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How many of you mama's have made "the change"... (not what you think!!!)

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I'm talking about changing your lifestyle... specifically regarding the foods you eat.

How many of you were raised on mac n cheese, hotdogs, etc... and you started your own family and adult life the same way...   But somewhere along the road you started learning...

....gluten free???

....no more dyes???

....hfcs???  (corn syrup)

.....low carb???

....organic???

...."whole" foods???

....low fat????


If you have made a change, what do you feel was some of the most important changes... what changes do you seem to follow the most.. (because there are multiple ideas out there)... how difficult was it really?   

I want to make changes, but I'm on my own in my family and aroudn our neighbors.  I actually have neighbors that sneak my kids candy because they think all kids should have candy and we are weird.


by on Aug. 26, 2013 at 1:58 PM
Replies (21-30):
Kaya529
by Member on Aug. 26, 2013 at 11:01 PM
1 mom liked this
I also make homemade cleaners. That is much easier and generally cheaper than store bought.
Pukalani79
by Kristin on Aug. 26, 2013 at 11:21 PM

 My oldest daughter struggles with anxiety and emotional/stress eating.  Unfortunately her weight got out of control.  Now our whole family is on a fairly strict diet - no whites (sugar, flour, potatoes, rice), we watch the carbs and try to eat balanced meals.  Snacks are low-calorie jellos and fruits.  Drinks are water, 1 % milk and more water

SusanTheWriter
by on Aug. 26, 2013 at 11:46 PM

We started making the change a few years ago after I read Michael Pollan's book, "In Defense of Food." I had also just read "The French Don't Diet" by Dr. Will Clower, which said a lot of the same things - eat food that either had a mother and father, or came from the ground; and not too much.

Since reading those two books, our pantry has stayed fairly clean. Not 100%, but not too bad.

One of the first changes we made was to hormone-free milk. For years, I thought I was lactose-intolerant. We switched to hormone-free, and suddenly, my digestive issues went away!

Then a couple of years ago, I tried to go on the Jenny Craig diet where they send you boxes of frozen and shelf-stable foods. Within a week, I started breaking out in hives every night. I didn't think anything of it because I was also extremely stressed and that's a fairly typical stress response for me. But every night, I'd break out. I finally mentioned it to some friends and one said, "Hey, are you eating lots of preservatives?" I threw away a brand-new box of fake food, and my hives disappeared. By then, however, I'd developed a more advanced sensitivity to many food additives, preservatives and colors, as well as nitrites and nitrates. It took 3 months of nearly 100% clean eating to get my system back online.

Fun times.

Anyway, we've settled at about a 90% solution. I look for the Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen when I shop so that I use my grocery budget wisely to buy a few foods where the organic designation makes the most impact. And I read labels like a fiend.

But you'll still find cans in my pantry. Tomatoes, beans (because I'm too lazy to cook from dried) and I always keep green beans, peas and carrots for emergency sides. Yes, there are jars of sauce (organic pasta sauce and various Indian sauces), but I'm also positive there's a block of Velveeta in there from the Super Bowl two years ago. I don't think it'll expire until 2021, so if the world tries to end before then, at least we'll have cheez-product. It'll go well with the boxes of Zatarain's rice mix that have been hanging out in the back corner. Those'll expire before the Velveeta. *shudder*

Back to my rambling point, which is that although we've eliminated as many artificial "food products" as possible, life isn't worth living without Oreos. Y'know what I mean? I bake my own bread when the mood strikes, but I still buy it most of the time.

We're not low-fat, low-carb, gluten-free. We eat 2-3 meatless or nearly meatless meals a week, but we're not vegetarians. We use real sugar (raw or turbinado) and real butter (hormone-free). I just made my own sausage today for the first time.

Our whole family was on board with these changes. Believe me, no one was begging me to go out and buy more frozen pizzas! We've always been a foodie family, so this was a natural progression.

DH grew up with a single mom, so while they didn't skip meals, dinner was whatever was on the table and you're grateful for it. He's a very good cook when he has the time. He's usually in command of our Holiday Meal Plans, complete with oven sharing diagrams, and timing drawn out in 5 and 10 minute increments!

I couldn't cook at all when I got married because I made too many messes in the kitchen, so Mom didn't want to clean up after me. I learned from cooking shows and Martha Stewart. No Betty Crocker EZ Recipes for me!

So given our family culture, it wasn't a difficult transition to cleaner eating. The hardest thing has been kid's cereal! I'd be fine with oatmeal (not the instand flavor packet kind) every day, but they're drawn to those radioactive crunchies and marshmallows and I can't seem to get them to break the habit. Buying nothing but plain Cheerios isn't worth listening to the whining every morning.

And it took time to start. When you're just beginning, you have to read the labels on everything to see if it's worth feeding to your family and it takes for-frickin'-ever! But after a few trips, you begin to recognize which brands work and which don't. You learn to separate advertising hype from what they're really saying. And you start skipping those middle aisles almost entirely in favor of veggies, basic dairy, meat and seafood.

Good luck!

TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Aug. 27, 2013 at 8:35 AM
We make sure our milk has no artificial growth hormones.

We try not to buy anything we know is GMO.

And we cut out anything and everything with aspartame. (But some people will still give my kids gum even though only a couple kinds don't have aspartame)


I would like to make more changes toward organics and less processed foods, but it's really hard to switch when all that stuff tastes so good and is more affordable! We have also reduced eating fast food, but it just happens sometimes. I tend to read labels a lot more now and have started learning which foods are better (like I only eat cape cod chips now because I know the three ingredients and can pronounce them all...but the rest of my family loves cheese curls/doodles/puffs which I'm sure have crazy ingredients).

I have seen firsthand the effects if artificial things in our food-red dye for a girl I worked with with Autism, it made her certifiable, seriously so crazy when she ingested red dye..aspartame gives both DS and I headaches, DH has researched it a lot and cut out the diet soda immediately. Now none of us have it at all. I would really love to go all natural, it's just not affordable for us and it is so hard to switch the kids..and lots more work for me too, which is hard when I have to work outside the home.
Molimomma
by Bronze Member on Aug. 27, 2013 at 8:37 AM

I have moved to buying more organic fruits and veggies(especially carrots!). I've tried to use white vinegar in place of bleach as much as possible. I buy only turkey hot dogs and they are "the fancy ones" with no nitrates. We are by no means "clean eaters" but I'm trying to do the best I can.

TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Aug. 27, 2013 at 8:44 AM
I love your response, and I hope we get there soon. We definitely have cans, DH is a bit of a prepper so..yeah definitely have cans, lol. I have been getting better at trying. We made the switch with no artificial hormone milk, that was the easiest-the kids drink it more, it tastes better. And dropping the aspartame was pretty easy, though it sneaks in there sometimes in some candies and things.

Part of our problem is how picky we all are. No seafood, barely any veggies are enjoyed by all of us, and DH doesn't eat many fruits.

I'm going to have to look up the dirty dozen/clean fifteen stuff. I like the rule of eating things with parents or that grew in the ground. Another way to look at it is only eating things that were once alive.

And there are some things that you just can't ever give up, like Oreos. Lol, I totally agree with you there. I'm going to see if our library has those books you mentioned.


Quoting SusanTheWriter:

We started making the change a few years ago after I read Michael Pollan's book, "In Defense of Food." I had also just read "The French Don't Diet" by Dr. Will Clower, which said a lot of the same things - eat food that either had a mother and father, or came from the ground; and not too much.

Since reading those two books, our pantry has stayed fairly clean. Not 100%, but not too bad.

One of the first changes we made was to hormone-free milk. For years, I thought I was lactose-intolerant. We switched to hormone-free, and suddenly, my digestive issues went away!

Then a couple of years ago, I tried to go on the Jenny Craig diet where they send you boxes of frozen and shelf-stable foods. Within a week, I started breaking out in hives every night. I didn't think anything of it because I was also extremely stressed and that's a fairly typical stress response for me. But every night, I'd break out. I finally mentioned it to some friends and one said, "Hey, are you eating lots of preservatives?" I threw away a brand-new box of fake food, and my hives disappeared. By then, however, I'd developed a more advanced sensitivity to many food additives, preservatives and colors, as well as nitrites and nitrates. It took 3 months of nearly 100% clean eating to get my system back online.

Fun times.

Anyway, we've settled at about a 90% solution. I look for the Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen when I shop so that I use my grocery budget wisely to buy a few foods where the organic designation makes the most impact. And I read labels like a fiend.

But you'll still find cans in my pantry. Tomatoes, beans (because I'm too lazy to cook from dried) and I always keep green beans, peas and carrots for emergency sides. Yes, there are jars of sauce (organic pasta sauce and various Indian sauces), but I'm also positive there's a block of Velveeta in there from the Super Bowl two years ago. I don't think it'll expire until 2021, so if the world tries to end before then, at least we'll have cheez-product. It'll go well with the boxes of Zatarain's rice mix that have been hanging out in the back corner. Those'll expire before the Velveeta. *shudder*

Back to my rambling point, which is that although we've eliminated as many artificial "food products" as possible, life isn't worth living without Oreos. Y'know what I mean? I bake my own bread when the mood strikes, but I still buy it most of the time.

We're not low-fat, low-carb, gluten-free. We eat 2-3 meatless or nearly meatless meals a week, but we're not vegetarians. We use real sugar (raw or turbinado) and real butter (hormone-free). I just made my own sausage today for the first time.

Our whole family was on board with these changes. Believe me, no one was begging me to go out and buy more frozen pizzas! We've always been a foodie family, so this was a natural progression.

DH grew up with a single mom, so while they didn't skip meals, dinner was whatever was on the table and you're grateful for it. He's a very good cook when he has the time. He's usually in command of our Holiday Meal Plans, complete with oven sharing diagrams, and timing drawn out in 5 and 10 minute increments!

I couldn't cook at all when I got married because I made too many messes in the kitchen, so Mom didn't want to clean up after me. I learned from cooking shows and Martha Stewart. No Betty Crocker EZ Recipes for me!

So given our family culture, it wasn't a difficult transition to cleaner eating. The hardest thing has been kid's cereal! I'd be fine with oatmeal (not the instand flavor packet kind) every day, but they're drawn to those radioactive crunchies and marshmallows and I can't seem to get them to break the habit. Buying nothing but plain Cheerios isn't worth listening to the whining every morning.

And it took time to start. When you're just beginning, you have to read the labels on everything to see if it's worth feeding to your family and it takes for-frickin'-ever! But after a few trips, you begin to recognize which brands work and which don't. You learn to separate advertising hype from what they're really saying. And you start skipping those middle aisles almost entirely in favor of veggies, basic dairy, meat and seafood.

Good luck!


TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Aug. 27, 2013 at 8:46 AM
I made homemade cleaning wipes for the first time, with a roll of paper towels and a solution I found online. They worked very well. I can't decided if they lasted longer though because I used more than half the roll to clean out the nasty cabinets that I don't think have ever been cleaned since my mil bought this house! So I have to make them again and see how long it lasts with more regular use!


Quoting Kaya529:

I also make homemade cleaners. That is much easier and generally cheaper than store bought.

mem82
by Platinum Member on Aug. 27, 2013 at 8:47 AM
Lol *hides box of Mac and Cheese *
We don't restrict anything but we don't eat a ton of junk, either. I have been working on making 80 percent of our food has ingredients that I can read.
TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Aug. 27, 2013 at 8:54 AM
I'm not sure if GMOs are really bad for us...but my take is if it is modified genetically, then could it really be good for us? I mean they have to do things to modify it, and changing genetics just sounds like a bad idea to me.

Lol, this is why we avoid them, I'm not sure about the research, it just seems wrong.


Quoting Chasing3:

yes, Ive come around in the past couple of years to changes in our diet and our shopping! 10-12 years ago if you asked me about organic food I would have scoffed that it's stupid and why pay more? The attitude of: "I grew up without organic and Im just fine!"

But now I try to buy most things organic, although I won't knock myself out or break the bank. And we have some non-organic products we still love and buy. I try to avoid lots of processed snacks. We are not gluten-free, but do concentrate on whole grains and limit white bread and pastas and such. I try to put more vegetables on the plate than meat and grains. I don't usually buy fat-free products as I've read that it's a kin to processing. So, we eat regular cheese and whole or 2% milk. I will get light cheese sticks and low fat yogurt for myself, but I figure the kids can tolerate regular dairy in moderation. I try to avoid HFC, but I know it's still in some things we eat.

I am still undecided on GMOs. While I dislike the Monsanto take over of our food industries, I am unsure on if GMOs are actually "bad" for us or not?

And we do get the occasional take-out pizza, restaurant food, and a soda here or there. Plus, we eat our fair share of ice cream!


SusanTheWriter
by on Aug. 27, 2013 at 9:02 AM
1 mom liked this

LOL! Pssst, DIY mac and cheese takes about 5 minutes more than the box kind - flour, butter, milk, salt, pepper and cheese. Plus, when you're done, you get to brag that you've made a Mornay sauce! (except you used shredded cheddar instead of Gruyere)

Quoting mem82:

Lol *hides box of Mac and Cheese *
We don't restrict anything but we don't eat a ton of junk, either. I have been working on making 80 percent of our food has ingredients that I can read.


SusanTheWriter ~ Wife, Mom, Author

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