Thursday, October 21, 2010

On my way to 80/20

I started my real food journey about 7 weeks ago and my first goal is to get to an 80/20 ratio of eating real food.  I can’t lie, I’m not quite there yet, I would say that I probably average out to around 50/50 right now.  I have days where I do absolutely great but I still have days where those old habits and cravings take over.  Chips and chocolate are still my two main weaknesses and I’ve definitely indulged in them a little too much!

Although I haven’t been perfect I’ve already started to notice some changes, which is great!  As part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday’s I thought I would share some of these changes with you.

1.       More Energy:  Right now I have more energy off of 5 hours of constantly disrupted sleep (thank you Kaiden) than I had when I was getting 8-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  I find this incredible!  I can’t even imagine how tired I would be if I was still eating like I used to.  :)

2.       More Laughing:  I know this must sound strange, but it’s true.  I have always been knows to say “that’s funny” when I find something funny instead of laughing and I didn’t really laugh that much.  It’s not that I was grumpy or unhappy, I just didn’t do it.  I realized the other day that I laugh a lot now and really laugh when I get going!  Who knew just how great laughing so much would feel!  And I can’t remember the last time I said “that’s funny”.

3.       Lost Weight:  For the past 8 years I have had this weight that I just couldn’t get under, I would get close but I just couldn’t break it.  I tried tons of diets and lots of exercise and nothing worked.  Even after Kaiden’s birth I lost my birth weight and a few extra pounds in 6 weeks due to breastfeeding, but since then I have hovered above that one number.  About a week ago I dropped below and keep dropping!  I couldn’t believe it, especially as I am eating amazing food and not depriving myself one bit!  Even Cody was surprised to find that he’s lost weight too! 

I can’t wait to see what other changes I notice as I continue eating real food and get closer to my 80/20 goal!  What kind of changes have you seen since you started your real food journey?


  1. You are doing SO great Gina! I can't tell you how much reading your journey inspires me. Sometimes I question the work that I do and the message I share because it feels like no one is listening! Then I read stories like yours and I'm inspired to keep at it, so thank you for sharing your journey!

  2. So, what does 80/20 look like in real life? I have no idea where to begin this journey. Since you have so recently begun, can you share what has and hasn't worked for you?

  3. Crystal - The information that you share is so helpful! It was some of your posts that started the ball rolling for me. They are informative and interesting and I keep sharing them! I only wish I had started this journey before Kaiden's birth. PS. As you probably guessed it was your pastured meat info that I referred to in my farm your post!

  4. SebbieDue - I'm not quite at 80/20 yet but to me it means eating whole foods like our great grandparents did the majority of the time. Cutting out processed foods, refined sugars & oils, eating better sources of meat/eggs/dairy/produce and forgetting a lot about what have been taught about nutrition. Right now I think 80/20 in my house just involves implementing things we've learned and new recipes. We're eating more eggs, and they are from pastured chickens. We try more traditional recipes for dinner with no processed components. But I still have days where I break down and eat chips or want pizza from the local pizza place. But I'm satisfying my chocolate craving with homemade ice cream. I no longer use white sugar and traded in all the newer oils (ie. vegetable oil) for more traditional ones.

    It can be overwhelming if you try to do everything at once so I think taking little steps is important. This also gives you a chance to figure out priorities and budget constraints. For example, maybe a family can't afford or can't find lots of organic produce. Then you can look at the dirty dozen list of produce and try to buy those organic or local and not worry as much about the others.

    There is a real food community and they are an amazing resource. If you look under my Nutrition and Food Links on the side I've listed a bunch of blogs that I follow. I've gotten tons of recipes, tips, ideas and resources from these sites.

    One of the hardest things for me was that there was so much information all over the place. Nourishing Traditions is a great book to get, it has lots of information in one place about fats, meats, dairy, etc. Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food for Rookies Course has been the biggest help ( If you can take it I definitely would. It puts all the information in one place, one week/topic at a time. It has made things a lot easier for me.

    As I mentioned above taking it one step at a time makes it a lot easier. You can focus one week on learning about good fats, another on trying to find local pastured meat, etc. This worked great for me and made me feel more confident and less overwhelmed. It also makes it more fun as it’s like little mini adventures every week!

    Good luck on starting your real food journey! Feel free to email me if you have any questions, are looking for resources or just need some support!

  5. Thanks, Gina, for the information and for the great link on the right, "Nourishing our Children"! I'm excited to keep up with your real food journey. By the way, what sugar/sweetener do you use now (honey, agave, less refined sugars)? Thanks again!

  6. Hi Melanie, I took a peek at your blog and love it! We are also trying to move toward living a simpler life. :) Although I'm not how much we've simplified sweeteners, lol.

    Right now for sweeteners we use a few... molasses for some sauces, honey for tea, maple syrup for ice cream, less refined sugars for random things like kefir water and baking (I've tried sucanat and panela and prefer panela) and I've also used palm sugar for baking. I have found lots of different information on agave, some say it is too refined and contains HFCS. I was discussing it with my sister the other day and she has been told that you need to look for minimally processed brands and to go with clear (not blue) agave as blue is cut with HFCS. I have to look into this more as I do like agave but haven't used it for a long time, it's fantastic in homemade chocolate. :)

    It seems like a lot but they all last a long time, except the maple syrup as I make a lot of homemade ice cream. We've had a lot of fun experimenting with different sweeteners in different foods, it made it easier to give up refined sugar.