I’m excited to be on Day 3 of a “Real Food Reset!”
If you missed the announcement, I am in the middle of hosting a free 7 day challenge. This is something I put out into the Universe to help people refocus on the few things that are still within our control during COVID-19.
Every day for 7 days, we’re tracking:
If you missed signing up for this challenge, make sure you get onto my email list so you can be the first to know when I do another FREE challenge like this!
What makes this challenge special is that, for the first time, the only real restriction on what we should be eating and should be avoiding is only limited by what meals we can make from scratch.
If I want ice cream, I can eat it...but first I have to make it from non-processed foods.
Now, I’m certainly not suggesting that we should eat a bunch of homemade ice cream, homemade baked goods, and homemade sugary foods all week.
Those are allowed and can be enjoyed but the goal during this challenge is to prioritize home cooked meals built from nutrient dense foods!
With this in mind I am encouraging the challenge participants to release all the pressure and expectations they have around their diet and just get back to eating REAL FOODS, just like our great grandmothers ate.
THE AGE OF COVID
We are currently in the middle of an unprecedented time.
The stress that the COVID-19 pandemic has created around the world is most certainly affecting our health.
It has been interesting for me to see how my nutrition clients are responding to this challenge. Some of them are attempting to use food as an antianxiety drug by eating all day, and some are forgetting to eat all together due to loss of structure in their daily routine.
Either way, goals are being sabotaged!
This breaks my heart because when this crisis is over, we could be ahead of where we were when this whole thing started, so long as we feel empowered to make a few good decisions that work to support our long term goals.
There was a study published in 2011 that followed 160 non-obese women. These women were asked to report their eating behaviors and emotional state every 2 hours for 10 days.
The researchers discovered a few things.
This study is one of many that shows that what we eat can directly affect our mood.
And what I’ve noticed the past couple weeks is that some of us have become much less structured with our eating because we’re stressed out.
This is precisely the time when we should be supporting our body with everything it needs to create positive emotions and not eating foods that fuel more stress and negative emotions.
That is one of the main reasons I included ‘real food meals made with single ingredient items’ as one of the challenges for 7 days.
Not only are many of us in a shelter in place and shouldn’t be going out to coffee shops and restaurants for meals, but this is also a high stress time and most of us can use all the help we can get to minimize anxiety and promote positive emotions.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BEAT BOBBY FLAY
With this in mind, I wanted to share some of my favorite scratch cooked recipes today.
Some of these recipes are quite simple, and some are more complicated to prepare.
Even if you are not participating in the 7 Day Real Food Reset Challenge, now is a great time to embrace the spirit of your great grandmother and get back to home cooked meals!
If home cooking is new to you, be KIND to yourself!
This thing called cooking takes practice.
Someone who has never swam freestyle in their life doesn’t expect to jump in a pool and immediately have the techniques and skills to swim with Michale Phelps! And you shouldn’t expect to be Emeril Lagasse either.
So get in the kitchen with an open mind and explorative attitude and just try to have fun with it! You will fail a few recipes and that’s okay. Failure is how we learn.
Laugh about it.
Learn from it.
And get right back after it.
Who knows, you might find that cooking becomes a form of stress relief over time and who couldn’t use more stress relief right now?!?
1. Sweet Potato and Sausage Breakfast Casserole- This recipe takes time to cook in the morning, so if you like to eat breakfast immediately upon waking, you’ll need to prepare this one ahead of time and reheat it in the morning. Depending on the size of your family, this recipe makes great leftovers!
2. Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread- Who doesn’t love home cooked bread? And if you are gluten free like I am, finding a good recipe can be very challenging. But I have had success time after time with this recipe. In this recipe, I swap the regular milk for homemade oat milk (to make this dairy free) and also cook mine in my Breville bread maker on the gluten free setting.
3. Vegetarian Power Bowls- If you follow me on social media, you know how much I love making Buddha Bowls. This is the same idea! As this recipe creator states in her blog, think of this as a giant collection of goodness. Roasted vegetables + lean protein + creamy sauce. Usually all things we have left over from a previous meal. YUM!
4. Enchiladas with Poblano-Pork Stuffing & Creamy Avocado Sauce- This recipe requires a good amount of ingredients and a few more steps than normal, but when you are craving dairy free mexican food, it’s worth it!
5. Instant Pot Creamy Butternut Squash + Apple Soup- This is by far one of my favorite pre or post workout soups. It’s easy to drink (no spoon required), has a good blend of protein and carbs, and after a hard workout, it’s easy to digest.
6. Coconut Chia Quinoa Breakfast Bars- Another one of my favorite pre workout bars. These are great to eat before a long bike ride or a big hike! If you are part of the Real Food Reset Challenge, just make sure everything you use only has 1 ingredient on the label.
7. Thai Red Curry Paste- This is a staple condiment at my house. And if you are working on making more foods from scratch, this is a great recipe! The curry paste stores well in a jar in the fridge for 2 months, so make a big batch and enjoy it with your favorite protein and veg combo!
8. Cilantro Avocado Dressing- Great on top of roasted vegetables, as a dipping sauce for kebabs, or on top of your favorite salad!
9. Creamy Lemon Ice Cream- Because sometimes it’s nice to have a sweet treat! I use a local honey from a friends hive (instead of stevia) for this.
10. Instant Pot Coconut Yogurt- For some reason, I avoided home making my own yogurt for years. I thought it would be too hard. Once I finally made my first batch, I was surprised how easy it was. I haven’t looked back since! I use 1 tsp grass-fed beef gelatin instead of the agar-agar flakes. I also use 1 capsule of a traditional probiotic capsule because I don’t have probiotic powder at home. Make sure you break the capsule open and just add the powder to the yogurt.
So there you have it!
Ten of my favorite FROM SCRATCH recipes that are regulars in my house.
Do you have a traditional family favorite you want to share in the comments?
Tiana Rockwell is a certified nutritional therapist, avid endurance athlete and dark chocolate lover. She believes that by eating REAL food, we can balance our body and reach optimal health and wellness!