I decided to look at what our family was eating to see if I could make some changes.
Lunch: Homemade soup (chicken or pork w/ veggies using homemade broth), + sandwich (1 piece of rye bread with a slice of cheese or leftover roasted pork/chicken)
Dinner: Various kinds of meat+rice/pasta/potatoes +salad or other veggie
We have tea after every meal with a small treat of some kind (ONE piece of chocolate or ONE cookie). And snack on fruit or homemade croutons, etc.
Verdict: I know that I don't eat enough of some things, like fruits and veggies. But it's hard to believe that with 90% of our food made from scratch we could be way off the mark. People keep talking about the evils of grains and sugar and it's hard for me to believe that having a few slices of bread or a few cookies per day would be ruining my digestion.
A lot of women in the fitness discussion groups I frequent seem to talk about "real food" and "Paleo" all the time. So I decided to check out a new e-book written by a woman I'd run into before in the blogosphere. She blogs at http://trinaholden.com/blog/.
But aside from the shopping side of the equation, Trina definitely has a knack for making things sound doable, and she assigns some simple tasks for those who like their checklists.
Here are a few sections of the book I found applicable:
1) Bone Broth
Making my own chicken broth seemed like a no-brainer. If I make soup, I use homemade broth, but I don't actually make it that often because I don't have stock vegetables on hand like onions, celery, and carrots.
"Your Real Food Journey" suggests: use bone broth in almost everything as a substitute for water; use it to boil your rice, pasta, etc. Again, that wasn't a new idea to me, but I'd never purposed to do it regularly. The life-changer was that she mentioned simmering just the bones. No soup veggies needed, just cover the chicken bones with water and some vinegar and simmer away for several hours. Then you have some broth you can use the next day for cooking your dinner. We eat chicken so often that I could definitely see myself doing this a lot.
2) Cultured Foods/Homemade Yogurt
Fermentation is a part of the Russian food culture, and I could see myself getting into it. "Your Real Food Journey" claims that fermented foods have special enzymes that can aid your digestion if you include them in every meal. Kefir and sauerkraut are the main ones around here, but the book has recipes like "Gingered Carrots" that sound edible as well.
As far as homemade yogurt, she suggests using some whey, which I'm pretty sure I could find in the supermarket here. The dairy section in Russian grocery stores is huge, and that includes cultured products. Hopefully I will make a yogurt attempt one of these days. If not, I can always just buy some kefir. Homemade is "better," but sometimes baby steps are necessary. Extra dishes have to be factored in!
So those are a few projects I'd like to try. As far as cutting out foods/food groups, well....the jury is still out.