Real Food Face-Off: Hallee’s Complete & Expanded Answers

The Real Food Face-Off 20 Questions:

I felt so very honored to be asked to participate in the Real Food Face-Off hosted by Katie at Kitchen Stewardship.  So far, I have discovered some fascinating tid-bits about bloggers I already knew quite well, and gleaned some really great tips from some bloggers I met for the first time.  I also had the opportunity to share some tips with them like how to pasteurize an egg!  How cool is that?

As you will see, the questions for the Real Food Face-Off are quite thought provoking.  The answers I provided were summarized against those of my “opponent” Mare at Just Making Noise.  Below are my complete answers to all 20 questions — and A CHALLENGE FOR YOU!

1. How do you describe the way you eat when someone asks you to define your food?

We follow a a Levitical diet which is sometimes called a Levitican diet. Most folks who are unfamiliar believe it is keeping Kosher. In actuality, following a Levitical diet is much less legalistic than keeping Kosher.  The diet includes avoiding such things as pork, shellfish, bottom feeders, snakes, snails, puppy dog tails, etc.  while eating things God intended for food, as close to the way God originally created it instead of processed into something humans might think is better.  We make as much as possible homemade and use whole grains. We do not consume anything made with nor do we use any artifical sweeteners, such as high fructose corn syrup, or transfats. We also do not consume unfermented soy.

2. What was/is your major incentive for living a real food lifestyle? (How did you come to eat the way you do?)

The short answer is that we observe this diet as a form of worship by which we show reverence to our Provider, by whose hand all things were made and all things are handed down to us. We believe that God created us and God, not man, created the food that He ordained for us in this world. Our diet is an expression of both respect and gratitude for His bounty and a tool He has entrusted to us to use in His ministry in feeding His sheep and bringing glory and honor to Him. Our diet is a ministry. The long answer for the first two questions can be found here.

3. If you only had energy for ONE make-from-scratch food, what would it be? Is your preference for taste or health?

I think that if I could only do one make-from-scratch food, it would have to be bread because the nutritional value of wheat disintegrates over time. So, my family would get the full benefit of fresh ground wheat used to make homemade bread three meals a day. Our initial incentive to changing our diet was for health, but we have since discovered the amazing quality of how much better real food tastes than what we had been eating before.

4. What food was your favorite that you no longer eat (or shouldn’t eat)?

Pepperoni pizza. When I make pizza at home, I use turkey pepperoni. Not exactly the best substitute, but it works. Rarely, when we eat pizza out, it’s the only time I eat pork and one of the only times I eat white flour.

5. What’s your favorite real/traditional food?

It’s hard to say. I make everything I can homemade and we enjoy just about everything I make. I will say that Sue Gregg’s oatmeal blender waffles are by far the best waffles I’ve ever made – and I used to make pretty good waffles. Even if, tomorrow, we started eating white bread drenched in pork fat topped with high fructose corn syrup whipped topping, I’d still make these waffles.

6. What was the hardest transition to make to real food?

Discovering all of the pre-made (mainly processed) items in grocery stores that contain high fructose corn syrup, soy, or transfatty acids. I became an avid label reader, and found so many things – including things labeled “100% whole wheat!” that we just couldn’t eat anymore.

7. What’s something you remain afraid to try?

I have not fully shifted away from white sugar. I still bake with it. So many websites have good natural sugar recipes, but I still like my yummy yellow cake and ambrosial buttercream frosting too much.

8. What’s next on your list of changes to make?

We just recently purchased a grain mill and several kinds of wheat berries. I will start grinding my own flour as soon as I use up my supply of store bought flour.

9. List your top 3 baby steps to move from a Standard American Diet to Real Food.

  1. Avoid unfermented soy.
  2. Avoid high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners.
  3. Look for whole grains.

I wanted to expand on this answer.  I guess those are three baby steps that anyone can do right away.  But, honestly, I believe that as a people we must first learn and come out of our ignorance in order to become either inspired or convicted.  This often requires personal research.  From that point, we can plan and commit to taking either baby steps or giant steps toward improving the healthfulness of our diet as well as improving our spiritual walk. The real step one, i think, would be to read up and research.  The foundation of the Levitical diet is best explained in the first five books of the Bible. Biblically inspired blogs like yours, Katie, and so many others on this Real Food Face-off, are just a tremendously valuable and immediately available resource.  Of course, it’s also good to have some Biblically inspired dietary books available for reference or the occasional loan to a friend, such as The Maker’s Diet, or What the Bible Says About Healthy Living.

10. What is the worst food (or “food”) a person could possibly put into their systems?

Transfatty acids would be the “worst” as far as damaging to your health. I think that artificial sweeteners would pull a close second. Research is also revealing that hormones and hormone impersonators are even more harmful than once thought.

11. If you had only $20 to spend in a week on real food, what would you buy and what would you make?

I would buy bone-in, skin-on meat, whole wheat flour, and then look at what was left for vegetables. If there was enough left to get fresh, then I’d get fresh. Second choice would be frozen, followed by canned.

12. What does “eating healthy” mean to you?

To me, it means purposefully avoiding food specifically stated in scripture as dishonoring to God which is damaging to the soul. Purposefully avoiding food that damages my health, my heart, my body or that of my family.  Purposefully partaking of food outlined as clean in scripture and using my abilities to prepare good, healthy, wholesome food as a ministry tool.

13. Name the top food scoring highest on both the nutritional and budget scale? (i.e., best health benefits for the lowest cost.)

Fresh fruit and vegetables (especially home grown from my garden or apple tree — that’s the healthiest, best for the budget which is the perfect model for stewardship of the land and monetary resources)

14. Biggest drawback of real food lifestyle?

This is not really a drawback as much as an inconvenience in modern culture — traveling requires getting hotels with a kitchen and packing food to go. We rarely eat out anymore, and we don’t enjoy eating out so much on the occasions when we do.

15. What’s the most creative thing you do to make life easier in the kitchen?

Really good, sturdy equipment and solid utensils make my life easier, but aren’t so creative. The most creative thing I do is to make sure that my toddlers (ages 3 and 1) are able to help me as much as possible when I’m in the kitchen. Because I make everything homemade, and because I cook or prepare three meals a day, I spend a great deal of time in the kitchen. As such, my children are in there with me. They have become masters at adding this and that to the mixer or turning the handle on the sifter or even cracking an egg or two.

16. How important is organic food?

Organic food isn’t as high on our radar as it is to some people. We buy organic when the price is right. Our rule of thumb is we will pay up to 10% more for apples to apples and we will always choose organic for the same price or less than non-organic.

17. What do you refuse to buy at a grocery store that you do eat from its source?

We purchase local honey, usually several quarts at a time with the comb.  Last time we purchased a dozen quarts.  Local honey is macrobiotically better for your immune system than “imported” honey produced outside of your region.  If you can’t get local honey, at least get “pure honey” which still has health benefits that processed honey does not.  I use a lot of honey.  One half a cup makes just two loaves of our daily bread and I am starting to substitute honey in everything else as often as I can, so honey goes fast.  I am also getting used to honey in my morning coffee instead of refined white sugar.

18. When eating out, how do make your menu decision (fav “out” food, anything you avoid)?

We do not eat pork (unless it’s pepperoni pizza) when we eat out, even though we allow a more relaxed diet on the rare occasions that we do eat out.

19. Best book recommendations?

The Maker’s Diet, or What the Bible Says About Healthy Living, What Would Jesus Eat?, The Abs Diet, The Abs Diet for Women, and the most authoritative diet books in the history of the written word, the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy.  We just ordered Nourishing Traditions by Sandy Fallon and I am looking forward to diving into fermenting.

20. Number one tip you tell your blog readers about eating healthy foods?

In accordance with Romans 14:2-17, we explain the dietary choices we have made but are always careful not to judge or condemn any dietary choices that differ. Our explanations are meant to educate and illuminate so that they are part of the answer for the hope that lives in us (I Peter 3:15). We constantly reinforce that we avoid biblically unclean foods and modern unhealthy foods such as transfats, artificial sweeteners, and HFCS and all of the recipes on my blog prefer the use of whole grains, real butter, raw honey, extra virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and other healthy alternatives to shortening and margarine.


Now it’s YOUR turn to FACE-OFF against HALLEE THE HOMEMAKER!  Pick any one or all twenty of the REAL FOOD FACE-OFF questions in the above post and YOU answer them in a comment.  Tell me what is most important to you, what you would like to change, what you are doing right and what or how you might improve.  Lend me some of your creativity.  Let’s meet, learn, and share tips as we FACE-OFF.

In Christ,


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