Wednesday, August 1, 2012

changes + food

yikes, it's been awhile since i blogged...i did warn you i was a sporadic blogger!! 

things have been busy around here, lots of changes...we have been on a reno binge. trying to finish up started projects so we can put our house up for sale. we really want to see our east coast sustainable and off the grid dream happen. house should be on the market mid august :) shortly after we dove into these house projects, my husband was laid off from the company he has been with for 10 was a bit of a shock to say the least!! but we are embracing it, and know that it's helping propel our dream east faster...someone obviously decided we needed a good ol' kick to just do it!

 i am wrapping up dayhome...august 31st and my dayhome days are done. i am looking forward to focusing on the things that count with my family...just being mom to my kids, home education, and just really focusing on what we want in and out of life.

we are also gearing up for some lifestyle changes...these changes geared towards food. we already made the change to cut down and out highly processed foods and that carried over into how and what we clean our home with. but while we are pretty good...we have still had our moments when we've bought a frozen pizza or hit a place like subway on the fly. it's amazing how easy it is to justify why you are giving in..."just this one time". my husband and i have decided, that's it! if our main goal is sustainable and off the grid then these things do not fit into our plan. not to mention how incredibly unhealthy they are for us. the more i read, the more i am blown away by what is put in our food...even those we think are good.

i was reading this post by food babe over at 100 days of real food about has definitely changed my opinion about my once in awhile chai tea latte with skim milk and no water "treat".

but i learned something...shortly after reading that post, i went grocery shopping...gosh our cupboards were bare!!! and while i read the labels for a lot of things..i don't read every label...i make assumptions that, "it's cream's gotta to be good to go with ingredients, right?!" wrong! i discovered my FAVOURITE cream cheese in the world...a product the superstore franchise brings in from my beloved vancouver island...something i delighted in when i discovered it on the shelf...has carrageenan in it. what's carrageenan? well for one thing, it's an additive and not needed in any dairy product, but more specifically it's an ingredient derrived from seaweed (sounds innocent enough, hey?) but can cause intestinal problems as well as become a carcinogen once ingested...yum!

i can tell you, it's crazy how many things i was putting in my cart assuming they only had what they should...after last night i switched many of the brands i was buying after reading the labels. most of us are aware that there are things in our food...some of us don't care, some of us do but still opt for easy and convenient, some make certain changes but not others, and some us say no to it all. here comes my little soap box plug...we need to care. this stuff is only on the shelf because it's bought. the only reason these ingredients are in our food is because we have allowed it. we need to care because it's these ingredients that are now being linked to obesity, ADD, diabetes, cancers, and a multitude of other health issues and concerns. these ingredients are just not healthy and do not need to be in our food.

i bet you're screaming at me right now..."they're cheaper!!" "it's easier!!" "how do i feed my family of 4 or 5 on budget??"

consider this, is a box of hamburger helper at .88 cents cheaper then the medical bills that come when someone in your family develops diabetes or something much more serious? but honestly? it's not cheaper. you see a box of hamburger helper for .88 cents and see the ease and immediacy of one meal and that if you bought every ingredient needed to make that one box of hamburger helper it would cost so much more. you'd need to buy pasta, spices, cornstarch (thickening agent in the sauce), and of course the ground beef. which would cost between 10 and 15 dollars. BUT! how many meals are you going to get out of that bag of pasta? how many meals can you flavour with those spices?? how many more gravies and sauces can you thicken with that cornstarch? and it doesn't take that much more time to prepare then that .88 cent box with additives, preservatives, and ingredients that you can't pronounce. besides...shouldn't it scare us, (scary ingredients aside) that we can buy food so cheaply?? it scares me, it scares my husband...which is why we have opted for different choices. okay soap box plug over...for now :)

i will say, a change like this can be overwhelming...where to

and just like with any other change, you start one step at a time. make one change, say no to buying one highly processed food...and the rest will follow. as to that budget? i would recommend reading 100 days of real food and how she started. her story is about an urban family of 4...after being told eating this way could not be done on a low budget, her family took on  100 days on a budget...showing that an urban family of 4 could still make these changes based on a low income family's budget. her site has a wealth of advice, recipes, stories, articles...even meal plans! to help one get started :)

and no, i have no association to her site...i stumbled across it a few weeks ago and have really enjoyed what i have found and wanted to share :)

happy wednesday!


  1. Ok.. first of all, you've been here for what? Five years?? How is that we have not really connected until now?! Seriously, it's like you're in my head (or at least my shopping cart)!

    I sent you the link yesterday, but I thought maybe some of your readers might be interested in Once A Month Cooking too We still have our fast food moments too (for us it's Taco Time - I used to work there when I was a teenager so I know what food is real food and what ingredients are used). But I've found that since I already have a frozen pizza on hand (that I made myself using real ingredients), I don't have to sacrifice our healthy eating habits for convenience, especially on days when I'm just too tired (or busy) to throw something together. Oh, and I'm not affiliated with Once a Month either... just LOVE the site :)

    I also have a question, do you ever get "real food guilt"? Sometimes I find that I can burn myself out trying to make sure we're only eating what's BEST for our bodies that I beat myself up a little when we don't. For example, breakfast cereal. Ideally, I'd like to make most or all of our cereal. Sometimes I make granola that we eat cold with milk, but I'd like to try making more varieties and making them more often (we eat cereal about 3 times per week). So I still BUY cereal, but I buy whole grain/muesli/granola types and I try to buy organic/minimally processed (Kashi/Nature's Path)... but when I buy something like the new quaker brand "whole hearts" (like heart shaped cheerios) - I feel bad because it's not the BEST I could be giving my kids. Do you ever feel like this?

  2. loved that blog you linked Jess, thanks! I cannot get over what a challenge it is to avoid processed foods... so much harder than I thought! Cannot wait to see all your renovation projects!