Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Getting Back on Track

I have a confession to make. During the past few months I've found myself relying more and more on convenience foods. You know, like frozen chicken filets (they're not THAT bad, right?) and poptarts - it's so much easier to grab one of these than to make breakfast, ya know? Knowing all the time that making those choices weren't good for my family.

I've come to the conclusion that what we (as a society) eat is literally killing us. Obesity is at an all-time high. Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, you name it. All of these illnesses are actually on the rise. And all of them are linked to diet. Yes, genetics plays a factor in those diseases, and always will. But we're making the problems worse by what we eat.

Just take a look at the ingredient list on a box of crackers. Try to pronounce them. Yeah, those unpronounceable chemicals are making us fat and unhealthy. There's no substitute for whole foods - whole grains, lean meats, veggies, fruits, and nuts. These are the foods we were designed to eat. Not all that processed stuff.

So, why do we make the choice to feed ourselves something that's bad for us? Well, I can tell you why I did. Cost and convenience. Simple as that, and the food industry knows it. They hide ingredients, renaming the bad ones so we don't catch on. But in our busy, busy lifestyles, the industry knows we have to choose between cooking from scratch (which takes a lot of time) or grabbing a frozen pizza that's ready in 20 minutes with no effort on our part. In our rush to get to the next activity, we rely on convenience. But that convenience comes with a price.

I consoled myself by clinging to the fact that I was making some foods from scratch. I made chicken nuggets for my kids instead of purchasing frozen ones. I made my own pizzas. But can I make them healthier by using whole grains? Sure. Can I eliminate other harmful things like processed sugars? Yes, but I like my sweets. Interestingly enough, after using some natural sweeteners like honey and agave syrup, granulated sugar tastes way too sweet to me. So really, it's a matter of retraining my body and taste buds!

So I haven't been posting a whole lot of recipes because I've been trying out some new, healthy ones. I've been revamping some of my tried-and-true favorites to get rid of processed sugars and flours. I've added whole grain flours like buckwheat and oat flour to my repertoire of ingredients.

And I've learned just how dependent my family was becoming on the snacks and packaged stuff. I've heard some complaints about having nothing to snack on, then pointing to the fridge where the carrots and apples are. I've had to manage my time more efficiently. It's not been easy. The Triscuits in the cracker aisle have literally called my name!

But I am determined. We are going to get healthier. Want to join me? Do you have a healthy goal in mind?


  1. Awesome! We also struggle with this issue. I've finally managed to make it to the point where nearly all of the food we consume is all natural or organic, but the "healthy" food still often eludes me. I look forward to seeing your new recipes!!

  2. It is hard to get off the junk addiction. We're tight with
    cash for the rest of the month and going through withdrawl of sorts.

    I am glad to have found the vegan cookbook since they're pantry cooking recipes but also from scratch and quick!