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by Erin Odom, Contributing Writer
But it can be to my detriment. Why? When you think everything has to be all or nothing, you can burn out easily. And when you realize you really cannot do it all, frustration sets in.
Making the switch from the Standard American Diet to a real-food lifestyle is no different. If you go at it full force, you may burn out, give up and frustrate yourself.
If you’re new to this whole real-food thing, sit back, relax, and take things slowly. (I started all this more than 3 years ago, and it’s been one baby step after another. And there are still many aspects of the real foods lifestyle that my family cannot attain.)
So if you’re an all-or-nothing person like me, how do you avoid that during your switch to the real foods lifestyle?
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5 Tips for Easing Into Real Food
1. Start Slowly
If, up until now, your meals have consisted of frozen processed meats, canned creamed soups and sides of boxed mac ‘n cheese, don’t expect to go straight to raising your own chickens, milking your own cows and making your own pasta from scratch. Doing so would be like setting yourself up for failure. Instead, start out with baby steps. Quit buying processed meats, attempt at making your own soups–with store-bought milk–and use real cheese and whole wheat or rice pasta to make your own mac ‘n cheese.
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2. Get a Real Foods Buddy
If none of your friends or family eat real foods, you may be in for an uphill battle. Seek out a friend who wants to make the switch with you–or, better yet, is a few steps ahead of you and can mentor you along. Your friend doesn’t have to be in person. I have gotten to know some great real food friends through blogging that have been a great encouragement to me.
3. Take an Online Real Foods Ecourse
GNOWFGLINS is a blog and e-course that teaches real foodies one step at a time. Some of the courses are even free!
4. Read Real Food Books and Cookbooks
…and choose one new recipe or step to take each week
I’m currently going through Stephanie Langford’s Healthy Homemaking: One Step at a Time eBook. In fact, I decided I wanted the accountability, so I’m also leading a Facebook group to keep me accountable in accomplishing the steps in the book that I haven’t yet achieved.
5. Trust God to Provide
Part of my frustration has come when I realize my family truly cannot afford to go 100% “real” right now. My state outlaws the sale of raw milk to humans. Sure, I can drive an hour to the state line to get some, but I’d have to pay for gas (and we all know how cheap gas is these days!) and $7 per gallon on top of that. That’s just not in our budget right now. I’ve heard over and over from others, “We cannot afford NOT to invest that in our health.” But here’s the thing, some of us (me included) don’t have the money to invest. If you don’t have it, you just don’t. Trust God that He knows your needs and will supply exactly that.
So, go ahead, dive into the real foods lifestyle–just don’t dive head first! 🙂