A Day of Real Food

Some might call me a hypocrite, but I prefer to define it as living with moderation. Yesterday I discussed eating real food, not nutrients, which I’m a huge advocate of, but if you’ve been reading this blog for more than a minute you’ll know that I’m also a huge fan of Mexican food from hole-in-the-wall places. Is everything they use 100% real? I have no clue. But it’s good. And we don’t eat it every day.

I’m using that as my disclaimer to show that I’m not eating healthy 100% of the time. I’m more of an 85-90% kind of gal. I know, I know, the rule is supposed to be 80/20, but I find I feel better with a slightly higher percentage and –gasp!- real food is good! Like yesterday…

wiaw- egg on ezekiel

Green tea, local farm Egg on Ezekiel Bread

I’ve talked about Ezekiel bread before, but let me show you what I mean by ‘all real’ ingredients.

Ingredients: Organic Sprouted Wheat, Filtered Water, Organic Sprouted Flax, Organic Sprouted Barley, Organic Sprouted Millet, Organic Malted Barley, Organic Sprouted Lentils, Organic Sprouted Soybeans, Organic Sprouted Spelt, Fresh Yeast, Organic Wheat Gluten, Sea Salt. Rolled in Organic Flax Seeds.

I can say every one of those words and would be able to point them out in a line up. Winning.

wiaw- sauteed kale salad

Sautéed kale, black rice, shredded carrots, feta cheese, green onions, pan-fried tofu, red wine vinegar and olive oil

My lunches usually consist of whatever I happen to have in the fridge, making them quite random. Somehow, they usually end up coming together surprisingly well. Yesterday’s lunch was delicious, even though I was nervous about the tofu. I don’t know much about how to use tofu, but I had some left over from my hot and sour soup so I pan fried it. It worked well enough.

wiaw- hot and sour soup

Leftover Crockpot Hot and Sour Soup

Do you know what my favorite thing about this soup is? I made it. I know there is no MSG or other scary chemicals in it. Mmm.

wiaw- blue diamond almonds

Handful of Blue Diamond Honey Roasted Almonds (x2)

Let’s check out the ingredient list-

Ingredients: almonds, sugar, vegetable oil (canola, safflower and/or sunflower), honey, salt, corn maltodextrin.

Ok, recognize it, recognize it, wait. Uh-oh- what is maltodextrin? Definitely isn’t easily recognizable, so I looked it up.

I found out it is a common additive, an easily digestible carbohydrate made from rice, corn, or potato starch (celiacs beware— it can also be derived from barley or wheat). It is a white powder often used as a thickener or filler. It is processed (boo!), but it doesn’t contain any chemicals since it’s made just from cooking down the starch.

You choose whether it’s real or not. I’ll admit, I still ate the almonds.

wiaw- sweet potato chili

Sweet Potato Chili with Sour Cream and Cilantro (x2)

Another one of my homemade favorites that proves real food is sooo dang good.

I remember thinking that eating a whole foods based diet would feel restrictive. I could never eat only salads. But now that I’ve slowly worked my way to be here, I realize the possibilities are limitless… and delicious. Thank you Jenn for hosting another WIAW!

What is your favorite whole foods/real food meal?



  1. Cynthia says

    Maltodextrin is basically MSG. Gives me a two day migraine every time I eat it. So now, maltodextrin is not okay to eat. But I guess if you don’t get headaches, then it’s all good.

    • Sarah says

      I was curious about that. I’m on an MSG rampage lately but it is SO hard to identify! I think it’s been a hidden migraine trigger for me too only because I didn’t realize it’s hidden by so many different names. I even found versions that are allowed in certified organic foods!

      • Cynthia says

        Sarah, I get horrible migraines and there was a time when I had to take medications on a daily basis to prevent them. So I decided to pay attention to the ingredients in my food and I am not med-free. MSG is a BIG trigger and it is definitely everywhere. There are even vitamins that have MSG in them! I check the ingredient list on EVERYTHING, even natural and organic foods. It really sucks that MSG is so rampant.

        • says

          Eeks- this is really interesting! Cynthia, what do you mean by maltodextrin being basically the same as MSG? I’d love to learn more about this! Thanks :)

  2. says

    There are so many great foods and products here, with AWESOME ingredients! I am a huge fan of Ezekiel bread. I love toasting it and pairing it with either all natural almond butter or eggs. It makes such an awesome breakfast. Oh, and let us not forget about using it for grilled cheese sandwiches, PB & Js, and “B”LT’s. Yum!
    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl recently posted..Omaha Eats: The GreenbellyMy Profile

  3. says

    I’ve been wanting to try Ezekiel bread for a while now – will pick some up this weekend. My favorite whole foods meal is definitely roasted veggies (anything I have in the fridge), grilled tofu, quinoa, and Mama Pea’s Mmmm sauce. We eat some variation of that at least every week. So good!
    Parita @ myinnershakti recently posted..Casa Frida Mexican GrillMy Profile

    • says

      I have photographic proof that farm eggs look different, even from the organic free range eggs I’ll buy sometimes from the grocery. The yolk is bigger and brighter. Of course, it’s easy for me to say because I have a farmer friend who gives them to me. Not sure where I’d get them otherwise!
      I’ll also have to check out Ezekiel’s other products sometime, too. I don’t eat a lot of bread, but when I do, I’d like to try their’s! :)

  4. says

    I made homemade taco salads for dinner the other day and buying the seasoning packet (who knows what is in that?), I made my own seasoning blend, with probably way less salt than the packet. Was quite proud and you couldn’t even tell!

    I’ve been trying to make my own tortilla chips, but it hasn’t quite worked out yet 😉
    Maria recently posted..Yoga MeltdownMy Profile

  5. says

    Great point about whole foods! As I got further away from processed foods, I also found that they no longer tasted so good… pretzels became bland and dry, milk chocolate was too sweet and fruit became much sweeter. But we all need to splurge occasionally. Love your balanced approach. And the hot and sour soup- yum!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..Apple Raisin Oat MuffinsMy Profile

    • says

      Since David has gotten used to eating more homemade food, he has been shocked at how salty other foods (processed, restaurants, etc) taste. Old favorites of his make him cringe because they are so salty. I think it’s the neatest thing!

  6. Erika says

    I try to and want to eat mostly whole/real foods it’s just too expensive sometimes though to always choose the “fancy” bread over the store brand.

    • says

      You’re right- fancy foods, especially breads, cereals, crackers, etc can definitely be more expensive. I don’t eat a lot of bread, so I don’t mind paying a little extra and keeping it in the freezer to make it last. If I’m having guests and sandwiches are on the menu, I usually opt for 100% whole wheat bread, which is more affordable :)

  7. says

    I just read this post while eating a mug full of ice cream. whoops.
    I really don’t eat dessert often though and totally agree about eating whole foods at least 85% of the time! As far as breads go, I eat either Ezekiel (the ingredients list is great!) or whole-wheat bread from a local bakery that has all healthy, recognizable, real ingredients!
    Danica @ It’s Progression recently posted..Healthy Living SurveyMy Profile

  8. Elizabeth says

    Watch out for the GMOs from the oil in the nuts!! I would stay away form the malodextrin too, but the rest of the eats looked so healthy and delicious!

    • says

      GMOs are something I know about, but wish I knew more. I feel like they are everywhere (ick!) so I know I’m not avoiding them all. Do you have any great sources for GMO info?

  9. says

    I’m so with you on the 85/90% of the time. When eating real foods I feel so much better and I love that I’m able to eat that way and provide those foods for my family. With that said, there are those foods that aren’t whole that I’ll eat from time to time :-)
    Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome recently posted..WIAWMy Profile

  10. says

    Can I please just tell you I spent a rather excessive amount of time researching corn malodextrin two nights ago because of those dang Blue Diamond almonds? I had won a HUGE box of the butter toffee ones, and was using them to make highly addictive nut butter. I was about to order some more from drugstore.com (of all places) and looked again at the ingredients because, of course, I always think I can make my own. :)

    Just had to laugh over our similar brain waves (and research).
    Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen recently posted..[Vegan] Roasted Red Pepper, Grape, and Tomato BisqueMy Profile

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