Becoming a Real Foodie {It’s a journey, not a destination}

the step-by-step approach to becoming a real foodie

Are you a Real Foodie? A Crunchy Mamma? A Whole Food Enthusiast?

Maybe you feel those titles don’t apply to you. You think you have to have some level of expertise or years of success before earning the Real Food Connoisseur Badge.

It’s not like that!

Well, I’m here to tell you there’s no such thing as ‘arriving’. Like so many other things, incorporating real food into your lifestyle is a journey, not a destination. And we’re all in this together–those who eat all organic (I’m not there yet, I readily admit) to those who have just started reading labels to figure out the real food from the fake. From the sourdough expert (again, not me!) to the gal who just made pancakes for the first time from scratch, we all have more to learn, as well as something to share.

So, let’s quit feeling like we’re not crunchy enough to call ourselves “Real Foodies” and embrace the journey together.ย 

The Step-by-Step Approach To Becoming a Real Foodie

the step-by-step approach to becoming a real foodie

Continuing with the them of ‘it’s a journey’, I want to encourage you today with what is my Top Tip for the Real Food Journey, one I pass out to every friend who asks me for a recipe, or calls me overwhelmed at all they feel they need to learn and apply right now.

Just like a journey, you don’t arrive all at once. Each day is part of the process. You can embrace and enjoy the process of learning real food, and the way to do that is to take it one recipe, one technique at a time.

My #1 Tip: Learn one new recipe, food source, or preparation technique at a time, and don’t add another until that one becomes routine.ย 

This means you shouldn’t try to master yogurt and sourdough the same week. Make yogurt until it becomes as brain-less a task as throwing a load of laundry in your washer (which, hopefully, you’ve got down!). Only when you can practically do it in your sleep should you move on.

Another example of this principle:

Let’s say this is the week you finally found a source for raw milk. Tuesday is pick-up day, and you don’t remember until 4pm! You throw everybody in the car and race to the farm, hoping you haven’t inconvenienced the dear farmer’s wife with your tardiness. Next week, you plan it in the schedule (using a reminder app on your phone, maybe?) and you get there and get your milk with no sweat. Week after, something comes up and you completely. forget. to. get. milk. at. all. Whoops! But within a few more weeks, you’ve made it a habit.

Only then should you consider signing up for a weekly batch of vegetables from your local CSA, mkay? ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you don’t take the step-by-step, ‘it’s a journey’ approach, you can get overwhelmed and stressed and literally burn out and give up on real food altogether within a month. It’s better to make gradual progress with small changes that stick than trying to do everything in one week! (<–Tweet that)

With that gentle reminder in mind, it’s time to figure out where we are on the journey. Tomorrow we’ll run through a list of real food basics in order of priority so you can figure out what your next step might be.

  • Have you ever done the crash-and-burn thing with a new skill? Too much, too fast?
  • What’s one real food recipe or technique you have down pat?
  • What do you hope I’ll cover in this series? (I have a few slots open still for post ideas!)

See you in the comments!

This post is Part One in a 31 Day Series–find all posts from this series here as they become live here–>Your Real Food Journey.ย  Tomorrow I’m gonna help you find your starting place.

21 responses to “Becoming a Real Foodie {It’s a journey, not a destination}”

  1. Olena Avatar

    What if I floss and brush my teeth after oil pulling? Should I do it only in the morning or before bed also? And one more question, what is your opinion on the fluoride that the dentists put on teeth every checkup?

    1. Trina Avatar

      Olena, you can find answers to all the frequently asked questions I’ve had on oil pulling in this post…

      I believe that fluoride does more harm than good. You have the choice to opt out of it at your check up.

  2. Patricia Perry Avatar
    Patricia Perry

    Any suggestions on seasonings? One of my challenges is keeping the foods I do make consistent….

    1. Trina Avatar

      Patricia, I make a taco seasoning mix, as well as a fajita seasoning mix so I can quickly recreate our favorite dinners. Both recipes are in my cook book, real fast food. Does that answer your question?

      1. Patricia Perry Avatar
        Patricia Perry

        It does to some extent but for example when I make Spanish Rice I use the powdered chicken bouillon. How do I know if that messes up the whole philosophy of no preservatives? Checking labels I’m sure is logical but not sure what I am looking for but at the same time recreating it and keeping with the philosophy… I don’t use a great deal of different seasonings but there are a couple I would have to recreate I am thinking… We are really picky too!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. jennifer Avatar

    Thank you for writing on this , I have been exploring the “real food” for over a year and still need a lot of help. The tips remind me I don’t have to conquer the world in one day. I appreciate your perspective, and look forward to following along in the next 31 days.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Jennifer, I’m so glad you’ve joined me here for the month!

  4. Shannon @ GrowingSlower Avatar

    It is so easy to get overwhelmed by trying to do everything perfectly when it comes to Real Food, especially in the busy seasons of life! Two years into our real food journey, I can say that it is the baby steps that add up to the biggest difference in how we eat now. We now consistently make our own yogurt because it’s sooo easy. Baking my own bread is something I’d like to add, but it seems more time consuming and complicated.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Shannon, bread is a little more involved than yogurt. I admit that in certain seasons, I don’t get bread made. We’ve been home from our summer on the road for a month now, and only last week got back on the bread baking wagon. But it’s so much yummier than the store bought (plus more nutritious!) so I’m grateful when I get it back into the routine.

  5. Claire @ Lemon Jelly Cake Avatar

    I’d love to hear any advice you have about vegetables. How to cook them, how to get your husband and your toddler to eat them, etc. Getting a “real” dinner on the table every night is something I’ve got down more or less, but it’s usually completely lacking in vegetables. It’s definitely the first thing I’d like to change about how we eat!

    It’s a small thing, but I’ve been cooking eggs nearly every morning for Wendy and myself since I got pregnant. It started as a way to combat the morning sickness, but now the habit is kind of stuck and I get way more energy from the eggs than from a bowl of cereal. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Trina Avatar

      ooh, veggies! great question. I’ll get on that. I feel like just in the last year did I get the hang of loving veggies and getting them into my day more often. I’ll have to figure out a post on that. But until then, I give you one word: Butter. drenched in butter, almost any veggie becomes delectable, and it’s more nutritious for you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Faith Avatar

    Good advice ๐Ÿ™‚ I recently had to go off gluten, corn, and eggs and it makes things so much harder! I’m happy to have other people with ready-prepared recipes so that I can take things at a more step-by-step approach. It is hard not to bite off more than you can chew, though, especially when you have to do it for health reasons. Love your blog.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Faith, you’re so right–when your diet has to change drastically and quickly, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. I think it’s key to find a mentor–either IRL or online–who will be there for questions and cheering you on. I’m not gluten free all the time, but I have a lot of friends doing it well, so I know you can do it. I’ll jump up right now and say, “Go, Faith! You can do it!!!” ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Mandy Avatar

    This gave me hope today. I have mastered the yogurt making so I’m taking today to celebrate that rather than feel discouraged that I don’t make everything from scratch!

    1. Rachel Avatar

      Yogurt making is my one thing too Mandy :)! And I have to agree, this post made me feel LOADS better about where I’m at. One day at a time… and I’m doing better than I was a few years ago :).

      1. Trina Avatar

        Yes, it’s very encouraging to look back and see progress, isn’t it, Rachel? Great point. Let’s all pause a moment and look back…ahh, yes, I feel so much better! lol

    2. Trina Avatar

      Mastering yogurt is awesome, Mandy! I’m so proud of you. You’re saving money and ensuring you know your ingredients. That is so key.

  8. Allison Hampson Avatar
    Allison Hampson

    Dear Trina,

    Just as my head’s been spinning with all the opinions about what to eat, not eat, when to eat it, where to get it (should I grow it?), I was reminded of your blog…full of grace and good advise. “Yes,” I thought, “Let me see what she’s up to.” Then, THE VERY NEXT THING that shows up on my FB feed is this post. Thank you, LORD! ๐Ÿ™‚ Looking forward to the journey…

    1. Trina Avatar

      Isn’t God good? Allison, your comment made my day. I’m so delighted He’s allowed me to encourage you. Glad you’re joining me for this journey.

  9. Amy Avatar

    This is great! I think a couple things I have down are:
    Making cream soup from scratch instead of using a can
    Eating a yummy breakfast every day without buying cereal.

    But I definitely tried to bite of more than I could chew at the beginning. Sometimes, it seems like I’m really far from where I want to be, but when I look at how far I’ve come, I realize that changing a little bit at a time actually works.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Amy, cream soup and a good breakfast are excellent skills to have under your belt! Isn’t it fun to look at what we’ve already accomplished?

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