Thursday, March 26, 2015

Let's Get Real Friday Party #83

Woot! Woot! Let's get this Friday started. Let's Get Real is all about Healthy Living. That's right! It's all about Real Food, fitness, health and wellness, and home life tips and tricks from Real people. That's you! Grab a cup of coffee (or other preferred beverage ). Relax into a comfy spot and take some time to get to know the great folks that link up here.

Let's Get Real Linky Party
 
 
** Special Note:  If you are a blogger looking for an active sharing group, we have the group for you.  Follow this link to the Let's Get Real Facebook group.
 
 
Hosts of Let's Get Real
 
Nicole: Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google +/Instagram
Nicky:Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+
Gaye:Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+
Heather:Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Google+

** If you are interested in co-hosting Let's Get Real with us, we would love to have you. Please email Christina at:jugglingrealfoodandreallife@gmail.com. It's super easy to host and a whole lot of fun.


I'm not big on rules (since this is what I do for fun), but I do have a couple of guidelines.
 

1. Follow all your hosts. We follow back! Leave a comment for us on the post and we will know you are a new follower.
2. Please don't link and run! Follow and comment on at least 3 other blogs. The more effort you put into getting to know everyone, the more you will get in return. Everyone is here to get more readers and traffic to their blogs so let's show them some love!
3. Let people know where you party! Add our party badge or link back to the party on your blog or post.

http://www.jugglingrealfoodandreallife.com
 

We will be pinning our favorites!!

My Let's Get Real Featured blogger this week is:
(Drum Roll Please!)

 
 
With Easter coming, we are really going to need to know how to make perfect hard boiled eggs.  It's also nice to have this technique down because hard boiled eggs are perfect for breakfast, lunches, and snacks on the go.

 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Confessions of a Real Food Journey - There is an Evolution

I feel like I've been misleading you about our real food journey.  I've never talked about the struggles of a real food journey beyond the first year.  I've never discussed the evolution of a real food journey. Each year has been different for us.  My family is in the third year of our real food journey.  We started our journey with just about the worst eating habits you could think of.  We often ate fast food three times a day, rarely saw a vegetable, and made a decision to buy our house with a small kitchen because well........"We really only need a microwave anyway."  Yes, I still cook in that tiny kitchen.  You would laugh if you saw the World Headquarters of Juggling Real Food and Real Life.  It's that tiny. 


Real Food
 
Before I go any farther, I want you to know that this post was inspired by Heather over at Frugal Fit Family.  She turned back the curtain on her real life and I realized that I have been wanting to write this post for quite some time.  She has given me the strength to bare my soul to all of you. 
 
Is that dramatic enough for you?? Now for the evolution of my family's real food journey. 
 
Year 1:  I was super excited to get started on the journey.  I had a lot of years of bad eating behind me, but I had made a decision that I knew would change our life.  I researched nutrition, healthy recipes, and cooking techniques on a constant basis.  I was obsessed.  I couldn't get enough information fast enough.  I read every single ingredient label before I made a purchase. My research was rewarding.  I learned about that funny word quinoa, how to soak beans, and the crazy world of fermented vegetables.  The kids turned into constant food critics.  They felt it very important to tell me what they did and did not like.  They critiqued everything about our meals, including specific spices and ingredients.  Boy did I get an earful.  I have never been known for my domestic skills.  Come on.........."I'm doing the best I can here," I thought on more than one occasion.  We ate real food at least 90% of the time...maybe more.
 
 
Year 2: Things got easier.  I still researched food on a regular basis, but I had some favorite go-to brands so the time at the grocery store was reduced.  I discovered my elementary school daughter preferred to eat a flexitarian diet.  She will eat some meat, but she prefers to only eat meat a few times a week.  Out of this desire a new set of challenges were created.  I researched more about plant based proteins and packed even more cheese in her lunches.  With each meal I planned that would make my daughter happy, the boys declared that they were carnivores and needed meat to survive. Oh boy!  This was going to be fun.  My husband reviewed our food budget and realized that I was spending more and more money on food.  I decided that I probably should be more frugal.  I also discovered a new "little voice in my head".  It kept reminding me that little cheats here and there would be OK.  After all, it's what we eat most of the time that matters and not what we eat once in a while for a special treat. We ate real food about 80% of the time.
  
 
 
Year 3:  We have really settled into a groove now.  We have our favorite quick dishes.  The kids are now familiar with what I cook and we have a well-established "new normal".  Rather than being embarrassed about the different foods that their mom cooks, they embrace the real food lifestyle and sometimes even show it off a bit.  I still research food on a regular basis, but the obsession has faded.  My husband now enjoys conversations with me about things other than food.  OK...since it's confession time...........the conversations are now usually about blogging, but at least it's not food all of the time.  That's progress, right?  I'm starting to worry that the "little voice in my head" is winning more than it should.  I am pretty excited that my chopping skills are getting better and quicker.  My husband really pitches in and we share shopping and cooking duties.  That has turned out to be a huge help so that we don't have to eat dinner at 9:00 every night.  8:00 is really late enough.  We are probably eating real food about 78% of the time.
 
 
 
My goal is to be eating real food at least 80% of the time.  We need to get excited about it again.  I think the secret to a successful real food journey for us is a combination of excitement and knowledge.....and maybe a healthy bit of fear.  Wish us luck!
 
Have you started your real food journey yet?  Did you experience an evolution?  What keeps you excited about eating real food?
 
If you are looking for help in making the transition to eating more real food, you should check out the Real Food Experience posts. You can get get started at the beginning or jump around the challenges. You can find a complete round-up of the program here. Each week's challenge is full of terrific advice to help you transition from fast and processed food to a real food diet. Changes that will help you to live a healthy lifestyle and have the energy to keep up with your busy schedule. I would also love for you to join me on social media. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on a regular basis. Leave me a comment and let me know you are there. I love to visit with my readers. Yes, I'm a real person. 
 

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Let's Get Real Friday Party # 82

Woot! Woot! Let's get this Friday started. Let's Get Real is all about Healthy Living. That's right! It's all about Real Food, fitness, health and wellness, and home life tips and tricks from Real people. That's you! Grab a cup of coffee (or other preferred beverage ). Relax into a comfy spot and take some time to get to know the great folks that link up here.

 
 Meet Our Hosts
 

Nicole: Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google +/Instagram
Nicky:Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+
Gaye:Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+
Heather:Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Google+

** If you are interested in co-hosting Let's Get Real with us, we would love to have you. Please email Christina at:jugglingrealfoodandreallife@gmail.com. It's super easy to host and a whole lot of fun.


I'm not big on rules (since this is what I do for fun), but I do have a couple of guidelines.

 
 


1. Follow all your hosts. We follow back! Leave a comment for us on the post and we will know you are a new follower.
2. Please don't link and run! Follow and comment on at least 3 other blogs. The more effort you put into getting to know everyone, the more you will get in return. Everyone is here to get more readers and traffic to their blogs so let's show them some love!
3. Let people know where you party! Add our party badge or link back to the party on your blog or post.

http://www.jugglingrealfoodandreallife.com

We will be pinning our favorites!!

My Let's Get Real Featured blogger this week is:
(Drum Roll Please!)
 
 
Every once in a while, I really get in the mood for stuffed cabbage, but it's always with a tomato sauce.  I love this recipe from Simple Living and Eating which includes a cream sauce.  Such a beautiful dish!
 
 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

10 (or so) Non-Candy Easter Basket Gifts.............Your Kids Will Love!

Candy. Candy. Candy.  It's everywhere. What is a real food eating family to do at Easter?  I like to keep it real here and be transparent about our real life.  I'm not saying that we never eat candy.  Sure, we do.  My kids eat plenty of candy.  What I try to avoid is candy and sugar overload.  I don't like that crazy look they get in their eyes when they eat too much candy and I certainly don't like dealing with the nasty stomach ache my youngest gets when he eats too much sugar.  Sure, he loves sweets, but that doesn't mean that sweets love him.  
 
 
non-Candy Easter Basket Gifts

I've been helping the Easter bunny to prepare reduced candy Easter baskets for years now and I've found some things that the kids really like.  This year, I thought I would reach out to my Facebook community and ask for some new ideas.  You see......there is a real person on the other side of those questions.  And you guys are great!  You came up with some fantastic ideas that I will use this year.  Since they were such great ideas, I thought I would share them here for everyone to see.  The following list is a combination of my tried and trued ideas and ideas from some of the nicest folks I know on Facebook

But first a few more tips............

I usually include a few pieces of candy in my kids' Easter baskets.  However, I have reduced the sizes of everything and look for healthier alternatives.  I certainly don't go crazy and stuff their baskets with lots of artificial colors.  Good quality chocolate is the route I like to go.  I then combine it with several non-candy goodies and they love it! 

We really enjoy our Easter morning together gathered around our Easter baskets.  I snap some pictures while the kids looks for the hidden eggs and then we eat our hard-boiled (Yep, that's real food) Easter eggs.  Then, it's off to church to enjoy the real meaning of the holiday. 

Get rid of your mommy guilt!  I promise you that your kids will love their non-candy or reduced-candy Easter basket just as much (and maybe more) than that huge candy basket that television tells us we should be giving our kids.

Non-Candy Easter Gifts

1.  Stickers

2.  "Clutter free" gifts like tickets for movies, sporting events, season passes to a museum or zoo.

3.  Outside toys like a sand bucket and shovel, ball, and bubbles

4.  Sidewalk chalk

5.  Coloring books

6.  Art supplies like crayons, markers, paint, and paper.

7.  Stuffed animals

8.  Books

9.  T-Shirts, Hats, Sunglasses, Flip Flops

10. Small gardening supplies like clay pots, seeds, gardening gloves, and a small watering can

Let's keep building the list.  What are your favorite non-candy Easter basket gifts?  Have you noticed a change in what the kids want over the years?  Tell me about some of your favorite Easter traditions.

If you are looking for help in making the transition to eating more real food, you should check out the Real Food Experience posts.  You can get get started at the beginning or jump around the challenges. You can find a complete round-up of the program here. Each week's challenge is full of terrific advice to help you transition from fast and processed food to a real food diet. Changes that will help you to live a healthy lifestyle and have the energy to keep up with your busy schedule. I would also love for you to join me on social media. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on a regular basis. Leave me a comment and let me know you are there. I love to visit with my readers. Yes, I'm a real person. 

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