Transitioning from Whole Foods to Real Foods Menus in 2016
Beginning January 1, 2016 we are working to transition what was our Whole Foods Menu offerings to more of a Real Food Menu offering. During this process we will begin coming out with NEW Real Food menus and discontinuing new Whole Foods menus. For those that love the Whole Foods menus of the past – don’t worry – there are plenty to choose from and we believe you are going to LOVE the new Real Foods menu
Welcome to the Once a Month Meals Real Food Menu
We are always looking to improve the tools we offer at OAMM. With the help of input from you (thanks!) we have revamped and renamed our Whole Foods Menu. Our new Real Food Menu will still provide you with simple meals made from unprocessed, fresh, local and seasonal ingredients while keeping in mind your valued time. But we will use improved guidelines to be sure you eat your fill of wholesome foods and avoid processed and nutrient-poor foods. You will continue to see made from scratch recipes. However, we will provide you 15 full recipes – 3 breakfast, 4 lunch, and 8 dinner – instead of only 12 recipes plus add on ingredients, so that you can make better use of your time on cooking day. It still may take a little longer to prepare than our other menus, but a freezer full of wholesome food is worth the effort!
Types of Food Included
The name of this menu says it all, but we figured a little more explanation would be helpful. We love this definition from our blog partner Lisa at 100 Days of Real Food. Basically we are talking about food that is as close to its natural state as possible. This includes:
- Plentiful produce
- Full fat dairy products
- Whole grains (we will seek to limit gluten, but it won’t be completely eliminated)
- Meat and seafood
- limited amounts of natural sweeteners (i.e. honey and maple syrup)
We encourage you to seek out local and organic sources as much as you are able, but we realize that some are limited by availability and budget. So this is not an absolute requirement.
Types of Food NOT Included
Again, we are seeking foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. This means your great-grandmother would recognize it as food. This means minimal packages, labels, and health claims. You will not find pre-packaged ingredients such as sauces, soups, instant mixes, dough, etc. Here are a few more items you will NOT see in this menu:
- GMO (genetically modified organisms)
- HFCS (high fructose corn syrup)
- Artificial ingredients
- Highly processed condiments
- White rice, flours, and pastas
- Processed or white sugar
- Canned beans
- Refined vegetable oils
- Highly processed meats (sausages and lunch meats that contain additives)
Tips and Resources for our Real Foods Menu
- Seek out the highest quality ingredients you can afford. Shop local and organic whenever possible, especially when it comes to meats.
- Decoding the Dirty Dozen
- How to Purchase Local Grass Fed Beef
- Shop for the best eggs with tips here and here.
- Our Get Real Series gives you a year’s worth of research and action steps to help you get started with Real Food. Purge your pantry, cut out sugars, learn to shop your local farmer’s market, bake your own bread, and learn from others on the journey.
- Save More and Spend Less on real Food
- How to Save Money on Real Food
Pure and simple. Isn’t that what we all strive for in life? Why shouldn’t it be the same with the food you eat? It’s the fuel for your body and mind, so why complicate it? The Whole Foods Once A Month Meals menu is here to help you achieve just that: simple meals with unprocessed, fresh, local and seasonal ingredients while still keeping your valued time in mind. Whole Foods can take more time to prepare, but they are worth every minute you spend, and you will not be disappointed with the end result.
Once A Month Meals Etiquette
As we move towards having a Once A Month Meals Whole Foods section, please be aware that there are other menu options that DO include processed foods and/or foods that you would not find to be Whole Foods friendly. However, we are one community geared around freezer cooking. So be mindful of others and that their ways may not be yours. Also note that if you subscribe to Once A Month Meals that you will also receive recipes from the other menus and therefore those recipes may not be geared to Whole Foods, feel free to skip pass them or to adapt them to your Whole Foods lifestyle.
The Whole Foods Menus – Before January 2016
This menu will focus on simple ingredients and as little to no processed foods as possible. The menu will help you to look in more detail at the items you purchase from your local stores. Simply put, we will strive for no GMO (genetically modified organisms), no HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), and no artificial ingredients in this menu. You can see recipes that we’ve had on past and current menus on our Pinterest board here. We encourage you to get organic and as local as possible produce. Sometimes we will encourage you to buy natural/organic items instead of making your own due to time, resources, season, etc. but there will be add on items to make yourself. Again this menu will take longer than the other menus to achieve a month worth of meals.
Breakfast Recipes – 3
These breakfast ideas will help everyone start their day off right with a full belly. There will also be a recipe that you can use for those lazy mornings when you want something a little more hearty.
Lunch Recipes – 3
Lunches will be hearty yet light to get you through the peak of the day. They will be as family friendly as possible to keep everyone happy! A majority of the time these meals are geared to be served cold or to have minimal prep on the stovetop or microwave. If they needed heated they will be in readily available means that are quick and easy, for example microwaved. This way, whether you are feeding the family at home or preparing a meal at work, you don’t waste the lunch hour in the kitchen for your food to be prepared.
Dinner Recipes – 6
Dinner will be a good variety for you to choose from. There will be a good blend of meat and meatless variety to keep you and your food budgets feeling good. There will also be a mix of seasonal produce in each menu.