Healthy food is an obsession for me.  If you haven’t already noticed.  I’m not talking about the “healthy” foods that come in boxes and packages.  There is a time and a place for those, but because of my cautiousness about what I put into my body thanks to my thyroid, I tend to stay away from them.  Whole foods = healthy foods.  Sure, I have a cheat moment usually about once a month and then I’m good.  Not one day.  One time.  I make most things from scratch and it’s rare I buy anything canned or packaged.  Sprouted grain bread, sprouted corn tortillas, olives, unsweetened coconut milk, eggs.  The rest comes from the produce section, seafood case, or meat case.  In fact, I was looking for some good wild caught fish to fix this weekend and I happened to look at the clams.  I was in the mood to fix the clam dish my lola would fix for me when I’d visit and then later taught me how to make.  All the clams were farm raised.  *sigh*  So much for clams.  I did get a nice piece of wild caught cod, though.  Most of the meats at the market I go to sells local beef that is grass-fed.  Which is important.  Just so happens I found an article on grass-fed beef versus grain fed on Dr. Mercola’s website this morning.  Correction.  My BFF, Stick, found him on Facebook this morning and became a fan, so I went to his page to check it out and found the link to it there.  He makes a great case for the need to revert back to traditional farming in order to restore the nutrition to our foods that we once had before animals were fed grain and seeds were genetically modified.

On that train of thought.  Leanne Ely rolled out her new Saving Dinner TV online yesterday and had a wonderful clip of a typical salad versus a healthy salad.  Watch it and learn.  It’s so simple to make a salad higher in nutrients than the mixes you buy in a bag.  The dressing she teaches you was something she brought up in one of her radio shows.  I tried it the weekend after hearing the show and I loved it!  So much better and fresher than what you’ll buy in a bottle and you can make as little or as much as you need for one meal.  The times I’m able to listen to Saving Dinner live and be in the chatroom while it’s going on, I get a free weekly menu.  I don’t make everything on it.  Sometimes I make nothing on it.  But I always end up using the recipes eventually.  She typically has vegetarian, low carb, and kosher alternatives for each recipe on it.  Some of them also include canned or packaged ingredients.  I end up substituting them for fresh ingredients.  For instance, a chicken dish I made last weekend called for canned tomato paste.  I used fresh tomatoes instead.  Another recipe called for cream.  I used the unsweetened coconut milk.  The same recipe called for cheese.  I did without.

If you don’t know foods or recipes, find some recipes and start learning.  Once you know more about the food you are working with, you’ll learn how to substitute things while still making the dish tasty.  I learn things by just doing them most of the time.  Especially when it comes to crafts and foods.   I’ve been cooking since I was a teenager and most of the recipes I use regularly are ones I’ve taken and altered to my preference or ones I made up based on what I knew about food.  I know I need to start writing them down, but it’s hard.  I don’t always measure with cups and spoons.  I’ll eyeball my measuring of things I’m adding.  That just came with all the years of practice and experience.  If you work with real food long enough, you learn.

Real food is one of the reasons why I liked Jamie Oliver when I first saw his show, The Naked Chef, years ago.  He worked with real food and rarely used packaged items.  I knew the times he used something packaged or canned, I could substitute it for fresh when I wanted to.  If you check out his website, he’s got some great fresh salads just like Leanne’s.  Only with his, he chops all his ingredients on a chopping board together and dresses it on the board.  I need to try one of those salads one day soon.  Or at least take what I know about food and make one up myself.  If I haven’t said it enough, his new show premiers tonight.  Watch it!!!

One last bit before I end this post.  Dr. Mercola had another article that Stick and I read and shared within minutes of each other this morning on Vitamin D.  I can’t stress enough how important it is to get most your Vitamin D from going outside.  I’ve tried being out in the sun as much as I can now that it’s warming up.  I even tried today.  Sat outside the front door with my book trying to read.  Unfortunately, the cold brought me back inside.  I wound up sitting in front of our living room window getting some sun while reading.  I would love to get back to the point where I didn’t need the Vitamin D supplements.  Maybe once we move back home.

I celebrated the end of my gluten-free trial with a pieced of sprouted grain toast with my breakfast this morning.  So far, no negative reactions.  Soup and sandwiches are for dinner, so we’ll see how I feel in the morning.  I think I’ll be fine though.  I also think, that even if I have no negative reactions, I’ll still be careful of the amount of gluten I have.  I got used to my sandwiches wrapped in the sprouted corn tortillas, so I can alternate between that and the sprouted grain bread.

Last reminder, watch Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution tonight on ABC!