Are you JERFing?!

If you have kids in school, this is probably one of the most busy times of the year.  I find myself squeezed for time, in a sea of overcommitment.  Everyday is a moment-to-moment kind of thing.  As a result, for some of us it may be hard to keep the food we are eating fresh, homemade, and healthy.

I recently came across this great acronym, coined by Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness, called “JERF,” which stands for “Just Eat Real Food.”  It really just sums up how I feel about how we should all be eating: real, whole, unprocessed foods.  What does that mean?  Well, it means only shopping the periphery of the grocery store–that is where all the good stuff is.  The produce–fruits and vegetables–and the meat, fish, poultry, those are what I am talking about.  If a corporation had to make it for you and wrap it in foil, plastic or a box, it just isn’t real food.

Eating real food will fuel your body in a way that feels good.  Your blood sugar won’t spike, your sleep will be better, your energy will be even, you may even lose weight.  Eating real food actually nourishes you in a way that is reassuring to your body.

Did I mention it is simple?  When you think about reaching for something to eat, just give it the grandma test.  Would my grandmother, or even great-grandmother recognize this?  If not, don’t eat it.  In the day of our grandparents, we were eating real food, and it wasn’t that long ago!  In the 1970s the FDA introduced the food pyramid–a way of eating that supported the food industry far more than the general population.  This eventually led us down a rabbit hole with low-fat, high-carb diets and the invention of man-made snacks (I call them “frankenfoods”).  We need to flip the way we are eating and go back to just eating real foods, it is the key to better health!

So when you look at that granola or energy bar, think about the whole food equivalent.  Is it a handful of cashews?  Some fruit?  Maybe some almond butter on an apple?  These whole food snacks support us; they are nutritionally packed.  Additionally, our bodies know what to do with them.  When we eat whole foods we aren’t confusing our bodies, and as a result, we give our body a break, make it work less hard to digest.  With all that extra energy, what are you going to do?!

I just whipped up a new family fave, a lemon tart, made from all whole foods.  Delicious, raw and paleo, too!  The teenagers are calling it “lemon cheesecake!”  I don’t care what they call it, it is pretty amazing!

Yummy Lemon Tart (Raw & Paleo)
cropped tart

1 cup raw almonds
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup of raw honey
2 T fresh lemon juice
Zest of one lemon

1 cup raw cashews, soaked at least an hour, more if possible
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup full fat coconut milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup raw honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
Zest of one lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Make the crust: process almonds in the food processor until you have a meal/flour consistency.
  2. Add in remaining crust ingredients and pulse until well blended. You should be able to press the mixture together into a crust, add more lemon juice if necessary.
  3. Press into an 8 x 8 pan.
  4. For the filling, process all ingredients until silky smooth (multiple minutes).
  5. Spread into the awaiting crust, and refrigerate until set and ready to eat!

(This recipe was adapted from Tessa The Domestic Diva who really cracked the code on the Hail Merry tart!)

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