Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A slow transition to a different way of thinking... about food

Lately I've taken a huge leap into a more whole foods/traditional foods and GAPS oriented style of eating for the whole family. It seems that every time I make big changes I fail miserably the first time around and this time was no exception. The first shopping trip was well over our food budget, so much so that I broke out in cold sweats and felt sick when I saw the total. The last two times have been at our usual budget of 200-250 a week. I use to think we ate pretty healthy {which was a slow evolution in itself}. In the last six years we have slowly switched over to mostly whole grains, organic milk, organic fruits/veggies for the nasty twelve {top pesticide heavy fruits and veggies} low on the sugary sweets, no sodas, very little bottled juice, things like that. But I've come to realize that I rarely looked very closely at labels. If it said natural or whole grain I'd probably buy it. When Atty went on his diet I became a label reader out of necessity. Looking for all the things he couldn't eat. {And boy is there a lot of that!} And came to realize I didn't want us to eat it either. Things like corn syrup {especially HFCS}, hydrogenated oils, preservatives, msg {or yeast extract}, hydrolyzed starch, natural flavor, anything that rhymes with gross {glucose, dextrose, etc...} and words I can't pronounce, just to name a few, ha! :) When I really looked at some of the items I had been mindlessly adding to our cart I came to realize that a lot of them had ingredient in there that I didn't want us eating. So little by little I've gotten to the point that we are at right now. A focus on whole foods, no refined grain, no starch, and no refined sugars. Of course some times refined grains or starches find there way into our diets, but I'm trying to buy little of it. I love sweet potatoes and technically on the GAPS diet you couldn't have sweet potatoes because of the starch but the rest of use are still eating them on occasion. The main one I've attempted to cut out that was hard on me was potatoes. I love potatoes. They are my comfort food. So I did some more research and for all of us, except Atty, we will be switching to potatoes with a high water/low starch content like red and white potatoes. And staying away from Russets and Yukon golds. Moderation is best. :) Basically I can't live with out potatoes, ha ha! Being with out potatoes did force me to find a french fry substitute {baked in the oven}. Butternut squash fries. They are so delicious! They have been gobbled up every time I've made them. Sweet potato fries are good too, but don't resemble regular fries as much as the butternut squash ones do. And speaking of fries the one thing I haven't had the heart to cut out is my children's ketchup {except Atty who can't have it} they are obsessed with ketchup! I do buy the ketchup with out HFCS, but still it does have sugar in it. So the next thing I'm going to tackle is making our own ketchup. I have a great recipe for it that uses honey and that way Atty will be able to have some as well. :) Our sweeteners of choice right now are local honey, stevia, and agave nectar... and for my hubby I still buy organic raw sugar, but the rest of us have been staying away from that as much as possible. Last night my shopping list for the week looked like this:
  • Fresh- butternut squash, carrots, bananas, apples, onions, cabbage, greens, garlic, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, green sweet pepper
  • Grain- blue organic corn chips, sprouted bread, quinoa noodles
  • Protein- whole chicken, 3 lbs ground turkey, chicken legs, codfish
  • Bulk- oatmeal
  • Canned- tuna, pineapple
  • Dairy- plain full fat yogurt, milk, cheese
  • Misc.- chia tea, stevia, liquid amino acids, almond butter, agava necter, peppermint tea, lemon juice, almond flour
Of course I did buy multiples of some of those things. Can't ever buy one loaf of bread or one gallon of milk, that would be too simple. ;) So here is a peek at some of the dinners I will be putting together this week using some of the above.
  • "stuffed" cabbage soup, from the Internal Bliss cook book
  • Lentil stew with greens, same cook book
  • Baked whole chicken with carrot and onion, cauliflower "mashed potatoes"
  • Turkey pecan waldorf salad, same cook book
  • Taco salad (with out chips for Atty and I)
  • Almond-crusted chicken legs with butternut squash fries and broccoli
Our breakfast will continue to have a whole grain as well as our lunches, but our dinners will be full GAPS approved for the most part so Atty and I can eat the same meal. I haven't been eating any grain/starch/sugar at breakfast or dinner {but I have been including a grain at lunch} in preparation for the full GAPS diet that Atty and I are starting soon. I am going on it to support him as he transitions onto it and hoping to feel some health benefits as well. His two years on the MAS diet is coming to an end {!} and now he will be on the GAPS diet for a couple more years to give his gut some more time to heal. I've been getting recipe ideas from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, Internal bliss cookbook, and GAPS recipes online as well as Paleo recipes on line, and of course my good 'ol imagination. :) So anyways there you have it. Atty's health issues sure have opened my eyes to a whole new way of eating! I'll post more about it soon, as well as my experience being on the GAPS diet, I know a couple people who have gone on it now or are interested in it and they ask me for advice now and again so I'd really like to know first hand what it's all about. I'm pretty well educated on the diet now, but until I do it myself I feel like my advice is not as well rounded as it could be.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

There is no other quite like her...

Lala is growing up to be quite the character!
The other day during snack time I walk up to the table and Lala is carefully dropping little spoonfuls of her yogurt on the table. When I asked her what she was doing she said "making pancakes mom". All matter of fact and just kept on going like it was all normal. A little while later Spike tells me that she is putting yogurt in her water and to this she responds {as in yells} "I'm making apple spider!" Just to translate apple spider means apple cider... the girl is crazy. :)

And fearless. She gives her brothers a run for their money. I think she's trying to compete for who can climb the highest, get the dirtiest, ride their bike the fastest, etc... If she can't keep up she just cries like her heart is broken and they all come running back, ha ha!

So far she doesn't seem to care all that much about frilly "girly" things. She's a funny combination, often she will wear old clothes of her brothers with a fancy necklace or cute shoes thrown in. I'm the one picking out the dresses... didn't think I'd be that mom, trying to get my girl to be a certain way. So I've backed off, and come to realize that is really was me dictating her wardrobe and when left to her own devises, well she could really care less. With backing off I've allowed some purple in her clothing and came to find out that she actually looks awesome in purple {a color I really don't care for}. It was fun doing the girly thing when she was little, after three boys, but I'm not much of a girly girl so I guess it's no wonder that my girl isn't either. For now. Who knows what's around the corner. She might get super girly just to drive me crazy. ;)

Last night I had to go take a first aid/CPR class that lasted late. When I got home she was still awake. As I walked down the hallway and passed her room I heard her little voice calling me in. I went in and sat down on her bed and she said "mom I need prayers in my bed". Something she always asks for even when we've all said prayers together after reading books. The sweetness was too much, I almost cried. Her adorable tired little face, waiting up for me so that we can say prayers together. Holding my hands and echoing the pray with me. The way she drags out every word in her sing songy voice. I just wanted to save that moment forever.
I think one of the funniest things she does right now though, by far, is the sound she makes when ever she is doing anything repetitive, like washing her hands, wiping the table, coloring. It's not really singing, it's just this ahhhhhhhhhhhh ahhhhhhhhhh ahhhhhhhhh sound that is hard to explain. I should try to post a video of it. It's also a tale tale sign that she might be doing something she shouldn't. Like the day she covered my house in scribbles... I should have know something was up where she was making that sound while covering my house in marker. When she is discovered doing something she shouldn't she also says "oh sorry mom" right away in this funny surprised voice. Like she just discovered what she was doing right then with me. Another funny thing she says right now is "In 60 minutes". This is her response when she takes something from her brothers and they want it back {or they just want something she has}. And she says it in all seriousness. She gets really upset when we insist that she gives it back right then and not in "60 minutes". Kind of like when she would tell us "in two days" about everything.
"Lala put your shoes away"
"in two days mom".
I'm telling you she is quite the character.