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Hi, we're Dr. April and Sherri.  We're friends and working moms who have worked hard to get real food into our families' diets.  Our belief is that real food is the prescription for healthy and happy lives, but we live in the real world, like you, and know how challenging it is to prepare meals when you're busy.  Crunch Time is our place to share our ideas to make real food our fast food.  Let's unprocess our meals together and use all that extra time and energy to go out an play.  
More from Dr. April...My official job title is: cardiologist-scientist-mother of two-wife of a man who ate no vegetables until I met him. And yes I DO wear pearls with my scrubs! I became interested in educating folk about the link between food and heart disease when I became a cardiologist and was instantly bombarded with questions about "what can I eat?" Being a total geek, I went to the scientific literature to look for an answer and was struck by a plethora of papers with two contradictory conclusions: 1) people that eat a diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, and fish have less cardiovascular disease 2) feeding people specific vitamin/antioxidant/whatever that were extracted from those foods did NOTHING to reduce cardiovascular disease. At the same time I was teaching myself to cook these same foods-mostly from countries associated with the "Mediterranean diet". This experience led me to conclude that food cannot be distilled into a pill-it is real food itself, eaten as our ancestors did that is the "magic bullet" against modern heart disease.

Of course that manifesto is all well and good as an academic. The real challenge is translating it into a real life with two working parents who get home after 6pm, an 11 yo who loves raw oysters but refuses pasta and a wild card 7 yo whose favorite word is "no." To spread the word that "if I can do it so can you!" I've given lots of lectures locally with the American Heart Association and written recipes down for patients in clinic. I'm eager to spread the word further and share the science behind the food. Knowledge is power so prepare yourself when you children expound to their friends on the benefits of fatty fish. I also want to know about YOU and your challenges. Together, we can build a healthier life for ourselves and those we love.
More from Sherri...  If granted a last meal, I would choose hot Krispy Kreme donuts, mashed potatoes with duck fat gravy, fois gras pudding, and Sugar Babies.  I'm trying to delay that last meal as long as possible therefore, I get my nourishment from mostly real food.  Sure, I started eating more real food because I wanted to lose weight, but I got healthy as a bi-product of the diet.  I have the good health numbers, loads of energy, and color in my cheeks (except in this photo).   
I live in Los Angeles with my three kids Griffin (10) and Kendall (16) and Dan (47) who's also a husband, who complain about many meals, but they eat well - better than their friends.  They'd still rather go to In 'n Out Burger and eat candy, but they understand why real food is important.  They're never sick (knocking on wood here), they sleep well, they laugh a lot mostly at their own jokes, and they kind of bore their doctors.  
Getting real food into the meal plan hasn't been easy.  We are assaulted by food marketers claiming healthy food this and good for you that; claims that I learned are not true.  It's hard to drive a block without a fast food restaurant screaming out at you, or to engage with media without a barrage of seductive food messages, especially for my kids.   Even worse - all that processed, fast food was cheap and convenient.
But, we have found that real food can be cheap and easy too.
As a working mom, I had moments to get dinner on the table, but I found ways to extend my meals, to use a prep time on the weekends, and to involve the family in the cause to make real food, our fast food.  As a marketer, I influenced my kids' eating choices by telling them what the good food does for them in terms they can understand, I present and represent real food so it is more appealing to their eyes.  I have studied cooking my entire life through classwork and text, my mouth and I have traveled the world in search of new flavors and ideas, and I am German - which means I have shamefully systemized my kitchen and meal prep so I don't spend agonizing hours cooking, but of course as a German I also hate myself for not being perfect.   I'm always looking for ways to eat better and hope you all with share your advice with us.  

What is Real Food?

Michael Pollan, our food hero and demi-god, puts it this way, "real food is the sort of food our great grandmothers would recognize."    
Very simply, real food is food in its most basic form and as far away from processing, especially industrialized processing, as possible.  Fresh vegetables and fruits, pure proteins such as chicken, fish, meat, dairy, and limited cooking.  Now the purists will argue real food is only fruits and vegetables and those should be grown organically and eaten raw.  Those are ideals to which we might aspire, but for now we live in the real world and we love food so we keep it simple and keep it real and follow Michael's manifesto:
Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants.


Possibilities Waiting to be Created

Possibilities Waiting to be Created
Santa Monica Farmers Market

Crunch Time

Gives any well-intentioned cook, completely possible ways to get more real, fresh food onto the table without being shackled to a recipe or breaking the bank or getting an uprising from finicky eaters.
We are big on quick food prep - Chop Therapy - to make real food into fast food and we use what we term flavor savors that give a flavor punch to foods instead of using preservatives or processed ingredients.
We love getting the whole family involved in the food preparation effort. We also use some momgenutity for presenting real food in our homes so it stands a chance against the marketing assault of the Happy Meal.
Please share your ideas and share our posts with anyone you know who might want more real food in their meals.

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