Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What eating looks like now

I really enjoy seeing how other people do healthy. So here's a snapshot of what our last three weeks have looked like in regards to food. The point was to start with familiar items that are simple to prepare.

Side note: below I've included a grocery list. The kid's snacks are listed, but I don't eat them (I'm only eating meat, nuts, fruit, veggies, the occasional Ezekiel bread, and JP shakes). When we decided to clean up our meals I knew it would be a hard transition for the littles. Keeping their snacks the same is my way of easing them into this. Their typical snacks are: string cheese, yogurt, Kefir, cliff bars, cereal, veggie straws, almonds, bananas, apples, tortilla chips, and fruit snacks. I do regulate how often they get their snacks, because they are expensive and I've found they are a great bargaining chip to get more healthy food in their diet. Oh, you want fruit snacks? Eat three pieces of broccoli. A cliff bar? Eat an apple first.  Often when they eat a banana before a granola bar they opt out of the bar, because they are too full. Do I bargain every time they ask for a snack? NO. In fact, Brooks ate a cliff bar for every meal yesterday, because it made him happy and I needed those few moments without his crying (for more awesome parenting tips, email me at...).

Being intentional starts with a plan; this is my plan.

Spicy sweet potato hash with eggs
Taco salad
Fried egg, avocado, and Ezekiel toast
Scrambled eggs with peppers, mushrooms, avocado, salsa
Scrambled eggs with avocado and bacon
Baked rosemary chicken with salad, avocado, carrots, and hummus
Mud pies (hamburger with no bun) with sautéed mushrooms, onions, and roasted broccoli
Beef stew with rosemary, thyme, carrots, and yukon gold potatoes
Beef stew with sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and garlic
Cobb salad with boiled eggs, bacon, broccoli, red peppers
Meatballs with homemade ragu and spaghetti squash
Baked chicken and roasted broccoli and cauliflower
Baked rosemary pork chops and roasted broccoli and cauliflower
Baked chicken with avocado and salsa
Baked pork chops and salad
Juice Plus shakes mixed with almond milk (we add frozen berries to the vanilla mix)
Baked chicken and brussels sprouts
Roasted Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and bacon

Red pepper and hummus
Carrots and hummus
Bananas and peanut butter
Apple and peanut butter
Almonds and oranges
Ezekiel toast, avocado, and coconut oil
Cashew clusters
Juice Plus shake

Here are a few cooking tips when preparing your meat. I tried these when we first began our journey, because if I was going to eat this much meat I needed something to change in the way I was preparing it. And brining has made a world of difference.

Chicken: 30 min to 2 hours before you cook the meat, put it in a plastic bag with 2-3 tbsp of salt and cover the chicken in water. I leave my chicken on the counter when brining, because it's usually half thawed. But if fully thawed, let it brine in the fridge. After the brine, cook the chicken at 350 for 15-25 min.

When reheating chicken in a microwave cut up the leftover chicken and place in a bowl, put a little water in the bowl, cover with a paper towel, then reheat. I don't like reheated chicken because it's dry and has a funky taste, but I can eat it this way.

Typical seasonings: garlic, salt, rosemary, thyme

Pork chops: Brine the meat just like the chicken. Cook on the stove at a high heat, 3 min on each side. Then move them to a 400 degree oven and cook an additional 6-12 minutes (here is a good site with more detailed instructions).

When reheating pork, use the same method as the chicken.

Typical seasonings: garlic, salt, rosemary, thyme

Here's my grocery list:


Coconut Oil
Avocado Oil x2
Almond milk- unsweetened
Canned Organic tomatoes
Sweet potatoes x2
Avocados x2
Mushrooms x2
Brussels sprouts x4
Frozen organic green beans
Frozen organic broccoli
Raw broccoli
Cauliflower x4
Romain lettuce x2
Spring mix
Kefir x 3
Apples x2
Bananas x4
Cuties (oranges)
Frozen organic berries
Frozen blueberries
Coffee x2
Udi's bread x4
Lemon juice
Red peppers x4
Stew meat (made 2 meals)
Roast (made 2 meals)
Bag of chicken x2
Organic grass-fed ground beef x2
Ground bison
Pork chops
Grass-fed, non-hormonal bacon x2
Veggie straws x2
Ezekiel bread
Organic tortilla chips
Cashew clusters
Organic fruit snacks
Eggs x2
Organic eggs
Milk x 7
Greek yogurt
String cheese
GoGo Squeeze apple sauce


Red onion
Yukon gold potatoes
Spaghetti squash x2
Organic peanut butter
Kids Cliff bars x3
Organic, gluten-free, puff cereal x2

Juice Plus
Variety pack of shakes

Another thing. Eating this way is an investment. Liitterrrallyy. Your money will go into this and your dividend will be a stronger body. This month, using this particular shopping list, I spent approx $750.  I am hoping that once we move into the city I can utilize the local Trader Joes, Aldi, and Farmers Market, cutting down my costs (though we are joining a CSA in April and I have no idea what that means for our budget). But I also know that the American food system doesn't make it easy nor affordable to make healthy food choices. At some point I have to be ok with this and make some adjustments to my budget, because if I'm not sacrificing now then in 15 years I can't be surprised when the doctor puts me on three chronic medications that cost $300 a month (that's my family's cycle). Talk about a budget blower.

I also know not everyone can just "adjust their budget" and spend a mortgage payment on food each month. There are some months we can't either. That's when I remember I'm called to do the best I can with what I have. And that is absolutely enough.

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