Wednesday, February 3, 2010

just eat food.

bread + peanut butter + bananas = breakfast

Disclaimer: Again, I am not super health nazi all the time. I feel like from now on if I post any food that is not 100% healthy, I'm going to get hate mail. We try to eat like this most of the time. We do our best to what our budget allows, but I also love chips and salsa, and will not give up a good old fashioned fried tortilla chip.....oh well.

Disclaimer #2. this post a billion times longer than yesterday's!

*We love oatmeal. Real oatmeal. Old fashioned oats or steel cut oats. Add a little fruit or some real maple syrup.
*Toast and peanut butter.
*Cereal. I am a cereal nazi, and we only get it if the sugar is under 6g/serving and it has some protein and fiber in it. I like alot of the Kashi cereal (although check the labels--some of them have a ton of sugar), we like multigrain cheerios and plain shredded wheat (with a little honey).

*Who doesn't love a pb&j! On good bread, real pb without all the extra junk in it, and I do love to make jam.....which is so so so so easy.
*Leftover soup from another night.
*Grilled cheese with good bread and REAL cheese.
*Black bean burrito

I promise to start posting more dinner recipes on here! I do love to cook....but by the time dinner is ready, it's dark out, and makes for a terribly ugly as soon as it lightens up a bit I'll be posting more of what we eat. Tonight we had minestrone soup!

* fruits/vegetables. I usually let my kids each pick out their own fruit/veggie at the store--so they can get excited about it.
*We love peanut butter. Peanut butter on apples, bananas, celery, carrots, crackers....mmm..
*Cheese and a good whole grain crackers.
*Almonds. Peanuts.
*Yogurt. Not to be confused with Gogurt.
*For "treats" or snacks on the go we love Annies bunny crackers and Z bars (found at costco!), and real dried fruit (not coated in sugar and preservatives) rather than fruit snacks.
*I also recently discovered Fruitsource Mini Bites, at Costco--they are 100% fruit, with no other added crap, and my kids love them. (and ps. runners, I like a few before a long run:)

Keep it in your budget:

I try my hardest to feed my family what's best, but unfortunately it's so much cheaper to buy bad-for-you-food......why is that? Here are a few things that I do to help with costs. Even a few changes here and there will be so beneficial to your family.

*Costco is your friend. I feel like every time I'm there, they have more good-for-you options. Lots of organic choices too, like 100% applejuice, organic whole wheat spaghetti, and I get the canned organic diced tomatoes also.

*Target is your friend. (I mean really--it's Target!! It's perfect.) Target also has lots of healthy choices, I love alot of their Archer Farms brand items (all natural turkey breast), and an organic produce section (small, but it's there). They sell Laura's Lean Beef, which isn't local to us, but the cows aren't factory grown either, so for now that's what I do.

Even Walmart is upping their ante and now carrying great products like Stoney Field Farms.

Sunflower Market. As close as I can come to my beloved Trader Joes, since we don't have one (tears). Sunflower market has great selection of everything you need, and on Wednesdays they give you this week's sales, AND last week's sales.....pretty good! Their sales are amazing, and I usually try to stock up on their chicken when it's a good price.

Trader Joes. Trader Joes would be my first choice on the list, but seeing as we don't have one, I'm holding a grudge. But GO THERE NOW. Say hello. The boy and I used to walk there once a week when he was just a babe......sigh.

Plant a garden. I am a TERRIBLE gardner. But we do try. Last year was our best crop yet, and we will try even harder this year (we'll be taking a page from the book of Hayley and starting our compost)The kids love getting to eat what they worked so hard on, and so do I. And having fresh tomatoes every single just can't beat that.

Visit your Farmer's Market. We still have a while before ours starts up, but I cannot wait!! They have every fruit and veggie that you can imagine, as fresh as they come, and everything is so cheap!

*We don't drink a ton of juice, and when we do it's 100% juice, not a "juice drink" (too much sugar!)
*Even if YOU don't like it, your kids just might. The thought of gnawing my way through a piece of celery makes me gag, but I always have it in the fridge for soups. One day I was slicing some up and asked the boy if he wanted some.....he LOVED it!
*Liz pointed out yesterday that all the food in the inner shelves of the store (rather than the outsides where the dairy, produce, and meat are) are alot cheaper....but most of it is just "pretending" to be food. A whole box of Nabisco Whatevers will not fill you up like an apple and peanut butter would. You can actually save some money by NOT buying so many items from those inside shelves. (trade in your soda and chips for something from the outside shelves)
*As much as I'd like to, I cannot afford to buy everything organic. But I make sure I buy organic:
-potatoes (anything that is grown underground--the fertilized soil is used over and over)
And I skip over organic
-fruits/veggies that are protected by their peel or shell.

*Local Meat. I've been buying hormone free meat for a while now, but Food, Inc really got me pumped up about trying to find it local. I'm still working on that one, but I'll let you know what I find! I'm from Montana.....I should be able to come up with something:)
*Also, yes, REAL meat is quite a bit more than the other stuff, so that's why we don't eat meat every night. We really love bean-anything, meatless soups, eggs,and whole wheat pasta dishes.

This is so much info, and may seem a bit overwhelming. But it is really so easy.
Just eat food. No gimmicks or tricks. Just.Eat.Food.

*please feel free to jump in and share your thoughts! I'd love to hear what YOU are eating!*


Tres Jolie Studios said...

Your blog is so beautiful! I love the photograph at the top, not only is it my ideal breakfast but the light is just perfect.

Anonymous said...

I have similar thoughts, especially about meat. Since we chose not to compromise on the quality of our meat, we've naturally reduced our meat consumption because it's much more expensive - now sometimes it feels like a special occasion, even if that "occasion" is a Sunday. Legumes are cheap and delicious!

Derek Riley said...

haha..Thanks Sheena. I love your blog and photos; so we're even.
My wife and I have worked hard on few rooms but have a couple more to go; including our baby's room!

Looks like you and your husband are working on some new things for your house; can't wait to see photos.

Talk with you later

Shannon said...

I think it's a great tip. I can do better. Perhaps a trip to Sunflower market will be on my list today. Also, what farmer's market do you go to? Please post meatless recipes that aren't soup. I love soup, but my kids won't touch it. Especially the pickiest of eaters, Weston. Anyway, it's clear that you are a much healthier eater than me, but that doesn't mean I don't need the inspiration. :)

{lizzythebotanist} said...

a good rule of thumb for organic vs. traditional is the skin of the fruit/vegetable. if it's thin-skinned, go organic. if it's thicker (like a banana or pineapple), go traditional if you can't afford the organic.

also, costco has great organic frozen sweet corn, peas, and green beans. so maybe you can add peas to your organic list!

i've been checking out making yogurt like we talked about the other day. i'm obsessed. i may order a yogurt maker today-i'm too excited about it to wait!

Unknown said...

well said!

we try to eat healthy at our house, with the occasional junk food.

i agree with you, i do think the best thing you can do for your family is make your meals from scratch as much as you can. then you know what you are eating, and often times it involves real food instead of processed stuff.

it is a shame that it can be expensive to eat healthy. that does need to change. and my vote is that we need to start with the school lunch programs. double yuck...

love your new blog by the way!

Jackie Norris said...

Awesome discussion going on here! I really appreciate your tips, especially on how to keep it in a budget. That's one reason why I've never bought organic stuff...just wasn't in the budget! I've always wondered why it's more expensive...shouldn't it be cheaper since less is done to it?! Oh well.

I've been more conscious about eating healthy since we've decided to try to start our family. I want my body to be healthy whenever that happens!

Looking forward to more recipes from you!

Jeana Bird said...

Thanks for the thoughts and tips. I really appreciate it and it give me a good place to start...or try and start (I have a ways to go).

the crew said...

great post. we try to eat similarly- not always the best at it, but we try.

as far as meat goes- i try to buy local meat- and when we were in nv we went in on a whole cow with matt's parents. we try not to eat too much beef, so it lasted us a long time and i felt better about the fact that it was locally grown and butchered. by the way- it was noticeably better tasting and quality than anything i have gotten in the store. i think that's pretty common to find though in fresher, cleaner food!

lisset said...

you may or may not have come across the article in the jan edition of MSLiving ( but i found it to be really helpful in determining what's a must on the organic list and what i can pass on. you might be surprised to find that there are some thin-skinned fruits and veggies that can stay on the conventionally grown side of things.
also, can't say enough for cutting out meat (maybe not entirely if you've got yourself a real hankerin' for the fleshy stuff). it's made all the difference in allowing me to place more priority on organics without sacrificing the budget. plus our insides are grateful.

and i too miss trader joe's, but three cheers for costco! it's definitely my happy place (plus ikea, target, whole foods).

and as if this isn't a long enough comment just gotta say: it's just as important to keep toxins out of the things you use hygienically as the things you purchase for food!

ok. soap box to someone else...

A Beautiful Life said...

i need a costco card i suppose..i'm always worried it will go to waste that we won't eat enough fast enough..for the sizes of things at costco, but perhaps if I use the fresh ingredients everyday then they wont..or i need a vaccum sealer ;-) I loved Winder Dairy when we had two kids, but with 4 we just go through too much milk to justify the cost, even though it was way better for you. I think i'll look into that list of ok/not ok for organics, I've heard you totally need to buy organic apples, they're the worst offenders. I wish I lived closer to SLC to go to the farmer's market, but I do live close to the fruit stands up by Brigham to at least get fruit during the summer. Sometimes if you go to local grocery stores like Winegars or Harmon's they use local farmers with their produce selection which is nice if you can't find local somewhere else.
I don't think anyone would send you hate mail for being NORMAL and NOT PERFECT like the rest of us..we'd love to hear how you started with one cookie and decided to eat 10 that day, or ate a whole bag of tortilla chips and not just a portion the tips are great, knowledge is power people! ;-)

LobotoME said...

ps - we love (even the kids) green smoothies too!

the straz fam said...

My parents (in Wyoming) usually buy a 4H cow that has been loved and hand-fed corn by a high school hormones, no eating it's own feces (EW!) We have been helping them pay for it and then taking some of the meat. It is so good! This could be an option for you since you have family in MT.

We watched Food Inc. a few weeks ago and it really opened my eyes! Now I want to raise my own chickens too. Maybe I am more suited for WY life than CA life after all. Hmmm..never thought I would say that, but it just may be true!

Love your new blog and love everything you have said about balance. Balance is important in all aspects of life. I am taking a break from the cake business because I was feeling way too off balance and now I am much happier!!

Rach H @ FamilyEverAfter said...

You would love the book, "French Women Don't Get Fat." That book is what motivated my healthy eating for my family and me. It will also make you wish you drank wine. :)

Not sure which part of the state you live in, but in Benjamin, there is a local meat market, I think its called Circle V or Circle B. It's been a while since I lived in Provo, can't exactly remember.

summer said...

mmm.. that's my kind of breakfast. peanut butter and bananas practically brought my husband and me together. and now i live on apples and peanut butter. best snack around.

thank you for all the suggestions! there are so many areas where i'm falling short. i so wish i had the money and shops (we live in a super small town) to do it all.

Kasey said...

Great ideas Sheena!

I am also a terrible gardener. We seem to have 100% shade. Good thing I can just weasel from Meg's garden. ;P

Rachelle said...

i miss trader joes too. sigh.

banananutmeg said...

My family eats healthier food now that we have ad rotate food storage.
I didn't expect this to happen, but it has, and it makes total sense. Store whole grains, eat whole grains. Got oatmeal? Eat the oatmeal. Store legumes, eat legumes. Store wheat, grind wheat, make bread from whole wheat flour, eat good bread. Grow veggies, eat veggies. Grow too many veggies, eat more veggies than cheetos. store the beans, use the beans, eat the beans, light the match.

AllAmericanGrl said...

love the blog, great tips! I live in Farm country here in switzerland (naturally right)? HAHA But I never think about going to the farms to get the actual meat products (Random I know). We just usually head to the local market and buy things there. Maybe I should slowly start checking out the farms and to see what they have to offer :) said...

SHEENA!! okay I love how you think and where you like to shop and eat and EVERYTHING ha ha that is pretty much everything I is so incredibly true why eat chemicals?? or over processed foods or anything that is fake!
I am a Trader Joes fanatic (yes I know that sounds a little nuts, but it is so true) I cant wait till I am back in the states and get to go there again....ohhhh how I miss there hummus...and wait..oh yes and EVERYTHING else. It is cheep and healthy and oh so tasty.
I am proud of you for being such a healthy mom, I love it!!! I will need to take some pointers from you once I have my kids :)

Sprouted Kitchen said...

great post! you do what you can, you are by NO means going to spit yourself with this advice. I look a good healthy cereal as well ~

Unknown said...

It sounds like we use hummus like you use peanut butter. My kids love it and it's a good compliment to vegetables, whole wheat pita/flatbread/crackers/tortilla chips.

I love this discussion. A lot. And I really love this blog of yours.

Unknown said...

those are all really great suggestions! I'm just a little college girl so trying to find good, organic, and cheap food is tough but rewarding! Beans are a definite must for me, they make protein a lot easier. :) Also my friends mom gave him a bread maker so we make artisan bread together a lot. :) Eating healthy just makes us all happier!

Kel said...

I loved this! I could not have said it better myself!

jessica said...

Love this post! I try to eat/cook healthy foods, but it helps to have some new ideas! Thanks!

renee anne said...

great post, really, and the one previous 'you are what you eat'.

I tend to get all caught up with all the trends and fads and things to a point. like more recently, the "raw" good thing. while I see some good points, I find myself getting a little obsessed and mental about things.

this post came just at the right time. this is how I eat. this way of eating lets us be the best we can be. just eat food. too right.