After learning the price of a “preventative medicine” for asthma, that was in fact, not preventing anything…and eating a whole in our bank account and Ella Kate was facing some horrifying side affects…and a nasty outbreak on her sweet little face…I started researching natural alternatives.
She is now officially on 100% organic dairy: milk, tub butter, stick butter, cheese, eggs, yogurt…that’s about all the dairy she consumes. In the majority of the articles it said dairy was a huge culprit behind asthma and allergies. Some people had luck switching to organic diary…others had to cut it out completely. Again, trying to avoid cutting it out completely, she is a growing toddler…only three years old.
Not only is she going organic, but we are too. Our kitchen and pantry is probably 65 – 75% organic now. I have found most of the organic stuff at Kroger, and a few things I have found at Whole Foods. Since it is so far away, I don’t make it out there very much. I have been wanting to make a trip out there to research some salt, sugar, and to see if they carry EK’s new vitamin supply. I have been talking to my friend Jena, and her sis-in-law Liberty about organic gardening, supplements etc. They rave about “living salt”..and gave me a link to it. Thought I might check Whole Foods to see what they carry.
Anyways…ever since we had Ella Kate, one of the major things we cut back on was going out to eat. We came to the conclusion that we would much rather eat at home…simply because we love to cook, and more importantly, we know what ingredients are going into our food. Now we only go out to eat for special occasions, and I can’t remember the last time we went to a fast food restaurant. That is usually a special occasion as well.
As far as what we buy and cook and eat…it looks something like this:
Vegetables and Fruits:
Last summer, most of our vegetables and fruits were bought at the Arlington Farmer’s market…according to season. We went to Nesbit blueberry farm and picked a ridiculous amount of blueberries. We froze most of them and we use them in muffins, pancakes, cobblers, pies..and in our home-brews as well. This summer I might have to have Michael stop by and pick up pre-picked ones due to the new baby. The berries are ready for picking late June, if all goes according to plan (weather wise).
Besides the farmer’s market, we also had our own garden…that was definitely a trial and error type thing. I didn’t take any pictures of the overall view of the garden..but it consisted of okra, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, grapes, zucchinis, bell peppers (3 types), and hot peppers…oh and cucumbers. Okra and cucumbers were our second child. We had to tend to those daily, everything else was pretty low key. I was unhappy with growing tomatoes and more than likely I will omit those from the garden this year. Cherry tomatoes, I will have a gracious plenty. Towards the end of the harvest, we started canning things. We made pickles of all sorts…and we froze bell peppers, okra, squash (farmer’s market) and zucchini…and enjoyed them all through the winter. We now have one growing season under our belts, and we think we might have a better idea of what to do this summer. We are going to do the preparation in about two weeks, and then plant in late April. We grow mostly from seed, I do buy a few plants when they go on sale. Ella Kate was very excited in helping us with the garden, and hopefully she will be even more involved this summer. I would love for her to know where food comes from, not just from Kroger. She loved searching for the cucumbers in all its madness.
We loved going to the Farmer’s market every Friday and teaching Ella Kate about the various foods and vegetables…but it got rather expensive going every week. This summer, we have signed up for a CSA, or community shared agriculture, with Whitton Farms in Arkansas. They have three deliveries and we signed up for a half vegetable share to be picked up at the Botanical Garden Farmer’s market on Wednesdays…which will be Michael’s job, since it is near his work. We are very excited about it and we hope it turns out to be worth our while! We pick up a satchel each week from May-October.
When we don’t have fresh vegetables and fruits running out our ears…I generally buy frozen ones from Kroger…and occasionally some fresh ones from there too. We try not to use any canned vegetables besides English peas…those are one of the only veggies EK will eat. The canned ones have a lot of sodium in them and we tried to avoid that. And when selecting fresh vegetables and fruits from Kroger, I make sure to buy them only if they were grown in the USA. Some things I buy organically, but our Kroger isn’t a big one and doesn’t have a huge organic produce section like some of the larger stores in Memphis.
On the other hand, meat is a different story. We have yet to branch out in that category. Last summer our friend Wright, whose family owns Top of the World Farm, brought us a heap of meat to test out. We loved it and we want to order more from them, but they were working on a price chart. I need to bug them about it again and see if we can fit on their deliveries to Memphis. My sister and I have also talked about doing a Meat CSA through a farm that is in Tennessee…but we still have some meat stock-piled in our freezer that we need to eat up, and I would like to give the Sander’s our business!
We also have Meatless Monday at our house. We usually fix vegetables, or soups, have brinner and various other recipes that don’t contain meat. We might add another meatless night to the week, but that is up for debate…we do like to eat meat after all.
That about sums up our main food categories…most everything is made from scratch, I do keep a few boxes of macaroni and cheese for the chiren…and for nights that we feel we need to bust something out quick I keep a few boxes of Pasta Roni or Rice a Roni for quick sides.
Sweets are few and far between…usually…when there isn’t a pregnant person in the house…EK doesn’t have many sweets at all, she might get one or two cookies if she ate her dinner. She does still get a piece of candy for no. 2.
The only person who eat chips, which is about once a month is Michael, he takes a bag to work for lunch. But in the past few months he has told me not to get him anymore chips…he says they are unhealthy. He is much more of a granola, trail mix type. I found a recipe for granola bars that I think we will like and want to try out…and its so easy to make your own trail mix!
What else?? I have been itching to get a bread maker to make our own breads. Michael makes a good bit of them when he has time, he being the baker in the family. Since, I am not a baker…I would love to have a bread machine that kneads the dough and bakes it and everything…all in one pot type. I would also love a juicer to make our own juice!
I am excited for the new baby to start out with these healthier choices in food as well, I came across a good website for organic baby recipes to whip up and try on Addison.
I know this is a whole bunch of ramblings on food and such, but we are enjoying a new life-style and wanted to share.
One thing I have started doing is reading labels of everything I buy. The fewer the ingredients the better. I went through my stock-pile in the garage the other day and want to find alternatives for BBQ sauce and ketchup…both of which contain high-fructose corn syrup. Michael made us bbq sauce for his cookouts, I may request he make it again as a staple for us. EK likes it on her chicken…and she also likes ketchup on things as well…she is a condiment queen!
Anyways…enough food talk! That’s about what appears on our table!
If anybody has any idears or suggestions, etc…feel free to leave me some shouts!