This marks another addition to the regular feature here at little Indiana: Indiana Blogs! If you are an Indiana Blogger, please use the contact form and send me an email. You may be featured right here on little Indiana.

Indiana Blog: Real Fit Real Food Mom

Indiana Blog: Real Fit Real Food Mom

What do you do when you want to make a lifestyle change and it turns out so successful you want to share the news with the world? You begin Real Fit, Real Food Mom to show families that ditching diets full of processed foods doesn’t have to be difficult–and can even be fun!

LeAnn enthralls her readers with tasty, simple recipes that even picky eaters will enjoy. Best of all, it is all real food. No gross box stuff here! Since 2013, this family has been living a healthier life. They don’t even miss it! You won’t either. Take a look at LeeAnn’s blog for real food, real simple.

Please welcome Real Fit, Real Food Mom. I think you’ll love learning about this long-time running fan, mom of a daughter and twin boys, and great cook. Dig in and enjoy new recipes to help take advantage of all those farmer’s market finds!

Indiana Blogs: Real Fit Real Food Mom

Why did you start Real Fit, Real Food Mom? 
In January of 2013, my husband and I decided we were ready to get “back in shape,” so we started having P90X workout “dates” each morning. During these workouts, we also started talking about our eating habits and how we could improve. I had come across a few ‘real food’ blogs and was totally hooked on the concept.

The more research and reading I did, the more I realized how many artificial and fake ingredients were being added to our foods. We don’t know all the long-term effects of these artificial ingredients yet, but many studies are indicating that the increase in popularity of these “foods” is directly related to the increase in rates of tumors, cancer, disease, and obesity. It’s just not a chance I’m willing to take anymore, so we’ve chosen to err on the side of caution and eliminate these overly-processed items from our home. As I was telling friends and family what we were doing, we got a lot of questions regarding why, what we would and wouldn’t eat, and so forth. So, I decided to start a blog about it! I’ve been blogging for just a little over a year now (since March 2013) and I’ve been loving every second of it!

What about that name? Why Real Fit, Real Food Mom?
When I first started my blog, I actually used a different name. However, it included my last name and felt a little vague. After I (sort of, kind of) got the hang of this blogging thing, I switched my blog from Blogger to WordPress and, in the transition, I changed my blog’s name to what it is now. I wanted ‘real food’ to be a part of it, since I share so many recipes and tips on the subject. Fitness and running are a huge part of my life, too…as well as being a mom…so that’s how the name came to be what it is now.

What are three of your most favorite posts?

How to Host a Real Food Birthday Party

20 Simple Real Food Lunch Ideas for Kids

Homemade Taco Seasoning

What keeps you ready and raring to post? Why do you blog?
I have a whole list of blog topics I want to write about at all times…but not enough time to write them!! I enjoy sharing recipes I’ve tried and recipes I’ve created. It’s so exciting when someone tells me they tried a recipe of mine and that even their picky two-year-old loved it! Plus, with being a stay-at-home mom for five years now, my blog has given me a creative outlet that I really enjoy. You know, beyond wiping bottoms and trying to break up the constant fighting. 😉 It’s nice to have something that is ‘my own.’

Working on my blog has become my “me time” and I really enjoy the whole process…from testing a recipe, to writing the post, to sharing on social media, and improving the design/look of my blog. I have learned so much over the past year, but I still have SO much I want to learn and do!

What can people expect when they hop onto your blog?

They can expect to find a lot of easy-to-make recipes without any processed foods or boxed mixes. Most of my recipes are very basic, but they’re almost all ‘from scratch.’ I cook very simply and I think that’s why people keep coming back. I’m a “real mom” with three young kids…I don’t have time for anything fancy! I also share the occasional fitness/running post and I’m slowly trying to transition our cleaning and beauty/health products to more natural options, as well, so people can expect to see posts on those topics, too.

When you say “real food” what do you mean?

Simply stated: real food is unprocessed food without artificially-made ingredients. It’s what our grandparents used to eat: grass-fed and free-range meats, pastured eggs, whole milk, whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, nuts, etc. Highly processed food, on the other hand, is filled with fake ingredients like azodicarbonamide, monosodium glutamate, maltodextrin, and yellow #5 and #6. These aren’t food…yet, there they are, along with too much added sugar, sodium, and fat, in way too many foods at the grocery store these days. Food companies use these fake ingredients because they are cheap and help to extend shelf life…but I don’t think anyone would argue that they are good for us!

What has been the most surprising benefit you’ve discovered while turning to real food choices?

I think my tastebuds have changed! I thought I would miss processed foods more…but I really don’t. I think it helps that when we go out to dinner or to someone’s house, we don’t over-think the whole ‘real food’ thing. We just eat what is served. This allows us to never feel like we’re depriving ourselves of the ‘fun stuff.’ I make treats at home all the time, though, and I find that I’m much more adventurous in the kitchen these days.

I like to create new recipes and come up with new flavor combinations…something I never bothered with much before we made this switch. I’m also becoming more aware of my kids’ taste preferences, too. They don’t seem to like sugary, processed treats as much as they used to…and I’m not going to complain about that!

With a five year old and a set of twins, what has been the biggest challenge in turning to a real food diet?

The funny thing is that it’s actually not my kids that are my biggest challenge…it’s my husband!! He had 30+ years to form his eating habits, so I know he still misses some of the foods we used to buy. He misses pop. He used to drink several throughout the course of a weekend and then a few during the week. He still has one here and there, but for the most part, we don’t keep it in our house anymore. He also misses bottled salad dressings, bags of pre-shredded cheese, and sliced bread! I don’t mind making my own dressings, shredding our cheese, or slicing my homemade bread…but it seems like more of a hassle to him. He’s learning to accept it, but it’s been harder on him than my kids!

My kids don’t think anything at all of me baking bread, making pizza and donuts from scratch, and more. They adjusted extremely quickly and it’s been great. They even love raw veggies and fruit, which I try to serve at every meal. Of course, they don’t eat (or even try) everything I make…but, what kid does, right? I’m so happy we made these changes while our kids were so young. They never once asked why we stopped buying Poptarts or Eggo waffles. It’s just become their new way of life. However, there are times when I would rather just order take out or pop a frozen meal into the oven…but, those moments are fleeting and I’ve learned that it really doesn’t take that much extra time to make a meal from scratch once I get started.

Is there anything else that you would like little Indiana readers to know about you or your blog?

That I’m still just starting this process, too! Just a tad over one year ago, we ate a very standard American diet and our freezer and pantry was FILLED with processed foods (condensed soups, salad dressings, frozen chicken nuggets, SlimFast shakes, sugary cereals, etc.). I made the changes “cold turkey” as far as buying anything new, but the whole processed seemed to be gradual. As we ran out of a processed food item, I didn’t replace it. Slowly, those foods disappeared from our home but we never felt wasteful by just throwing stuff away. When the time came that I needed to learn how to make something that I could no longer buy, a little “googling” always took me right to what I was looking for!

It’s truly amazing how many foods I can make at home now that I would have never, ever considered making by myself before (chicken broth, breadcrumbs, salad dressing, even frozen pizza and oatmeal)! Switching to “real food” seemed a tad intimidating at first as I walked through the grocery store the first few times, but I stuck to it and now it’s so easy! Truly…I’m surprised all the time by how this lifestyle has just become our new normal and I don’t think much of it anymore. It’s been a great switch for our family!

Eating Real in Indiana

See how easy it is? Okay, so it isn’t necessarily easy but it certainly isn’t as difficult as you might be thinking! Real Fit, Real Food Mom gives you a great place to begin. Stay on top of her updates by subscribing to her blog and following her Facebook page: Thanks to LeeAnn for visiting little Indiana today.

Small Towns: Destinations, not Drive-Thrus! I’m Jessica Nunemaker and THIS is little Indiana!

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