Don’t you love taking a peek into the life of someone else? If you said yes, I’d say you are not alone. Just take a look at all of the ‘reality’ shows on TV (okay, I have to say I don’t really think those are ‘reality’ but hey, that is how they are marketed).
At Real Food for Less Money we’ve been trying to have our own peeks into other’s lives. My family has what we call experience week in which we live in Someone Else’s Shoes for a week or two. The first experience was Working Full Time and Real Foods. Right now we’re coming to the end of the USDA Thrifty Food Plan. Next month we will have another experience also showing how Real Foods can fit into a different scenario. I’m not going to tell you what that experience will be just yet, but I will tell you this will be another monetary challenge. I think you will really like it!
As a partner piece to my families experience weeks with Someone Else’s Shoes, I’ll have periodic interviews with real people. We’ll learn about these people in their actual shoes! Real food enthusiasts on their own journey. These journey’s will look very different from each other but have many similarities (I suspect).
This week we are meeting Jessica of Delicious Obsessions. Jessica is also a fellow member of the Nourished Living Network. I’m just getting to know her and am totally impressed with all she does. She is currently doing a wonderful series on fermentation that you will want to check out.
Life in Jessica’s Shoes
Millie (Real Food for Less Money):Describe your ‘typical’ day.
Jessica: I wake up at 6am and get ready for work. Leave by 6:45am to be to work at 7am. I work as a marketing coordinator at a company in Denver. I typically work until 4pm and then either go to the gym, hike/walk, or yoga, run errands, or come home and take the dogs to the dog park. Depends on the day, but I’m usually home by 5:30 or so. On the evenings where my hubby gets off at a reasonable hour, I fix dinner for us. On the other days, I just snack on whatever I have in the fridge, instead of cooking a whole meal. After exercise/dinner is done, I hop back on the computer and work on my blog, answer emails and readers comments, read a book, and/or I watch a show on Netflix, until 9:30 or so and then it’s time to get ready for bed. I am trying to adhere to the 10pm bedtime, but it doesn’t always happen. The Internet can be awfully distracting! ?
Millie: Do you attach a label to the way you eat? Real, whole, traditional, paleo, gluten-free, etc.
Jessica: I would say I’m a little of all. I’m definitely a real foodie. Fake, processed food must go and I try to do my best at eliminating these from my house and my diet (thought I do mess up from time to time). I eat a lot of traditionally prepared foods like ferments, soaked nuts/seeds/legumes. I like the basic principles of paleo/primal, though I’m not willing to give up dairy (I love, love, love my cheese). I don’t eat a lot of gluten containing foods, just because I don’t eat a lot of bread, pasta, etc. When I do eat bread, it’s sourdough, and if I eat pasta, it’s quinoa pasta.
Millie: What is your biggest obstacle to your food journey?
Jessica: Not always having enough time or feeling like other things take priority over preparing good meals (even though I know better). Another thing I struggle with is lack of inspiration for meals, which is pretty strange, considering I write a food blog!
Millie: How do you overcome this obstacle?
Jessica: I strive to keep meals simple and to do a lot of batch cooking and prep on my days off so that the hectic weeknights are easier. I will make big batches of chili, stew, soup, meatballs, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, etc., and freeze them in individual portions so we can just grab and go. And as far as keeping it simple, sometimes it’s as simple as sautéing whatever veggies I have on hand in some coconut oil or butter and throwing in a can of salmon. It’s a pretty fast and very nutritious meal.
When I need inspiration, I pull out some of my favorite cookbooks and see what tickles my fancy.
Millie: My family strives for a ratio of 85% real/whole/traditional foods. Do you have a ratio or other way of tracking that you strive for in your family?
Jessica: We strive for a similar ratio. The key for me is just making sure I don’t buy junk for us to eat. I’m in charge of the grocery shopping, so if I don’t buy it, it’s not there for us to eat. So, even though that package of Oreos might look really good (and Oreos are a weakness of mine), I just refuse to buy them. Even with organic snacks and treats, I try to avoid buying because it’s still packaged and processed food. If I want cookies, then I’ll make cookies. I don’t actively track what we’re eating, but I know that 95% of the food in my house is real, wholesome food, so I feel confident that we’re doing OK. (Don’t ask about that other 5%, ‘k? ?)
Millie: In your own food journey, do you consider yourself a novice, intermediate or advanced?
Jessica: Intermediate. I’ve mastered most of the basics and am to the point where eating well doesn’t seem as overwhelming and intimidating as it did when I first started out. But, I still slip up more than I’d care to mention, so I am in no way, shape, or form perfect at any of it!
Millie: What is your one Standard food? The “must have” that you always keep on hand?
Jessica: Grass-fed butter and lots of it. Butter makes everything better!
Millie: Do you have any final tips or tricks that you would like to share with Real Food for Less Money readers?
Jessica: I would say the key to long-term success with switching over to a whole foods diet is to take baby steps and not try to do too much at once. Master some of the basics and then move on to more complicated stuff.
Also, it’s important to plan your meals. It might seem like a lot of work, but a little extra work on the weekend can make your weekdays so much easier! I try to do a lot of batch cooking, so that I can have meals in the freezer, ready to go on crazy, hectic evenings!
Millie: Would you share a one day food journal with us?
Breakfast – Handful of soaked almonds and leftover Brussel sprouts with butter and cheese. Water to drink.
Lunch – A bowl of French onion soup. Homemade kombucha to drink.
Snack – Homemade chocolate energy bar. More water.
Dinner – Tortilla pizza – whole wheat tortilla, organic pizza sauce, veggies, lots of cheese, dipped in homemade ranch dressing. Kombucha (yes, I drink a lot of booch! ?)
Snack – Some organic chocolate covered toffee (I broke down and bought some at the store. Sigh.)
Thank you Jessica! Wonderful tips/suggestions for making real food work while working full time!
Would you like to be featured in this series of interviews for Someone Else’s Shoes? You do not need a blog or website. You can be brand spanking new to this journey or an ‘old hat’ (I’m not calling you old…), I’d love to interview you! Email me at realfoodforlessmoney at gmail dot com.
See the other post in this interview series here.