“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.”
Some of the things you remember most about eating a delicious meal may be the richness, the texture or the mix of flavors. All these sensory experiences are based on how fresh, real and whole the ingredients are. The quality of your ingredients are at the core of how nutritious and of course delicious your meal will be. Fresh, whole foods are one of the most important factors when creating meals in the kitchen.
The question becomes, how do you really judge food quality, especially when we’re buying ready-made meals? Our kitchen is committed to creating healthy and nutritious meals made using only the freshest ingredients available. Chef Pete collaborates and innovates to create delicious meal options to support a variety of dietary needs using real, whole, fresh and well-sourced foods.
What Is Real Food?
Real food is food that is minimally processed and maintains its natural integrity.
Foods like yams, eggs and spinach are whole foods. Cooked, frozen or canned yams, eggs and spinach also count as real food too so long as they are not in the company of artificial ingredients
Beyond whole foods, there is a wide variety of somewhat processed foods. Altering a food from its natural, raw state does not immediately imply processing is bad. Certain processing techniques (like cooking tomatoes) can sometimes be beneficial for maximum nutrient absorption.
The bigger question is whether a human or a machine prepared the food in a way that it’s still recognizable. Simple modifications like grinding, baking or fermenting are not an issue. Manipulating, extracting and processing the food to the extent that it is no longer recognizable as a food is much more problematic. Examples include high fructose corn syrup which is no longer corn, for example or inulin extracted from chicory and then added to foods that are labelled “high fiber.”
Large amounts of processing turn real food into a tasty alternative or makes it easier to chew or eat. You want to minimize choosing these highly processed foods that no longer reflect their original state.
In our kitchen, real food is both locally sourced and seasonal to ensure the freshest produce with the highest quality. Each meal is carefully curated and lovingly made, ensuring you get the best tasting, freshest, most nutritious foods to feed you and your loved ones.
Explore our menus here>>>>>>>>>>>
Why Choose Real Food
Better For your Body
Foods like organic and seasonal vegetables and fruits, nuts, seeds, eggs, pastured meats, naturally occurring plant and animal fats and whole grains are packed with all the nutrients your body needs to function optimally.
The research is clear and numerous studies have shown that eating whole foods has both a protective effect on health along with reducing the risk of chronic disease.
Fruits, vegetables and grains are nutrient dense and many of the beneficial phytochemicals we have discovered are found in whole foods. Regular consumption of vegetables and fruits is associated with reduced risks of:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Alzheimer disease
- Functional declines due to aging
Real Food Means More Flavor
Eating a meal need not be a utilitarian action, simply eating to fuel your body. Enjoying a deliciously, lovingly created meal can be as much of a sensory experience as watching a play or listening to music. The quality of the ingredients is what can take a salad from boring and unappetizing to inspired and crave-worthy. We select and utilize only the freshest ingredients for each of our meals. It makes meat juicier, vegetables more vibrant, and sauces more flavorful. When you have great ingredients, you don’t need to overcompensate. Real food lets your food shine! You get a better culinary experience with the added bonus of a powerful nutritional punch.
Locally, Seasonally Sourced
Sourcing local ingredients ensures its freshness through minimal travel and time between the producer and the kitchen. Foods that needs to travel long distances are harvested before peak ripeness so that they travel better. They are also often cold stored during this process.
If you are shopping for your food locally, and choosing seasonal ingredients the foods are likely to have been harvested within a few days meaning fresher food with fewer chemicals for preservation.
When you purchase from smaller, local farms and source as many ingredients as possible locally, you are supporting these farmers with your dollars. Without consumer support, all that would remain are monolithic agriculture businesses growing sub-par ingredients. Choosing to buy food locally is the ultimate way to put your money where your mouth is
Choosing locally produced food means that massive shipments aren’t being made across state and country lines. There is less use of planes, trains, ships and trucks that negatively affect the environment. Those chemicals also won’t have a chance to make it into the soil and waterways, degrading the natural environment.
Read on here for more on eating seasonally.
How To Choose More Real Foods
Make a grocery list before you go to the store. When you know what you need, you’ll be more likely to resist the temptation of highly processed foods and you won’t leave without getting what you came for
Shop the perimeter of the store. This is where you’ll find meat and seafood at the deli, eggs in the refrigerated section, fruits and vegetables close to the entrance. The inner aisles are where you generally find the majority of refined, processed foods.
Read food labels and ingredient lists. Learning how to read a food label and knowing what ingredients are in your food can help guide you on your journey towards making better choices. Some packaged foods may contain a single ingredient whilst others may be packed with additives, preservatives, sugar and artificial flavors. Plenty of companies offer minimally processed packaged goods that can offer nutritious options.
Choose ready-made options smartly. Know the company, what ingredients they use and how the meal is made. Our ingredients are carefully chosen and our menus change weekly and seasonally. Your meals are made each week and shipped directly to you – check them out here
Don’t fear the freezer section. Frozen produce is a convenient, cost-effective way to get more real foods in your diet.
Consider what your food eats. The nutrients in animals come from the plants and animals they eat, as well as what they are meant to eat. Options like grass-fed beef are preferred, since grass-fed cattle may have higher amounts of healthy fats compared to grain-fed cattle.
Get your vitamins and minerals from real food first. Vitamins and minerals are the keys that unlock many of the body’s functions, and these exist naturally in real foods. Processed foods usually add these nutrients back in later during processing, if at all. Supplements can offer a safety net, but real foods also contain nutrients in a perfect balance, along with protein, fiber, and water, making them a better nutritional choice.
Being mindful of what you eat and what has gone into making your meals is a huge factor in the overall experience of the meal and can really impact your health. Meals made with fresh, whole ingredients provide more nutrients, vitamins and minerals for your body to absorb. Eating real food is a key component to living a healthy lifestyle and achieving all your wellness goals.