Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Getting the Most Out of Your Food - Part 1 (Q & A)

Last year, I wrote a little bit about this resource/cookbook, "Nourishing Traditions", on my blog. I just had the privilege of doing a presentation for our local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. It forced me to organize my thoughts on a matter I've been researching for over 4 years now, using both this book and many other resources. I thought I'd break my presentation out into several blog posts and share it with the rest of the world. I hope you find it helpful, useful and most of all inspiring!

First, I thought I'd address some questions I get asked frequently and I thought I'd address them on my blog.

1. Did you grow up eating this way? 
Nope. Didn't know the first thing about cooking completely from scratch or what healthy eating looked like. I never really liked many vegetables or fresh fruit, certainly nothing raw! Luckily, I mostly grew up on a ranch so we always had good, free-range beef to eat. Now that I'm older I appreciate that much more.  

2. What sparked your passion for healthy eating?
Four and half years ago I went to my first MOPS meeting. They person speaking was talking about Nutrition. She through out some ideas about why refined sugar and dyes were bad for you. This was completely new information to me. I was stunned to think what I had been feeding my son (3 at the time) and myself and husband. It is still hard to not to feel guilty, especially when I saw the difference in health between my children when they were babies and toddlers. I just had to start somewhere and me being an "all or nothing" kind of person, I got rid of all the white sugar, and white grains in my home. That what I started with. Everything else (choosing raw milk products, healthy fats, salt, potatoes, home cleaning products, etc) came in good time after that. Being involved with Healthy Families Network really helped me as I gleaned info from the other ladies further along in their journey to healthy eating. Thanks, gals!

Also, I believe eating healthy is a biblical principle. I think it is an important part of being a Proverbs 31 woman and also treating our bodies like temples. I think God wants us to be as healthy as possible, for as long as possible, so we can serve Him to the best of our abilities for the short amount of time we live on this earth.

3. Are your husband and kids on board?
When I presented the idea of changing the way we eat to my husband. He said he was fine with any changes as long as I didn't "take away his bacon or his coffee". That's been the deal ever since. We have bacon or sausage at least once a week. I try to make sure it is all natural, but sometimes it isn't. He grew up eating a lot healthier than I did so he was thrilled to see me making things from scratch and getting back to what he considered "real food". 

As far as my kids go, my son was 3 years old when I implemented all these changes. I had to remove the bad stuff completely from our home. Healthy things start looking really attractive when that is all there is. Plus, I really tried to keep the same recipes I'd been using, just modifying them to make them healthy. Most of the time he was just fine with it. If my kids don't like something, they either do without or they eat it. For awhile, Josiah refused to eat my mayo because it tasted different, now he loves it. I don't keep a lot of choices of snacks around the home, which helps a lot. We have to tell our kids that "no they can't have seconds on salad until they eat their dinner". Great problem to have!

3. Can healthy food taste good?
You bet! Whenever I bring something to potluck or gathering, I'll tell them eat up, it's healthy for you! They can't believe it could possibly be healthy with all that fat and sugar. It's all in the kind of fat and sugar you use! 

4. How can you afford to eat healthy?
See this previous blog post for to answer this question. We spend on average $350 to $400 on month on our grocery budget. Usually it's on the lower end. That is for 4 people, and yes, my kids are eating as much as I do now. This budget also includes things like stationary items, ziplock bags, parchment paper, toiletries, paper items, etc. 

With the exception of my last pregnancy, Hailey's stitches and a few vaccinations, we haven't had a doctor bill or dentist bill for any of us in 4 1/2 years. Yes, there is something to be said for healthy eating!

5. How do you have time to make so many things from scratch?
Click herehere and here for my blog posts on this subject. You'll love this one!

I shared with my MOPS group that I only cook 2 or 3 times a week, the rest of the time I'm using up leftovers. Why make one lasagna when you can make five?! It doesn't take that much more time and I'm saving myself hours in the kitchen. It convenience food at its finest!

So I hope these questions have piqued your interest and you are willing to come back for the rest of the series.

God Bless and Happy Eating!



LizyBeth said...

We also have to make the, "No more salad until you eat your dinner," comment occasionally. :) I agree, it's a great problem to have!

Nicole said...

I am insipired, I have for along time known how to cook from scratch just have not gone the very healthiest of ways with it. My kids almost 15, 6,now 13 are not picky eaters and I know if I make it the rules are the same "it's what for dinner". Thanks for sharing.

Tina said...

Looking forward to this series. Nourishing Traditions is a book I've looked at for a couple years but haven't gotten yet. Looking forward to hearing the tips you're able to share with us! :)

Catherine said...

Good job, Jackie; it is inspiring to see how far you've come in this endeavor!

Bernice said...

I have read a few of these post and am now starting at the first one. I look forward to the rest.

I have been wanting so badly to cut sugar. It is very hard for me. My husband LOVES his cookies, cheap, store bought cookies. Even when I make cookies, he still goes and buys some. OF course it is because he doesn't want to eat all the good ones from me. If there are cookies in the house I will eat them dipped in coffee. grrr.
I am going to try some of your ideas on healthier sweets.
Thank you!!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

That is a good point, Bernice. My sis has the same problem with her hubby. While she can't control what he eats, she can control what she eats and how she cooks for her family (what kinds of ingredients she cooks with). Any change is better than none :) Hope you get a lot out of this series! So glad you stopped by and left a comment :)

Kristal said...

Thank you so much for posting all of this. I am learning so much but still overwhelmed. So for a "starting point" would you suggest the book?

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

The book is a great place to start. I've barely scratched the surface with all these posts. Hope you're able to navigate through without being overwhelmed. Remember, even if you only change one thing, it is better than what you were doing before :) It is OK to take baby steps.


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