For those of you who live with food allergies, particularly multiple food allergies, you have come to realize that the best way to serve your family on the dinner table is to offer healthy and safe meals. Typically the best way to do this is to stick with the basic, naturally allergy-friendly foods. Another term for this that you may have heard is “real food.”
I am so excited about today’s post because I was recently given the opportunity to read In the Kitchen: Real Food Basics by Kate Tietje of Modern Alternative Mama. I was particularly interested in this ebook because I read/hear so much about the “real food” movement in our country. I was interested in learning a bit more about the subject than what I have gathered here and there.
I was not disappointed in the information I received from Real Food Basics. The title is true to its content. It sticks to the basics of what real food looks like, how real food tastes (with recipes), why real food is so important, and how it all comes together in a real food lifestyle. In particular, I really appreciate how Kate takes all the pages to spell out the specifics to the reader, and in the end, offers tips on how to get started down this new path (it is a very quick and easy read). She doesn’t come across as a preachy “real food” guru, but rather as someone who knows that a lifestyle change of this magnitude is a good thing and best done with babysteps.
So, here are some of the positive points that I took away from this ebook:
- Kate is very simple in her explanations of real food.
- She uses research to back up her arguments of why a real food lifestyle is paramount to good health.
- Kate is practical with her advice and understands that it’s not an easy life-style adjustment to go to a completely “real food” home. In fact, she has a page titled “Baby Steps” in order to help you make this transition.
- “I do not like corn syrup, I do not like it Sam I Am.” Real Food Basics looks at the ill-effects of corn, along with many other prominent foods, in our food supply. While living without corn in my allergy home is sometimes a pain, I mostly like being forced to eliminate it because there are very few instances in which corn is good for you.
- The Real Food recipes Kate shares are recognizable (not a bunch of weird ingredients). I always hear statements concerning our food allergy home that “we must eat really strange things” or “what do we possibly eat?”. The recipes shared in this book just go to show you that real food eaters, or food allergy eaters, don’t really eat all that different from the traditional world. We just eat basic, unprocessed, natural dishes.
Things I learned from Real Food Basics:
- My home does a lot of the real food basics already because of our food allergies. It is so important to change the way you eat, rather than just trying to substitute the same pre-packaged food with an “organic” or “natural” alternative. Often times, these pre-packaged foods aren’t any better for you than the regular variety. Changing the way you eat means changing, not substituting. (This is not to say that you don’t substitute regular recipes for ingredients that you are allowed to have, if say you have food allergies.)
- Molasses and red wine vinegar in chili? I’ve never thought of adding either of those ingredients to chili before but I definitely want to give it a try. (One of the many recipes that can be found in this ebook.)
Quotes I liked from Real Food Basics…
- “Hybridization has made it [wheat] around 92% starch and only 8% vegetable protein. This is why we’re seeing huge increases in gluten intolerance (so much more gluten in the grain) and celiac disease.” (pg.13)
- “There should not be a focus on counting calories or fat grams, but rather simply enjoying food when hungry and stopping when satiated. Ignore the food pyramid, because it doesn’t actually represent a balanced diet. And there’s simply no way that ‘one size fits all!’” (pg.14)
- “Once you have eliminated all of the junk from your diet, you will begin to notice when you really feel hungry, and when you are satisfied. Note I said “satisfied,” not ‘full.’” (pg.15)
- “You will also start to notice direct correlations between what you eat and how you feel. Certain foods will make you feel energized (true energy, not the type you get from sugar or caffeine). Certain foods will make you tired. Certain foods may give you a headache.” (pg.15)
Constructive Critique of Real Food Basics (if you can even call them critiques)…
- On baby steps #20, Kate mentions weaning yourself from the microwave. This point was never discussed in the arguments for real food throughout the book. While I have heard this issue from other sources, it needs further explanation here. (Kate has subsequent books that I have not read, so she may address this issue somewhere else.)
- There were several parts throughout the ebook where she would send you to her blog for further information on a particular subject. It would have been nice if the links to that specific subject were right there in the text.
Overall, I really enjoyed this quick, easy, and informative read. Kate has a real knack for putting the subject out there simply and with a real expectation of how people can go about making this lifestyle change (through baby steps). Now, am I going to do all the things that Kate suggests for maintaining a real food lifestyle? Probably not (Kombucha? I’m not sure about this.). Dealing with food allergies gives one quite a full plate when it comes to “lifestyle” change in the kitchen. However, I do have some new weapons with which to arm myself as I continue on our food allergy journey. (Please Note: Real Food Basics is not food allergy-specific. In fact, there are recipes that contain dairy, eggs, wheat and so on. It is, however, a good guide to get you started on a road to a “real food” basis for dealing with your food allergies.)
Do any of you struggle with getting out of the pre-packaged, processed convenience food rut? Do you have a desire to move closer to a “real food” lifestyle, but don’t know where to start? Or do you simply want some more “real food” recipes? Real Food Basics is the book for you. Would you like to have your very own copy of Kate’s ebook In the Kitchen: Real Food Basics? You can! Kate is giving away a free copy of her ebook to ONE Willing Cook reader this week. Yay!
To enter for a chance to win a copy of the ebook In the Kitchen: Real Food Basics, simply go to this Real Food Basics link and glance over the table of contents (scroll down to the middle of the page). Come back here and leave a comment below saying what recipe you would like to try or why you are interested in this ebook. One winner will be randomly drawn next Tuesday, November 8 at 9pm EST and announced on Wednesday, November 9.
If you simply can’t wait for the chance to win the ebook, you can purchase a copy thru November 12 for 25% off the cover price. Go to In the Kitchen: Real Food Basics and use coupon code COOK25.
On a similar note, I noticed on Kate’s Modern Alternative Mama blog that she has started a new series on Introducing: Real Food. Check out this new series, and while you’re at it, browse through her other ebooks as well.
I received a free copy of this ebook in return for my review. The review is my opinion and my words. Links contained herein are affiliate links.