WARNING PEOPLE: This post is highly, HIGHLY opinionated.
Gosh, I am not sure even how to start this entry in fear that I will sound like an ass & offend people. Just know that I am only looking out for your best interest and the interest of the children that will soon dominate our world. As of late there has been so much controversy in regards to food, fast food, highly processed foods, growing your own, cooking your own and the list goes on. The restaurants that we were taught into believing were a healthy alternative for “on the go” meals have seemed to doop us just like the rest of fast food chain industry. (latest Subway “eat-fresh” controversy)
Trust me, I am not 100% perfect and that I will partake in a chicken nugget maybe a couple times of year or a Diet Coke once in a while (shame on me), however the older I get the less it agrees with my body, therefore the consequences my insides pays isn’t worth it to me. I would have to believe that my crazy digestive track after a chicken nugget or two is due to the result of organic foods and my home cooking. I have made a strong commitment in how I cook, eat and feed others in the last 5-7 years. When something feels good you want it more, right? I would say so. It has just become a natural way of life for me and will continue here on out. I really encourage you to join me in this awesomeness.
How will I feed my kids (the kids that I don’t have yet) you ask? (oh you didn’t ask me…haha) The same way I feed myself, duh. My husband and I had an interesting conversation with friends last night (who have 2 kids) in regards to what they do & don’t keep in the house. It makes perfect sense that if you don’t introduce your children to juice, pop or TV dinners then they won’t want it. They won’t whine for it and annoy you for it. That sounds great to me! If you make a batch of homemade mac and cheese versus box macaroni & cheese with yellow dye, their pallet will naturally embrace the flavors of the products that are made for them. In turn it will deliver the health & nutrients their little bodies need vs. terrible toxins, chemical and preservatives.
No, I am not saying you are a bad parent if you feed your children kraft macaroni (organic is available) or give them a juice box (again, organic/all natural) once in a while, but I am saying that if we invest into our children’s health we will create a new & growing movement going forward that instills a healthier way of life. That fuel that you put into your body and your child’s body is what gives you the healthy energy to go about your day. That juice box that has 50g of sugar will end up making your child tired and irritated in the long run, who wants that?! It is so sad to me when I am grocery shopping and I see a cart full of bad, bad, and I mean bad items. Some of them I can’t even consider food! I know this sounds terribly judgmental and I don’t mean to be, but I am. There are other alternatives for you & your family other than Hungry Man’s and corn dogs. YOU HAVE TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE, right? That is what I have always been taught. I once experienced a horrible moment at the grocery store where in the checkout lane a little boy (who was over weight), probably 5 years old asked his mom if he could get a candy bar. Her response…”No, you are fat and don’t need it.” I was mortified! I looked in her cart and it was chuck full of the most overly processed foods Meijer could possibly offer. I looked at her and I said nothing, but made sure she saw the tear that strolled down my cheek. YOU, lady are doing that to your child…YOU are creating it and only YOU can change it. Those situations give me more drive and more motivation to encourage people to take charge of the refrigerators and their meals. What you put in is what you get out peeps, right?!
I really use my sister & her hubby as an example of how they feed their kids, which is great! They are balanced meals. They grow their own produce and herbs, they order their meat from local farms and plan their meals. Now, the kiddos aren’t swinging from the ceiling over brussel sprouts or freshly made green drinks, but they do engage in homemade meals that are thought out and full of necessary vitamins to keep them growing. Not going to eat your meal tonight…ok, then no treat! And that means….NO TREAT. (I admire my sister and her husband’s disciplinary actions…I can only hope to be half that strong as they are)
Speaking of kiddos, their eating habits & extra curricular activities…are you in desperate need of one? Do you find yourself wondering what to do for a summer time hobby? Not that into sun bathing, water skiing or golf? Joining a community co-op garden or creating your own is an excellent hobby to get involved in. It will teach you (and if you have kids) how to plant, grow and harvest the food that you will directly consume from the very earth we walk. Does that sound to granola-ee for you? Good, it should! We are blessed with such amazing soil and land that we would be silly not to take advantage of it. If you don’t feel you have the time, then definitely support your local Farmer’s Markets. They work SO HARD every season to bring us the best quality products that we would be silly not to enjoy them. Are you cynical about whether an item at the grocery store that is labeled “organic” is actually organic? I do, especially since so many American food companies market themselves in a false way. There are too many loop holes and grey areas that I don’t care to be apart of. If I am going to pay $6 for a carton of organic, cage free eggs vs. $3 for regular eggs then gull darn it…they better be what they say they are. Oh hell, we have our own chickens, fancy that…so we know exactly where they drop from!
If your New Years Resolution was to live a healthier lifestyle (and I don’t mean exercise more, eat less red meat, etc.) then I offer a few simple guidelines on how to start:
* purge anything from your pantry, fridge, spice racks, bread bins that have illegible words in the ingredient list, especially if they are in the top ingredients. (that means there is more of it)
* commit to these organic items weekly or bi-weekly…milk, eggs, bread and vegetables & fruits
* throw out margarine, it is toxic. if you are going to use butter, use real unsalted butter.
* invest in healthy olive oils & vinegars (go to the Downtown Market and taste test all those wonderful goods)
* MOST IMPORTANTLY, involve your kids in the cooking process, it is crucial for their future and their capability of a self sufficient, healthy future
Ok, so I think I got my point across…I think. Again, take this rant for what it is worth, it isn’t meant to offend it is hopefully meant to offer some new possibilities, spark a fire! Even if it is challenging yourself to one meal a week that is made in your kitchen with the best of ingredients & from as scratch as possible then so be it. I think that would be outstanding. I believe over time you will actually enjoy it because after all you get to eat it & hopefully share it.
Enjoy the rest of your week & cook something cool!
Long Winded Wendy
Soupe réchauffe la âme ma amis. (soup warms the soul my friends) In my few years of French I took in high school the only word I didn’t have to Google was Guinness. I rarely took my book home and all I did was sleep and eat Bon-Bons which is a French candy. Ahhhh…Bon Bons…so tasty! I may not speak or be able to translate Français, but I sure can cook a delicious, savory French onion soup that is sure to keep you warm through this froid winter.
Have a huge vat of leftover chili AND looking for a new recipe…this one is it!? Take your basic chili that you made over the weekend, add some carrots, kale and fresh basil and call it an Italian meal. Ahhhh yeah…this is what we are all about…minimal waste and getting creative with what you already have. I was way to lazy to stop to the store on my way home so I figured I could combine some ingredients and get a magical delish dish that would warm the soul and re-use what we already had on hand.