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Confession: I am the Homemade Mommy and I do not make everything ‘homemade’. <GASP!>
The fact is, I do not have time. I work a corporate day job, manage this blog and community, and I have a preschooler–need I say more? I make a lot of things myself but I do make trade-offs. I recently released a new eBook which shares many of my secrets for managing to serve my family a real food diet free from processed fake foods called The Real Food Survival Guide for Busy Moms. I wanted to take a step back for all of you readers (including those who have purchased my eBook already) to explain some guiding principles that I follow.
Read all the way to the bottom of the post to find out how you can get my eBook for a special launch price!
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” – Steve Furtick
As a wife, mother, and working professional, I am put under a lot of pressure to ‘have it all’ and ‘do it all.’ I get a lot of people asking me how I manage to ‘do it all’ so that must mean you think that I am somehow ‘doing it all.’ But what does ‘doing it all’ really mean? Is there some magical finish line we all place ahead of ourselves each morning that we must cross or we are not doing enough?
The simple answer for me is this: I don’t try or expect that I can do it all alone. I believe there is no perfect ‘me’ or ‘you.’ There are only priorities, trade-offs, and support systems.
I have learned through my corporate job the value of four ‘tactics’ which I apply to my household to help me manage. Armed with these four guiding principles, I am able to do what is best for my family…and you can too.
Many of you are just learning how to cook from scratch and the thought of making real food for every meal may seem completely overwhelming and impossible. I think we can all agree that everyone has special talents and that we cannot all be great singers, dancers, artists, or accountants (I am awful at number crunching!). The same goes with cooking. The key is to understand that you do not need to be a jack of all trades in your kitchen. Are you horrible at cooking meat but amazing at chopping vegetables? Maybe fermenting vegetables or condiments is what you need to specialize in.
Imagine if everyone in your neighborhood specialized in one real food talent: fermenting, dehydrating, smoothie making, snack making, bone broths, etc. Now imagine if you only had to focus on some of those tasks and take advantage of someone else’s talent for the rest? I met a woman the other night at a party who specializes in sausage making out of her home. People are out there who have various food ‘passions’ and ‘hobbies’ that are becoming more like small businesses.
The Takeaway: Figure out what you can specialize in.
Outsourcing is critical if you want to be the magical ‘do it all’-er. Outsourcing allows everyone to focus on what they do best. You should consider outsourcing tasks which suck your time into oblivion and which are not adding value to you and your family. Here are some examples:
- meal planning – I am not a brilliant planner or organizer in my kitchen. I mostly fly by the seat of my pants based on what ingredients I have on hand. I am comfortable with this. You may not be. If you find that you are spending far too much time organizing and not enough time actually cooking, then outsource meal planning. There are many great meal planning services, however, I find my style is most aligned to Emily at Holistic Squid’s meal plans. Her recipes are very similar to mine.
- specialty foods – There are real food businesses cropping up everywhere that specialize in certain handcrafted, high quality real foods like bone broth, kombucha, vegetable ferments, pates, and dried and fermented meats. Where I live in Austin, Texas, there are many of these types of companies selling specialty foods at our local farmers’ market and now even Whole Foods. You will pay a small premium vs. making them yourself but this might be worth the extra expense to get a jumpstart on trying these new foods out with your family and until you can learn some of the skills yourself. When I first discovered sauerkraut, I purchased it. I didn’t start trying to make it myself until months later. I soon felt silly for having purchased the items from someone else considering how inexpensive it is to make, but it was worth it to taste different flavors and train my palate to understand this new sour food! I still purchase locally brewed kombucha. I make this conscious trade-off because I already have enough fermented ‘pets’ at home and I do not have the time to add kombucha to the mix!
The Takeaway: It takes a village – don’t try to do everything yourself.
It is hard for mamas to delegate but we must. Our husbands and children really need to understand the value of cooking and to put it as a top priority in the household. We all spend a lot of time in the kitchen. It did not start out that way but has evolved over time. My family helps much more now that they have personally experienced the benefits of real food. Be patient with them but also prod them to help you clean up. There is one major downside to real food cooking – mountains of dishes!
I have been experimenting the past few months with having my four year-old prepare many of her snacks and meals. It has made a world of difference in her appreciation of what ‘mom does!’ We love these kid-safe knives for prep time, for example.
The Takeaway: Ensure your family and friends understand the value of the time you spend cooking and enlist their help!
This one is my favorite and the most critical of all of the steps in creating an ‘I am ok with not being perfect’ mindset. When I look around our house and see all that needs to be done, I mentally stack up everything in my mind and I ‘edit’ the tasks that are not tied to my real food mission. More often than not, my bed goes unmade, there are toys strewn about the house, and laundry goes unfolded. But we never run out of ketchup! One thing I will say I try never to ‘edit’ is cleaning up the kitchen. When the kitchen is dirty, I can’t cook!
The Takeaway: Prioritize and focus on what matters.
We Can Do More Together
While we can have a priority of feeding our family real, whole foods, the reality may be quite different based on what is going on in our lives at any given time. Get the help you need when you need it and you will certainly be a much happier person throughout your real food journey!
Want to learn more tips and recipes to help you learn how to survive a real food life as a busy mom? Here is what other moms are saying about my eBook, The Real Food Survival Guide for Busy Moms:
“This is truly a book about survival in the kitchen. If you’re a busy mom like me, just getting dinner on the table can seem like an impossible task. This guide is chock full of tips for stretching your time and money so that feeding your family real food is totally doable. I kept reading and thinking, why aren’t I doing all these things?!? No wonder cooking has seemed like such a chore! There really is an easier way, and I am definitely recommending this book to every busy mom I know.” – Elizabeth Walling, The Nourished Life
“The Real Food Survival Guide gives invaluable tips in an easy-to-read format that makes preparing real food not overwhelming. I love that Lindsey gives practical time and money saving advice, coming from a busy working mom herself, that is both realistic and easy to follow for on-the-go families. I especially enjoyed the doable real food travel tips and the kid’s lunchbox ideas. The real food recipes included in the guide are staple recipes that are simple to prepare, require few ingredients and delicious. I wish I had this guide when I started my real food journey and highly recommend this book to all the busy families I know that want to feed their families real food!” – Kelly Winters, Primally Inspired
“I am all about keeping things simple and Homemade Mommy’s Real Food Survival Guide is the perfect tool for keeping real food simple, affordable and less stressful. I get asked frequently how to save money on real food and the tips in this book will help families do just that, while saving something even more valuable – their time! I recommend this book to every mom interested in feeding their families nourishing, real food while saving time, money (and their sanity).” Nina Nelson, Shalom Mama
Read more testimonials and find out what else is included in my eBook here.