ONLY IF they are REAL fat and calories.
We are trying to change our eating to all real foods as you know and although we slip on more than one occasion, we are doing fairly well. One great thing that has come from our change of eating lifestyle is the weight loss. OH YEAH!
I've lost 13 pounds since changing the way I eat. And believe you me, I still eat! Again, I am in no way a perfect eater (says the woman who just made cake pops last night with a box mix and canned frosting) but the bulk of our eating is now real food. Many are amazed to learn that I've lost 13 pounds by simply changing my eating, but it's so very true. And the best part - I now eat bacon...and real butter....and full fat dairy. I love every bit of it!
The best book I've read so far is Nina Planck's book "Real Food." It tells in plain language (except when it comes to the meat section - kind of lost me there) the benefits of eating real food, including fats. I recommend it as an easy read to introducing you to real food again. She has also come out with a new book about real baby food that I can't wait to read. Although my son is no longer a baby *sniff*, I still am very interested in food in our society today.
So, we have switched to full fat dairy. Raw milk is SO good. We still have to get our raw milk from South Carolina though. It's our turn to drive the 2 hours each way to get it tomorrow for our small group. We drive once every 5 months, so it's not bad. We have come to learn to enjoy milk as a food and not a beverage. We use only full fat cheese and yogurt, although the yogurt is a bit tough to find and you have to be careful not to grab the "light" yogurts because they have even more fake stuff because there is no sugar added (not that I'm saying sugar is good). I did find that Stonybrook has an organic cream-top yogurt. So freaking good. Of course, I should be making my own yogurt from my fresh, raw milk, but that's another learning project for another day. Oh, and butter. How could I forget wonderful butter? Again, no margarine for us. We want the real thing. That does not mean that we eat a stick of butter a day, but if I want to butter my toast, I do it. Again, I should be making my own from my raw milk, but I need 4 more hours per day please!
We eat real meat.
Meat is one of those things that we believe you should spend money on. You have GOT to buy pastured meat, period. Obviously look for meat that has not been given growth hormones as well. I've recently discovered that we have a farm near where I grew up that the beef is $3.50/pound and you don't even have to buy the whole cow! Many places that sell this type of beef sell a whole cow, a half or a quarter. Usually the smaller quantity you buy, the more per pound you pay. But not this place! It's $3.50/pound even if you buy a quarter of a cow!
Chickens also must be pastured and let alone to feed on their natural diet. I grew up in chicken country with long, stinky chicken houses at every turn. I knew it was how the farmers made money but it never sank in until recently that those chickens were the ones that were processed and sold in our local grocery stores for us to eat. I wish I had pictures to post of these absolutely horrible living conditions for the chickens. They see no sun, no grass, no bugs. They are pumped full of feed and I'm sure full of hormones. After a shorter than should be maturity cycle, they are then shipped to the processing plant to be made ready to put on grocery shelves. After my realization that those same chickens that I knew we smashed into those chicken houses wing to wing with no room to move were the same chicken packages we bought to bring home and eat, it was definitely enough for me to rearrange my budget and add more to the grocery column.
Wild game. Mainly venison. Yes, deer. We eat deer. And we like it. After my husband shot his first deer this past fall, he was amazed at how lean the animal was. We then realized that although we live in a polluted world, that deer is probably the most natural meat we've consumed in a long time. The deer had not been caged without access to fresh air, grass, water. It had not been fed supplemental "fattening" food. It was as it should be. And if you are a meat eater, which I'm sure most of you are, you should start paying very, very close attention to the type of meat you are buying and consuming. I'm not saying become a hunter and go shoot your own. But perhaps make friends with a hunter! Pack your freezer full of ground venison that is easily interchangeable for beef in all the recipes I've ever tried.
The one issue we are having is sugar. I love sugar. I know how bad white sugar is for you. I'm really trying to cut it out. I've even tried alternative sweeteners and so far nothing is working for me. However, I am getting better. I used to go by McDonald's for the giant sweet tea for $1 several times a week. Now, I cannot drink the stuff. It's like syrup to me. I haven't had one in months. And at Starbucks, I used to get a grande vanilla latte and add 2 splendaewww, fake stuff that we do not touch anymore). Now if I get a grande vanilla latte, I ask for only 2 pumps of the syrup instead of 4. I think I'm to the point I can now ask for only one! This is a challenge area for us and we are constantly working at it.
So after my success at losing the weight by simply eating real food, I'm even more of a believer of READING THE LABELS! I've become quite good at it and although we aren't perfect and still buy crappy stuff (hello...boxed cake mix and canned frosting) we have definitely changed our eating lifestyle and love it.