I'm a couple of months into my real food journey and some days I feel like I'm trucking along pretty good and other days I feel like I've stalled out on the side of the road. As I mentioned in this post, changing your eating habits to include more real food is not something you can just wake up one morning and decide to do and go at it 110%. It takes planning and thought (both of which I'm good at doing) and patience (which I'm not so good at having) but it just cannot be done overnight and is not the easiest thing I've ever done. Check out this article for some tips on getting yourself started in the right direction and budgeting for eating healthier and more real.
My pantry still contains some processed food from previous shopping trips and I do still use them because I don't want to be wasteful, but as they are being depleted I am buying more suitable real food options. I no longer buy the various brands of crackers that I loved, instead opting for Triscuits since they contain whole wheat and less than five ingredients (and I've even started making my own crackers). I've added coconut oil, whole wheat flour, and honey to my staples. I snack on nuts and seeds now instead of chips and cookies. I have only purchased one bag of sugar since early December and that was used to prepare treats for a banquet.
I've also started purchasing meats from Windy Hill Farm, a small family-owned farm located in New London, NC. They focus on humanely raising animals with no antibiotics or growth hormones. They offer a CSA program (where you basically invest in a share of the farm in exchange for receiving a share of the crops) or you can shop their products online and have them delivered to one of the three drop-off locations nearest you. They are also available at area farmers markets (check their website for schedules and locations.) The folks from Windy Hill were super nice when I met them for pickup and they told me that the whole chicken that I ordered had just been processed a few hours prior. How's that for fresh?? Check out their products online and make plans to stock your refrigerator and freezer with fresh eggs and meats.
Another service that I'm currently trying out is ordering organic and locally grown produce and having it delivered right to my door each week from Backyard Produce. They've got a very wide delivery range including Wilmington, Triangle, Triad, Charlotte, Fayetteville, Jacksonville, Greenville,New Bern and Richmond (check to see if you are in a delivery zone.) They offer several different levels of service and each week you shop with points that you accumulate according to your specific plan. I get a box every other week simply because it takes me awhile to eat all of what I receive, and that's one of the great things about Backyard Produce - you can put your orders on hold any time you need to. Their offerings change based on the season and availability. It's not just produce either - they have North Carolina-made products like cheese, bread, salsa, granola, etc.
Using these two services has made it much easier for me to make the change to natural, organic meats and produce because I am not tempted to shop strictly based on price for the cheaper non-organic and natural items in the grocery store. In actuality, I don't feel that I pay any more for these conveniences than I would if I were making weekly trips to the grocery store.
Stay tuned for some fun recipes using the Backyard Produce items and Windy Hill meats.