The Story Behind Our Healthy Living

+ J. M. J.

This year our family has been on a mission to save money while eating healthier. It started when we lost a baby to miscarriage at the end of December. We love that baby so much and we are grateful for the very short time she spent with us. It was an existence between just her and God–we didn’t even know of her beautiful life until it ended.

To cope I needed to do something. Talking with the doctor we came to the conclusion that there might not be anything “wrong” with me to treat–it just happened. The only tangible thing we can control is how we take care of ourselves so that’s what my dear husband and I set out to do.

Well, I take care of menus, shopping, and cooking so whether he wanted to or not he is along for the ride. šŸ™‚ Even though he doesn’t, say, get excited about a sale on vital wheat gluten, he is supportive and tells me he desires to eat as healthy as possible.

10 SWITCHES OUR FAMILY MADE TO EAT HEALTHIER

1. We started by switching fully to whole grains. We cut out all “white” grains that have no fiber or healthy fat and low in nutrients.

We save money by baking our whole wheat bread, which has 8 ingredients. It costs roughly $.60 for a 32oz loaf.

It takes 15 minutes of labor to make it in the bread machine so it was the easiest switch.

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2. Then we started cutting out refined sugars. We still use white sugar, but much less of it, using the “Eat 80% healthy, 20% don’t worry about it as much” rule.

3. Things we say no to:
– completely cut out artificial sweeteners.
– avoid foods with preservatives, chemicals & ingredients with more than 3 syllables. :p
– avoid salt. We don’t add salt to food. When we eat at other homes the food tastes too salty to us, but our taste buds have adjusted to our cooking without it.

4. Lean protein most of the time. (We’d already been doing this.) We eat beef 2-3 times a month.

5. Drink more water & take vitamins.

6. Switch to healthy snacks. This was a challenge as I relied on things like graham crackers for the girls’ snacks. I’m always on the look out for healthier toddler snacks that don’t get messy.

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Blueberries and Homemade Corn Dogs made with non-preservative hot dogs and whole grain flour. Easy switch. (Click for recipe.)

7. Make half of what we eat fruits & veggies. (White potatoes and corn are starchy grains so they’re limited.)

8. Cut a lot of dairy out of my diet, but not the girls’ diet. We do NOT drink skim!!

9. Make food rather than convenience and prepackaged food. If it is a side dish from a box, we don’t buy it. Budget101.com has many DIY recipes.

We make our own:
– Greek yogurt (NOT fat free)
– whole wheat tortillas
– spaghetti sauce
– whole wheat pizza dough, which we freeze in batches
– any “mix” at the grocery store (like scalloped potatoes) we make ourselves
– whole wheat bread (baked twice a week)

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10. The next thing we are working on is eating complex carb, protein and good fat every time we eat.

Hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into what we eat!

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Irish Sweets for the Parents

+ J. M. J.

Having never “made” anything for the feast of St. PatrickĀ  we went all-out this year. “All-out” meaning we actually had alcohol. Yeah, we don’t get out much.

Homemade Irish Cream. Fresh really does taste fresh. We put it in Irish Carbomb Cupcakes.

I think I’m going to put Guinness in every chocolate cake I ever make. And when people ask “what’s in this?” it’ll be the secret ingredient (not a secret now…you know). Best Chocolate Cake I’ve Ever Had!!

Now we have a quart of Irish Cream to find homes for (delicious but a little dangerous, especially for a breastfeeding mommy) and 24 cupcakes to find homes for.

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