Tuesday, February 2, 2010

28 Day Real Food Challenge: Day 2 - Choose Wholesome Foods

Yesterday, I took the time to remove processed and refined foods from the kitchen. You'll actually feel great throwing out the things that has been in your cupboard for years, thinking whether you might actually need them or not. Just like spring cleaning your house, you'll feel cleaner after ridding that kitchen items that your body doesn't need.

I've been seeing advertisements on TV promoting instant noodles as a great breakfast meal. These instant noodles are obviously loaded with chemicals, and have harmed humans at a cellular level which results in earlier aging and degenerative health issues. The ad says that they are fortified with vitamins and minerals enticing the viewers that this breakfast treat will make your kids smarter. And what do the parents do? They buy it for their kids. But if the parents doesn't buy it, the kids will encourage their mom or dad to buy it for them.

It is true that food provides us energy and calories but I also believe with the quote "you are what you eat". What you eat becomes who you are and the food that we eat has the capacity to communicate with our genes and regulates our entire biochemistry and physiology. When we eat real fats, for instance, we are transmitting valuable nutrients to our brains in order to function well. When we eat real foods, we are giving our bodies the right nutrients to function at optimum and cellular level.

Now that I've slightly convinced you that real foods are the real deal, let's choose some whole, unprocessed foods as part of who we are. Day two is choosing wholesome foods.

Here's the checklist of wholesome foods from Nourished Kitchen. To prioritize your checklist, visit the post Good, Better, Best: Traditional Food for Every Budget. The idea is not to buy every item on the list, but choose a few items to fill up your pantry as a start.
  • Natural Sweeteners such as oney, blackstrap molasses, whole unrefined cane sugar (e.g. Rapadura / Sucanat), sorghum syrup, maple syrup.
  • Wholesome fats such as unrefined olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, tallow, butter, ghee
  • Whole meal flours such as grain flour, sprouted grain flour, coconut and blanched nut flours
  • Unrefined Sea Salt such as real salt and celtic sea salt
  • Meat (preferably grass-fed or pasture-raised) such as beef, lamb, chicken, pork, bison, elk etc.
  • Fresh vegetables and fruit (preferably organic in season and local)
  • Full fat dairy (preferably raw) such as whole milk, butter, cream, cheese
  • Naturally fermented foods and beverages such as kombucha, yogurt, kefir

So far, I have already purchased some wholesome items a few weeks ago to kick start the new year.The most challenging part in choosing wholesome foods is looking for the right sources (affordable ones) who are actually on the same page as I do.For the last few months, I slowly gained access to wholesome local products such as kefir, yogurt, chicken, some fruits and vegetables. The others are imported such as the grains and legumes. The other part of the challenge is to search for these other resources locally. So far they have been showing up one at a time.

Today, I made a quinoa salad with black beans, cucumbers and tomatoes. And tomorrow's challenge is how to prepare grains properly. My other grains are ready to be used.

Love and light,


  1. I just recently cleaned out our kitchen pantry too. You wouldn't believe the expiration dates on some of those old items tucked way in the back! Yikes!

  2. Soon, very soon, you will start grind your own flour.....I look forward to your Feb. healthy dishes!

  3. Hooray for you! There isn't much processed food in our house, but yes, we do have a bit. I'm slowly transitioning the family so that there isn't a revolt on my hands! Haha!

  4. Hi Divina, very interesting post.
    Nothing like keeping ourselves healthy same time too.
    There is one thing more exasperating than a wife who can cook and won't, and that's a wife who can't cook and will.

    You have a pleasant week and keep a song in your heart, best regards, Lee.

  5. Thank you for mentioning bison. I love bison meat and it's the healthiest meat for you.


  6. Way to go Divina! I still have to work on liberating myself from processed and refined foods. congratulations on your decision.

  7. thanks for the reminder Divina....i really need it evry now an d then....tq so much

  8. I just did my cleaning up 2 weeks ago... Actually, I'm doing it almost every months. haha... Emm.. Instant noodles! My kids love it very much. Still facing difficulties to stop them from having it too often.

  9. Oh dear. I am not very good with this. And I keep adding until there is no more space!

  10. I need to do this with pantry, you're so right about refined and processed foods. They are bad for our health and it's better in the long run to eat more healthier. I have to admit though, I do eat those instant noodles and I have such a hard time letting them go.

  11. My kids love the instant noodles too and also mac n' cheese, but I've found that they really like soaked oatmeal porridge for breakfast with just a little real maple syrup. I also make homemade yogurt which is great to have on hand for smoothies, frozen yogurt and yogurt pops. All of which the kids love!

  12. Great post Divina, very informative. I really need to have a spring cleaning in my cupboards.

  13. It is very rare for me to write to a blog... even though I might be following a specific blog for months. Well only yesterday I poped and found your blog and in ONE word is soothing, hearty, comforting, informative, imaginative and congratulations. Keep up the excellent work... I will be following you

  14. Hi Divina,
    I like your post and am of the same mindset. I eat yogurt every morning followed by a piece of fruit and on most days some sort of meat (free-range, organic if I can get it) and some vegetables. It's very hard to stick to when traveling though!

    In regards to the camera - I am thinking of upgrading to the Nikon D300S. I am going to Italy for 6 months and who knows what I will do with those photos someday so I want to pixel count to be higher.

    Cheers and happy healthy eating!

  15. Hi Divina!
    I am enjoying your blog! I have added some of your suggestions into my daily life (I am coffee-free these days!). Thought I'd share a quinoa salad I made for lunch. No quantities since I just used what was hanging out in the fridge.

    1/2 C cooked quinoa (I do mine with sauteed minced garlic and chicken stock, but water or veg stock would work)
    chopped red, orange and yellow bell peppers, chopped avocado, chopped snow peas, chopped tomatoes, chopped spinach.
    Toss in a bowl.

    I added a few TBSPs of feta cheese and about 3 sliced cooked canadian bacon. I think this would be great meatless or with chicken, tuna or shrimp, too.

    I tossed a bit of hummus on top, but it was delicious plain. I think it would be great with a vinaigrette or yogurt dressing of some sort.

    Not bad for a "refrigerator lunch"!

    Take care! You are an inspiration for healthy living.


  16. I wish I could be as good as you are about food. I wouldn't last a couple of days with the real food challenge. I bought a bottle of multivitamins to take it daily, but I couldn't even keep up with it. I forget to take them every other day. lol.

  17. Thanks for your very helpful list, will bookmark this one! I agree it's really hard to offer healthy alternatives when we, and kids, see a lot of "junk" food on TV and influence their food preferences. AND really hard to find affordable sources of such "good" foods. Do email me your sources for casein-free and gluten-free ingredients.

  18. The choice of quinoa salad is healthy option. Frequently is hard to avoid foods that have extra chemicals but I'm always trying to minimize as possible.

    Yogurt with honey or peach is delicious and nutritive :)

    Have a great week,


  19. An excellent mission! I'm looking forward to following your updates on this!

  20. Divina,
    Your post reminds me of cleaning my pantry too. :P
    When we set a goal, we can approach it by doing one thing at a time. Eventually, we can make it.

  21. Thank you so much for all of your comments. Quite a challenge, really, even for me. :)

  22. Thanks for all info. Looks like I'm following quite well :) I think the 80/20 rule helps :P At least my family doesn't feel deprived. I know I'll lose if everyone fights back...I've to eat alone LOL.

  23. @ MaryMoh - I'll eat with you. :) But you know how to enjoy food and still eat healthy.

  24. @ Eleni - Thank you so much for your comment and compliment. Thanks for dropping by. What an encouragement.


Your comments, suggestions, feedback are all welcome.