Day Nine. “Mom, he’s taking all the green beans!”

Day Nine.

This is probably the only time you will ever hear me say, my kids argued at the dinner table and I couldn’t have been happier!

We have always had the hardest time getting our son to eat vegetables. He would not only refuse them, he would gag and sometimes gag to the point of throwing up. He has been this way his whole life, even baby food. I have tried cooking them all different ways and it has always been the same response.

However, today was different, the tables turned and I want to shout it out! He ate green beans and he ate them with a smile. I couldn’t give him enough, I had to tell him “no more green beans son.” Say what!? I think that is proof enough to say after a full week without any processed foods your tastes buds change! Seriously you guys, I never ever would have thought it possible. But it simply is. I am amazed and so very thankful.

One thing I have heard over and over from my family is the food tastes better. Organic food has much more flavor. It just does. I always knew it was “better” for us, but I never thought it would actually taste different. If you are like me, I would typically just go for what was cheapest.

Now let me shock you. Let’s take green beans for this example. Currently, at Costco, you can get a 5 lb. bag of frozen organic green beans for $6.49. Now, let’s take a cheap can of non organic green beans. Let’s assume in this case I do not have coupons. A 14.5 oz can of non organic green beans are anywhere from $.89 to $1.19. If you break it down the organic bag of green beans are roughly $.97 a “can”. Did you see that?! It is the SAME price as a can of non organic green beans. And let my three year old son tell you, the organic green beans “tastes waaaay better, they are super yummy”.

 

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Day Nine Food In Review:

(click on the links for recipes)

Breakfast:

Overnight Blueberry Lemon French Toast with maple syrup.

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Lunch:

Kale, Apple & Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese with leftover Lemony Cilantro Lentil Soup

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Snacks:

Organic Popcorn, Apples, Cliff Bars

Dinner:

Simple 5 Ingredient Spaghetti Sauce with wild boar, Spaghetti and organic green beans.

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Day Eight. the.grocery.gods.are.smiling.

Day Eight.

Today was like a scene from a movie. We pulled in to the lot at Whole Foods and had front row parking, “reserved for cars with small children”. Love those. Get out of my car there is a car-cart literally right next to my car. This particular cart had space for my two oldest and for the infant car seat which I needed because my baby was sleeping. The cart wasn’t too big, just right. .. Did you catch I said sleeping baby, Yeah, it was nice. Walk in to the store and no joke there was a full 17 piece high school marching band playing classical music, live, while we shopped. Magical. We headed over to the produce section to grab a couple of lemons and some cilantro and were greeted by a sample table serving gluten and dairy free organic chocolate mousse with fresh strawberries. My kids politely asked if they could try some. Pinch me now! Seriously I was amazed and grateful for this trip. You should go back and read my other two experience on day three and six to see why this was so unusual.

I am getting the hang of this challenge and cooking is starting be fun and exciting again. The thick clouds of anxiety and being overwhelmed are dissipating and I can see a future like this. We had an “ah-ha” moment today, you may laugh because this is pretty basic, but we have learned that if you cook with what is in season it is much cheaper. Okay, stop laughing. Seriously though, I have become so accustomed to the mindset of making whatever sounded good. In this day and age I can walk into Publix on any given day of the year and pretty much find whatever ingredient I desire. It is not like back when Laura Ingles lived and they only ate what they could grow in that season, there was no pumpkin pie in February.

It is not a new concept. I just think it is a forgotten one to us Americans. We need to get back to the basics. Stop over buying what we do not need and what is not in season. Live on less and you will feel like you are living more. This whole challenge has really been a blessing. As hard as wrapping my mind around all the new off limits ingredients has been, the simplicity of meal planning with fewer ingredients has been a welcomed change.

We are eating the in season fruits and vegetables like crazy. And I am sure by the time the season ends we will be very ready to switch things up! But it has been so good for us. Having only a couple of options for breakfast and lunch has saved me so.much.drama. You know the routine, so-and-so wants this and that child wants that, you aren’t eating either of those options and before you know it you are potentially making three separate meals. It is crazy. Live simply and you have more time for other things. It is a good thing.

Here is an AWESOME chart for knowing what is in season and when.

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And here is a higher quality image if you want to print it: seasons Calendar_A3

I would encourage you to head over to this webpage: Eat Seasonably for more information and helpful tips.

DAY EIGHT FOOD IN REVIEW:

(click on the link for recipes)

Breakfast:

Apple and cinnamon whole wheat muffins with butter and honey.

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Lunch:

Samples at Whole Foods and Farmers Market + chips, hummus and avocado dip.

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Snacks:

Bananas, popcorn & handfuls of homemade granola

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Dinner:

Lemony Cilantro Lentils (I used this homemade chicken stock) Whole Wheat Bread and Organic steamed broccoli.

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chicken stock

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Day Seven. I Am Never Eating Again.

Day Seven.

Do you remember when you first learned how to read and it seemed like a whole new world was opened before your eyes? Suddenly there were words everywhere! It was exciting trying to sound them out, but I bet it was quickly followed with the sense of being overwhelmed. With so much new information, suddenly the world of words was swarming around you.
This is me in a nutshell today. I have read so much information over the last week, learned the beginnings of reading labels and it is exciting. *cue the anxiety* There is SO MUCH information it is really overwhelming. If you combined: Food Inc, Forks Over Knives, Genetic Roulette and Frankenfish into one big documentary you would basically never eat anything again. You feeling me?
Let’s face it. There are very few people who can afford to buy everything all organic. The majority of us are on some sort of a budget, we clip coupons and search the sales ads for the best deals. We all know that organic food is expensive and it seems they are never on sale, right? Does it bother you, like it does me, that to eat healthy we have to pay more? It just seems so backwards. I could go and buy a combo meal at Burger King for less than I could a little pint of organic strawberries. It is unreal.

Here are 10 helpful tips I have learned this past week:

  1. Buy only the foods that are GM organic: corn, squash, zucchini, papaya, soy, alfalfa sprouts, and all dairy and meat. Tip: Organic whole chicken is as cheap as the non organic at Publix, $2.99lb. Buy a couple and cook them in the crockpot. Use the meat all week and make a chicken stock from the bones.
  2. When you buy non organic produce make this: homemade produce wash to get rid of most of the pesticides.
  3. Stay away from processes foods. It is hard at first (for us 3 days) but I promise your kids taste buds will change to like the new whole foods!
  4. Buy foods that you can use in multiple ways over the week to stretch your dollar. Example: avocados are great for dips, salads, tacos and even on fried egg sandwiches.
  5. Shop at a local farmers market or find a farm share near you.
  6. Buy only what is in season. It is much cheaper this way.
  7. Search the Internet for coupons. Organic foods companies are starting to put out more coupons for their items! I am going to start an Organic coupon database soon.
  8. Do not try to do it all at once, unless there are major health issues forcing you to, go slow! Take your time.
  9. Whole Foods offers a gallon of FREE organic 365 milk on Tuesdays, with a $30 purchase, when you and your kids attend story time.
  10. Publix does B1G1 free on frozen nonGMO items like: Udi’s GF bread and Van’s frozen foods. Watch your store circular for the deals.

Okay, so I told you yesterday about Bradley improvements. There are still things I would love to see change and I am hopeful over time we will see those changes. My progress has, unfortunately, not been as dramatic of a change as Bradley. The only noticeable difference I can speak of it a general sense of more energy. I do not need my second cup of coffee in the afternoons anymore. Like with Bradley, I am hopeful I will see changes in my pain levels and G.I. issues. I have had years of damage so I did not expect a change over night. It will take time.

DAY SIX FOOD IN REVIEW:

(click on the link for recipes)

Breakfast:

Van’s GF waffles with maple syrup and bananas.

Lunch:

Cheese, apples and peanut butter, avocado’s and organic corn chips

Snacks:

apples, bananas, almonds, handfuls of homemade granola

Dinner: (Seth and Norah went out for a special Valentine’s Daddy/Daughter dinner and dance) :)

Bradley and I: Leftover meatloaf, rice and a cobb salad.

Day Four. Detoxing GMO’s.

Day Four.

Confession. I am hating today. I feel gross. Physically gross. Mentally fuzzy. My attitude flat out stinks! Why you ask? I am detoxing GMO’s. Sounds gross doesn’t it? It is. And to make it even more fun both of my kids are going through it as well. You thought the attitudes of a 3 and 5 year old were bad? Ha! Try that topped with their little bodies ridding themselves of toxins that have been sitting in there for years. So.not.fun. Poor Norah even told me at one point today, “my head hurts, I can’t stop crying, I think I just need to go to sleep”. So she did..for 2 hours! And the other “end” of detoxing is just so gross. I will spare you the details, but if any of you have ever done a detox you know what I am talking about..seriously, nasty.

Okay! Enough about detoxing and on to my research for today. I need to be honest I am still evaluating how I feel about all this new information I am researching. I feel a bit like a crazy-physco-mom at the moment and I am not sure how I feel about that. :) I started researching soaps, lotions and toothpaste. I never even made it to the household cleaners. Goodness gracious there is a lot to read about this topic.

The one thing I did come to realize is companies are fantastic with marketing. I mean, seriously brilliant. You really have to investigate, know you stuff, and READ INGREDIENTS…NOT JUS T THE FRONT LABEL. Actually, from what I have seen today, never trust what it says on the front label. It is always some sort of fabricated lie to get you to buy their product.

For example. Take this jar of mayo. Read the description on the front of the label: IMG_7665

Sounds wonderful, healthy and natural, right? Sure! And if that label doesn’t already have you sold and putting it in your cart, you turn to the ingredient list to look for the big and bad High Fructose Corn Syrup. Because we all know that is bad – even if we have no clue what it is! Here is the label:

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Here is where I learned something and maybe you will too. That very FIRST ingredient, which means it is the most prominent in the product, is SOYBEAN OIL *insert: sinister music*. In the past my eyes would have totally skipped that and gone right to the next line: “100% cage free whole eggs”. You too? But, that very first ingredient is so important. Since this product is not organic we can pretty safely assume that the soybean was genetically modified. Quick fact: according to the United States Department of Agriculture, in 2011 America grew 690,000,000 square meters of GMO crops! Did you catch that number?! That is a BIG number and I am sure it grew in 2012. More on that in another post…

Due to my brain totally leaving me I am going to stop for now. I know I said I was going to share about what I learned about soaps, lotions and toothpaste. It will have to wait. I need to gather more information and really see what I feel about it and how I want to come across. The last thing I want is to sound like I am superior and everyone who doesn’t do what I do is not doing the right thing. I am a passionate person and sometimes that can come across very strong and wrong. Every family is called to do their own research and come up with what THEY feel is the best for their family. SO with that I will leave you with what I managed to feed us today. Nothing fantastic. If it weren’t for friends wanting to meet us at the mall we would have stayed in PJ’s and had a lazy day….

DAY FOUR FOOD IN REVIEW:

(click on the link for the recipe)

Breakfast:

Almond milk french toast using homemade ww bread, topped with strawberries and maple syrup

Lunch:

Peanut butter sandwiches, organic cheese sticks, apple slices

Snacks:

Bananas, CLIF kids ZBar

Dinner:

Egg, raw cheese and avocado sandwiches, yogurt parfait: strawberries and granola.

Day One. A New Begining.

Day One.

Started at 10pm on Friday night, February 1st, 2013. We had just finished the movie Genetic Roulette. I was ready to go all crazy-person on cleaning out our pantry, refrigerator and freezer of GMO contaminated food! We got a box and quickly rid the house of GMO’s. There. It’s done. I feel better.

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Three hours later. I am laying in bed thinking, what am I going to make for breakfast! I just threw out all our food. I thought we were fairly healthy eaters. I make a lot from scratch and try to buy Organic when we can. But after the great GMO purge we were left looking pretty scarce and pre-package, ready to eat food was not an option. Greeeat!

Just so you can understand why I felt the need to make an immediate change you should read the “about” section.

This morning I made freshly ground whole wheat pancakes with warm maple syrup. It was amazing and I was beginning to think this wouldn’t be as hard as I had thought last night. And then I realized my first fail. I used cooking spray. It didn’t even cross my mind that cooking spray should be on the do not eat list. Good job Tracy. It is day one and I already failed. There were a couple more, oh crap, that has a GMO in it?! moments in our first day.

This is going to take a lot more thinking than I thought. Time to learn how to read labels. Purge number two is on the way.

DAY ONE FOOD IN REVIEW:

Breakfast:

whole wheat waffles with warm maple syrup

Lunch:

Udi’s Gluten Free sandwich bread with 365 peanut butter, strawberries, organic corn chips with tomato/avocado dip

Snack:

Organic apple slices with 365 peanut butter

Dinner:

Whole foods baked chicken wings, carrot slices with hummus, baked sweet potatoes