In our house, I go to the super market and mom goes to the farmer’s market. The largest market is known as “Coronation market” in downtown Kingston. The reason my mom goes is because she grew up in the countryside of the island and know quality food when she sees it. She has built up a connection of vendors whom she trusts and get a great price on food.
We always go to the farmer’s market before any major shopping at a supermarket. We want to make sure we get all the fresh fruits and vegetable for an entire week. This is especially important now that I no longer eat rice or gluten (no even wheat!). This is how I eat 90- 95% of the time.
One of the biggest thing I’ve done is incorporate even more vegetables and fruits (leafy and ground) in my diet. I eat from all food groups but I limit my intake on things like starch and carbohydrates that spikes my blood sugar levels and makes you gain weight. Can you blame me? I worked hard last year to lose all that weight anyways!
Now that the house is filled with with fresh food again, I decided to share what sort of real food I eat throughout the week. When I did the keto diet, I stopped having sugar, high carb food and grains. While it did jump start my weight loss, it wasn’t the long term solution for me. I did it for 3 months before I researched the paleo diet to only end up learning about whole foods. The idea of eating real foods from natural sources definitely appealed to me. Not only did I lose weight, but I found a healthy more sustainable way of life while having all the food groups in a better way.
For example, I enjoy eating oats, chickpeas, certain beans, lentils and quinoa as my grains. Rice and flour both white and wheat are out (because I’m either sensitive or don’t enjoy certain wheat). I learnt I don’t really need a rice or bread substitute. I have my veggies (leafy and ground) as my side dish. Quinoa is great for anything you can do with rice and my number one choice for natural flour is chickpea flour that I grind myself, using oat and cassava flour as well.
With all of this, no wonder we prioritize the farmer’s market so much. Basically, we purchase food that we normally eat throughout the week such as potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and cabbages. Fruit varies during the week based on what we feel like having and what’s available. Oranges are well loved in our house. As well as papayas, cane and apples (american and local). It’s great to enjoy local fruit such as naseberries which has a sweet center.
We get red kidney bean and gungo peas as well. I’m the only one at home that doesn’t eat rice. So our traditional rice and “peas” (which is actually beans) is cooked at least once per week. Other real foods that we enjoy but can’t always buy every week include breadfruit, broccoli and cauliflower. The prices on broccoli can be very high so we leave it until the price falls again. Some foods are unavailable because it’s out of season.
Fresh food is really important to us. You’ll find very little tin food in our cupboards. Though it’s convenient, it’s not really a custom in our family. And I love that. I love that I have to soak or beans before we use it. I got a pressure cooker to help it along anyways. Buying actually corn instead of sweet corn in a can and blending natural juices with no added sugar… I can’t think of anything better.
If you want to start eating real food that will nourish your body with every single bite, then it’s time to start now. Take a good look in your fridge and at your budget. See where there’s room to make changes. It doesn’t have to be anything major. You just need to start with what little you do have.