Honey, will you pick up eggs, milk, bread and spinach? That is how the mid-week text to my husband for a run to the grocery store usually gets sent. Spinach has become a staple in our house, and that did not just happen. I did not grow up knowing how to eat healthy, and I hated vegetables, which meant as an adult, my family never ate them either. It wasn’t until my son was born that I actually cared. So, nine years later, I am still learning.
I had a neighbor who was sort of a health guru that got me thinking about the kind of foods we were eating. I remember thinking she was a bit odd when she made chocolate cookies with whole wheat flour. I was intrigued. Shortly after that, I read my first healthy eating book, Marilu Henner’s Total Health Makeover, which definitely opened my eyes. I needed to learn more about creating and sustaining good health in myself and my family. I then read What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You! and Toxic Relief: Restore Health and Energy Through Fasting and Detoxification by Dr. Don Colbert. Wow! Those two woke me up to the dangers of ignorantly choosing the toxins, I mean products, off my grocery store shelves to feed to myself and my family. I thumbed through the very popular The Maker’s Diet by Jordin Rubin, a health plan based on the Bible, tested by science and that takes a holistic approach to health: spiritual, mental, emotional, and physcial. The movie, Food Inc. certainly left its impression. I am still amazed at how I was blindly trusting the companies that create the grocery products I buy so often to make my health, and not their bank accounts a priority.
After lots of reading and searching and walking around Whole Foods wondering, “What is all this stuff?”, and reading hundreds and hundreds of food labels, I began to make firm decisions about what food was going to enter into our bellies. It was a challenge to figure out how to work it into our real family life, with a full schedule, and a mama who much rather bake than cook.
Although, I will always be a student of healthy eating,
this is the philosophy of food I adopted.
Pure and simple: Eat food as close to its natural, original form as possible.
Which means whole foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible before being consumed. So we steer towards organic and all natural as much as possible. It means we stay away from whites: white sugar, white flour, white pastas. We eat organic dairy, but in moderation. We drink lots of almond milk around here. It means, if I cannot pronounce the ingredients on the label or the ingredients cannot be easily found in my pantry or fridge, it does not make the cut. It means, I have to care about what my meat was eating before it ended up on my plate.
At times, this makes going to the grocery store a very frustrating experience. The aisles are jammed packed with food that is not worthy of the name. They make it very easy to give in and be lazy. At other times, it makes dinner quite a chore, because using fresh, unprocessed ingredients takes planning and preparation. This homeschooling mama still in her pajamas, had to break the habit of the thought of dinner ensuing a panic attack at 5:00 pm after realizing the day is almost over, and hard-working hungry husband will be home any minute.
There have been a few things I have learned along the way to streamlining healthy eating, but I am still learning and open for suggestions. I hope to bring a few ideas to share, and just a few, because I really have kept it PURE and SIMPLE.
But as for spinach being a staple…
we use it in smoothies and wraps and of course salads, and we make lots of these.