Whole Foods in a Hurry: Week 1–Why?

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I’ve really been longing to go to a “whole foods” or “real foods” sort of diet for a long time. It just makes sense: eating unprocessed foods, what our grandparents were eating before we figured out to make cream of chicken soup in a can and how to import vegetables from Chile.
While I’d like to say I’ll be able to jump right in to eating raw dairy products, grass-fed beef, and organic everything, with our budget right now I’m just working on making baby steps. I’ve already cut margarine, vegetable oils, shortening, and high fructose corn syrup out of our diets (mostly). 
When Tricia asked if I would partner with her on her Once a Month Mom blogiversary party, I knew it would be a great chance to do what I’ve wanted to do for awhile: plan a “whole foods” once-a-month-cooking menu and MAKE IT!
So during February, I’ll be talking once a week about how I’m planning the menu, budgeting and shopping for it, and cooking it. I’m so excited to share this with you. And I also have some great news!
If you want to create your own once-a-month-cooking menu (does not have to be whole foods), you can enter it in the Once a Month Mom & DOLE Frozen Menu Contest for a chance to win $250 cash, a Once a Month Mom apron, a pair of Crocs, and five coupons for free DOLE Frozen products!! Your menu will also be used as the March 2010 Once a Month Mom menu (great for YOUR blog traffic–I get more hits from OAMM than Google, even!).
First and second runner ups will also get some fun prizes!
So, who’s in this with me? I’m excited and nervous, but I need to do this. Having the foods in the freezer will help me commit to the whole foods lifestyle, as well as give me more time to bake bread, make breakfast, and exercise–all goals I have for myself.
I am not being compensated for this adventure except with a few DOLE coupons. But I want one of my readers to win the contest!! And for me, whole foods is going to mean unprocessed as much as possible. I won’t likely be using all grass-fed meats or all organic, although the menu will be easily customizable to those things.

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18 thoughts on “Whole Foods in a Hurry: Week 1–Why?

  1. I'm looking forward to this series. When I'm shopping, I look for convenience items that are also healthy and as "close to the ground" as I can get them. The trade-off is usually that they have more packaging than I would prefer, but at least they are healthy. I'd love for you to share some planning with readily available convenience items (think Trader Joe's) that are also healthy. Maybe next month??

  2. I've been trying to do this, too. I made about 5 meals & breakfasts. They were as REAL as I could do! CANNOT wait to see what you do—so I can copy.

  3. Yay!! Love this too. I've done a couple real foods here & there for the freezer, but I'm stumped too, so like Amanda I'm looking forward to what you come up with!! No pressure:)

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment! I did OAMC when my kids were little but now that it's just me and the man person, I do pretty simple batch cooking. I plan to follow your progress, though. :)

  5. Oh man, I'm with ya! I saw Food, Inc. last night. Did you see it? It's really … wow.

    I want to make some of my own convenience food mixes, but they'll be made with real ingredients and hopefully better than the boxed stuff.

    Oh and I'm definitely going to be buying the grass-fed beef from now on. We'll just eat less of it, since it's more expensive.

  6. You need to read _Food Rules_ by Michael Pollan. He has been interviewed in a few different places – Oprah & The Daily Show most recently. Totally fits in with the whole food philosophy.

  7. I'm looking forward to this series. Jesse and I have had pipe dreams about living organically. You always have a way of making things look so easy! :)

  8. I'd love to see some whole food once-a-month cooking! We eat mostly whole foods at our house, not only because it's what we prefer, but also because of food allergies. (wheat–ugh) It'd be great to be able to use most of the recipes as written!

  9. yay! we have been trying to eat real food or you call it whole foods. :) would love to learn how to plan ahead and freeze them. We are a family of 5, 3 kids under age 4. Thank you!!!!

  10. Jessie,

    I'm not going to join in, but I'm cheering you on from the sidelines. I pretty much used to do this on the weekends while Matt was commuting to DC – I made all of his meals and froze them individually to send up. Good luck, and holler if I can send any recipes or anything your way.

    :-) Steph

  11. We have been making changes towards a whole foods diet for the past several months and really took some big steps in January when we found out our son has 3 more cavities. If you live near Nashville, there are some great resources for grass-fed and raw milk (I think pretty reasonable too). We just started in on a raw milk/cow co-op and it's only been a small increase in our budget. We are also getting grass-fed beef for $2.50-$3 per pound. I look forward to following your progress and want to enter OAMM's contest! Check out my blog for our "whole foods" transition. :)

    Julie
    http://www.forfreeyatake.blogspot.com

  12. Nourishing Traditons by Sallon Fallon is also a great resource (very in depth but gives great info on nutritional qualities of whole foods along with recipes).

    Check out the Weston A. Price Foundation online also!

  13. I am curious how you would define whole foods? I guess I expected less processed items like no dairy. I am trying to find a once a meal cooking site that doesn't include things like dairy, processed items etc. Any ideas?

  14. @Anonymous you could definitely use raw dairy in any of this, but I am not sure about no dairy. I know Amy @ Simply Sugar and Gluten Free adapts menus to be gluten free for Once a Month Mom. You might have to make your own menu if you want dairy free–a good challenge!

  15. @Anonymous #2: There have been some studies that unfermented soy can mess with our hormones. As I already have a hormone disorder, I try to keep soy to a minimum in my diet. Naturally Knocked Up has a great post on it here.

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