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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cookbook Review & Giveaway | The Real Food Journey Book

I came across this cookbook at the perfect time. I was really struggling with finding even the slightest bit of inspiration in the kitchen. I wasn't doing normal meal planning, and we weren't eating well as a result. 

To top it off, I was loading myself with guilt and stress that we weren't eating well.

It's not that I didn't have plenty of ideas (side eye to Pinterest and the 15 cookbooks I own) it's that I lacked inspiration to put those ideas into action! We all want to eat (and feed our families) real, healthy food. But it's not always easy, so sometimes we just give up a little. Am I right?

Trina Holden is spreading a real food message that is very freeing because she reminds us that eating healthy is a journey, not a target to hit.

She quotes a beloved naturopath who gently reminded her that "Stressing about what you eat is as bad as eating a candy bar." What a brilliant concept to grasp... especially for a type-A, control freak person like yours truly.

Stress is so bad for our bodies.

And this book is all about educating yourself and making changes without stressing!

One of my favorite quotes from Trina's book is that "learning to cook smarter, not harder, will help you avoid burnout and enjoy the journey."

Burnout - check. I was all over that. 

Being in a really busy season was leaving me running for the hills at the mention of dinner. Or bristling whenever Jesse opened the fridge looking for something, anything, to eat. Trina calls this time "survival mode" and emphasizes that you need to focus on the bare bones of what keep you and your family healthy.

I loved the way she emphasized cutting yourself slack during the different seasons of your life. 

It's hard for me to admit that there are times when I'm in survival mode, and my motivation in the kitchen takes a big hit.

When she got to that part about the seasons, I felt like a big sister was sitting me down and looking me in the eyes and kindly reminding me to stop feeling bad that there's boxed mac n cheese in my pantry. Sometimes life happens and you really need that mac n cheese!

And it's not just about not judging where you're at in your own real food journey, but about extending that same grace to others! No judging here! She breaks down the baby steps and makes it so easy to learn and apply.

She explains the basics of traditional eating (like why full fats are best and why you should soak your grains) and she does it succinctly enough for even the busiest among us to make time for. Which is great if you don't feel up for a 650+ page "textbook" cookbook like Nourishing Traditions {affiliate link} ... though both Trina and I would highly recommend you read it at some point! ;o) 

I can think of ten recipes (at least!) that make this cookbook worth every bit of the $10 it costs... Oven-baked pancake, chocolate peanut butter muffins, herbed seasoning salt, homemade ranch mix, easy homemade gravy, chicken and rice soup, fermented lemonade, sloppy joes, soaked cornbread, and sweet & sour meatballs! 

And if you don't believe me that it's an awesome book, just ask my family! Jesse made specific comments after I read it - he could tell there was a huge boost in my desire to try new things and start doing the good old things again. (Like bulk preparation to make my life easier, simple but effective meal plans, and weekly homemade chicken stock.) 

But here's the main reason I want you to buy it:

The best part of Trina's cookbook are her kind words of encouragement that meet you exactly where you are in your real food journey. 

Everyone needs an occasional pat on the back that reminds us we're doing the best we can for our families with the knowledge we have. 

And Trina comes alongside you as a non-judgemental teacher and friend.

So who can benefit from this book? 

Absolutely everyone!

Trina's kindly donated a free copy of the book for another giveaway! Just enter to win (as many times as you like) and spread the news!

If you can't wait for the giveaway to end and you just have to have your copy now, you can get the book by following this link:

Your Real Food Journey Book: a Gentle Guide to Steady Progress

Keep it in mind for friends and family for the holidays, too!

Thank you Trina, for adding some encouragement to my cookbook collection. In a real-food world full of judgement and "you should be doing THIS," your words are a breath of fresh air to this crunchy Momma. And I am LOVING all your great recipes!

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