Welcome! This is where it all began. I no longer post on this website and some of the content reflects former convictions and understandings. Some of these posts are hard core on issues that I am softer on these days. I deleted many posts that I feared would lead people into legalism, so if you find a missing hyperlink that may be why. These days I write at Covered By His Hand.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dietary Changes

(Edited and reposted 08-01-09)

I have been making some changes in the way my family eats. I am trying to stay away from processed foods and eat more raw fruits and vegetables.

Our family is terribly slow to making healthy changes, but this time I have hit the ground running! (Have you ever noticed how many idioms I use on my blog? It must drive my non-American, and my English-as-a-second-language readers to madness.) As I was saying, we have already made a few significant changes.

1) I did not buy any snacks for Paul's lunches (Twinkies and Swiss Cake Rolls), instead I bought mass quantities of fruit and veggies! I am putting grapes, an apple, and 2 carrots in Paul's lunch every day. Room for improvement here: I still don't know what to replace his standard deli meat with. Every day he eats a turkey and cheese sandwich (on wheat bread). Any ideas? I had planned to give him pitas and meat, but he is afraid of pitas.

2) The children and I ate our first ever pitas this week! We all enjoyed them right out of the oven! Ummmm

3) The kids already loved fruit, but I bought them more variety. They are eating more servings of fruits every day than ever before.

4) I did not buy any soda. Paul is taking water for his lunch. I am trying to drink more water too. Though, at this point, I am still gagging on it. Seriously, I gag on water - it's very odd. (I am referring to the water that we buy at the grocery store, because our tap water is un-drinkable). This change does not effect the kids any, they did not drink soda before.

5) We are eating less sausage. We used to eat sausage and eggs or sausage gravy twice a week, but this past week we only had sausage one time (and that was only about 1/8 of the tube, just enough to give flavor to the eggs). Room for improvement: I want to learn to make eggs with olive oil and greens. (Updated 08-31-09: we eat sausage and eggs a few times a week again, and I am okay with this).

6) We ate beans at every evening meal this week. Room for improvement: I want to convince my family that beans are an adequate replacement of meat on occasion!

Financial impact: The apples I bought (Jonagold on sale at .79/lb) were far cheaper than snack cakes. And, not buying soda will certainly make for an additional amount of water. So, really, I think we are breaking even.

We have a long way to go, but we are making improvements.


(Kerri) said...

Bravo for you to start making some wonderful improvements in your family's diet. I got a hold of the book, "What Would Jesus Eat?" at my library. I am about half way through. I knew this was THE book for me after I read the first chapter. I have spent the last few years researching nutrition. I took things from here and there, got plenty confused so I decided to step back and ask....Does God tell us how we should eat? So with that I took my knowledge and lined it up with the Bible. That first chapter of the book is EXACTLY what I pulled together! I was so excited to see that in print. Of course my hubby has been joking with me about having an idea and going out and searching for a book that backed me up :-) I only have a few ideas to share with food as I am still working this out 'in real life' as well.

For lunches:
Pack bean burgers-make up ahead of time and freeze. They cook in 10 minutes, then pack it up on a whole wheat roll with toppings off to the side. Make sure to include lettuce and tomatoe, maybe even some sliced avocado. I found a homemade ketchup recipe on line (hillbillyhousewife site)that my whole family LOVED. There is some sugar in it (you can leave it out or use good for you sweeteners like honey or agave), but the homemade version doesn't have the corn syrup in it.

Noodle/blean/veggie salad--I bought some whole grain noodles at Walmart (it has whole wheat, and other grains in it). I cook the noodles, run them under cold water. Then I ran some hot water over some frozen veggies (the bag of veggie mix) and tossed it with the noodles, along with some beans. I am really loving navy beans. Then I let everyone choose which salad dressing to add to their dish to pull it all together. Salad dressings can be really bad for you and I do make some homemade, but for now I am using a lot of Paul Newman's salad dressings. They contain vegtable oils, along with olive oil, so it's not all bad. But I do like the fact that I can pronounce and recognize all the ingredients listed :-)

Corn chips and black bean dip---I buy some organic blue corn chips for these. I take some black beans, usually 2 or 3 cans, and drain them. Put them in the food processor with some olive oil, garlic, dried onion, salt, pepper, a squirt or two of lime juice (concentrate) and whirl it up. Everyone here loves it. And I have very picky kiddos.

Another favorite of the adults and older kids is tortilla wraps. I make up some hummus. I think I wrote to you about that recipe. I spread it on a whole wheat tortilla, then top it with a bunch of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers....what ever veggies you desire, along with a wee bit of dressing and roll up. It is really bulky so for my hubby I pack the tortillas seperately and put the hummus in a container and the salad in another container for him to assemble at work. He loves this lunch.

I also pack some nut balls/thumbprints in his lunch to help with the snackies. The nuts really pack a punch and hold him over. He loves these and they are so filling he always has leftovers.

Another lunch we have is oatmeal. If he has the capability to reheat things this might be a good one to send with him. You can add all sorts of goodies to it to make it a very filling lunch.

Ok, that's all I can think of right now. I wanted to add that I plan on sending in a request for an interlibrary loan for the recipe book for "WWJE?". I am hoping it is out there somewhere.


sarah said...

This is good, Bethany.
You will find that changing your families diet in the way you are, will in the long run make much happier and healthier children and Parents!
It takes work and prayer.

Have you heard of the book,

Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon?

This book will really help anyone wanting to have a healthy diet change.. good stuff!

Ryan and Sandra said...

Way to go! :) It's easy to buy fruits & veggies here, but not as cheap overall as I thought it would be. (Bananas are, though! I got a huge 'hand' [bunch] of little bananas for about $.60!)

I'd love to hear more about how you're getting so many beans into your diet. We pretty much never have any chicken or beef and only seldom have fresh fish now, since it is also more expensive here than we expected. We eat a lot of peanut butter and also bean tortillas, which we discovered just last week. Duh! Roll up refried beans in a tortilla with some salsa and voĆ­la! :)

Ryan reminded me to ask you about Skype! ;) Even if you don't have a video camera, it would be so much fun to talk with you! (And you could still see me if you want.) It's like a free telephone call from C. America to you in N. America!

Gretchen Magruder said...

Sounds like some great changes, Bethany!! I recently read a blog with ideas on eating beans (we're trying to get better at that, too!)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Bethany! I still slip up pretty often (I'm an absolute soda JUNKIE!), but just since cutting back on the junk and eating more healthy food, we have noticed improvements in our budget, our overall feeling of wellness, and my waistline (I've lost 15 pounds since July JUST from cutting back drastically on the soda!).

Do you have an ALDI in your area? Most of their stuff is packaged, but we started shopping there last year, and we were very pleasantly surprised at their produce selection. I love avocadoes, and I can get them there for $0.99 each, while they are $1.99 at the regular grocery store!

There is also a What Would Jesus Eat cookbook. I checked out both the book and the cookbook from the library, and I never even got to reading the book before it was due! I did really enjoy the cookbook though. The lentil soup was SO yummy--and I'm not really a soup person!

After reading how much you enjoyed it, I think I may have to check the book out from the library again and read through it. Keep us posted on how this works for you guys!

Bethany W. said...

Thank you so much for your specific meal ideas.

I keep hearing great things about the book, but I haven't gotten to read it yet. I read as much as I can on other blogs about traditional foods!

Sandi, Mi amiga,
You know how I said I am slow about making changes? Well, that goes for technology too! Trying new things (like Skype) scares me. I did not even want to go to people's blogs for the longest time... You can laugh at me, if you want to, I know I am silly. Just keep pestering me - I'll get to it eventually...

Thanks for the links. I bet your family is making some food changes too. Are you going to try to learn to make Injera? Or will you learn to make Selah's favorite foods?

Thank you all for your comments! I have learned that there are two things that my readers get excited about food/healthy living and head coverings.


Bethany W. said...

Soda is a hard one to get rid of! It is so easy to pop the top and drink!

A long time ago, pre-babies, I went on a "diet." I drank only one sugared soda a day. And, in just two months I had dropped a lot of weight and a few inches. So, I have no doubt that soda puts on a lot of empty calories... but it tastes so good.

At this point in time, our giving up soda has just as much to do with budgeting as it does health! Soda is a luxury! We need water to live, but soda... not so much.

There is an Aldi somewhere in Columbia, about an hour away. I have not been there. Columbia also has chain of health food/medicine stores. I have not bought any food there yet, but I hope to find a few things there that are not available anywhere else (like Stevia and Agave).

Just a note, our dietary changes are about being healthy and living in the way that God intended for us... not about losing weight (though that may likely happen).


Steve and Paula said...

Kombucha is the best if you have that craving to pop the top and hear the fizz.
And it is SO good for you.

If Paul really ike turkey, then find a whole one on sale, cook it up and cut and package it into serving sizes for a sandwich.
Then, just pull one out the night before you plan on making him a turkey sandwich.
Homemade mayo is delightful with it.
Just make sure you use Light Olive Oil to make it, as the extra virgin is way to strong.

Steve and Paula said...

Oh, watch out for Agave! Most of what you find in the store, even the ones that say Raw and Natural on them, are just corn syrup flavored with a bit of agave.
That and it has been noted that the cultures that use it as their sweetner, have very rotten teeth.

The salad dressing recipes in NT are absolutly the best!

Make sure you grow a nice big bed of herbs this summer, especially cilantro and parsley and basil and use them to make a the Herb dressing in NT.
I can get you the recipe if you like.
Oh dear, now I am drooling for fresh herbs.
I need that 5 feet of snow to melt now!!!!

Bethany W. said...

Thanks for your thoughts about turkey. I do want to start cooking it and making real meat sandwiches... it is my goal. And, I am guessing that pound for pound it is cheaper too!

As for the herbs... My garden-fresh vegetable wish list is already VERY long! I may be doing most of the work myself, and I am already afraid that I am a little over ambitious about my first garden! I can't wait to make my own salsa and petite diced tomatoes (to mix into about every other dish I cook)! I get more excited every day. But, I know nothing about herbs! I need to know where to go to learn about gardening.

Please tell me what blogs to read to teach me to grow veggies and herbs!


Ruby said...

Yep, FOOD will always get lots of responses! I am not as strict as I should be with my dietary requirements but beans are good for the caeliacs so I am interested in ways you find for serving them. I have not been too great with them or lentils and I know I should look into it more as both are recommended. Thankfully, non of my children have the diabetes or caeliacs, but I still try to keep everyone fairly healthy. Hubby liked the soft drinks (sodas you guys call them!) for years but we've just about weaned him of it! He drinks HEAPS of tea though.
Hope you had a blessed Lord's Day!