Making slow healthy changes with our food and home has been a gradual progression around here for quite some time. The changes largely started when we had kids. Hubby and I joked that we had to get the Cheetos out of the house before the kids were born. When you are building a person from the ground up why not make every bite count? It was also greatly spurred on by a litany of food allergies that worsened after the twins were born which got me reading labels. Some days we do better than others with this stuff . We are by no means perfect (the twins coincidentally might have even had Cheetos this weekend on vacation). Here are some more changes we have been striving for around here…
See the first 3 steps I wrote about HERE.
4) Ditch the lunch meat. We try to not purchase lunch meat often. Most of them are full of nitrates and other preservatives, have tons of sodium, are often made with questionable cuts of meat, and quite possibly have MSG. When I am craving a good grilled panini we splurge on high quality meat (without most of the scary stuff in it) and only occasionally as a “treat.”
We have replaced lunch meat with other forms of protein like hummus, eat leftovers for lunch rather than sandwiches, and made sandwiches out of home made chicken salad (amazing!) or other non “slimy meat” ingredients.
5) Make your own baked goods. We try to have healthy whole wheat muffins on hand for breakfast, snacks, or cravings for something “sweet.” Our current favorite is pumpkin chocolate chip. The kids gobble them up and the whole wheat makes them much more filling than a regular muffin made with white flour. We also love to make scones, whole wheat cookies, and cinnamon rolls for a very special treat. Although, most of these would not qualify as “health food” they are much better made from home where you know the ingredients and can make some healthy substitutions. Most people know that there is some scary stuff (mainly in the form of weird oils and tons of preservatives) in the boxed and wrapped baked goods, but even much of the grocery store baked goods have a lot of weird ingredients. The fresh baked bread is not always too bad, but things like the plastic clam shells filled with neon cookies and cupcakes are probably pretty questionable. Check out this link on the wonders of supermarket baked goods.
If you find that you are baking a lot you might even want to consider investing in a grain mill. I love my Nutrimill! Fresh ground flour is tastier, but best of all is much more nutritious. As flour sits it loses nutrition and much of the flour in stores could even be rancid. Even the way the flour was ground initially can affect its nutrition. All you have to do is buy wheat berries and run them through the mill and you have flour (you can grind other grains as well).
6) Get the plastic out of the kitchen. Plastics often contain BPA and other harmful ingredients. Some of the new plastics are labeled BPA free, but I still prefer other materials when possible. Glass, metal (stainless steel is great), and ceramics (Fiestaware is lead free) are just so much more attractive and whimsical. Since the kids were little we have avoided using plastics with BPA in them. When they were young we had to do a bit of looking at labels, now it is a bit more common to find clearly labeled kids products from big name brands.
*We do however use Ikea’s plastic children’s bowls and plates. I was told they were BPA free and they are very affordable.
I never mean for these posts to make anyone feel like they are not doing enough for their family. Being a mom is hard! This is just our SLOW journey. Some days we do great on these types of things, and other days we are just trying to hang on and survive.
Hope your day was splendid! If not, tomorrow will be a fresh start.
What changes have you made in your home?