By: Tamrah Jo Ortiz
In an attempt to find ways to help my dad in his battle with cancer, I fell down the rabbit’s hole of nutrition, organic eating, shopping locally and the sustainable lifestyle. And I, in my usual mode of patience and caution (cough, cough) moved my family over to Real Food in one month. I spent every penny of my monthly grocery budget ($400 for a family of 4) on the organically grown/harvested/low or no processed items I needed to provide us with nutrient-rich, healthy food. I had put myself in the position of ‘sink or swim’ – this is also known in the poker world as being “all in” and let the chips fall where they may… I was “all in.”
That first month was a nightmare! 14 hour days in the kitchen became the norm as I sprouted grains to dry and grind for flour, made deep bone broths for the base of all my own sauces, soups and gravies, struggled to find the perfect recipe to turn my sprouted wheat flour into palatable pasta my family would eat and struggling to lift the 22 quart stock pot full of chicken rice soup from the stove to the counter to cool.
My shelves and counters were covered with jars of beans, legumes and grains in different stages of soaking/sprouting. The refrigerator held pans of potatoes and rice, soaking to remove the excess starch, for easier digestion.
But I did it. I persevered and at the end of 4 months, I could name off at least a dozen benefits/changes I could see if my everyday life – gone were the night sweats that had haunted me since my hysterectomy. The muscle soreness and joint stiffness and low grade fevers I had struggled with for years were a thing of the past. I had lost over 50 pounds without counting calories, hiring a personal trainer or depriving myself of sweets, carbohydrates, sugar or fats.
Would I encourage you to do what I did? Nope, at least not the way I did it. Especially not if you work full-time. It would be just too much.
So, in the hopes of enticing you to get you and your family back to real food, I’ll be sharing with you transitioning steps to take you through the process gradually, without the stress, tears and heartache I went through. In the coming months we’ll move from making simple changes in our buying choices to learning how to ‘cook from scratch’ without spending all day, every day in the kitchen.