinking chemical filled water. real food is a good resource for info on this. My husband is a huge milk drinker so he had no arguments with getting Whole Milk! *Note, we cannot legally purchase raw milk in Ohio so Hartlzer's is the closest to it as they use a low-pasteurized temperature processing.

I have dabbled in making my own yogurt and it's worked out well, I just need to remember to keep up with doing it. When I am out of homemade however, I no longer buy all those fancy yogurts with cake & fruit flavors. People think they are healthy, but they aren't. Read the ingredients - that will be your first clue. Plus, 'real' yogurt is chocked full of good probiotics that are good for you! I buy the large container of PLAIN yogurt, where the only ingredient listed is Grade A cultured milk. Sometimes, depending on the brand, you may see it list cultures such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus -- you wouldn't know it, but these are the GOOD bacterias that want in yogurt but that you do not get in all those fancy flavored yogurt cups. Plain yogurt does have a tang to it and if you aren't used to it, you will probably think it is gross, but I fix that by adding in some of my homemade jams and fruit butters! Cheaper and healthier for you!


Ashlee said...

I LOVE Hartzler! I wish that we drank more milk so that I could have an excuse to buy their dairy products. Even when I need milk for a recipe, I just buy the smallest container I can find at the grocery store. I know it's not the best, but I just can't allow myself to purchase $5 worth of Hartzler milk only for it to go bad just because we won't drink it. Although, I will say, their milk adds a nice flavor to home made yogurt. Very "unprocessed" tasting.

dr momi said...

Yeah to a good start!!!

Jen said...

The yogurt is on my list of things to make this year. Although my Amish farmer makes some yogurt so I think I may try his before I start one more thing to make from scratch. :)

HolleyGarden said...

I haven't tried making yogurt - very intriguing! And I had just about quit eating yogurt altogether - thanks for the smart tip about adding some jam or fruit butters to it. I have some peach butter that I made this summer, and I would have never thought about putting it in yogurt, but now I'm so excited to eat yogurt again!

Unknown said...

HolleyGarden -- That is what I am using right now is my peach butter! It is so good -- I throw in some homemade granola too ;)

Susan said...

I love making yogurt and it's easy! I applaud your dietary changes and so will your body :-)

Rachel said...

Good research Allison, thank you! I love yogurt with tangy taste to it. :)
I'm curious if you know if coconut or olive oil is interchangeable with canola oil in recipes? (or on boxed brownie mix...I know, I know, I shouldn't use box mixes at all, lol! But ghirrardelli double chocolate doesn't have any partially hydrogenated ingredients, etc...sorry I'm rambling) Just curious if those can be exchanged or if flavor is too much of a factor.

Unknown said...

Rachel - You can do Olive Oil or Coconut Oil. Depending on the recipe though, the olive oil might leave a tad of its flavor so you may want to use the Coconut Oil ;)

Wendy said...

Good for you guys!!! Hmm, I have not tried coconut oil for cooking. I think I'm going to switch to that.

Rachel said...

Ok thanks Allison! :)