12 Easy [Painful and Expensive] Steps to an Organic Diet!

OK, so the title of this post is a joke. Of course going completely organic (from a conventional diet) isn’t going to be easy. Yeah, painful and expensive might be more like it.

And overwhelming. I remembered wondering Where do I start? So to make it easi-er for you, I have put together a list of what to change first in your pantry and diet, as well as some tips on what to look for when you shop and where to get good prices.

What to Change First In Your Pantry

  1. Oils and Fats
  2. Dairy
  3. Eggs
  4. Meats and Fish
  5. Water and Beverages
  6. Flours and Grains
  7. Fruit
  8. Vegetables
  9. Sweeteners
  10. Nuts and Legumes
  11. Salt and Spices
  12. Vinegars and Condiments

I realize that some people may reorder these priorities, particularly the first 4, as they are all so important. But I’m fairly comfortable listing them in this order; I’ll explain as we dive into the details.

1

In each of these categories, the first principle is to eat only what is food. This may seem obvious, until we realize that non-foods are added to many items in the forms of:

  • MSG
  • fake sweeteners
  • synthetic food colorings
  • hydrogenated fats
  • hydrolyzed proteins
  • propylene glycol (antifreeze)
  • and probably anything you can’t pronounce

An easy way to begin changing from products with these additives is to begin your weekly marketing at a “health food” type store, such as Whole Foods or Trader Joes (my favorite), since they generally carry products made with only food. Wow, what a concept.

2

The second principle is to focus on what you consume the most of, and what is most toxic. That’s where these 12 steps really come into play.

3

The third principle is to begin the switch to whole and properly prepared rather than refined. We hear the term “whole” a lot in relation to food, but not enough emphasis is placed upon proper preparation, which can either enhance or destroy the nutritional value of the food.

I’ll be posting this introduction post in as a page at the top of the page, and then link on each category as I write so you can refer back at your leisure.

Baking Sucess: Date Nut Bread

Mmm . . . my family’s traditional holiday bread, in a gluten free, cane sugar free version. It’s just as yummy as the original.

Date Nut Bread

1 and 1/2 cups dates (pieces rolled in oat flour)
2 and 1/4 cups boiling water
1 TBS soda
Cover dates and soda with boiling water; set 30 minutes.

1 and 1/2 cups tapioca flour
1 and 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1 and 1/2 cups sorgum flour
1 TBS xanthan gum
Whisk flours and xanthan together with a wire whisk.

3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup xylitol (if you don’t have xylitol, you can substitute another 1/4 cup maple syrup)
3 TBS butter
2 pastured eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp fine sea salt
Cream sweeteners, butter, eggs, vanilla and salt. Add part of date mixture, then alternate between flour and date mixture until it is all incorporated.

Then add:
1 cup chopped walnuts, preferably soaked and dried

Pour into well greased loaf pans. Bake at 300 degrees. For smaller pans (mini) bake about 1 hour, and larger (normal loaf size) pans about 1 hour 20 minutes. After removing pans from oven, allow to set about 5 minutes before turning onto a baking rack to cool. When cool, wrap in food wrap, and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. It is delicious served with either cream cheese or butter.

This batch was my remake. Want to read about my first batch, and see what happens if you bake the larger pans for only an hour? See Baking Failure: Holiday Bread. It’s not pretty. 🙂