I’m an all or nothing kind of girl. When I clean the closet, I have to do it all in one day. If I’m going to organize my office, I need time to do it all at once. And if I’m going to make changes to our family’s diet, I want everyone to be on board so we can change everything at once. Consequently, it’s all too overwhelming and I never even get started.
But Trina Holden wrote Your Real Food Journey for people like me. She sits right down next to us (ignoring the caffeinated drink and sugar-laced snack we’re enjoying) and gently explains how impossibly overwhelming that all or nothing approach can be. Trina doesn’t view real food as a destination, she views it as a perpetual journey. And in Your Real Food Journey she outlines 10 stops along the way, inviting you to pick a chapter, get familiar with it, and practice it until it becomes second nature–all before attempting to conquer the next item on your goal sheet.
We grow organic produce for a living. But that doesn’t mean we eat all natural all the time. Old habits die hard, and when you’re self-employed small business owners, there’s not always a lot of time to prepare the kind of meals you know you should be eating. Trina doesn’t lay on the guilt, instead she heaps out portions of grace and overflowing cups of encouragement. Your Real Food Journey shows how simple it is to make one change at a time; one little change in your diet that has the potential for great ramifications on your family’s health, energy, and even happiness.
Kefir soda was my first foray into the “real food” journey. I played with it off and on for a few years until it became a natural part of my routine and a favorite part of my diet.
Then early this year I found out I had adrenal issues(which were made worse by my caffeine and sugar consumption), as well as a host of other things exacerbated by my intake of gluten. I found myself taking so much out of my diet that I didn’t know what to replace it with. Trina’s advice has been a God-send. Protein-packed meals and high-calorie snacks are what I need right now. And her breakfast smoothie is my constant friend (sometimes making up two meals a day!).
With digestive issues being a primary concern for myself, as well as other members of our family, I decided that my next stop on #myrealfoodjourney should be fermented condiments and side dishes. I thought kimchi sounded fabulous from Trina’s description, but I decided to buy some at our local natural foods store first to make sure it was worth spending the time and effort on. It was, and I did. My first experiment with kimchi didn’t taste exactly like what I got at the store, but I’ve enjoyed it as a topping on everything from eggs to soup, and I know it’s helped with my ability to digest what I eat.
But that was just one stop on my real food journey. Your Real Food Journey introduced me to all sorts of simple steps to improve my family’s diet.
- We rarely use mayonnaise, so I decided not to go to the work of that lacto-fermented condiment when it wouldn’t last in my fridge. But I knew my son and younger daughter would eat pickles in any form, so I tried a batch of lacto-fermented pickles as a way to sneak some fermented foods into their diet. Next, I want to try Trina’s gingered carrots recipe!
- I’d already been experimenting with milk kefir (it wasn’t the gross thing I originally imagined!), and was delighted to discover that I could strain my milk kefir to get whey for lacto-fermented foods. The way Trina explains it, it’s almost too easy!
- Milk was another area in which Your Real Food Journey gently pointed out the benefits of making the less popular, more traditional choice: raw milk. My family loves the flavor, and I love the fact that they are getting all the benefits of real milk. Plus, who can resist milk with all that cream on top?
- I’m all about butter, but have had a hard time understanding and remembering which oils are safe to use in cooking and which should only be used cold. In Your Real Food Journey, Trina explained it in a way that finally made sense to me. So now I’m making kale chips with coconut oil and sauteing my green beans in butter instead of olive oil.
I’m a slow adapter, especially when it comes to changing the way I’ve always done things. And usually, I back off from new ideas because they are too overwhelming. But Your Real Food Journey is a bite sized portion of your journey to “Nourishing Traditions” you’ll be able to sustain for a lifetime. And every step of the journey will make a difference in your family’s health.
What’s one step you’ve taken on the real food journey? I’d love it if you’d comment and share!
P.S. Full disclosure laws require that I tell you that I not only received a free copy of Your Real Food Journey, but I’ve watched it grow from its conception as an idea into its birth as a book. I’ve been privileged to help brainstorm for and edit this book, and in fact, my kefir soda recipe is featured in the book. But I’m reviewing it here not because the links in this post are affiliate links (meaning I’ll get a small percentage if you use one of these links to purchase the book), but because I firmly believe in the message of the book and I’m excited for the potential it has to impact your family’s health!
Read my reviews of Trina’s other books here: