Begin Your Journey to Real Food!

Posted · 77 Comments

FREE 25 Day Grace Filled Journey to Real Food |

logofull-1 Thank you to our sponsor Jovial Foods!

Are you desiring to start feeding your family real, whole foods, but just don’t know where to start? Do you wish to cut out processed foods but think the task of switching to foods made from scratch takes too much time or is simply too expensive.

If that sounds a bit like you, then I’m so glad you’re here.

I began my journey in real food nearly 8 years ago. I come from a very traditional family so eating home cooked meals was always something I was used to; however, there were still many things I was eating and making a part of my diet that I didn’t realize was doing me more harm than good.

Once I had my first child, I realized that I needed to make some changes that would promote vibrant health in my son.  I started by buying organic produce, using butter instead of margarine, cutting out high fructose corn syrup, and doing my best to purchase pastured meats from local family farms for my family. Through the years, I’ve had to do a lot of research so that I could do the best to incorporate these foods on a tight budget all the while, filtering out dogmatic approaches that cause more of a burden than anything good.

It’s these years of research that I plan on simplifying and sharing with you!

25 Day Grace Filled Journey to Real Food

Starting in January of 2014, as a blessing from me to you, I plan on opening up a free email subscription to teach you how to begin your journey in real food.

Sign Up Now!

Each day, for 25 days, you will receive an email from me teaching you the basics of switching from a processed, standard American diet, to one in traditional real foods.

You can expect some of the email topics to cover…

  • What kind of cooking oil should I use?
  • It’s time to cut out the high fructose corn syrup.
  • Consider using part of your tax return to invest in pastured meat from local family farmers.
  • It’s okay to not buy everything organic!
  • Why it’s so important to drink milk that’s either low temperature/non-homogenized milk or raw.
  • What in the heck is lacto-fermented vegetables and why should I be eating them?
  • An introduction to natural sweeteners.
  • What’s a carcinogen or free radicals?
  • You don’t have to make everything from scratch! It’s just not sustainable!
  • What’s this BPA everyone is talking about in my canned foods?

Those are just 10 of the 25 emails you will be receiving covering health topics.

Since I also want you to be able to start utilizing the information, I’ll also be sending you emails covering cooking technique and skills in the kitchen such as…

  • What kind of pans should I be using?
  • How to make your own creamed soups.
  • It’s time to learn how to make broth.
  • The Mediterranean secret to phenomenal vegetables.
  • If French kids can eat everything so can yours!

In order to help you begin this journey, I’m not only going to be sending you these emails everyday, but I’m also going to send you a nourishing menu plan on a budget every week for 3 weeks!

FREE 25 Day Grace Filled Journey to Real Food |

That’s right! You will get a total of 15 breakfast recipes, 15 lunch recipes, and 15 supper recipes.

The supper recipes included will take you no longer than 30 minutes to make and will be filled with nourishing vegetables, mineral rich bone broths, and pastured meats.

I’m praying that after the 25 days, you’ll have a good grasp on living a life in real food and can continue this as a life long journey.

Sign Up Now!

Grace Filled, What Does That Mean?

I did not want to call this a challenge. You see, to me a challenge, although great to complete, usually has a starting point and an end.  You accomplish something and then you move on to something else.

This is more of a journey. The 25 Day Grace Filled Journey to Real Food is a place to begin where you can build a solid foundation, and then continue on this path for life.

Like I mentioned above, this is not a dogmatic approach to eating. It’s a common sense approach that will emphasize cooking at home, making real nutrient dense meals; however, if you’re living in the same world that I am, the reality is that we can’t make everything from scratch and sometimes we just don’t have the desire or energy to cook.

So, as part of this journey, I’m also going to send you…

  • a better option restaurant document
  • another document filled with products that I buy at Trader Joes, Costco, and my local grocery stores.

Let me tell you, as a homeschooling mama of 3, wife, homemaker, and blogger, it’s such a good feeling to be able to buy some things already made or go out to local restaurants that do a better job at sourcing their ingredients.

That my friends, is a grace filled journey to real food! So, are you ready to start this journey with me? Good, I am too!

Sign up NOW!

Remember, the email subscription will start January 2nd, 2014!

I’m still planning some of my emails. Please let me know in the comments below any questions you would like to see covered.


77 Responses to "Begin Your Journey to Real Food!"
  1. kerry says:

    Hi! I am very excited about this! My family doesn’t eat horribly, and I feed my girls much better than I feed myself. This is definitely something that I just don’t know where to start. My biggest issue, that I hope you will cover, is how do you just stop eating all the deliciousness that is high fructose corn syrup, transfat, and MSG?? I just can’t imagine not eating oreos or twix or other delicious things like that. Any pointers would be great! :)

    • Mrs C Kjos says:

      Hi Kerry, this concern about giving up yummy foods that we are accustomed to is very valid and understandable. Personally, to remove high fructose corn syrup, processed (white) sugar, transfat, and MSG from my diet I had to do it very gradually! I grew up eating all the above chemical ‘deliciousness enhancers’ and had to wean myself off of them bit by bit. I started by removing the chemical that had the worst effect on me- and since MSG gives me high blood pressure and headaches, the first chemical I removed from my diet was MSG. I did this by finding Asian restaurants in my area that don’t use MSG, plus I replaced all crunchy chip type snacks that had MSG in them- substituting healthier chips from a health food store that were similar in shape, texture and flavor but had no MSG. (If I had diabetes I would have given up the sugar and/or the corn syrup first– my dad is diabetic and those were the items he removed from his diet first.) Like me, Dad did a lot of substituting. Diet coke instead of Coke, diet Godiva chocolate instead of Twix or whatever other candy, homemade ice cream with honey, or Breyers/Blue Bunny No Sugar Added ice cream instead of sugary ice cream. Organic brown sugar instead of white sugar or corn syrup for baking. Both Dad and I had to make gradual changes– we began with “clean eating weekends” we would only avoid the target chemical such as MSG or sugar, on weekends. Once that had become habit for us we moved to clean eating weekends plus clean Mondays. When that was easy, we moved clean eating to all days except Wednesday… Wednesday became What You Wish day during which we could eat (small amounts) of whatever we wish, all other weekdays being for healthy eating. You could pick whichever day is more convenient for you to eat flexibly, if you tend to go out to eat or to parties on Sat or Sun, then you could have one of those days be your What you Wish day. Start small, and build from there! Once my family was used to avoiding MSG (me) and sugar/cornsyrup (dad)- which took about a year, we challenged each other to also stop eating the chemical that the other person is avoiding… So Dad added MSG to his avoid list and I added the sugar & cornsyrup to my avoid list. There is still some occasional transfat in our diet, but that is next on our plan to be removed and we may get to it next year. Even if we don’t remove transfat next year, we made awesome progress, way better than doing nothing and just sticking with all the old familiar (but toxic) yummy stuff. You have to really want the health benefits of making changes: My family taped up a list of why we are eating healthy- on the fridge and pantry door, it said: 1. Better Health, Less Illness 2. More Energy 3. Lose or Maintain Weight 4. Better Grades and/or Sharper Memory 5. Better for the planet (less packaging) 6. Save Money (it may; junk foods are pricey & not nutritious) 7. Less Dental and Gum problems

  2. Anna says:

    Hello! Thank you for the time that you have and will take to provide this resource to us! As a busy mom of 3 boys (5, 3, and 1), I am completely overwhelmed when it comes to thinking about eating healthier and starting a new lifestyle. Some of my main concerns are how will I be able to afford real food when my grocery bill is already maxed out; how will I be able to incorporate enough of the food we need to get the 5 of us through the day without feeling like we are on a diet (we eat A LOT of food); how can I pace myself in this journey without feeling like a complete failure if I eat an Oreo; and what are some good techniques on meal planning, grocery shopping, and preparing freezer meals to save time and money? I am also wondering if you could cover a “baby steps” list of how to get to where you are today – speaking to the mamas that are microwaving boxed mac n cheese and filling up on fruit snacks and junk food just to make it from breakfast to nap time. 😉 I have followed other real food blogs but feel that most of them are at a level of health that intimidates me instead of encourages me. Many have instilled a sense of guilt, fear and paranoia surrounding our food industry today instead of confidence and encouragement in making small, healthy baby steps. I am so thankful for your desire to provide grace-filled advice and am excited to begin this journey in January! Thanks again!

  3. Jill says:

    Hi, my family and I are about 4 years into our food journey at this point. We do pretty well, but could always do better. I am always looking for ideas and suggestions. I found your website because I am a believer in most of the Weston Price research and use that as a very rough guideline on most food matters.

    I started making all of my families bread products at the beginning of 2013, and depending on the day, my mood and how much time I have… it could be 100% whole wheat, a mix of wheat and white, or just plain white. I remember reading a post a while back where you talked about white bread not being as bad as some claim. I have had suspicions like this myself… it may be the chemicals in our grocery store bread and shortcuts they take in producing it that are responsible for the ill health effects. Which would then be present in many cases in both store bought white and wheat breads. And as long as white bread is apart of a broader healthy diet and produced in a healthy fashion, maybe we shouldn’t be overly concerned about it. So I have been wondering what kinds of information you might have come across regarding this topic. I would be very interested in reading something along those lines. (If I missed a post on this, please just redirect me!) Thanks! Jill

  4. Love this and YOU, sweet friend! So fun to see your sweet face. I can’t wait for this amazing series! Lots of love, Kelly

  5. Janet says:

    WOO-HOO! I am signed up and January is a great time to start a fresh. Thanks Diana. Have a beautiful weekend! I am really looking forward to this :)

  6. Diane says:

    Wow, Diana! Thank you, this is very generous.

  7. Michelle says:

    Thank you so much for offering this course. I have been trying for the last several years to move my family to a healthier, more traditional, real-food diet. I feel we have made a lot of progress, but I often feel like it is one step forward, two steps back. I cannot tell you how many times I have unsubscribed from a real-food blog because it was too intimidating and only made me feel overwhelmed, afraid, and like a complete real-food failure. I cannot tell you how many times I have unsubscribed from a menu planning service because I was spending hundreds of dollars on groceries each week, hours in the kitchen each day, or both. Your description of a “grace-filled journey” gives me hope. I am really looking forward to this series. Thank you.

  8. Teresa says:

    I couldn’t agree with Anna more! You hear all the time about how we need to eat clean and so on and so forth, but nobody has taken the time to show folks how to ease in to it (ESPECIALLY on a tight budget!). It’s an all or nothing kind of thing. Intimidates me enough that I just give up before even starting! I am very grateful that YOU are taking the time to educate those of us who aren’t good researchers or just don’t have the time to research (I have six kids so spare time is almost non existent!).

    I realize that there is so much I need to learn, but I am hoping that you talk about allergies. My husband is allergic to poultry! He can eat eggs, but not the actual meat of any fowl or broth. Needless to say, A LOT of healthy meals always seem to use turkey/chicken. One more reason I have turned away from pursuing this topic. Also, like Anna’s family, we go through food fast! How do I fill so many growing tummies (5 of my 6 kids are boys who LOVE to eat and their sister is doing her best to keep up!) without breaking the bank?

    VERY excited to find this blog and thanks in advance for taking the time to teach us what probably seems like common sense to those who have been doing it for awhile!

  9. Louise says:

    I am signed up and preparing to start. This is an answer to prayer for me. I have had to make many changes around food. My 7 yr son is a simple eater but a challenge. I became a widow in May 2013 and find, cooking and eating for one very challenging. Yes, one my son has a set diet that he rarely changes. No matter what parenting goes on. Even nheard the words of my mothercome out of my mouth ” youwilsit there till you are fiished”. So i am praying for Gods’s blessing to expand my sons eating and give him courage to try new things. I am slowly cleaning up my food choices and how i shop. I find doing a large nutrious meal and package meal size for heat and serve helps to feed me.
    I look forward to this new relationshipwith you and with food. Thank you. Bless you. Louise

    • Diana Bauman says:

      It’s going to take time, Louise. But one thing I’d like to encourage you with, don’t give up feeding your son wholesome foods filled with vegetables. I would suggest right away, that you make him eat two bites. After two bites, let him be. He’ll probably like that low number and think, okay, I can do that. Then after a couple weeks, make it 3 bites, then 4, then 5. I would try that out. He’ll soon notice that good food isn’t bad :) Always make it a pleasant experience and if you can get him to help you cook, even better!!

  10. Learning to cook with more real food is on my to-do list for 2014. This is JUST what I needed!

  11. Ann says:

    This is great! Thank you for offering this! I would love to learn about soaking grains, baking with soaked or sprouted grains…

  12. Corina says:

    So excited to start! I have been slowly making changes including switching to grass fed local organic meats, local grass fed raw milk, and planning on turning half of my backyard into a garden in the spring. What I am having trouble with is getting my twin toddlers (boys) to eat veggies, especially greens. The ate them when they were babies and I was making their baby food. But they just turned two and now everything green is he devil! But they will suck down a kale and kiwi smoothie or juice from the juicer with no problems. Kids!!

  13. Sara says:

    How to make vegetarian eating delicous and portable for work and other events in a busy family.

  14. Linda says:

    It’s just my husband and myself at home. How do I win over a man who is 64 years old to a more healthy approach to eating? His pat answer to everything is, “I’ve been doing it this was for 64 years and it hasn’t killed me yet…”

  15. Household6 says:

    Um, wow. Soaking bread and making grains . . . (Ha!). After thinking “what in the world is soaking grains?” is “ain’t nobody got time for that!”

    So right there you can see my ignorance. Please break down things like this “Barney-style.” Or better yet, maybe do a 101 version and 102 version of your program?

    Another thought – my kid is better than many about at least trying everything on his plate. But I roll my eyes at suggestions of “keep a container of carrots in the fridge for a snack.” Duh. Don’t you think I’ve tried that?! My kid WILL eat many fruits. He’ll graze Problem is, fruit isn’t cheap! (Sure I can grow an apple tree orchard in my back yard, but who has time for that?!)

    So my point in all this being, maybe offer alternatives to alternatives?

  16. Audra says:

    Hello, thank you for offering this help. We like to buy a portion of a beef, but I find that most of the recipes handed down to me have been high in fat and go well with sides like mashed potatoes and gravy. Do you have any suggestions on healthier ways to use those cuts? Also, what other types of meat do you buy in bulk? Thank you!

  17. Kelly says:

    I’d like to hear what you do about sweeteners in homemade baked goods. Do you use white sugar? Replace that with something else? I bake from scratch a lot & that issue still has me stumped. Thanks!

  18. Katie says:

    Thank you for this series! I’m so looking forward to it! Migrating to more real foods is my #1 goal for 2014 – this is perfect timing!

  19. Ann says:

    Thank you! We don’t eat that much processed food in the house, but there is so much others to work on. I would love to know where you get the most reasonable priced organic foods and how to keep the budget low while eating right. I have four kids and to feed slightly large family well within a budget is my challenge.

  20. Jackie says:

    Thank you so much for doing this! I’m looking forward to a healthier lifestyle in 2014 and I also want and need to teach my almost 2 year old son about healthier eating. I’m embarrassed to even tell you his favorite things, but suffice it to say that he loves the “typical” toddler foods. Most of this is because I feel like I have no time to prepare anything and am completely overwhelmed. I love the idea of baby steps and also easing into this on a tight budget! I know several others have commented about this as well. Thanks again!!

  21. Lisa says:

    Looking forward to this!! I’m overwhelmed at times how difficult it is to eat healthfully and nutritionally with food allergies. (beef, eggs, all dairy, gluten, peanuts, almonds & a few misc fruits and veggies) Pretty much everything I eat is prepared from scratch, which is extremely labor intensive!! I’m looking forward to new ideas and lots of encouragement!

  22. Debbie says:

    I guess I always have questions. There is so much information and some of it is conflicting. Cookbooks, classes, blogs – I have been checking out various ones. A member of the household is diabetic. I am trying to lose some weight myself, find healthy dessert recipes, shop on a budget. We are cutting back on sugar, fat and salt and processed foods. We are trying to buy more local and/or organic. Shopping at health food stores, local butchers, checking other stores to see what organics they carry, making more from scratch, trying new foods. We are not vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free. We have been trying whole wheat, but it doesn’t always taste good. I have been reorganizing the kitchen and getting rid of some things and wondering what pans, utensils, appliances, etc to buy. We do not buy supplements, powders, shakes, etc. We buy real food, it’s expensive enough! We are also trying organic teas and spices -gradually – as I have read conventional are full of pesticides. Always looking for deals on anything food related that might help us, as it seems everything is so expensive.

  23. Cathy says:

    Hi. Just found your website today. I signed up for the “journey” and am looking forward to it. I would appreciate any tips on getting your family on board (husband and 2 teenagers who love junk food)

  24. Jaime says:

    I’m a mom of three – ages 2, 4, and 6. We do pretty well with whole foods during mealtimes. I need help with snack time! We fall prey to boxed crackers, cereals, and packaged fruit snacks.

  25. Charlotte says:

    I have been struggling in this area and will be looking forward to help and pointers. My 4 year old daughter has JIA(Juvenile Ideopathic Arthritis). She started showing symptoms around age 2. I will appreciate all the help to get me going in the right direction for my family!

  26. Carrie says:

    My 7 yr old son has celiacs and is not able to have any gluten in his diet. I would like to see tips on how to do the gluten free diet from that stand point instead of being treated as a fad (as it so often is now days).

    • Kate says:

      In addition to the tips from Diana, you could try I found it while looking for recipes for a friend who is gluten intoletant.

  27. Jenny says:

    This sounds great! We’ve been attempting to eat more wholesome for about a year now. I can’t wait to read about the natural sugars. I have a huge sweet tooth and would love to find some recipes of sweets I can eat closer to guilt-free!

  28. Shea Gonzalez says:

    I am really looking forward to this series. I am getting clutter under control, and now I need to work on eating. Also, I am an English teacher, and I can’t help but mention that you need a hyphen on “Grace-filled”. :)

  29. Koren says:

    Oh, super excited to have found this via the lovely Crystal at Money Saving Mom! I’m vegetarian so naturally anything with a meat-free focus will go down particularly well with me. Looking forward to January!

  30. Becky says:

    Hi! I think this is a great idea– I like the idea of a real foods approach that isn’t all preachy AND on a budget! I’m a newlywed with no kids yet, and I’m trying to feed me and my husband as healthily as possible (especially since he pretty much only eats one meal a day most times…I’m working on that!) Besides the budget, I’m most interested in alternatives if you just can’t access the better choices in your area. For instance, I keep hearing how great raw milk is, but my state won’t allow selling it! So I wouldn’t mind advice for situations like that.

  31. Elena says:

    I’m excited for this program to begin! We have three picky eaters (12 y.o twins and an 11 y.o.) and it’s a real challenge, as their greatest love is pasta.

  32. Ginny G says:

    I’d like to know a round about weekly budget. I struggle with what’s a good number. I know it’s different for everyone and different everywhere, but what’s a good number to start with? But what would you say you spend?
    Next year when we get our tax refund I’m going to invest in our local CSA for the year and buy 1/4 beef from a local farmer. I can’t wait to see how you utilize these things!
    Excited for this series… come on January!!!

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Ginny, good for you! I always use part of my tax return to buy our families meat for the year. It saves us a lot of money and saves on stress during those tighter times of the year 😀 I spend around $100-$120 per week. The only meat that I do have to buy is organic chicken.

  33. Lauren says:

    Hello Diana. My mother and I are making an effort to get our respective families to eat better, more wholesome food. My husband in particular is a picky eater. How would you suggest we get around the idea that eating healthy is boring/bland/expensive or “hippy?” Also, my mom still has five children living at home and needs to buy most of their food in bulk, so buying at the local farmer’s market isn’t always enough. What are some good sources for whole, organic, “real” food, but in bulk?

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Lauren, I think after trying some of the meals, you’ll see that they are definitely not bland or boring 😉 We’ll be using a lot of garlic and other staples that will bolden and liven up the meals. I think your hubby will be happy… but if he is picky, it may take some getting used to. Good places for organic real food in bulk is Azure Standard. Check out They deliver once a month and are a great place to stock up on organic foods. Thanks, Lauren!

  34. Karen says:

    I’m really excited about this upcoming course in January. I’ve already enjoyed your Nourishing Cookies for a Healthy Holiday Cookbook in the recent bundle special – thank you for that timely cookbook! Two questions I would be interested in hearing you address: 1) Why are non-stick frying pans not good to use? 2) What kind of a frying pan do you use to cook scrambled eggs that isn’t such a nuisance to clean afterwards?

  35. Char says:

    Looking forward to this course. I’ve been learning more about eating healthier over this past year. The one thing that I have done for years is freezer cooking. I have 3 teenage sons and a very hard working husband, freezer cooking has saved my sanity. I don’t want to think about what I am going to cook each and every day. It is so nice to pull something out of the freezer that I made previously (in 1 or 2 days of whole day preparation). Unfortunately the freezer cooking recipes that I have found all use ingredients that I am trying now to avoid, such as cream of mushroom soup and other canned items. I would love to find recipes using real food ingredients that are good for freezing. Any suggestions you have would be great!

  36. Anneke Hardesty says:

    My issue is not eating well.. I htink I have been doing a very good job limiting processed foods and have for years taken 80-90 % off all HFC, MSG, and food colorings etc.. and buying organic -BUT me and my girls are dairy intolorant. So I use Earth BEst non – soy butter spread, and coconut – almond milks, and try and use coconut yogurts instead of soy. I cant change that… But I need to come up with foods my family can and will like to eat that is tastey and appealing. Im so bored of our weekly meals I have been making! I Hope I can use your ideas to help my family keep eating right with new meals – and if you have any suggestions for dairy replacemtent for butter that may be better ?

    • Sarah V. says:

      Yes Guee butter is the butter fat without the milk solids…pure good old fat! You can make it easily (search utube) for half the price.

  37. Bandmom says:

    Hi Diana – I signed up to receive the 25 Day Grace Filled Journey to Real Food emails, but after day 9, I never received another one. Just wondering if somehow I fell off of your distribution list?

  38. Bandmom says:

    Hmm…not sure about the promotions tab thing. I don’t see anything with that label. Could you please send me the links to the rest of the emails, as well as the weekly meal plans? thanks :)

  39. Milissa says:

    Thank you so much. I work full time and then come home to my second job! I feel like I do not have enough time to make my family the food they deserve. I started cutting out processed foods a while back. I struggle with what to cook every time I walk in the door from work. We have a new baby, well he is 11 months old, and I want him to eat real food from the beginning.

    Thank so you much for this. I really need it. Blessings.

  40. Anne says:

    I loved this series! It was so informative! It really helped me get a grasp of what real food it and what I need to think about as I plan real food meals for my family. I have friends and family who would love this information too. I noticed that there is still a banner for this series on the top of the page. Can people still sign up and receive the emails?
    Thank you for all of your work on this series! It was life changing for me!

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Anne, yes! You can sign up at any time and begin the series from the beginning! I’m so happy to hear that it made an impact in your life! God bless you!

  41. Steph says:

    Love your ideas and your simple, yet delicious and nourishing recipes! :) And the ideas comming from other readers-wow! What a great resource…We are just about to start our 1st flock of meat chickens on our farm-would you be willing to share how you feed yours and if you make your own feed to make them affordable? We want to do a whole grain soy-free feed like we do for our layers but are scared that our broilers could end up costing an arm and a leg!

  42. Steph says:

    Hmm, not sure why my comment is on this thread, I thought I was commenting on your making organic food affordable article, sorry! :)

  43. Sarah V. says:

    Hi Diana, I subscribed a while back and I got your 25 day journey to real food and menus but i think i deleted them on accident. Could you send me the downloads again? Hope it isn’t a bother. Thanks so much!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *