Monday, May 24, 2010

Baby Steps Part 4: Making it Part of Life

The other day I was grocery shopping, which isn’t unusual; no matter how much I plan, I end up at Publix or Super Target at least twice a week. But on this day, I was struck by a change in my shopping pattern. I looked down at my basket, and realized that I had almost no prepared foods in there. There were plenty of ingredients—very basic foods. I realized that I didn’t need to go down as many aisles in the grocery store, either. I stuck to the perimeter and the baking row (for flour, baking soda, etc.).

We’ve noticed a few other changes, too. When we might be tempted to go out to eat at a restaurant or bring in take out food, one of us usually finds an alternative at home instead. That’s both a money saver and good for us! And when we do go out, we’re much choosier, insisting on fresh, basic foods instead of fried fare.

Even recreational activities have been affected. We pack lunches for our Disney outings and other field trips. And when we spent a few days at the beach recently, we packed a cooler and several grocery bags of “good” food. We had fruit salsa, fresh mozzarella with tomatoes and other delicious snacks, which we kept in the hotel room. When anyone was hungry, there was food at the ready, good for us and at no additional expense!

Don’t get me wrong; we fall off the wagon occasionally, and when it happens, we try not to get too upset. We just get back on track as quickly as possible. And it’s always interesting to hear the kids talk about what eating “bad” food does to them, or how it makes them feel—there are headaches, stomach issues and sometimes just a general feeling of yukkiness. (That’s a medical term in our family!)

I mentioned shopping above. If you’ve been reading my articles all along, you’ll know that last summer we embarked on a couponing adventure. I have come to the conclusion that it is almost impossible—or at least impossible for ME—to coupon and to prepare healthy, whole foods on the regular basis. I still clip and organize my coupons, but I’ve found that very few are for products I feel comfortable buying. I still try to use coupons for cleaning products and other consumables, and I keep my eye open for healthy and safe ingredient specials. Coupon Queeny, whose site I have used frequently, has begun sharing info on coupons that can be used in stores like Whole Foods. So I think there is hope out there. . .

Has changing our way of eating helped my family? I would have to say yes. I love that my kids are aware of things like high fructose corn syrup, genetically modified foods and the like. I like how good I feel after eating a meal of non-processed foods. I’m in a good routine with my kefir, and I am slowly getting the hang of the kombucha, too. Like anything else worth doing, it takes time and requires planning, but so far, I’d call this experiment a resounding success.


Tawdra Kandle is stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of four children who range in age from 9 years to 21 years. She and her husband of over 22 years live in central Florida, where he is in seminary. Tawdra spends most of her precious free time writing and reading, and she loves to travel. She is also a resident writer for Taking Time for Mommy. View more of her Articles HERE. You can also follow Tawdra on twitter and her blog, Publishing Quest 

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Baby Steps Part 4: Making it Part of Life

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