Monday, August 19, 2013

The Real Deal

A few years ago, I moved to my lovely city (Boston, if you don't know) with a close friend of mine. At the time she was suffering from some pretty serious and mysterious health problems and, after a lot of trial and error, began some radical changes in her diet that have helped her tremendously. 

During that time, through her extensive research, I also started to learn about the amazing changes diet alterations have brought to people with autism, chronic fatigue, lupus and other serious mental and physical ailments that do not have "cures". 

These discoveries really got me thinking about the many unknown ingredients I'm constantly putting into my body. So many of my friends, only a few decades in to the long lives we live thanks to modern medicine, are already struggling with debilitating health problems that often can't be diagnosed or resolved with pills, creams, or any other quick fix. And more often than not, it seems changes in their eating habits start to give them some relief.

And really. . . is it any wonder? I was born in the late eighties and raised in that happy, roaring decade of the 90s craving Lucky Charms, Kool Aid, and Hamburger Helper. I've been consuming man made powders, chemicals, dyes, and protein chains transformed into "food" my some incredible technologies from my earliest days. It's no surprise  my friends and I seem to have bodies that are falling apart at the seems already with this list of faux nutrients? 

I'm ashamed to say that, despite this new awareness, it took me awhile to climb fully aboard the "real food" movement. Mostly out of laziness, I think, knowing it would mean a change in much more than just what I put on my plate. I finally am making some real changes, however, and it feels exciting and great! 

 Earlier this summer, I made the commitment to start eating about 80% real food on the regular. This seemed like a realistic goal without going crazy and failing right off the bat (which would happen if I deprived myself of ice cream, lets be real). I haven't been perfect, and have certainly had weeks where I've gone of the deep end. . . but, because this is a long term lifestyle change I'm striving for, I'm sticking to it, and being gracious with myself when I fail.

My hope is that, in the next few years, my diet will contain almost no chemical preservatives or processes foods. 

I decided to blog about some of the biggest challenges I've experienced so far in making this lifestyle change, mostly because any time I mention my goals to people, I hear the same thing. Something along the lines of, "Oh, I'd really like to do that, but I don't know where to start!" It seems like we're scared of using real food! And since I dove in with the benefit of some healthy eaters going before, and sharing knowledge and resources, I want to pass it along!

I'll be blogging this week about the change in food costs I've noticed this summer but, until then, here's a new favorite recipe of mine for when I'm craving carbs. 


Whole Wheat Tortillas:
(this recipe is only very slightly altered from here)
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water

++In a stand mixer mix flour, oil, and salt until crumbly, scraping as needed. If you have a dough hook that would work, but I just use my standard paddle.
++Keep mixer running and slowly added warm water and mix until dough is smooth. At this point, I remove the dough and kneed it on the counter for a bit. If you use a dough hook, no need to knead (get it? hehe)
++Diving the dough into 12 pieces, roll each into a ball and flatten in out on a pan or board. 
++Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temp for 15 minutes to an horus
++Heat a skillet over med-high heat with a little coconut oil (or other favorite oil)
roll out the tortillas using a very small amount of whole wheat flour. I usually make mine about 8 inchesaround. 
++Transfer to the hot skillet and cook about 30-45 seconds on each side.
++Be sure to eat one when they are hot, fresh and amazing! The rest can be stored in the fridge or freezer to use later!

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