Changing The Way We Look At Food

Changing The Way We Look At Food

Recently as my husband has been taking classes to become an EMT, he’s thinking more about the human body. He usually feels sluggish and groggy. Like a good wife, I remind him that he can’t be eating highly processed foods/snack and feel energetic.

So after he saw a documentary about animal consumption and health issues, he and his co-workers made a pact. They are choosing a plant-based diet for 2 weeks to see if they feel better. It’s only been a couple days and they’ve all noticed weight loss and more energy.

We’re focusing on whole grains, nuts/seeds, and tons of produce. So far, it’s been nice having him hop on board with me.

The kids love their fresh food especially! We’ve incorporated more fats and proteins in their meals though because they are so little and so active.

After some research, we made a list of foods we would eat. We’ve tried to extend from our comfort zones. We don’t want to just eat salads for 2 weeks either.

In order to stock up well, we’ve applied one of our shopping techniques. We’ve been doing groceries every biweekly pay period. It normally looks like too much food the first day, but we shove next week’s food to the back of the fridge. I mean, what kid would dare venture back there. So safe to say our “rationing” is doable.

2 weeks worth of fresh produce to feed a family of 5. The most we’ve ever bought at once, but now the focus of our meals.

By week 2, I try to make up food before it spoils. So for instance if the lettuce or strawberries are looking sad, I hurry up and use those.

We’re having more whole grains, nuts, and seeds. The whole grains have an amazing flavor!

Ignore the watermelon back there. I was running out of room for all the fresh produce. 😆

With a vegetarian diet I tend to gravitate toward black beans. I love a good Mexican-style rice bowl for a filling meal. I also gravitate towards bananas for a filling smoothie base.

However there’s a little confusion about vegetarians not having cheese or having it. I am choosing to spend the 2 weeks dairy-free because I think it plays a major factor with inflammation. More specifically I cannot digest milk as well as I used to.

A friend from the American Dairy Association noted that if you are lactose intolerant that you may, however, digest cheese fine. Apparently there isn’t much lactose in cheese.

So we’re focusing first on nutrient-dense produce, then adding in nuts and seeds, and whole grains. Things we’re avoiding; added sugars, processed foods, dairy, and alcohol.

I’m learning how not boring it can be.

A few years ago, this term was used and it’s stuck with me since, “fuel-food.” It reminds us that we don’t need to fill our bodies with junk to satisfy hunger. Rather we should be mindful about what we’re putting in our bodies. You’re on the right track if you are nurturing your body.

Like anything else, healthy diet takes time and good support.

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See Momma Bird Blog’s first post, 8 Ways To Lose Baby Weight Realistically.

Beef and Vegetable Soup (With Secret Ingredient)

Beef and Vegetable Soup (With Secret Ingredient)

Boy, it’s been a while since I posted a recipe! I am I the only one who tends to make whatever is easier for my family on a weeknight? After everyone gets home from work and school, who wants to spend 2 hours cooking a gourmet meal? And then clean up that mess?

I’m still a huge fan of nutritional food. I even let my boys raid the produce aisle in order to encourage them to eat healthy. (Read 10 Ways to Encourage Kids to Eat Healthy.) Healthy to me is focusing on whole foods, definitely using more produce, and less; fat, starch and salt. I was thinking of making more soups, different salads to try, and maybe even some meatless meals just to change things up. But dinner still has to be pretty easy to make and still delicious!

Last summer I made a large pot of vegetable soup that my three boys absolutely loved. It was delicious mostly because it had a lot of fresh garden veggies in it; tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes, carrots, onion, sweet corn, green beans… So I wanted to try a couple more soups!

First and foremost, the key to a good soup is the broth. I have a couple favorite methods. You can use up saved meat drippings from roasts and things. Stock works brilliantly also! I think those work the best because they use a real meat based flavor with a little bit of animal fat. Bouillon cubes are my least favorite because the broth tastes artificial and too salty. Recently I found another favorite broth alternative- onion soup mix! This can be bought in a box with 2 packets used to make french onion dip or soup. But using it as a broth base is incredible!

Prep and Cooking Time:

20 minutes of prep, about 1 hour of total cooking time

The thing I love about soup is you just add the ingredients, set at a medium to low heat, and can walk away. You could also make this the night before, store in a crock pot in the fridge, and set for a low heat before heading to work!

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 TBS Olive oil to fry with
  • 1 LBS of diced red meat (I used venison here)
  • Salt to season meat
  • 2 Packets (2 oz. each) onion soup mix
  • 8 Cups of water
  • 2 Cups of diced potatoes
  • 1 Cup of diced carrots
  • 1 Red bell pepper (optional)
  • ground pepper to taste
  • a couple splashes of Worcestershire sauce!

Recipe:

  1. Heat olive oil in big soup pot till warm. Add diced red meat, season with salt, and brown.
  2. Add both packets of onion mix and water to pot. Let simmer.
  3. Add veggies, pepper, and Worcestershire. Cook till veggies are tender.
  4. And serve!

The secret ingredient definitely adds a depth of flavor with the onion mix! Rarely have I used onion mix to cook with before, but I will be doing it more now!

We typically have these ingredients on hand, but I also like how easy this is to make for dinner. Plus my family devoured this particular beef and vegetable soup! What’s your favorite soup?

Delicious Cheesy Scrambled Eggs

Delicious Cheesy Scrambled Eggs

Those days when you just don’t feel like cooking a big meal can still be really simple, healthy, and frugal. And it’s something your whole family will love! And eggs can be very versatile, too! Just grab yourself a couple dozen eggs next time you’re at the store!

Is there even a right way to cook scrambled eggs?

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Better Than Chicken Nuggets

Better Than Chicken Nuggets

Frugal and healthy meals often don’t go hand-in-hand. Sometimes it’s cheaper to cook some hot dogs and mac and cheese. But those boring foods aren’t packed with flavor or nutrition.

But here’s a healthy version of chicken nuggets that are better for you, more affordable, more filling, and taste 1,000x better! An average bag of 2 lb. chicken nuggets cost about $4-5. For the same amount of food, these cost you some leftover chicken or about $2 to make!

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