If it’s true that you are what you eat…

I don’t want to be…





Monosodium Glutamate


Autolyzed Yeast Extract

autolyzed yeast extract


I want to be meat and bones.

I want to be carrot-orange, onion-white, and marrow-pink.

I want to be fresh.

I want to simmer until I’m full of flavor.

I don’t want others to guess at what I’m made of:

I want to to be made of a few good, simple things:

I want to be lean enough to be healthy, but fat enough to be tasty.

Can't get ALL the fat out when you skim it off the top.

I want to be REAL.

Want to join us?

We’re going to start playing the Game of Five (which I learned about here on Family Sponge):

No food with more than 5 ingredients listed on the label.

No ingredients I can’t recognize or pronounce.

This will, unfortunately, eliminate our Swanson Broth, “natural” and fat-free as it may be.

Can we really do this?

Honestly, I don’t know.  But I want to try.

I’m tired of feeling scared of my food.

I’m tired of feeling like a victim to forces I cannot control.

I want to eat more food like this:

I’m not going to lie.  These meatballs (from a Centsational Girl recipe) were amazing, made from beef chuck I ground myself, our own beef stock, and fresh dill.  They are pretty heavenly over a bed of rice.

But… we ate dinner at 8:30 last night (because it took so long to make) and it was a costlier-than-usual meal.  While it was made of mostly-real food, it was pretty high in fat/calories.  (Sour cream and butter.  I love them both.)  And I couldn’t help wondering what the cow who provided the beef was fed.

I don’t expect this to be easy.
I know I won’t be perfect in it.
I know I won’t stop my children from eating processed junk when they’re out of my sight. (And, since I’m working hard to be real here, when they’re right under my nose.)

But… I’m hoping that just reducing the amount of additives, preservatives, and artificial whatevers from our diet has got to do something good for the health of our family.

By the way…

If you’re interested in making your own beef stock, I got the basics for how to do so here.  Don’t feel like you have to follow the recipe exactly.  I throw in what’s left over in the fridge, and I use some pre-packaged organic herbs.

organic herbs

I use whatever herb mix is in stock at my local grocery store–I’ve used one for poultry and this one for seafood.  Both have worked just fine.

We’ve mostly used the stock for soup, and it tastes so much better than the stuff from a can (which we wrote about here).

Next up:  I’m going to try Karianne’s bread (which you can read about here), which we’re sure will be amazing with our next batch of soup.

And writing about Karianne’s bread reminds me:

We’re pleased as can be to be featured by not one, but two of the Imagine the Impossibilities hosts on their blogs this week.  You can check out us (and a handful of others taking on DIY feats of greatness) here:

Thistlewood Farm

The Space Between

How about you?

Have any adventures in healthier eating you’d like to share?  Any great tips or recipes?  It’s hard for me to admit, but I’ve never been very thoughtful or intentional about food, and I could use all the help I can get.

Image credits:



Monosodium glutamate

Autolyzed Yeast Extract

Had to borrow these images because I just don’t have those ingredients lying around.  All other photos by me.