Tuesday, February 2, 2010

you are what you eat

so what are you?
(ingredients for these cookies)

Before we get started....let me just say:

- I am no expert....this is just how WE do things here in the little red house
-this is the longest post you will ever read in your life
- I am NOT a perfect-eating-no-junk-food-nazi. I am NOT the mom who brings organic dried fruit slices to a birthday party and insist my kid miss out on cake. We love food! We eat healthy yummy good-for-you things most of the time.....and sometimes we indulge. I don't know if I was more proud, or more embarrassed when (in front of his entire preschool class) the boy said "I love these crunchy orange things!! What are they??!"

They were Cheetos.

I highly reccomend that everyone see Food, Inc. if you can (we got it through netflix). I didn't find it to be too "in your face", or gross/disturbing. It didn't leave me thinking I should switch over to the vegetarian team or stop shopping at the grocery store all together. But it did remind me of how important it is to seek out GOOD foods.....so watch it!

So this is how we do it:

Whole foods. Real foods. As little processing as possible. Food that was placed on the earth for us to eat....not whipped up in a lab (aka cheese whiz.)

Whole grains. "But my kids won't eat whole wheat bread/pasta/rice/etc." They WILL! I promise. If they don't have another option, and you keep cooking it over and over and over, I promise you they will eat it.
Fruits. Veggies. Free of pesticides and fertilizers.....why do you want those in your body...you don't!
Lean meats. All locally raised (or at least raised on a REAL farm, not in a factory full of disease). Free of hormones--HORMONES!! I cringe at the thought of putting them into my babies.
Same for milk, cheese, eggs, yogurt.....no hormones please!
Beans. We LOVE beans!! Black beans, white beans, we love beans!
Healthy Fats. I loooooooove a good olive oil. Avacados. Nuts (almonds are our fav!) Salmon. Your body needs these healthy fats to thrive!

Our bodies can do amazing things, but they weren't made to process modified foods, and foods that aren't actually........food. They will love you so much more if you take good care of them.

This is another reason I enjoy baking so much. I don't want to deprive my family (and my chocolate craving self) of good treats....and when I make cookies/cake/a loaf of bread, I know exactly what we are eating.

Look at the labels! What is in that box of crackers you are buying? If you don't know what it is, you probably don't want to eat too much of it.....right?

I have rambled on long enough for today, but let's come back to it tomorrow and throw around some healthy snack and meal ideas, as well as how to keep healthy eating within your budget. Thanks for playing:)

and just because this post went on and on....one last photo of the girl and her favorite treat
(photo from last summer)


Whatever Dee-Dee wants said...

I just started reading a book about "clean eating" its quite interesting.
Love your photos by the way, they are gorgeous!

gram said...

.. where did we get this girl? .. very good ideas, but hard to change old ways of eating... will try..

halley said...

You sound like Michael Pollan! Have you read In Defense of Food or Food Rules by him? They're both great, and basically support what you're saying. Yay for real food!!

AllAmericanGrl said...

good i will be interested in what people feed their kids for snacks. my daughter thinks that (smarties) which in Swissville are like regular m&m's have to be part of her snack one way or another. I guess I can think my parents for encouraging this while I was giving birth to no. 2! :)

lorelie said...

Looks like I need to step it up in the GOOD food category! Am looking forward to your healthy snack and meal ideas...and am keeping my fingers crossed that my kids will eat 'em! Thanks for trying to help us all live a little better =]

{lizzythebotanist} said...

yes, definitely check out pollan's books. most of it won't be news to you, but it still reinforces what we already know and helps that little switch in our heads make the final switch to "i want to eat food. not all that other stuff that's pretending to be food." like i look at 99% of the food on grocery store shelves (the inner shelving) and think: poison/chemicals/synthetic imposters. it's great for all those people who think they can't afford to eat whole foods/organics/local. you can! because that stuff is all real food that is made to sustain you and all that other stuff is empty and leaves you (or if it has MSG forces you) to eat more and more of it. not that i don't have my indulgences (chocolate), too, but on a daily basis we are like you. okay, off my soapbox! here, here to real food!

oh, and as for food, inc. LOVED it. i was feeling depressed and helpless for most of the movie. and sad for that little family they showed eating burgers everyday because broccoli is too expensive. but then in the end i was totally pumped up-it's realistic. very good show.

summer said...

well. after leaving you the longest comment you will ever read in your life, i must try to keep this one shorter. but i am bursting.

i was nodding along to everything in this post, which was not at all too long and is brilliant. i loved every word. and i have totally been justifying more baking because as you so correctly said, then you 'know exactly what we are eating.' woohoo.

thanks for the tips, encouragement, and general goodness. am fired up for more.

Kenny said...

We try to follow this same ideal, although it can be tricky when little ones go to family members houses and are exposed to lots of things they wouldn't find at home. My 3 year old's favorite snacks are apples or carrots, which he can get for himself out of the fridge. I admit we do indulge in fast food a little more often than I would like--thanks for the inspiration to curb that habit! Oh, and a question: what do you do for food storage? I find that since we are mostly eating fresh foods, I don't know what to buy for food storage that we will actually eat and which won't go to waste.

sheena said...

liz: I love your soap box. I agree, the movie left me feeling so good at the end--we can do it!! And I want to have that family over for dinner.

kenny: what do I do for food storage?? I'm trying to get my act together! I agree, I'm not going to buy caseloads of stuff we'll never use up. I have giant supplies of rice and beans, because we'll always eat that, flour and yeast, dried milk and potato buds, lots of water, and.....we have a long ways to go. I'm going to start focusing more on our food storage these next few months--I'll let you know what I find!

LobotoME said...

i adore your blog! we too have very much the same clean eating philosophy. have you tried coconut oil - we cook with that all the time? j :)

Courtney said...

Some people have a hard time jumping to natural peanut butter. I personally love it. I love the taste of roasted peanuts, not hydrogenated oil and high fructose corn syrup. Ick! Try an unsalted variety. I think it is soooo much better. Albertson's use to have one before they changed. Trader Joe's makes a great one. Better yet, grind your own at the health food store. It's delish, not too expensive, and fresh nut butter doesn't have to be stirred! I personally think that is the reason most people don't eat nat pb, because of the stirring issue. This can be messy and takes time, something that not a lot of us have.

Jeana Bird said...

Thanks for all the help and tips. I have a LONG ways to go but love everything you have been sharing!

A Beautiful Life said...

I luv these informative and discussion type blogs.. I have a question..2 of my girls have nut allergies, therefore I would feel bad that only I and my 2nd daughter could eat these great sounding cookies..I've been a slacker and haven't gotten any almond butter in a long time(almonds are ok for the other 2), has anyone out there ever made cookies using almond butter instead?
At least healthy eating is more mainstream these days, I remember growing up my dad would get the multi-colored pasta and the whole wheat bread, and back then it was very heavy, thick bread,..not soft like it is now..I remember being envious of my friend's bright white soft gooey bread in their lunches everyday..sigh..but looking back I'm glad he really taught us to eat healthy and I carry that on to my own family. It's makes a difference how you grow up becuz my husband grew up on fast food because his mom hated to cook and have no one eat it so they just always ate out. So luckily I've instilled some healthy habits in my kids who are big fans of fruits AND veggies and are just used to whole wheat bread and pasta and tortillas and such. I realize out of convenience I buy them happy meals and stuff but I never get anything and then I think..if I don't think it's good to eat that stuff why am I letting my kids? But everything in moderation..I've been inspired by everyone to try and bake more, so we can still have sweet treats around, they just don't have to be filled with dyes and incredible amounts of sugar like candy, fruit snacks, etc...
Thanks for these tips, it helps to continue good habits you've promised to do this new year, and perhaps venture out of the norm and try for better things!

cara lou said...

I love you! I could have written this same post and it makes me so so so happy when other people *GET* it!

If you haven't already, read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It's so incredible and inspiring.

Question: Where do you get your meat? Trader Joe's has an okay selection of meat that is hormone/anitbiotic-free and free-range/vegetarian fed but they don't have everything. Sometimes I go to Whole Foods, even though it's a bit far away and more expensive (worth it). I'm trying to find some other options for farm-fresh meat I can get locally. Just curious what you do.

Meg said...

I read this post this morning and instead of ordering that movie like I should I ended up... getting some cheetos. True story unfortunately!! I have a lot of work to do. I would love to hear the good tips on meals and snacks, especially for kids. Good thing Tru is more like my hubby than me and loves to eat apples and oranges. I'm the odd man out over here.

Lindsay said...

Jeff and I are watching Food Inc. tonight. Thanks for the heads-up!

LobotoME said...

Great post!!!

We also eat a lot of eggs, slow cooker steel cut oats, organic, locally sourced meet, tons of veggies, etc. And that on a daily basis allows us to indulge guilt free on a cupcake once in awhile!

banananutmeg said...

I feel like there's this split personality inside of me.
One side is the side that eats oatmeal and blueberries daily and makes sugar free smoothies for my kids, grows a phat garden, and would be happy to have beans in every single meal. Not canned beans, REAL beans, that I cook myself.

the other side of me, thanks to 30 Rock, we'll call her the "Me Want Food" side...well...she loves cheetos. She been CURSED with two picky eaters in spite of her best efforts to introduce them to the best foods from birth and now she is tired and just wants them to eat ANYthing.

I'm the child of two OBESE parents who somehow came out skinny and my 4 siblings (and all of my fat aunts, uncles, cousins, etc) kind of hate me for it. I'd like to take credit, since I do love to exercise, but that would just be a lie. I'm really just blessed. But the exercise helps me not FEEL like they look.

All things in moderation. I live by it.