Okay people, I must admit, I’ve gone off the deep end and I’m in with the “crazies”. Ever since I read, In Defense of Food this summer I have drastically changed our eating habits- and my cooking habits for that matter. If you’ve followed this blog for long you may think I’m already a little extreme (buying a cow and all), but oh no, it can get worse, much worse (in a good way of course).

While I’ve been eager to eat healthier for some time, I’ve needed a legitimate and compelling reason why I should make the effort to go for the good stuff and avoid the bad. In Defense of Food did that for me. It even took away my desire to eat the bad stuff. Quite impressive I must say.

If you’ve tried to eat clean or eat healthy, whatever you want to call it, you already know:

  • It necessitates more work.
  • It cost more money.
  • It requires self-control.

Now I’m not one to back down from a good challenge, but when it comes to eating, well, it’s just hard. Let’s face it. We eat at minimum three meals a day- not including all of those snacks in between. If we can manage to eat one healthy/clean meal a day we feel like we’re making progress. Am I the only one?

The worst part is that we are bombarded with this “quick and easy” mentality when it comes to food. If something takes longer than five minutes to prepare we feel anxious. The faster we can get meals on the table and off again, the faster we can do the next pressing thing in our time table.

In Defense of Food helped me see behind all the marketing, behind all the health talk, and look at what I’m actually putting into my body (and my kids). To be honest, it’s pretty startling and sickening. No wonder our country is in a health crisis. When it comes to what the “average” American eats these days, I don’t want to be “average”. I would much rather be labeled a “health nut” and “extreme” than “average”.

I’ve been making changes to just about everything surrounding our food. I buy more organic and whole- very little with ingredients that are unrecognizable and I shy away from most things with more than five ingredients.

I’ve been trying lots of new recipes this last month- some have been awesome, some not so much. I made a  yummy alfredo pasta (in less than 30 min.) the other night, we had some killer chicken enchiladas (with homemade enchilada sauce- didn’t know that was possible) for dinner last night, and my kids love “egg muffins” for breakfast.

Granola is a staple in our house (a great cereal replacement) so I’ve been trying a few different recipes and I finally found a keeper.

Lazy Granola (adapted from The Finer Things In Life)

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar*
  • 1/2 cup oil coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 7 cups Old Fashioned oats (NOT quick cooking!)
  1. Mix brown sugar, oil, and honey in a small saucepan. Bring to a low boil.
  2. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.
  3. Pour over oats in a large bowl. Stir until well coated.
  4. Spread oats in a 9×13 pan.  Bake at 375° for 10 minutes.
  5. Take out and stir.
  6. Return pan to oven. Turn oven off.
  7. Go to bed. Wake up to deliciousness in your kitchen!

You can add in any raw nuts, dried fruit, or a fun special treat- chocolate chips.

*A note on the sugar. I’m trying to cut out sugar in most recipes and replace it with honey. I’ve made this with the full amount of sugar and with half- just as good. The next time I’ll double the honey and omit the sugar to compare.

Is all of this extreme? Maybe
Does it cost more? Yes.
Has it created more work? Um, yes.
Do I feel better? Definitely.

And I’m convinced it’s better for the long term. All of the artificial, processed, high-in-sugar food products out there don’t even sound good to me anymore. I knew I was making big process the other morning when I poured my coffee and milk and drank it without sugar- and I still enjoyed it! That was huge for me.

So yes, call me crazy. I’m way off the deep end!