Good, Better, Best

Maybe you’re like me. I like to do things well. I mean, I really like to do things well. Some might say I’m a bit of a perfectionist. And it’s EXHAUSTING.

In fact, it has paralyzed me at times. When my youngest was a newborn, and I was overwhelmed with constant nursing, sleep deprivation, jumping to being a 2-kid family, etc., my house got filthy (well, filthy for me). It wasn’t that I didn’t have a few minutes here and there to clean, it was that I didn’t have enough time to do it perfectly. So I was paralyzed – prevented from doing anything.

Sometimes the journey to Real Food is like that. Sometimes it’s easy to think, “Well, I don’t have time to mill my own grain, or tend my own garden, or make everything from scratch, so forget it all.” Or sometimes you have the will and availability to do those things, but the changes seem so overwhelming (I’ll have to throw out everything in my pantry and never eat my favorite snacks!) that we’re defeated before we begin. And sometimes – this is where I live – our desire to do everything perfectly, all at once, makes us bite off way more than we could possibly chew (and leaves even the most supportive of families’ heads spinning).

Just like we know that with newborns, any breastmilk they receive impacts them for the better, any incorporation of Real Food into your family’s diet affects their health for the better. It’s important to remember that there are many shades of gray between terrible and perfect food.

Here’s an example:
*Terrible sandwich: White store-bought bread, Hellman’s mayonnaise, deli ham & Kraft-singles processed cheese
**Better sandwich: Whole-grain store-bought bread, organic mayo, nitrate-free ham, real cheddar cheese
***Still better sandwich: Sprouted whole-grain store-bought bread, mayo made with safflower oil (like Hain brand), organic ham, organic cheddar cheese
****Very good sandwich: Homemade soaked or sprouted whole-grain bread, homemade mayo from pastured, free-range organic eggs, ham from a forested pig from a sustainable farm, raw organic cheddar cheese

Another example:
*White pasta with jarred Ragu meat sauce
**Whole grain pasta with jarred Francesco Rinaldi meat sauce (no High Fructose Corn Syrup)
***Organic whole grain pasta with jarred organic meat sauce
***Organic whole grain pasta with jarred organic sauce, with organic, grass fed ground beef added
****Organic brown rice pasta with homemade pasta sauce (from canned organic tomatoes), with organic, grass fed ground beef added
*****Organic brown rice pasta with homemade pasta sauce from fresh, local tomatoes, with local, organic, grass fed pastured ground feed added

And so on. Get the idea?

Start with good. Move to better. It will probably be painless. But any good change is… well, a good change. And this blog is a great place to start. I don’t have all the answers, but I can tell you what works for our family, what I’ve figured out so far, and I can point you toward some excellent resources. So here’s to your good health, better health, and eventually best health!

Coming the Week of 11.8.10: A review of Kate Tietje’s e-book In the Kitchen: Real Food Basics, including a sneak peek at some of her recipes and a chance to win it for free! You don’t want to miss it!


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