Transitioning To a Whole Foods Diet

Posted on | April 12, 2012 | 9 Comments

…slowly, inexpensively & without causing a mass riot in the family.

I hear it all the time.

“My family will revolt.”

I tried going organic/healthy/etc, and they wouldn’t have any of that.”

I don’t have time/energy.”

And my favourite….

It’s too expensive.”

I understand. 3 1/2 years ago, we were your typical American family eating boxed mac & cheese, fast food fries & overly processed desserts with ingredients we couldn’t even pronounce.

I’ll be honest. We STILL enjoy the occasional soft drink from the gas station cooler, organic (yet still processed) mac & cheese in a box & on rarer occasion, things with fake dyes in them. We rarely allow fake dyes in this house, because we have 2 with sensitivities to artificial dyes such as Red 40, Yellow 5, etc. They have sensitivity to faux flavours. Caramel colour doesn’t seem to affect them as badly, but still…. I don’t like the thought of my kids eating/drinking gasoline products. Or crushed bugs. While I understand that bugs are a delicacy in some places, I’d like to know what bugs, where they came from & how they were “treated.” As in pesticides. I also understand that many of the fresh foods we eat contain small bugs.

I digress.

Let’s start with the first 2 quotes on the list today- “My family just won’t go for it.”

Start small. Healthy fats are GOOD for you. Your body NEEDS good fats to survive. Why do you think losing weight is so difficult? Once you cut out fats, your body becomes starved & clings on to whatever you put in your system. I read a book, Eat Fat, Lose Fat a couple years ago. It opened my eyes. It’s a good pre-requisite to the larger & much more intense Nourishing Traditions (which I also own & now love).

Milk is a good way to begin transitioning. If you’re currently drinking skim milk, STOP!!! I know there’s a big difference from skim to whole milk. There’s no way you can jump from skim to whole like that. With no one noticing. The next milk you buy, make it 1%. Stick with that for a couple of weeks, then gradually work your way up- 2% then whole.

It’s preferable to drink raw milk (oh goodness, we love raw!), but I understand it’s not for everyone. Organic, non-homogenized (and NEVER ultra pasteurized) milk is available in some chain grocery stores & in health food stores. I like to get mine from Earth Fare when I can’t get raw, but I’ve also seen it in places like Whole Foods. You can find it in many small independently owned health food stores.

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Next, I’d like you to consider bone broth. Broth is one of the ultimate ways to get good nutrients into your diet. Don’t be confused by cans or cartons on the grocery store shelves. They are NOT the same! Bone broth may seem intimidating, but I promise you it’s not if you use your slow cooker. When I make my bone broth, I drop everything into my slow cooker & walk away for 36-48 hours. Yes, you want it to go that long. The longer you let your bones & veggies simmer, the more nutrients are extracted from the bones. Your hands on time is minimal.

Once your broth is made, you’ll want to incorporate it into everything you can. Your best starting point is to cook your rice in it. All you do is replace the water with bone broth.

A lot of people drink their broth, hot & steamy, straight from a mug. Oh boy, it IS good that way, but again, that isn’t for everyone. I’ll never forget the day when I was putting bones in a pan to roast & Hubba & I had a little conversation.

Him: “Are you making stock?”
Me: “Yup.”
Him, all excited like a kid on Christmas morning: “YAY!”
Me, cocking an eye, because getting HIM to come around to a whole foods way of eating has been difficult at best: “Um…. yeah ok. Whatever.”
Him: “NO, really! When you cook stuff in broth, it just….. it’s really good. It tastes GREAT! So much better!!”


Anyhoo, I digress. Again.

Start making bone broth. Here’s an article on WHY bone broth is so good for you. Freeze it if you don’t think you’ll use it all in a few days. Make rice. Make soups. Use it in place of half or all of your cream or milk in mashed potatoes. Cook your veggies in it. Add a tablespoon or 2 when you whisk your eggs to scramble.

Etc. Etc.

After you & your family become accustomed to it, I assure you, short of making a HUGE batch, it won’t stay in the fridge long enough to be considered freezer fodder.

Get sneaky….

I LOVE the book by Jessica Seinfeld, Deceptively Delicious. There’s a lot of controversy around this book in regards to Sneaky Chef by Missy Lapine. I read The Sneaky Chef, and I found Deceptively Delicious to be easier to read & follow through with. Her recipes are simple & extremely child friendly. That said, I certainly appreciate BOTH books!

But pick your poison. Either will work in sneaking nutritious veggies into your families foods. Either one you choose, you will need to tweak some of the recipes. They both call for some processed foods. They both rave about low-fat this & the other. Remember, our bodies CRAVE fat. Our bodies LOVE fat. We NEED fat!

Which brings me to another quick & easy way to convert.

Sooooo many recipes call for cream of something soup. Want to get off that canned junk? Make a simple white sauce instead. Still craving the mushroom-y or celery-y bit? Feel free to add those in. Likewise with chicken or a bit of (leftover) mashed potatoes. White sauce is a must have in any whole foods kitchen to avoid commercial, processed counterparts. If you are using a lot of condensed cream soups now, make a larger batch & stick it in the refrigerator (or again, you can freeze it in called for measurements).

These are just a few steps I’d love for you to take. Too much information when transitioning is information overload. It leaves us overwhelmed & ready to give up. It causes a rebellion in the home, be it a spouse or children. I know. Been there, done that. You have to redefine your lifestyle & what you’ve known for what has likely been years. You’re getting tips from someone that is not perfect in the kitchen, nor will I ever be, I suspect. I’m someone who remembers being at the beginning. I want to ENCOURAGE you to transition. I definitely do not want you to feel overwhelmed, less than the best or weary.

Leave a comment below. Let me know how these work for you. Let me know what your biggest battle in a whole foods kitchen is.

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Like this? You may also be interested in:

Spiced Pumpkin Muffins
How to Make Your Own Garlic Powder


9 Responses to “Transitioning To a Whole Foods Diet”

  1. From Harsh Cleaners To Their Natural Counterparts : Retro Momma, Vintage Wife
    April 18th, 2012 @ 12:07 am

    […] is such a small list of transforming your home into a non-toxic, yet clean, haven. Start here. Like transitioning to a whole foods diet… baby […]

  2. Cheri
    May 9th, 2012 @ 12:58 am

    This is wonderful! Please write more! I want to eat healthier, but really need small steps to do it. I get frustrated because it is all so overwhelming. I do make my own stock, but I haven’t added vinegar and I don’t cook it longer than overnight. Now, I will make it healthier! Thanks!

  3. Weekend Reading: May 12, 2012 | Life Your Way
    May 12th, 2012 @ 8:02 am

    […] Transitioning To a Whole Foods Diet | Retro Momma, Vintage Wife […]

  4. donna wigley
    May 14th, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

    Did you mean we should drink whole milk, not skim? This is the first time I’ve read to do that. Usually, it’s said to always drink skim milk. Thanks!

  5. Alexis Hart
    May 27th, 2012 @ 10:26 am

    Love this! I’m trying to make this transition now so in the next 5 years when my husband and I decide we are ready to have kids, we’ll have already (mostly) kicked the processed habit so it doesn’t have to be a fight.

    Also, we just got a quarter cow delivered and I have about 100 lbs of bones in my freezer so now I’m inspired to just make a batch of stock every Sunday to use for the week. 🙂
    Alexis Hart recently posted..The Trouble with Long Weekends

  6. Overwhelmed? Disgusted? Part 2 : Retro Momma, Vintage Wife
    June 9th, 2012 @ 11:05 am

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  7. Julie
    May 1st, 2013 @ 5:31 pm

    Great post. I’m trying to get into more whole foods eating but feel a bit overwhelmed. Imagine my surprise when I read your post and realized that I am already on the right path. We just switched to raw milk last week (straight from the farm….yum!) and I’ve been making stock for several years now (your hubba is right…SO good). I have that Seinfeld cookbook buried somewhere!
    Julie recently posted..Essential Oils Spotlight: Frankincense

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