Posted by: An American Expat | October 31, 2010


So, it has been a while since I have posted about my natural foods journey.  Here are the steps that I have taken in the last few weeks.

  • Stopped buying things with High fructose Corn Syrup (or any corn syrup for that matter) in it.
  • Stopped buying things with Hydrogenated oils in it.
  • Looked for things with fewer ingredients in products like cheese, sour cream, yogurt.  Also, trying to avoid artificial flavorings and dyes.
  • Buying meat with no added hormones or antibiotics-the hardest hit for the budget of all the different things we are doing.
  • Buying less convenience foods.  I still allow myself a frozen pizza (or the like) once a week.  I figure it helps us not eat out and therefore have more control over what we eat than we would in a restaurant.
  • Eat out less: I felt like this is one we will forever be working on!  I had a recent conversation with a cousin of mine and realized that I need to be more intentional about not eating fast food.  Not only is that SO NOT HEALTHY, but I also don’t want to support the way they affect the food industry in general. (Watch Food Inc.) The hardest thing about fast food for us is the fact that we are not planners.  If we feel like going to the store at 5:00, we simply load up the car and go.  We don’t typically take any note to the fact that we will be starved when we get out of the store and will most-likely grab something “cheap”.  I have been working on trying to do my errands with the kids earlier in the day so that we are not out at lunch.  We did much better this last week and didn’t get fast food for lunch once (but we had some pretty late lunches at home)!  I hope to keep getting better at this.
  • Make more stuff from scratch.  This is one of the best ways to be able to eat healthier on a budget.  I enjoy trying new recipes but sometimes am afraid if I’m not sure how it will turn out and that fear will sometimes keep me from trying new things.

Disclaimer: I do want to mention that every once in a while Jonathan will bring home something that doesn’t pass my test-mostly because he doesn’t read labels and sometimes because he figures that every once in a while is ok.  So if you come to my house and see the Little Debbie Cake snacks-you will know who bought them.  🙂 And unfortunately, if they are in the house, they get eaten.

The next step is to clear out the pantry and then refill it with better food.  In the book I’m reading, Stephanie gave a list of food ingredients (and reasons why) that she doesn’t allow in her home.  Out of a list of 11 things, we don’t do 6 of them at all.  There are couple things we do every once in a while-soda and hot dogs.  And a few that I haven’t tackled getting rid of yet.

She mentions Juice as a no-no because of all the sugar, and while I typically only buy 100% fruit juice, I  do let the kids drink it too often.  Also I occasionally buy soda, or lemonade, or sometimes make tea-all of which I will let the kids have (some, not as much) when I do (ekk!).  So in the weeks to come I will be focusing  on all of us drinking more water.

The other thing she mentions that I am dreading finding a substitute for is MSG.  There are two main reasons why I really don’t want to tackle this one; 1. I know it is in soup and other seasoning type packets that I rely on and don’t know how to make otherwise.  And 2. I know there are like 20 different names for MSG and I simply do not want to have to memorize them and look for them on every label of every item I pick up- Have you ever tried to read ingredient labels while grocery shopping with two kids?! NOT FUN.

So my next two steps for this next week are to find ways to cut out all MSG and to drink more water.  Wish me luck!


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