real food :: breann bowman

today's guest post is this gorgeous girl breann bowman of things we fancy. she, too, has a passion for eating real, clean food and i asked her to share her experience + some tips with all of you. photo by Brittany LeSueur Photography

Hello all! I’m so honored to be guest posting on Deer Lindsay. Today I want to talk about clean eating and my journey to health. So many people have asked me how I got started in changing my diet and lifestyle. When most people think of clean eating, whole and organic, what they’re really thinking is expensive, time consuming, and “where the crap would I even begin?” I know this because that’s exactly what I thought too! Well friends, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way at all! Here are my tips on starting a new and healthy lifestyle!

Number One: Find Your Motivation
Like all things in life, we need motivation to actually do them! Whether it be to fit into that little black dress, or to stop eating out so much, you need to find what really drives you to change your eating habits. Personally for me, it was seeing several of my family members during the holidays, a few of which are overweight, unhealthy, and diagnosed with diabetes. I watched as they gave themselves shots of insulin just so they could survive Thanksgiving dinner. I saw how difficult their lives had become due to this awful disease and became determined to never let my health get to that point. Once you find your motivation, never let it go! This is what will keep you on the right track!

Number Two: Clean House
This can be one of the hardest parts of moving towards clean eating, but I promise it’s the most liberating! Go to your kitchen, open the pantry and fridge and throw away all the fake, processed and scientifically modified garbage. I could have never moved forward if I wasn’t willing to throw out boxes of mac and cheese, Oreos, and Dr. Pepper. If it’s still there, you’ll always be tempted to pick up more when you’re running out, and even more tempted to eat it’s just sitting there.
This also includes forgetting about all the fast food places you run to for lunch and other meals. After I emptied my kitchen, I was still tempted to go to Taco Bell on my lunch breaks. One thing that seriously helped me was simply hopping onto Yelp! and looking up healthy restaurant options around me, or even going to Sprouts or Whole Foods instead. You’d be amazed at how many places you can find, and even more amazed at how much you love the food compared to what you used to eat.

Number Three: Find a plan that works for YOU
There are a lot of different opinions and ideas of what clean eating is.  I did a lot of research on it, and decided it was a little to extreme to follow any one plan. If you find one that you love, then go with it! If not, you can always pick and choose what you want to work with. The only thing I can’t stress enough is to eat REAL food. Do what you can to find it in its most natural form.
More importantly, don’t get down on yourself if you can’t make dinner one night and end up getting burritos. Set small goals for yourself like clean eating for a week and bump it up from there. Before you know it you’ll be at 100%! We practice an 80/20 lifestyle, because you still need to be realistic. I’m a girl after all, and sometimes I just need a Coke and French fries.  Keep in mind “Eating one burger isn’t going to make you fat, just like eating one salad isn’t going to make you skinny.”

Finding REAL Food
A lot of people get really put off by changing over to organic because it’s really expensive, especially for produce that goes bad in a week. I’ve been in that position. In the beginning of my journey I only shopped at places like Whole Foods and would spend $80 on 2 bags of groceries! I knew I needed to look for cheaper food sources.

Produce: I have found the best place to get your produce is local farmers markets! Several of them sell mostly organic, and it’s dirt cheap. You don’t have to live in a rural or small town to find one either. Most cities have markets one or two days a week. If you ‘re not into going to them, a lot of local farmers are starting to do Farm Boxes! You pay a monthly fee and each week you get a box of freshly picked produce that’s in season! One of the biggest benefits of buying from local farmers and growers is you are really helping to support the local economy.
The easiest way to find them is to just do a Google search. For me, I search “Phoenix Farmer’s Markets”. You can even look it up on Craigslist!
If you’re completely opposed to these options, do what I wish I had time to, and grow a garden! You can’t get morefarm fresh than picking yummy fruits and veggies from your own backyard!

Meat and Dairy:
Meats and Dairy are items that I tend to splurge on. I never feel bad about it though, especially when I am spending such little amounts on produce.
Milk – I personally only drink raw milk. Luckily, it can legally be sold in the state of Arizona. You can find several dairies and farmers on Craigslist that sell raw milk. If you can’t find it in your state, whole organic milk is the best way to go! I personally love Horizon brand which is sold at Sprouts, Trader Joes and Whole Foods. Same goes for heavy whipping cream and half & half.
Butter – You guys I’m a butter freak. I would say that it’s a real problem except I feel absolutely no guilt about eating it. Reason being – we only eat grass fed organic butter. My favorite brand is Kerrygold, which is sold in several grocery stores including Fresh & Easy.
Meat – Meats are another item I tend to splurge on as well. We try not to eat tons of it in our house, mainly because we try to eat everything in moderation. Some of the best places to get good meats are usually butcher shops. I will also go to Whole Foods, Sprouts or Trader Joe’s. The best way to save on meat is to buy it in whole pieces. This means instead of spending $10 on boneless skinless chicken breasts, buy the whole chicken for $20. The beautiful thing about meat is you can freeze it! Plus you can use the bones to make chicken broth!

Changing your lifestyle does not have to be hard or stressful! Instead look at it as something you can learn from and in the process you’ll actually begin to have a lot of fun. Some of my best Saturday’s have included my husband and I spending mornings at the Farmer’s markets and driving around looking for real food sources. The best part is your body will thank you for it later as you begin to detox from processed foods and be healed and nourished. To start you off I’ll leave you one of my favorite and simple real food recipes!

Lemon Rosemary Chicken

4 Organic Chicken Breasts
1 Yellow Onion
2 Lemons
1 Tbs. Minced Garlic
4 Sprigs of fresh Rosemary (Broken in half)
Organic Chicken Broth

Slice up your onion and place half of it as a layer on the bottom of your crockpot. Next top with the chicken breasts and add your chicken broth until about ½ inch deep.  Layer the rest of your sliced onion on top and sprinkle with the minced garlic. Last, slice up the lemons and layer them on top along with the fresh rosemary. If you’d like a stronger lemon flavor, you can add the zest of one of the lemons. Put the lid on and cook for 6 hours on LOW. Perfect when served with homemade mashed potatoes or brown rice.