Monday, June 25, 2012

Eating Naturally

We have been making the switch at our house to watching what we eat. We are trying to make more from scratch and eating more naturally produced foods instead of artificially processed foods. I have friends who are 100% into the clean eating life and I envy them. We are not there and I doubt at this point in time we will be. But the changes I have been making are starting to reap the results.

I did not jump into natural eating for political or societal reasons. I did it because of our health and well-being. I did it because I did not feel comfortable with eating the preservatives and additional things they added to processed food. I did it because I kept finding MSG being added to food under different guises such as natural flavorings. I did it because the effects of processed food on my children and myself were mind boggling.

The changes I made at first were small: little to no high fructose corn syrup, no dyes like blue 4 and yellow 10, no MSG whatsoever, and decreasing the amount of white flour and white sugar until I did not use it anymore. I also sought to buy more and more fruits and vegetable to eat as snacks as well as with our meals.

The changes I made were difficult and needed to be flexed once in a while because I had to change some of the recipes we enjoyed eating. Also I refused to throw out food so we needed to use up what we had such as cream soups and boxed seasoned potatoes. I was also shocked by how much food has HF corn syrup and dyes in it. Incorporating more rice that was not fast cooking rice was and still is a bit difficult, but a huge improvement over boxed potatoes.

Some changes were easy. I substituted whole wheat flour and unbleached all-purpose flour for bleached white flour. I also played with using almond, coconut, and oat flour to very surprising, but delicious results. I started to use honey and organic pure cane sugar instead of white sugar in most things. I haven't been able to do this as much in my canning recipes much to my disappointment.

I use lemons and limes for juice instead of using bottled lemon and lime which does not really taste like the real thing. I use more kosher and sea salt then table salt. We also quit using margarine and use only butter. We use coconut, grape seed, and olive oil instead of vegetable and canola because of the health benefits and the processing of the oil.

We are still in the making changes process. This isn't easy, but it is for the best. Some days we fail miserably. I still have a Coke from time to time. My teens like their junk food although they eat a lot of what I make too. All the kids are very tolerable about trying new recipes or a new twist on old recipes. We are trying to make wiser choices when we eat out.

The benefits are starting to show. I can't speak for the kids so much, but I feel better. I sleep better. I have more energy. Cooking does not seem like such chore because I like to experiment in the kitchen. Food tastes better. I haven't lost much weight, but I do notice that I don't bloat nearly as bad or hardly at all. I love fresh food so eating more fruits and vegetables have not been a hardship at all!

Growing some of my own food has been very beneficial in terms of producing my own food. I know where it came from and what is in it. Learning how to can and preserve is skills I had always wanted to learn and now I have. The food tastes better and is more inline with the changes we are making.

This isn't everything we have done, but it is an overview. I will have more posts on natural eating as well as how to do it frugally. I wanted to get you all an idea of how this journey can be as well as how it can be flexible according to what you feel is best for you.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

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