Friday, July 29, 2011

Real Food - An Update

It has been quite some time since I posted about our real food journey and I thought it was time to update. I am just going to list bullet points because this is more of a brain dump than anything. This is l-o-n-g overdue and I don't have *time* to organize it well...sorry!
----We have not been using local meats. We just simply can't afford to and what a great thing that we tend not to eat much meat. Mostly, we only purchase chicken and sausage and I try to be very selective when choosing these. We have purchased lunch meat over the past few weeks because...IT'S HOT and we have been wanting something easy and light. But, the lunch meat is organic and only has 7 or 8 ingredients. So, it is not far from real food. :-)
----We have been purchasing only organic fruits and vegetables. Honestly, a lot of our vegetables are frozen. It is easier on the budget and the kids will eat them...frozen!, which is easier on mama...especially at lunchtime.
----We have not figured out a good solution for bread yet. I don't have a bread maker and I am NOT going to bake bread when it is 100 degrees outside. We are ok with Ezekiel bread but the budget doesn't allow for it with as much bread as we go through. For now, we purchase Nature's Own in a two pack from Sam's as long as it has the whole grain stamp on it. There are still some ingredients in there that are questionable but without a better solution for bread right now, I am ok with it.
----We only purchase whole grain rice and pasta. Also, I have started soaking our rice.
----We gave up on making our own tortillas. I found some at Whole Foods that have less than 5 ingredients but were super expensive. Then, I found some reasonably priced that have way too many ingredients but the first ingredient is whole wheat flour and I caved. So, this is going to be a cheat for us.
----We do not buy organic milk, butter, cheese etc...these are other items our budget will not allow for. However, I do buy from a brand I trust that is committed to being hormone free.
----We try very hard to stick to the 5 ingredient rule but as I read somewhere before (I think the 100 days of real food website) most importantly are what the ingredients are. If it is a product that has healthy ingredients even if there are more than 5 I will go ahead and purchase it. Occasionally, I also have been known to purchase something that may not be all that good for us just to have as a snack or treat. Usually, I only purchase 2-3 items per week that have more than 5 ingredients. -We stopped eating cereal because it is difficult to find a kind that is healthy and tastes good for a price that fits our budget. I do make granola at home but I haven't made any this summer because...IT'S HOT.
----We started buying raw local honey (as opposed to the off the shelf pasteurized stuff).
----We went from eating the sweetener laced yogurts, to plain regular yogurt, to plain Greek yogurt. We put raisins or blueberries in it and sweeten it ourselves with honey, if needed.
----We eat more smoothies than ever before and no, raw baby spinach leaves do not change the flavor.
----Our favorite recipe from 100 days of real food is the Pecan Maple Breakfast Cookies.
----When baking, I only use oats and/or whole wheat flour as opposed to white flour. I also do not use any sugar and try not to use any oils. It sort of depends on the recipe but in general if I see a recipe for white flour, white sugar, and vegetable oil I skip it. If the recipe looks WAY to good to pass up I may try to figure out who to adapt it.
----We have gone around and around on peanut butter. We are a huge peanut butter family. PB&J is my go to lunch if I don't have anything else easy and the kids LOVE it. However, the first time I purchased organic unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter the kids refused to eat it. Hmmm... So, I tried really hard to talk myself into caving on this one and buying normal peanut butter. The ingredient list is short with only 3-5 ingredients but it contains sugar as the second ingredient and it also has vegetable oils in it, which we are trying also to reduce as much as possible. So, I purchase either peanuts, fresh peanut butter out of the machines, or the jar of organic, unsweetened, unsalted. At home, I put it into our food processor with a little honey and olive oil and mix it all together. This is a lot of work for peanut butter but my kids will eat it this way and it is healthier.
----We eat cage free brown eggs from Whole Foods. We have the opportunity to get farm fresh occasionally and I always try to take advantage of that. I don't think I will ever go back on kids will actually eat them as opposed to white eggs. Also, I read this article on eggs that changed my mind for good.
----I still sweeten my coffee with sugar but do not use it for anything else.
----I make our chicken nuggets and currently pan fry them in canola oil (boo) but want to price macadamia nut oil and see if we can afford it to use for frying. It is a source of omega 3 and can be cooked to almost as high of a temp as canola before it starts to oxidize.
----I also recently stumbled upon the non-GMO project. Health experts are beginning to warn patients about staying away from soy. I know this from personal experience because my mother-in-law had ovarian cancer and has been told to stay far, far away from soy. However, I believe that soy is fine but the genetically modified soybean is likely what is causing problems. I read a fascinating article on that too... So, if I am purchasing a product that contains soy, a soy by-product, or any other ingredient that is known for being genetically modified, it would be nice to see this seal.

I hope that even in its disorganized fashion this post has been helpful for you.

Disclaimer: I am not an expert on anything except me and my family. I try to make the best decisions for us. Only you can make the appropriate decisions for your family.
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Friday, July 22, 2011

Motherhood and Children

A friend found this awesome article online and shared it on Facebook. I am so glad I read it. My heart started beating faster and the tears were on their way (though I surprisingly was able to keep from crying). I have been looking for words to describe the feeling I get when I hear a parent speak to their child in a way that communicates what an incovenience they are. Or, the sinking feeling I get in the pit of my stomach when someone close to me tells me that kids will cause me more trouble and pain than they are worth and that I just shouldn't have anymore. I know it is a lie straight from the pit of hell (even though it still stings). I know that a child is one of God's greatest gifts and I am blessed beyond belief to have received this call of Motherhood.

I hope you are inspired, empowered, encouraged, and even a little challenged by this article. I sure was!

Motherhood is a Calling (and where your children rank)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Garrett - 11 Months

Has it really been a month? The last post was Garrett's 10 month picture, which means that yes, it has been a month since I updated my blog (yikes). I keep thinking that the months feel like weeks and this entire last year has felt like only a few months. Time needs to s-l-o-w down!
One year ago today I was admitted into the hospital at 30 weeks pregnant because of a condition known as Vasa previa. That trip to the hopsital confirmed that it was not fetal blood that I had been bleeding. However, since the condition had been diagnosed they didn't want to take any chances. They kept me in the hospital under close observation for a month and delivered Garrett at 34 weeks. If you are interested in reading more about that look at my July and early August posts from 2010 (I searched for one to link to here and they are all so different and yet so relevant I couldn't choose). I am so thankful that my specialist diagnosed the condition early and was not taking any chances. Praise God that Garrett was fine despite being 6 weeks early.

This month, he has finally shown some interest in becoming mobile which is sort of a love/hate relationship for him. He HATES being on the floor but he is starting to realize that is the only way he is ever going to learn how to get around. He is pretty good at moving himself backward. Now, he just has to figure out how to get on all fours and move himself forward! He actually is closer to standing than crawling so part of me wonders if he will just start walking and skip the whole crawling thing...who knows?
He cut his first tooth (see upside down photo below).
He has started to eat soft chunks of food pretty well. I am looking forward to only having one more month of buying and mixing formula.
He is making all kinds of sounds (except for mama) but he doesn't know what they mean yet.
I got him to wave hi and bye the other day but he hasn't done it again since then. He loves it when I sing or when we listen to music.
He is a busy boy and as time goes on we fully expect that he will be as busy if not busier (we better be on our toes) than his big brother.
This month he got his first bruise on his head by diving head first off of the couch. As you can tell, it doesn't seem to be bothering him too much. I also wanted to share that Kaley and Braedon could not be better big siblings. They both get toys or his pacifier for him if I am busy and he is crying. Braedon sometimes says, "chill!", which is hysterically funny (yep, he got that from me).

I also have a funny story about Kaley. In the car the other day she was playing with Garrett holding his hand and kind of batting at it. They were both laughing and having a good time. Daddy was driving so I was turning around periodically to see what they were up to. All the sudden Garrett starts screaming like he is in pain so I turn around and asked Kaley if she knew why he was crying. In the softest, calmest, cutest two year old girl voice says, "I just bit Baby Garrett's finger." I hastily turn around in my seat grab his hand to see teeth marks all the way around his finger. Poor little guy! BTW-I don't count this in the 'she is the best big sister ever' equation. It is the first time she has ever done anything remotely mean to him. The dear in the headlight look I got makes me think she didn't realize what she had done until he started screaming in pain.


I was trying to get him to leave the bear next to him. I said, "ok, Garrett, can you just leave the bear sitting here next to you for just a second." It looks like he has a look that is saying, "ok but you better hurry cause I am getting ready to snatch it up."

Love those cheeks!

This one is way too cute not to share.

I was trying to show the tooth but not sure if you can see it or not.