Remember those frozen meals called "Healthy Choice"? Or "Lean Cuisine"? Yeah. Turns out I wasted a lot of time and money on those, thinking I was actually being healthy. I should have gone for the juicy grilled burger and waffle fries I was actually wanting because I'm realizing in adulthood that that was actually the truly healthy choice. :)
Some of you know I've been watching some really great documentaries on Netflix about food and making wise eating choices. I am learning so much! It's actually changing the way I view food. After watching Food Inc., I couldn't eat meat for an entire week. Not that I was trying intentionally not to eat meat, I just couldn't do it. We had just bought a bunch of meat at Sam's, and I just knew Sam's wasn't the place to buy truly good-for-you meat. Then came the day when my friend Linda made a tub of chicken salad for our family. She cured me of the vegetarian course in which I was headed. :) I am finding that I'm still not eating a lot of meat. It's just that I've gotten choosy about the meat I feed my family, and the good stuff is definitely not as easy to find as the questionable stuff. So we're eating a lot of quinoa, bean soup, vegetables and fruit. It's actually pretty great to see them actually enjoying snacking on apples, oranges and bananas instead of Cheezits. Really! Their typical days include kefir, greek yogurt, clementines, bananas, carrots and apples. They don't even seem to miss the junk.
We've also gone cold turkey on juice. We had to. Even with buying the V8 Splash, which has fruits and vegetables in it, they were consuming tons of extra sugar and not eating full meals because of it. We've started doing whole milk and water, with an occasional half OJ/half water mixed in. They only complained once or twice in the beginning but have adapted well to the change. I'm interested to see if there will be a change in Penelope's activity level with cutting back so much on sugar. Also our grocery bill will be reduced considerably without having to buy juice. I bet we spent $75/month on juice! With what we're saving, maybe we can purchase some of the better choices.
I'm reading "Food Rules" by Michael Pollan, which just has a lot of good common sense about food. And awesome illustrations! You should see this book, it's beautiful!! I love to just look at it. :) Anyway, one that stuck with me is "The fewer the feet, the better the meat." That is easy to remember. We ate fish tonight. I think we can incorporate fish into at least one dinner a week. And fish sticks don't count. :)
We've cut out white bread, any snack food with the word "Cheez" (misspelled) in it, juice, and sugary cereals. It's a start! I've been making whole wheat bread for awhile but I"m going to step it up so we have it on hand all the time. And we just got some kefir grains for making kefir. It's amazing for you and the kids like kefir smoothies with raspberries.
Then I watched the documentary "Food Matters". WOW! Makes perfect sense. Most of our sicknesses and illnesses could be cured simply with better nutrition. Centuries ago people knew this. Most other countries still know it. But doctors in America have been trained now for decades to treat the symptoms with medication instead of encouraging patients to try vitamins, herbs, and a better diet. The pharmaceutical companies are a racket if you ask me. It's sad. I'm glad there are documentaries like this to remind people that there is a simpler way. God created plants and herbs and vegetables back in the Garden of Eden for man to enjoy and thrive nutritionally. He's such a common sense God! He cares about our bodies and our health! Watch the documentary. They explain the enzyme situation way better than I can. Basically, the more cooked and far away from its original state your food is, the fewer life-giving enzymes it contains. We eat a lot of dead food that doesn't do anything for us. But the more raw foods- the ones still exactly as God made them- we eat, the easier our body can process it. Your immune system is activated every time you eat dead food and energy is spent to fight the "foreign objects". This uses up the enzymes your body has naturally. If you don't replace those enzymes with good food, you eventually get low and your body doesn't work as efficiently. Thus, we get sick. This great lady on the show talks about how sickness is sickness, no matter what you call it, and if you work with your body instead of against it, it will heal itself. Giving it lots of good food is the key. God intended it that way and it is crucial to optimal health. Good nutrition just lets your body do what God created it to do, well. In a nutshell. :)
I hear the argument, "I grew up on PBJs and Kool Aid, and I'm fine." And yes, we are all "fine". It wasn't wrong for us to have those things. It's not 'wrong" for our children to enjoy them occasionally either. But as a mother planning meals for my children, if I can clearly see that there are "good" choices, "better" choices, and "best" choices, which should I choose? Faced with the facts, I think the only thing I can do in good conscience is offer them the very best choices possible every chance I get. I'm sure we'll still hit Chick Fil A every once in awhile.
The goal laid out in Food Matters is for every meal to be 51% raw. That is the most efficient for your body. Today I made the goal at breakfast and lunch. Dinner we had tilapia, wheat berries, and steamed veggies. Not bad, but not 51% raw. Oh well. It's a goal. I'm okay with having goals I don't meet 100%. But as someone once said, "Shoot for the moon and you might at least land among the stars" or something like that. I like that. Might as well try for the best than just settle, right?