A Guide to Picking Recipes for the Absolute Beginner

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Is this the stuff of nightmares for you? You spot a mouth watering recipe on Pinterest. It’s from scratch, a real, real-food recipe so you’re pretty excited! Your gonna make this one yourself! You go to the store, get the stuff, come back and start working but that beautiful recipe turns out like this:

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Are Visions of Halloween Candy Binges Haunting You?

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It’s that time of year where all the kiddos look forward to that night of all nights, second only to Christmas, Halloween night and Trick or Treating! I’ll bet that as a real food eating parent you look to this night with some degree of anxiety. You’ve spend a lot of time and energy learning all about how all that candy your kids will be gifted with during their Halloween night rounds is very very bad for them. While the night with the kids, the costumes and the carnival atmosphere is something you look forward to, the candy part isn’t. At least not since you learned about real food.

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Wait! Don’t Throw Out All the Processed Food at Once!

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It’s easy to think that without the food you no longer wish to eat around to tempt everyone that they’ll just have to eat all the healthy stuff you’re planning to buy to replace it. It’s easy to imagine that sure, there will be a little complaining but they will soon get adjusted. And you as the head cook and bottle washer, well you’ve got a list of recipes and plans of the things you’ll make with all the good ingredients you’re about to buy. It’ll be so great they won’t miss their favorites for long at all.

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Is Science a Reliable Guide to What to Eat?

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How do we as modern people make decisions about what to eat? Is it a reasoned methodical process, somewhat like the scientific method? Or is it a little looser than that … something more like we heard this or that tidbit from a friend, or from TV or read it in a book or found it on a website. And out of all those found bits of knowledge combined with bits of advertising and our personal preferences we work out a way of eating that suits us, something we feel comfortable with?
Are we relying on science to inform our decisions? Or is it really much more mixed than that?

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Is Your Doctor a Nutrition Expert?

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Sure, he’s clearly been thru years of training to prepare him for a medical career. But did that training include nutrition? Shockingly, most of the time the answer is no, it did not. At least not training of any meaningful depth. Did you know that you could learn everything the average doctor knows about nutrition in one long weekend of study?

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We Are Asking All the Wrong Questions about Food!

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It dawned on me a little while back that I have always been concerned with issues of lesser importance when it comes to food. And that I’m not alone … as a culture we all are! We ask ourselves stuff like, does it have additives? Does it contain pesticides? Does it have sugar? Is it fattening? And lately, does it have GMO’s? Or gluten? These are the most urgent matters on our minds when it comes to food. But these are not the most important things to know about food!

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Do You Trust Costco?

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What stores is it safe to trust? Many find this the really pertinent question when it comes to choosing where to shop. They have good feelings about one store over another. They ask themselves if the stores buyers do a good job vetting companies products? Do they ensure that the products on their shelves are what they say they are?

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The Art of Thoughtful Real Food Compromise

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What kind of compromises are you prepared to make? Almost no one goes into a major change in their life or their diet thinking of the need for compromise. The very human tendency is to believe that you can “be the change” 100% right off the bat, or at least soon thereafter. At that point no further compromise is necessary … you’ve made it, you’ve arrived. But change is really a journey and not a destination.… You never arrive, not completely. There is just variation in the degree of the completeness of your arrival.

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How long did people live 100 years ago?

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“Of course people didn’t live long … the average life expectancy was 40 years”. How often have you heard this quote or something very similar? If you are a watcher of tv documentaries or attended public school anytime in the last 70 years or so you’ve probably heard this several hundred times. Just last night I heard it again while watching Frontier House, the PBS reality show from about 10 years back. The belief that most everyone in the past dropped dead around 40 is common.… People with ancestors that lived to be old generally think the members of their family were just exceptionally long lived.

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Granny is a State of Mind

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On this website I talk a lot about Granny. I generalize Granny did this or would have done that often. But I don’t know your Granny, or your best-friends Granny or even my husband’s Granny! How the hell do I know what she would or wouldn’t have done? My Grandma was born in the early 1900′s but your Grandma might have been born in the 50′s. My husband’s Grandma was born in Germany but maybe your’s was born in India or Russia … how can we learn anything by generalizing what these totally different women might have done?…

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Contentment and the Zen of Granny

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My Grandma wasn’t a zen master. My memories of her though are of a strong will, a peaceful presence and a cheerful attitude. She was wonderful and totally unique. Like many of her generation she had been thru some hard times and had many sorrows. Yet she remained cheerful and unfailingly considerate and polite. I don’t think she thought much about goals or future plans. She simply enjoyed the day for what it was.… Like the popular song, her attitude was que sera sera, whatever will be, will be. She had never heard of the zen proverb of chop wood carry water but that is essentially what she did every day of her life.

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Confessions of a Picky Eater

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A treatise on the desirability of requiring kids to eat nutrient-dense food, from a historical perspective ;-). This is also my “real food conversion story” for those that are interested.
When I was a kid I was what was known as a picky eater. I was the usual run of the mill picky eater, but with a little twist. There were many things commonly served at both my home and the homes of my little friends that I simply wouldn’t eat. Today I’d like to share my take on this situation from the perspective of both the child I once was and the adult I am today and consider the effect it had on my life, so far.…

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Grandma was a Real Foodie

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So, maybe she didn’t know it, but she was. Was Grandma well off? Well, no, no more well off than most. And in many cases she was poorer than most, especially as she got older. Still she kept on making home cooked meals with the freshest meat and produce she could lay her hands on. And she did it frugally even if she wasn’t on a tight budget, just as a matter of principle. Yet our culture tends to think of foodies as an elite group of people with the time and money to dedicate to culinary extravagance. Does this sound like Grandma?…

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On Being Tricked by the Food Industry

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The study of food labels has been a small hobby of mine for 25 years now. And I am still tricked from time to time. It’s like a gut punch every time it happens. Years ago it happened just because I didn’t know what I was reading. Now it usually happens because I’m not paying close enough attention. Or the labeling laws changed. The point is it still happens. After 25 years.…
It’s become sufficiently discouraging to me that I am working hard to vastly reduce the labels in my life by buying local whatever I can and reducing my use of the rest.

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