Thursday, June 17, 2010

Friday's Food for Thought

So, you may have noticed recently that I've been talking a little more about real foods, butter, whole milk, coconut oil... So, I thought I'd just share a little bit about what got me thinking about all of this and where I am now (below I'm listing some really good links):

First of all, I have a deep desire to feed my family well. I am a mother and a wife and it's my responsibility to cook for them and feed them. The more I desire to do well in that area, the more I research and learn about what foods are best. I'm so thankful for the vast amount of information that is available on the internet. From my research I've learned that fats, particular saturated fats, aren't bad for you. In fact they are actually GOOD for you! Healthy! The fat in butter, whole dairy(milk, cheese), coconut oil, eggs, and cold pressed extra virgin olive oil are good for you! I'm learning how to use each of them properly (did you know frying in olive oil at high temps can cause carcinogens!?). I've learned that staying away from processed foods can help you save money, thus allowing money to afford those items above from better sources (Wright's Dairy! Yum!). I've learned that while it may take a little extra time to make something from scratch, than to open a box and 'prepare', knowing I'm doing my family good makes it worth it! I am convinced that cancer, heart disease, diabetes, ect are so directly a result of our horrible eating habits. I'm convinced the chemicals used on produce and in our foods, the BPA used to package our foods, the hormones packed in our meats and dairy, the cheapo grains our animals are being fed... and on and on... are killing us. And while I can't change everything (especially considering the limited grocery stores... hello, why can't I buy organic produce ANYWHERE?), I can do my best. And I can feel good about it. So, I'm doing my best to feed my family real food. Something I read recently said you know it's real food if it doesn't come with a bar code on it! So, let me summarize a few of the changes we have and haven't made:

Changes we've made:

Drinking whole milk only, especially the boys. The boys only drink Wright's Dairy Whole Milk. We do still get WIC and I am praying about canceling it. I think it's a great service to low income families and we have benefited from it. But after all of the research I've done, I really think we should all be drinking whole milk. I don't want to waste the 2% that we still get on WIC so the Hubs and I drink what we get, or I cook with it when I know it's going to be broken down in baked goods anyways.

Eating mostly farm eggs. We get our eggs either from the dairy or my MIL picks up farm eggs from a farmer near by. Eggs are so very good for you! Yes, even the yolk!!

Buying grass fed, locally farmed beef. Currently we get, when we can afford it, Wright Dairy beef. It is more expensive but I know it's SO much better for us! The fats in grass fed beef are easier for our bodies to process and use than from the grains and whatever else they feed those other cows to get them to fatten up and grow quicker for mass production. Ew. Anyway, we buy it when we can, maybe 2 lbs per month. I'm so thankful it's available! And I feel so good when I'm feeding my family tacos or hamburgers from that meat. As far as other meat, there aren't many other options. Sigh.

Buying local dairy, butter and cheeses. (also from Wrights Dairy!) Their butter is soo good! It comes in a huge roll and I just cut it into 4 pieces, wrap 3 pieces in foil, then in a freezer bag and chunk in the freezer. The other goes into the fridge. We also buy their block cheese when we can. We do get cheese on WIC still so we only get dairy cheese when we have a need for extra cheese. I do buy the dairy's whole milk buttermilk on occasion too. It comes in a gallon size only, so I buy it when I know I'm going to be needing a lot of buttermilk!

Limiting packaged, processed foods. Our mashed potatoes come from potatoes, not a box! ;) But I do still buy some packaged foods.. like some cereals, mainly Cheerios and Frosted Mini Wheat. We do get bread on WIC. I'm not sure I'll ever be good at bread making!

Make more snack foods from scratch. I've been experimenting with making granola bars, crackers, cookies, breakfast items, ect for us to snack on. This saves money and gets rid all of this 'question mark' ingredients in the ingredient list. I get to choose what goes in the snacks we eat. I do still buy some snack foods, for instance the boys have been finishing up the Goldfish crackers left over from Luke's party. I also buy granola bars and will continue until I find a recipe I'm satisfied with. I buy Yoplait yogurt. The dairy does sell yogurt but I've yet to try it on the kiddos. They sell it in gallon jugs, and that just seems like a lot. Maybe we'll try it soon! I know some people who make their own yogurt. Hmm. I'd rather just buy it at this point! I also buy 100 calorie pack cookies, ect for myself and the boys as treats. And they still get candy every now and then. There are other things that I buy every now and then that I'm just not thinking of but these are the things that I still buy most often.

And yes, I still buy my Diet Coke! Ahh.. right now, it's for my sanity. Maybe one day I'll give it up!

There are so many things I'd like to change, but it takes small steps. I think I could just throw my hands up and say, it's just food!! I mean, does it really matter!? But it's not just food. It's taking care of my family. And when presented with facts about what is best, it's our responsibility as Mom's (parents) to use that info for the benefit of the people we love (that goes for other things.... like car seats as well!). Now, don't go thinking I won't eat me a burger and fries every now and then.. or a Sonic Milkshake (mm.. I've been craving one!). I never said I was perfect and I don't plan on perfection this side of heaven. ;) I'm just trying to create a healthy relationship with food. I'm in agreement with some things in moderation, but I'm really just trying to eat real food. Another article I read said to go by the 80/20 rule. Eat healthy 80% of the time and don't worry too much about the other 20%. And although I know we're not at 80%, we're adding healthy habits slowly and I'm praying about it as we go.

Wanna know what I've been reading on the subject?

5 Fats You Must Have in Your Kitchen

Healthy Fats and Oils - a HUGE list of great articles on healthy fats.. even ones that cover "Does fat make you fat?"

Oh and by the way.. about fat... particularly losing it, here is my weekly Shred update!