What We Eat

I have a little group of ladies that I meet with every Tuesday evening. They are pretty great. We read and discuss books - in hopes that we can be better. It's a group of women, so let's face it, we are always looking to improve in SOME area...we also like to drink wine and eat white cheddar popcorn.

Our current book is Jen Hatmaker's 7: An Expiremental Mutiny Against Excess. In our LOVE for the book, we decided to take up the seven-month challenge. We are currently in Month 1: Food.

Do not mess with my food. I like food. I was hesitant at first to take part, but I go really excited as I read. And since Jen's (can I call you Jen?) read's like a blog (fast, easy, conversational, not super THICK), I decided to read a lot of the books that she read during her experiment with Food.

I chose to delve into The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food, and Fast Food Nation. Full Disclosure: I have started all these books at some point in my life prior to now and found them to be incredibly boring.

See, I was a fat kid growing up. Seriously. I remember breakfasts of Diet Coke Big Gulps and plastic wrapped cream cheese and cherry-flavored pastries...from our corner 7-11. I cringe now, but I was seriously disappointed if my day did NOT start off this way.  My lunches during this same period of my life (middle school) consisted of food from the vending machines. My dinners were either "homemade" in that they were prepared foods that required a can being opened or something being thawed OR if my parents were tired (because they both worked and were legitimately weary), we would pick something up on the way home.

I do not blame my parents for the way that I ate.

I do blame a lot of other people...namely, our screwy government or society...

I've learned a lot about the history of food and more importantly the Food & Nutrition industry in our country. I've become really wary of what my family eats. I mean, whether it's a story about yoga mat plastic being put into pretty much all fast food breads OR unfit meat being "washed" with dangerous chemicals...not much surprises me.

So, for the past year my family and I have been slowly shifting to a slow food-whole food way of life.

What does THAT look like?

Well, it "looks" hard and time-consuming (a lot like cloth diapers), but it's completely worth it and not that difficult when you get into the habit of it all.

We don't buy snack foods. Like crackers or cookies or anything that can be unwrapped. We snack on fruits and veggies and nuts. My kids seriously think that goldfish & gummy worms are luxury-items, but they wake up every morning asking for an apple (and I am just fine with that).

We don't buy pre-made foods. We make our own breads, muffins, brownies, cookies. We don't buy much that is pre-made, pre-prepared, pre-mixed. The only "prepared" foods that we purchase on a regular basis are peanut butter, jelly, jarred tomato products, flour, cheeses, yogurts, and pastas. We would happily make all of these things ourselves. But we got "lazy" this year and haven't canned any tomatoes (we did make 36 jars of apple butter). We want a grain mill and pasta press, but currently lack the kitchen storage or space to justify their purchase. We're working on cheese and yogurt (waiting for cheese cloth to ship).

We EAT fat. We eat REAL, full-fat everything. We think animal fat is good...and we eat it.

We have cut down on meat. We don't eat meat at every meal. Meat is expensive. We did purchase half of a pig that was grass-fed and raised locally. It was worth every penny. Knowing how and where and what went into our meat is a huge load off of our minds. Although, next time we will cure the meat ourselves.

We eat some sugar...but not a ton. We actually use sugar in most of the things we bake, but it's not a lot and it's not a sugar substitute.

And you know what?

We don't feel deprived. We end up eating less of everything because we are fuller more quickly. Our food is more satisfying. Everything seems a little more decadent...and it takes effort to make everything, so we don't just mindlessly consumer the fruits of that labor.

We've actually LOST weight. We are healthier. In the past 5 months, I have lost about 20 lbs.....and that is with only working out like 2-3 times a week TOPS. I don't get how it is working, but I will take it.

We still have bad habits... I LOVE COKE. I LOVE IT. I need to quit it. We also love the 24-hour Mexican dive down the street...but I justify our eating there knowing that I will find a bay leaf in my burrito (their big on cooking from scratch too).

What are your biggest concerns about the foods nowadays?

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