Thursday, May 23, 2013

A change for the better....

Seriously? The blog is changing again?

Well yes, it is, but let me explain.

When I first started this blog about 2 years ago, it didn't really have much of a focus except that I wanted to share my love of food. The problem with this lack of focus is that at times it has been hard to think of things to blog about.

I would say that up until recently, I have been following pretty typical nutrition rules. Avoid unhealthy fats, limit salt and limit sugar. Basically where possible, buy reduced fat and reduced sugar and use things like margarine instead of butter and use oils like canola oil. When I look back, in many ways through following these rules I became a bit food phobic. I was constantly subbing out butter for margarine and I barely even touched cream....

....and then I started coming across more and more blogs and websites about real food. Have you ever looked at the ingredients on a tub of margarine?

Take for example the margarine in my fridge: Water, cream, canola oil, milk fat, vegetable oil, natural thickner (pectin, sodium alginate), salt, emulsifier (476, 471), preservative (202), flavour, acidity regulator, natural colour.

Ok so the ingredient list doesn't start off so badly, but why should margarine need added flavours and all of those number ingredients? Then I watched this video on how Canola Oil is made. To be honest I was quite shocked at the amount of processing this goes through and the fact that it needs chemical solvents to even be an oil at all.

Then I started looking at all of those other "healthy" and low fat products. Some of them have so many weird ingredients!!

It was then that I decided that I was going to say a big f*#% you to those highly processed low fat foods with all of the ingredients and focus on real, whole foods. I have started to do a lot of reading in this area and as I learn more I will let you know.

As it stands at the moment, this is how I am going to focus my eating and as a result my blog:

  • When I cook, the fats that I am going to use are butter, olive oil, coconut oil and I may even have a go with ghee (clarified butter). I will avoid highly processed things like margarine and canola oil.
  • I will still avoid refined sugars. Where possible I will use fruit to sweeten, honey, real maple syrup and stevia.
  • When buying food from the supermarket, I will only buy products where I recognise all of the ingredients on the packet. This may not always be possible, so I will choose the option with the fewest processed ingredients.
  • I am not going to go crazy. Some sites that I have read go what I consider to be quite extreme. Some avoid all grains completely (no way that is happening), while some won't eat a processed product if their lives depended on it. My goal is for an 80/20 balance of real vs. processed. If I want that chocolate biscuit with a bunch of random processed ingredients, I will eat that damn biscuit, but only occasionally.
  • Luckily for me in New Zealand our beef and milk is grass fed anyway, so I don't have to worry about this.
  • I am going to use full-fat dairy as much as I can. I am going to try using more blue top milk, but I am so used to green top that this may not work. I prefer yoghurt to milk anyway so I'm not too concerned. Also I have started using cream and it is delicious (mashed potatoes are sooo much better with a little dash of cream)
I have also moved my blog recipes to a website as well. Check it out here
  •  I will have all of my old blog recipes, as a lot of them I really like.
  • Completely Real Recipes: These will be recipes made with unprocessed ingredients and no refined sugar. I may experiment with grain free recipes etc. but the main focus is unprocessed.
  • Tempting Treats: This is my 20% side. The idea behind this section of the blog is that while they may have some processed ingredients and the majority will have some refined sugars, at least they are home made and therefore, much less processed than anything found in a packet.
  • Real Food Help: In reality, I am still learning about all of this myself, so as I go, I will post anything I learn as well as tips and tricks.

I hope that those who already read this blog won't mind the change. I promise that I will still try to post absolutely delicious recipes and as I go, you will find out how this lifestyle is affecting me. Overall, I will try to be as real about this as possible.

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