On our plates

There are a lot of things going into our bodies that we just can’t control – especially living here in Lebanon.  From the polluted air that we breath every day to the contaminated water running through rusty pipes that we wash our dishes, shower and brush our teeth with, we just can’t avoid some things.

But one thing we do have control over is what we are eating at home.  For the past two weeks, we’ve eaten only “real food” at home – nothing highly processed, no refined sugar or flour.

We started slow a few months ago.

One of the first things I worked on was snacks.  We started eating a lot more fruit, vegetables, yogurt and nuts instead of packaged crackers, chips and cookies.

Next up was drinks.  We don’t actually drink coke, but I loooove juice and thought it would be super hard to find a good replacement.  But then I discovered naturally flavored water, and we’re totally sold.  Basically we throw a few cut up cucumbers and some fresh mint that we grow on our balcony into a pitcher of iced water and we guzzle it down!  I found a lot of fun recipes here, but haven’t been able to try many yet because the fruits aren’t in season (or aren’t available here).

Dinners were pretty easy, because we don’t have a lot of the convenience foods here that we were used to in the States.  The biggest switches we needed to make were with our grains, since I was pretty much already cooking from scratch.

So that’s how we’ve been eating the past few months.

After we got back from Germany, I decide to do a little experiment and move to only real food for a few weeks.  So far it’s been going pretty well and I’ve discovered some fun new things to eat with the benefit that I know exactly what we are putting in our bodies and it’s all natural, healthy food!

For breakfast, one of the new things we’ve been eating overnight oatmeal.  Cold oatmeal sounds disgusting, but it’s actually surprisingly good!

For lunch, I’ve discovered that homemade peanut butter is ridiculously easy to make.  Just throw the nuts in a food processor and process the heck out of them.  I didn’t actually love the taste, but then I tried making almond butter.  Almonds, a little honey and some olive oil… amazing!!

Homemade granola bars (although I pretty much substitute every nut and fruit in that recipe – I just use it for the quantities :)) and smoothies are our favorite snacks right now, but for the past few days, I have been majorly craving something sweet… and not just fruit… I need chocolate!  Homemade Larabars to the rescue! (I don’t actually know what a Larabar is, but this version is absolutely delish!)

granola bars… the larabars didn’t last long enough to be photographed :)

So, that’s what we’ve been eating lately.  We’re still going out to eat when we feel like it, and have no qualms about eating whatever is put in front of us when we are visiting friends… but it’s nice to feel a little more in control of what we are putting into our bodies while we are at home.  I’m not sure that this will be a permanent thing, right now it’s just an experiment, but so far it’s off to a pretty good start!

Would love any good websites or recipes if any of you are also on a real food diet!

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10 thoughts on “On our plates

  1. i love the traditiinal lebanese food my mother makes, but cause she is a working woman she prefers home made fast food that needs less time, i know my mother is getting tired, but i love her food, especially when it is the same food my grandmother used to cook, i always beg her to do stuff other than fast food, days ago she made potato “YAKHANE” and it was super delicous

    • We also looove traditional Lebanese food! I’m still learning how to cook it, but the things I’m able to make are so good… and most of them are “real food” so it’s a win-win for us! I’ve never had yakhane, though, we’ll have to try it out!

  2. Nicolette – we’ve been doing the same using the 100daysofrealfood.com website and we have quite a few favorites :) The pork carnitas tacos are DELISH – and easy, along with the “chocolate truffles” if you’re in need of a chocolate fix. The author of the blog also recommends the cookbook Deliciously Organic and her recipes are super yummy and fall in line with the no processed rule for the most part. I’ve pinned a few favorites as well for lunch and snack ideas which has been super helpful for the kiddos.

    • Thanks, Lily! I downloaded her sample menus, but so many of her recipes have ingredients we can’t get here. I’ll definitely check out the chocolate truffles… just the word chocolate makes them sound amazing! Heading over to Pinterest to see your pins right now… :)

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