One of the things I am most passionate about as a parent is healthy eating. Several years ago (about 5 years now!) we made a huge change in the way we ate and cut out almost all processed food. We switched to organic produce and dairy and we began buying most of our meat from a local farm so we know it is grass-fed, organic, and pasture-raised. We know this because we go to the farm, walk around, and see it with our own eyes.
We eat a LOT of organic fruit and vegetables. We eat a lot of pasture-raised beef, pork, and chicken. We eat quite a bit of seafood–but only wild-caught, nothing farm-raised. We eat a lot of milk and yogurt and cheese–but it’s organic and full fat; no low-fat, low-cal anything. We don’t eat any packaged snacks–cookies, cake, frosting, pancakes, waffles, pizza dough, and often bread are all made from scratch here in our kitchen with whole food ingredients. I truly believe the amount of preservatives, additives, and chemically-derived ingredients in most of the food people eat in this country are easily and directly related to any number of major health issues–cancer, diabetes, obesity, attention and behavior issues, food allergies.
But even with all Matt and I do to make sure the food we eat is healthy and nourishing to our bodies and brains, even we get lazy sometimes. In the past few months, I’ve been buying more “snacks” that don’t fit 100% with my food beliefs. I think it started in the Fall, when I was really feeling overwhelmed and depressed. And it continued through the holidays because it’s easier to buy things than to make them from scratch.
But it’s a new year and a perfect opportunity to tighten up and get back to our basic beliefs on food and how to feed ourselves in the best way. With that in mind, I’ve been researching many different types of diets and looking at new recipes and reminding myself WHY we do this. Together with Matt, I’ve come up with a few new goals for refining our diets in this new year.
- Cut out highly processed white flours–we will be going whole wheat for everything. For pancakes and waffles (which Matt and Q make for us every Saturday morning), we will use this flour. It may taste a little different at first, but within a month we won’t notice a change.
- Cut out refined sugars as much as possible–I will be using only honey and maple syrup to sweeten most of our food. This means we’ll be baking fewer cookies and cakes, but that’s not really a bad thing. And on special occasions, like birthdays, we’ll definitely make exceptions.
- Include at least two veggies or fruits with every meal. Including breakfast. Which means more omelets, more smoothies, and less breakfast cereal.
- Make more of our every day items from scratch–including salsa, soups, hummus, jams, crackers, pretzels, and hopefully even peanut butter. I realllllllly want to get a Vitamix to help me out with this one.
Even though we already eat pretty well, I know I’ve gotten lax in a few areas and resorted to buying boxes of crackers and pretzels with one or two questionable ingredients just because it’s easier. But I also know we feel better and are doing our bodies a favor when we just cut all that crap out entirely.
If you’re looking to make any similar changes, here are some of my favorite resources (which I check in with on a pretty daily basis) for support, encouragement, recipes, and ideas:
100 Days of Real Food
Eating From the Ground Up (I really love her cookbook–The Homemade Pantry)
Whole9 (and the related Whole 30) [We are not paleo, but I love some of the concepts and think they apply to any WHOLE FOOD diet]
Michael Pollan’s amazing books : In Defense of Food, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and Food Rules
Food, Inc–a truly eye-opening movie
That’s resolution #1 for 2014–get back to basics and eat a real, whole food diet designed to make our bodies and our minds healthier. Expect to see more food- and recipe-related posts here as we get back on track.
And if you’re at all interested, I highly recommend you take a look at any and all of the resources listed above–maybe you and your family are ready to make a change too! If you have any questions about what we do and don’t eat, how we get our kids on board, or anything else–PLEASE ask me–leave a comment or email me directly. This is one of my favorite topics and one I feel really strongly about–let’s get a conversation started!