Real Food Renegades is a hub connecting young people and families looking to harness our health through a real food way of eating and holistic lifestyle. When people with a united vision and passion come together, amazing things happen. This is a place to be empowered. Hey, YOU can do this! It’s a place to learn how to nourish your body with homemade real food recipes, your mind with learning more each day, and your soul by taking time to love yourself. And it’s a place to combine these factors into each of our lives with the support of a thriving community!
So what’s “real food”, anyways?
Good question, my friend! Basically, real food is exactly what it sounds like. I love the concept of JERF (Just Eat Real Food). Eat food where you can pronounce all the ingredients on the label – or better, food without labels! Favour food right from the source. You know, buy that quirky heirloom produce from the farmer just outside of town, or grow your own. Eat it all – don’t toss those beautiful, nutritious beet leaves, please and thanks! And get back to your roots and your culture. Maybe it’s time to pay Grandma a visit and learn how she makes that hearty stew (or latkes, or baba ghanoush).
This is a great place to start. But once you’ve cut the nasty stuff and replaced it with fresh food, you’re gonna want to do three things. By the way, I’m most definitely not an expert, so here I’m just talking about the most basic principals that just make sense and naturally make humans feel good. It’s a no-brainer that homemade food is healthier than processed, right? But if you’re interested in the studies and science behind it all, there are many very well-researched articles and books available. I’d highly recommend doing your research because not only is it fascinating, but you can make your own conclusions about the matter. Here are two resources to start you off: Death by Food Pyramid by Denise Minger (please don’t be thrown off by the alarming title – Denise is an incredibly scrupulous author) and The Paleo Approach by Sarah Ballantyne, PhD. Since I’m just a teenager and have no credentials despite having done my own countless hours of research (hey, I’m a science junkie!), I leave the talking to the experts, though my recipes reflect what I’ve learned.
Add in EXTRA GOOD.
Focusing on nutrient density is so important, and personally that’s what I think is so healing about a real food diet. Think about it: per calorie, vegetables are going to have way more essential nutrients than refined flour, which is a calorically dense food that has been stripped of its nutrients. So when we focus on eating more and more veggies over processed foods, we are getting so many vitamins and minerals in their whole state – which is the most bioavailable way for our bodies to absorb them.
According to many Paleo experts, pastured animal proteins such as egg yolks, offal, bone broth, and wild-caught fish, in addition to fermented foods, seaweeds, and veggies are some of the most nutrient dense foods around. These are also all foods that many people on the SAD (Standard American Diet) are not eating enough of, if at all. I know that it’s hard to incorporate these foods into our eating, especially things like liver, which I still don’t really eat… But some of these, such as fermented foods, are really delicious once you get used to them.
I’m going to focus on posting recipes here using the above foods. Hey, maybe I’ll even try liver! 😉
I’m a big believer in intuitive eating! However, this only really works when you stick to the real food… you know what I mean? 😉 Once our taste buds have become more adventurous to the likely new tastes of things like mussels, avocados, and zoodles (haha!), for example, and we’re satisfying our cravings with whole food instead of processed, I believe that we become more in tune with our own bodies and can really figure out what we need, whether it be micro or macro nutrients, something warming or cooling, or even a comforting dish.
Find what makes you FEEL GOOD and what makes you sick.
I think that finding what actually works for your body is especially important for lasting health. As someone who has struggled with around 20 gastrointestinal allergies at times in my life, I think before anything else, you need to trust your body with what it needs. That’s why even though I feel best eating animal products, I would never discourage someone for pursuing a vegetarian diet if his or her body rejected/didn’t feel great eating those products. Again, I’m no expert, so this is just from personal experience… but you are yourself – no one else feels what you do and therefore you should make the judgement on how foods affect your body. Health is so personal so it is your duty to yourself to discover how to feel your best. You can research all you want (and research is highly encouraged here!), but at the end of the day, how your body feels is what is most important when it comes to nutrition, diet, and food.
One last thing!
I meant what I wrote earlier about this being a community place. Please, please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM on Instagram if you have something to share. I’m very open to any collaborations, including guest posts, because everyone has something to say when it comes to nourishment and health. Also, if you’re a young person or family pursuing real food wellbeing, email email@example.com to be interviewed for the Generation Real Food Interviews series!