One thing that I strongly believe in, is eating “real food”. By real food, I mean food like milk, meat, eggs, vegetables, and whole grains. While each of these different foods would need a post explaining why I think each is a healthy, nourishing food to eat, I want to give just an overarching principle I have towards my eating habits.
I eat real food.
It’s that simple. I truly believe that having a breakfast of scrambled eggs, buttered, sourdough whole grain toast, and a big glass of pastured milk is a healthy breakfast. I believe that a dinner of roast beef and gravy, with veggies, potatoes, and a salad, is also a very healthy dinner. I believe that a lunch of raw cheddar cheese, homemade sauerkraut, and sourdough bread is another easy and fast healthy lunch. It’s real food. It’s good food and it’s good for you.
But there are things that get in the way of eating real food. Like allergies, or food intolerances. Liver problems might make eating healthy fats hard, yeast problems might cut out healthy fruits, grains, and other more sugar forming food from your diet. Sometimes different health problems do dictate different diets.
Personally, I have recently been tested for a milk intolerance. The test came back showing that I had a hard time digesting milk (it’s not an allergy, just something that is suppressing my immune system). I couldn’t believe it. Milk has been a staple since I starting eating solids. While I may not be off of milk for the rest of my life (after I have been off of it for a few more weeks, I will test myself and see how my body reacts to it), I, at the very least, will have to be careful about how much dairy I consume.
But when I was faced with not eating dairy, I had to decide how I was going to eat. My “eat real food” principles were starting to crumble when I saw all of the fake cheese, milk, butter, and sour cream before my eyes. But I realized that these products were just imitating something I wanted. It wasn’t the real thing. The reason I wanted rice cheese was not because it’s a natural process to make rice into cheese that people have been eating for thousands of years. I wanted the rice cheese because it was reminding me of real cheese, and that’s what I really wanted. Besides that, many of these products still had dairy products in them! The other half were made from soy. While I do eat traditional fermented soy products, I am not convinced that other soy products are good for your health.
So what’s a girl to do? I have started trying to learn from cultures that have not traditionally leaned on dairy for their daily substance. So far the biggest boon, has been learning to appreciate coconut milk and miso soup more. While I am not against rice milk (it is a “real food”), it really doesn’t even compare nutritionally with real milk. Learning how to replace all of the calcium, magnesium, protein, and other important nutrients in milk has been a challenge. I am definitely still learning and it’s a process.
But I do know this. I want to keep my commitment to real food as much as possible. Although I may have “real” food issues, I want to eat real food, and not settle for real food imitations.