Defining Real Food

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Defining Real Food: What does real food really look like? Find out how I define real food and how our family made the switch!

Food isn’t complicated and was never intended to be.

Before big businesses decided to produce massive amounts of products with loads of cheap corn, sugar, and oils and call it “food,” people had to eat something. Before big food business, people enjoyed eating food that nourished their families! Families had the pleasure of growing and gathering, cooking and eating. There was no talk of fat-free products, cookies, crackers, and breads with extended shelf-life.

Defining Real Food: What does real food really look like? Find out how I define real food and how our family made the switch!

What is real food?

“Real food is wholesome and nourishing. It is simple, unprocessed, whole food. Real food is pure and unadulterated, sustained yet unchanged by man.” From Keeper of the Home

“In the simplest explanation, traditional foods focused on four basic principles: 1) avoidance of modern, refined foods; 2) celebration of unrefined, whole and natural foods; 3) respecting the importance of nutrient-density in our food and 4) preparing and eating foods in the same manner that nourished our ancestors and kept them well. In essence, if your great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother wouldn’t recognize it, don’t put it in your mouth.” From Nourished Kitchen

Simplify School Lunch Packing

Over the years, I’ve developed strategies that help me simplify packing my kids’ lunch. I created the Simplified School Lunch Kit to end the school lunch overwhelm and share all my simplifying strategies and lunch plans. It’s possible to simplify and even enjoy lunch packing! 

Here’s what you’ll find in this kit:

  • ready-to-use lunch plans
  • a food prep guide
  • my stress-free approach to planning and packing lunch
  • nourishing recipes my kids love
  • 20 fully-packed lunchbox printable cards to make building a school lunch super easy

Live Simply: School Lunch Packing


Micheal Pollan advises, “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”

Real Food is about food that has withstood traditions.  Food which previous generations ate and enjoyed in their unprocessed state.

Defining Real Food: What does real food really look like? Find out how I define real food and how our family made the switch!

What does real nourishing food look like? 

Defining Real Food: What does real food really look like? Find out how I define real food and how our family made the switch!

Grass Fed, Pastured Meats: Meaning animals that have been raised and fed as they were intended when created, with grass underneath and the sun overhead. Using all parts of the animal including the bones for nourishing broths. Chicken, beef, lamb, pork, and wild game.

Eggs: From chickens that have been pastured, roaming free with lots of sunlight.

Fats: Such as: butter from grass fed cows, unrefined coconut oil, ghee, extra virgin olive oil, tallow, and lard. Learn more about fats and oils 101.

Grains and Legumes: Whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. If you can’t tolerate grains, grain-free flour substitutes such as: almond and coconut flour can be used for baking.

Fruits and Veggies: Preferably in season and grown as locally as possible and using organic practices. Including lots of fresh herbs.

Dairy: Raw (or low heat pasteurized) and full fat from grass fed cows (or goats or sheep). Anytime you see the words low-fat or fat-free you know a lot of junk has been added to make up for the nourishing healthy fats.  This would include: milk, cheese, sour cream, yogurt, kefir, cream cheese, cottage cheese.

Salt: Real, unrefined salt that hasn’t been stripped of its nourishing minerals. I use Real Salt.

Seafood: Fish raised in the wild versus a fish farm.

Sweeteners: As close to the natural state as possible, such as raw honey (local honey is always preferable due to its health benefits), pure maple syrup, and sugars such as sucanat. Learn more about Sweeteners 101

It’s been a long journey (one we are still on), but this is how our family eats today. Stop by and read our story!

Defining Real Food: What does real food really look like? Find out how I define real food and how our family made the switch!

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  • Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom love love love this excited for the change in my family to start eating real nourishing foods and my husband is on board awesome I would like an example of a dinner you serve in your house 🙂 thank you for sharing 🙂 i cant wait to try raw milk 🙂 im going to do some research and find out where i can get some groceries like this near my house I live in Riverview I want to make all your recipes that you share thank you again

    • Diana, I am so excited for you guys! It wasn’t an overnight fix for us, but little by little real food became the norm in our house. I look forward to sharing meal plans soon, recipes I love, and some great places to shop for food! Right now a great site is and Both sites will provide you with info on local farms and ranches near you! Tonight we are having stir fry with lots of chopped veggies, some leftover chicken meat, greens tossed with a homemade honey, organic soy sauce, and garlic mixture over brown rice…easy and nourishing!

  • Hi Wow… Such a pretty site… I shared your like with my wife on FB…

    I too am starting a real food journey and have also started a blog. would love your comments on things I can do to make it a better resource for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus.

    My Goal, is to take the Real Food, Paleo message to the people of God, because we need it right…

    Here’s my site.. feel free to remove URL if its not welcome

    God Bless

  • Hi! I’m a new reader and am loving your blog! The salad at the end of this post looks delicious! Is there a recipe for it?

    • Hey Shauna, Welcome to Live Simply! I’m so glad you’re loving the blog! I don’t have a written recipe for the salad on LS, but I’ll add it to my calendar for sharing :).

  • Hi Kristin! I am a teen moving towards a clean, real food diet. Your blog has really been helping with that. I’m having trouble giving up some of my favorite foods though, how do you do that?

    • Hey Cassie, My best advice is to find better store-bought alternatives or homemade options for your favorite foods. If you love flavored yogurt, purchase plain yogurt and add fruit and honey. If you love a good burger, make them at home with grass-fed beef. If you love cereal, look for a “cleaner” store-bought option. Slowly with time your taste-buds may also change as you wean yourself away from the highly processed food.

  • Hi Kristin, I’m a mom in my 50s with 2 married kids and 2 high schoolers. We’ve all found that our family of ADHDers has a tendency toward terrible processed and fast-food because we are too tired or unfocused to think about it. Thankfully, my husband is a mountain biker and searches for clean eating ideas. I’ve become a good cook and try to overcome the easy dash to BK, so I am so thankful to find your blog via Pinterest. It is exactly what I’ve been looking for as a base for reshaping our attitude and effort toward simple, whole foods. I’m converting our favorites to more nutritious, simple recipes and compiling a notebook for myself and for each of my kids, with your intro in the front. I’m also very allergic to many chemicals and botanicals, so I appreciate your natural cleaning methods. Yay for vinegar!

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