January 13, 2010

Little Changes

Hi, Ladies. Before I get on with my post, I wanted to direct your attention to 365 Ways, which is working great for me. Hubby loves it and asks me, "Was that one of your 365?" and "How is 365 going for the other ladies." You can find out what it is all about here and then take a look around to see if it might be something that would work for you.

Now on to today's business...

Months ago, I promised my friend at It Feels Like Chaos that I would share with her some of the ways I have made my families diet healthier. I bet you thought I forgot, eh? I didn't. See previous three months post if you don't know why I have been such a slacker. (Oh, come on, that deserves a little grin.)

If you have young children (or a hubby in love with his junk food or less than nutritious food) it can be a real challenge to make their diet what it is intended to be. Nourishment for the body. How often have you thought about that? Our food is not just to fill our stomachs, but to actually provide nourishment. Fuel. Much like gas keeps our cars going, a well balanced diet keeps our bodies operating the best they can, as God intended.

As I was saying, the best time to establish good eating patterns is right from their first bites of food. Then their taste buds are trained to enjoy healthy fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and an assortment of good things to eat. However, if your family is already set in their ways, while it might be a challenge, it is not impossible to win them to your way of thinking.

A sneak attack is the best way to go. Little changes that your family may not even notice and may even love can net big rewards on the health front.

I have spent most of my life studying and researching diet and its effects on health to get to where me and my family are today. (You can read this post if you would like to know a little more about my journey.) To dump all that on you at once would seem overwhelming and quite frankly, I don't have the time for that this afternoon. (You can click here if you would like to read more of my posts pertaining to diet and exercise and health.)

But in order to really make sure we are on the same plane of thinking, I would like to spend a little bit of time on what constitutes food that will equal fuel for the body.

To sum it, the most basic form of a food is the most nutritious. Fresh ground wheat berries made into fresh home made bread, verses the chemical filled bag of wonder bread on your grocery store shelf. Don't panic. If this seems like too much of a challenge, there are lots of steps in between and we will talk about those. Right now, just stay with me here and try to see my point. When talking vegetables, those fresh grown in your garden are best. Followed by fresh organic from the farmer's market and then your grocer. Moving down the line would be fresh non organic, frozen and lastly those ghastly canned things, organic if at all possible. (Yes, I do use these in a pinch, but only on rare occasions.) You get the point. Rule number one: Food is what God made and in its simplest form. Fruit, vegetables, dairy, meat, whole grains.

What is not food? Almost anything that comes in a can, box or bag. A quick glance at the ingredients label of any box, bag or can in your pantry, fridge or freezer will clearly make my point here. Let's talk bread for example. Bread contains flour, water, salt and yeast. What does the ingredients on your bread read? Those ingredients were not created by God. The only place they grew was in the beakers in some lab where they were invented. We need to ask ourselves what nourishment do they provide to our bodies? Even worse, let us consider what harm they are doing to our bodies. Rule number two: Food, except on rare occasions, does not come in boxes, bags or cans.

Going back to our main list of what constitutes food then- fruit, vegetables, dairy, meat and whole grains- let's ask ourselves, are all foods created equal? NO! Meat can be raised in poor conditions being injected with hormones and chemicals for the largest profit and then preserved by being injected with chemicals and dyes or you can get organic all natural meat.

What is the purpose of meat in regards to our diet? Yes, the hubby loves to have some on his plate but how does it fuel the body? Protein, of course. Did you ever wonder what happens to all those chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, additives and preservatives? They are literally poison to our bodies. A number of years ago, it was concluded that young girls are entering puberty much earlier than their mothers and grandmothers. Studies found the cause to be the large amount of hormones they were receiving through meat and dairy products! (Beware! Excessive soy products causes similar hormonal problems, but that is a whole other topic.)

Yikes. I could literally write on this topic for a week. For time sake, let it suffice to say buy organic whenever possible. As an added bonus, the taste and quality will amaze you. I have written about our favorite butcher before. Today, I will give you an example from there. You know when you fry burgers or sausage, how there is all this grease left in the pan? When I get meat from our butcher I have to add olive oil to the pan to fry the burgers and sausage because they don't use fat as a filler like the mass producers. Rule number three: Not all food is created equal.

There is so much more I could say on the topic of what is food, what isn't food and what all those chemical filled non foods are doing to our bodies as a collective whole, but I simply could not do it all in one post. You would fall asleep and nap time is only so long.

Let me get to some point that you can take away from this post to make your families a little healthier this week. I will try to return at least once each week with new suggestions. In the meantime, if you have specific topics you would like me to address or questions leave them in the comment section. I will respond in the comments or in a future post. If it is in the comment section I will duplicate the reply to your blog email or in the comment section of your blog. If it is in a post I will try to leave you a comment or email to let you know when that will be.

Now with that bit of housekeeping out of the way, let me say this. Start with some good easy changes that they won't even notice. On your next trip to the grocery store make the organic choice for meat, dairy and eggs. No one will notice the change at all and you've already made a huge improvement to your families diet. Over time, the difference will add up to big bonuses and you will be shocked when you try to slip in some non organic meat or eggs and your family does notice the difference! Over time, you get used to the pure taste without all that gunk in there and when you try and add them back in the chemical flavors are strong, unpleasant and distinctly noticeable.

My husband is the greatest testimony of this. After several years of eating only all natural meat, he says I have ruined him. He no longer orders meat in what used to be his favorite steak house because he says it never tastes as good as what we make at home. If you want to understand what I mean when I say there is a distinct unpleasant flavor, aftertaste and even a icky feeling left in your mouth, try buying organic for a month or so and then buy a pound of regular ground beef from the meat department at your grocery store. You will get the point all too clear.

For more Works-For-Me-Wednesdays visit We Are That Family.



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11 comments :

  1. Carrie and I have been eating pretty much strictly organic both as individuals and as a couple for years now. We're fortunate enough to have a butcher right down the street who sells only free range and all natural meats, as well as plenty of farmer's markets in the area :)

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  2. Excellent post on real food and nutrition. I unfortunately don't adhere to all of these things, but little by little, we eventually will. When we lived in Michigan, we belonged to a food co-op. We were getting fresh eggs that way, buying whole milk from an Amish family, and eating healthier in general. That fell by the wayside when we moved and I can't answer exactly why. One of the things I look forward to is getting back on track and making changes that all of us will benefit from.

    Thanks for all of your insight. :-)

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  3. Wow...thanks for all the time and effort you put into this post...we all can benefit from learning more about how to feed our kids and husband better.

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  4. Great post. Back when we were first married in Japan we bought a bread machine. When we got back to the states we went to Sam's Club with my mom and picked up 6 bread machine cook books. We still have them and use them to this day. In fact, I just put in 2 batches of dough for Herb Rolls for lunch. It calls for bread flour (which is white), but I substituted fresh ground wheat. What do you grind your wheat berries in? We use our new 5200 Vita-Mix. It works just as well and faster than our grinder attachment to our Champion Juicer. Anyway...
    Oh, and I'm mentioning your lemon cookies in a post today. :)

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  5. It is so great to be aware of what we are eating. I need to get better at that for sure. One thing I miss is butchering our own beef. Thankfully my SIL still raises beef so I need to get some from her, NO hormones!

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  6. OK...I so need to do better in that department. I wish we lived closer.

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  7. Kat,

    This is a great post! Some much wonderful insight here to make the simplest approaches work towards the good of our families.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

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  8. Great Post! We have been on a journey of healthy eating and I have made changes slowly. At first my family balked at brown rice, now...we can't stand the white stuff. Taking it slow has been key for us and doing as much as possible.

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  9. Hi Kat
    I enjoyed reading your thoughts on healthy eating. My husband complains we only ever have fish and chicken here! I don't often cook red meat and we always have fresh vegetables with our fish or chicken. What we lack is variety. Jessica is very reluctant to try new things and she is a very picky eater. She takes a packed lunch to school but all her friends seem to eat pizza everyday, how healthy is that!
    Thank you for your comment re the Titanic. If you visited the museum in 2007 it was in a different place. It closed and re-opened further up/down International Drive. From what I have heard it was much better before.
    Best Wishes from England.
    Lindsay
    x

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  10. I love your post, I think it is so important for us, as a country to turn around our eating habits. We need to remember the old saying, "you are what you eat." I have also cut out anything other than local organic meat. I used to do strictly organic, but decided that knowing where my meat comes from and how it is raised is extremely important. I only want the best for myself and my family!

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  11. “I think that I going to take a bit of prayer.”…interpreted…I think that it is going to take a bit of prayer…I got ahead of myself there.

    ♥Hope

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