Seriously though, it's amazing what so many people don't know. And there is so much info out there to sort through and comprehend that it can be overwhelming. So, here and there, I thought I would share some of my take-aways from this learning process in the best layman's terms possible!
First, you must understand, I have a husband who needs everything to be black and white and very convincing with a first time impression, otherwise, forget it. If you have ever read about Jessica's 'Hungry Angry Husband', I swear he must be a long lost brother to my husband! So, in short, I can't serve tofu and if it is something new & different, it has to be husband approved and not take 12 hours to cook either! Trying to change our whole diet as we knew it has been no easy task and not something we are even close to completing-- but I can tell you, my husband is coming around and he understands where I am coming from with why I am doing this. But sometimes, he just wishes there was a can of Cheese-Whiz in the cupboard, some Oreos and a Big Mac!
If anyone else is interested in making these changes, I know it is intimidating and that can keep a lot of people from trying. I wanted to share a few things that were easy no-brainers to start with!
No more Canola & Vegetable Oil in the cupboards. I only use Olive Oil (usually extra virgin) and Coconut Oil on a regular basis. There are some others for special dishes, like toasted sesame oil too, but they aren't used almost, if not, daily. This was an easy switch and quite frankly, using coconut oil for high temp cooking is great! I love it. It doesn't smoke or seem to burn things or stink! It's great! And, no more spraying cooking pans and sheets with nasty Pam...buy yourself a spritzer and pour your olive oil in it!
I never had margarine in the fridge (except for the one time I used it for a fly repellent experiment!) but if I did, it would have been one of the first too go. I just stock up on unsalted butter. Since most baking recipes call for unsalted and most dishes I can salt to my own taste, I stick with unsalted.
It is all about the full fat dairy over here so we only use Whole Milk. The closer to its natural form, the better a food is for you. Without going on too long of a tangent, drinking skim milk is basically just drinking chemical filled water. real food is a good resource for info on this. My husband is a huge milk drinker so he had no arguments with getting Whole Milk! *Note, we cannot legally purchase raw milk in Ohio so Hartlzer's is the closest to it as they use a low-pasteurized temperature processing.
I have dabbled in making my own yogurt and it's worked out well, I just need to remember to keep up with doing it. When I am out of homemade however, I no longer buy all those fancy yogurts with cake & fruit flavors. People think they are healthy, but they aren't. Read the ingredients - that will be your first clue. Plus, 'real' yogurt is chocked full of good probiotics that are good for you! I buy the large container of PLAIN yogurt, where the only ingredient listed is Grade A cultured milk. Sometimes, depending on the brand, you may see it list cultures such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus -- you wouldn't know it, but these are the GOOD bacterias that want in yogurt but that you do not get in all those fancy flavored yogurt cups. Plain yogurt does have a tang to it and if you aren't used to it, you will probably think it is gross, but I fix that by adding in some of my homemade jams and fruit butters! Cheaper and healthier for you!