For the past year, nutrition — eating healthy — has been one of the major focuses around our house. When I became a Mamavation Mom last March, it didn’t take but a few minutes into my conversation with the Nutritionist to realize that my family was not eating as healthily as I thought.
I cooked for my family and didn’t rely on “boxed” or frozen meals so I thought I was doing a good job at keeping my family healthy.
- But I was cooking in the good ol’ Southern cooking styles (fried, breaded, cooked in bacon grease) and using nearly all canned ingredients, such as canned soups and canned vegetables.
- We rarely ate salad and if we did have it for one random meal, it was drenched in ready-made dressings and calories.
- I didn’t know the difference between healthy and bad fats . . . guess which ones I was using in nearly every recipe?
- I knew nothing about the importance of fiber and whole grains.
- Snacking around here usually entailed highly refined grains, processed sugars, lots of food dyes . . . not necessarily anything that would have grown in the Garden of Eden.
Through my seven-week Mamavation Mom Boot-Camp and hours spent reading and reading and reading everything I could find on how our bodies work and what our bodies REALLY need, my eyes were opened to what good nutrition really is.
Of course, there is conflicting information everywhere and there came a point when I was REALLY confused by what “good” and “healthy” eating was; was it avoiding just HFCS or all sugars . . . was butter a healthy fat or pure evil . . . CONFUSION!!!!
Lately, I feel like I’ve come into my own in the realm of healthy eating; sure, there is always more to learn but I’ve settled into an eating pattern that works for us.
Key elements of our nutritional plan? 100% whole grains, lots of fiber, natural sugars, and making/preparing ingredients rather than purchasing “ready-made” versions from the store.
What do I mean by making and preparing ingredients? I’m talking about cooking/freezing dried beans rather than relying on canned beans. I’ve learned how to make and freeze chicken stock. I make our bread, tortillas and other grain based baked goods. I’m using fresh vegetables rather than buying preserved ones for recipes.
It works for us because I am home all day and have the time to devote to this type of lifestyle. It also works for my PCOS and infertility . . . as one can tell by the fact I’m half-way through a surprise pregnancy, which I KNOW is the result of the nutritional changes I made.
Yes, this emphasis on making ingredients and using “real food” does mean that I have to modify recipes — but, you know, it isn’t that hard. It’s easy to avoid canned soups and still have creamy casseroles. This Southern girl promises it is true!
So, what are we eating this week?
- Monday: Apricot Chicken*, roasted sweet potatoes, brown rice, salad
- Tuesday: Mexican Verde Casserole (this is a new freezer recipe for me and I love that nearly every ingredient, including the tortillas, is a “homemade” one rather than something ready-made), Homemade Refried Beans
- Wednesday: Veggie Ricotta Pasta (another new recipe, this will allow me to use some of my growing, beautiful basil), Salad/dressing, homemade garlic bread
- Thursday: leftovers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Friday: DIY Pizza Night; I’m going to attempt letting the kidlets “make” their own pizzas. We’ll be using a modified, whole-wheat version of this pizza dough recipe and then using mushrooms, fresh basil, spinach, tomatoes . . . you know, the WORKS . . . to top them. I’m sure it will be a yummy, sticky mess by the time we’re finished.
- Saturday: (freezer meal) Gluten Free/Dairy Free Sesame Chicken with Broccoli, brown rice
- Sunday: leftovers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What do you focus on when it comes to nutrition? No judgment here . . . just curious as to what works for everyone else. 🙂