Almost a month ago, I purchased an eBook bundle. It was called "The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle." In it was a TON of resources specific to clean eating. Right now, I'm reading two of those books: "Better than a Box" by Katie Kimball and "Real Food on a Real Budget" by Stephanie Langford. Roman and I have decided we are going to try and give this clean eating thing another shot, but we are approaching it differently this time.
**Sometimes, it just is not feasible to eat *totally* clean.
In Better than a Box, Katie Kimball shows us how to take processed food recipes and reengineer them into clean foods. I’ve learned so much about cooking in general just from reading her book. She has all sorts of tips, such as what spices go best with what meats, how to do your meal planning, and the basics of baking. She also has a TON of recipes in there that she has already reengineered. I’ve tried several of them, and so far we have had 100% success.
BUT, I will say this: sometimes it just is not feasible to make everything from scratch...because she literally does make everything from scratch. Even her chicken stock is made from scratch. It’s a really long process where you boil chicken bones in a big pot for like, eight hours and you can’t leave the house and you have to be awake to watch it. So for someone like me, there is NEVER a time when I am at the house for eight hours straight (while being awake). So what did I do on the recipes that had chicken stock in them? I went out and bought chicken stock. The rest of the recipes I was able to make with “clean” ingredients, so I don’t think that one cup of chicken stock is going to kill us.
So the lesson? It is totally okay to cheat sometimes. We can’t be superheroes all the time, and sometimes we have to take some shortcuts. And that’s perfectly fine and acceptable. One reason why I think the clean eating thing didn’t work with us the last (two) times was because we were so strict on ourselves that it was exhausting and we eventually just gave up. So when/if you are looking at “clean” recipes, allow yourself to take a shortcut if you need it. Because one unhealthy ingredient in the middle of a bunch of healthy ones is a whole lot better than just giving up and ordering pizza. Just saying!
**Eating clean can be expensive, so we have to do everything possible to stay on budget.
In Real Food on a Real Budget, Stephanie Langford shows you how to eat clean on a budget. She has all sorts of good information on how to find fresh grown foods and not pay a killing for them. Although the information is great, and I have learned some things and put them into practice, it’s not quite accurate for our situation.
We live in a very small town that has one grocery store and a Wal-Mart. Unless it’s hiding somewhere, I don’t know of a Farmer’s Market that sells food grown without pesticides/chemicals. So all of her tips on going to Farmer’s Markets and such are not applicable to us, because there aren’t any in our area. If we really wanted to, we could drive an hour or so and there would be a couple of Farmer’s Markets, but the money we would pay for higher quality groceries plus the money we would spend on gas would totally break our grocery budget.
So what do we do? We buy our veggies and fruits at our local stores, wash them really well, and eat them. And our budget sighs in relief at the same time. This kind of goes along with what I said earlier, but basically the lesson here is that the point of eating clean is not to make you bankrupt, so you have to find a happy medium between grocery costs and budgeting.
We are still learning as we go. And we definitely have not been perfect with this. Last weekend we went out of town. What did we eat? Hot dogs, breakfast bars, chips, cookies, and all sorts of other things that are definitely not “clean.” But I don’t think perfection is the point. I think we are on a journey to take better care of ourselves, and we are making progress. Maybe one day I’ll be one of those wives who has time to make her own chicken stock and can her own vegetables, but that day is not today, and I’m okay with that.
Interested in the two books I’ve mentioned here? Well, I am excited to tell you that the Bundle I bought a few weeks ago will be back for the Black Friday weekend (November 29-December 2). You get 86 eBooks as well as access to other tools for only $29.97!! To see the details of what all is included and to purchase the Bundle, click here. And it's not all about clean-eating, either. Some of the topics include: Allergey-Free/Special Diets, Meal Planning, Natural Skin Care, Natural Health, Fitness, Gardening, and Healthy Kids & Babies. Seriously, go check it out. If you can find only five or six books that you are interested in reading, than it is worth it to buy the bundle and get access to all the other books as well. (Note: this is not an affiliate link, I just really enjoyed the Bundle and wanted to tell you guys about it.)
Got any questions on how Roman and I are tackling this clean eating thing? Feel free to leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them!
"She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens." ~Proverbs 31:15