The food we eat: I’m going into this category thinking simple and clean without excess.
Simple meaning basic, nothing with a ton of ingredients or too time consuming in the area of preparation. This means eating more raw foods and pulling out the cookbooks from times before microwaves. I hope this simplicity translates into getting everyone into the kitchen to help. My thought process is that the simpler the recipe the easier for everyone to partake in prep and less time mommy is overwhelmed with making meals.
Clean meaning eating foods that are not processed but rather fresh and natural. Think simple foods such as fruits, veggies, grains, meats and cheeses and replacing packaged foods with homemade versions, from salad dressing to energy bars and everything in between. Getting back to the basics when meals and snacks didn’t come from a box. This shouldn’t be too hard since I make 90% of our meals at home. Another helpful factor, I completed my first whole 30 in March of 2014 and have been eating Paleo since. Having converted to this lifestyle it makes it easier for me to meal plan and shop with a clean eating frame of mind. The main underlying purpose of this clean eating is to get my entire family eating a more nutritious menu that offers a wide range of vitamins. Since, like I have said before, this isn’t about deprivation so treats will be given but in moderation. I also know that my kids love cereals, breads and crackers but as long as I’m checking ingredients and making sure there are less than five or making them from scratch these choices are just fine.
The “without excess” piece means using what we have on hand and not buying more food which begins to create excess. I’m guilty of finding a new recipe or a good deal on foods which leads me to forgetting about what I already have on hand or buying too much of an item and stockpiling excess. For the first weeks of January we are using up all the foods we presently have in our refrigerator and pantries. Then the simple, clean and without excess shopping begins. A menu plan will be devised through reviewing what we have on hand first and then planning for a full seven days in order to avoid random trips to the store during the week. Then a grocery list created into four categories (with examples of):
1. Dairy/Deli – eggs, milk, butter, cheese
2. Produce- fruit and veggies
3. Pantry – olive oil, canned goods, bread, oatmeal
4. Meat/Frozen Section – Pork, ground turkey, frozen veggies
I do most of our grocery shopping at Aldi and Target. Aldi has amazing prices and carries great produce as well as gluten free, organic and “grass-fed” products. The other factor that I love about Aldi is that I can make it in and out of there in 30 minutes. There aren’t a million brands of bacon, mustard or other items, there’s just 1-3 options which makes grabbing, reading ingredients and choosing so much faster and easier. Due to Aldi’s limited merchandise I am not tempted by random products, clothing or kids toys to buy – meaning NO EXCESS purchases. Target is great for the items I can’t find at Aldi. I have a Redcard that saves me 5% on all my purchases plus when creating my grocery list I can search their store coupons at the Target website to see if any match my needed products, in addition I also use the Cartwheel app through Target which can save me anywhere from 5% to 50% on a single item. The only bad thing is Target is FULL of excess temptations.
I know I’ll face epic meltdowns when the fruit snacks are no longer available to my kiddos, my husband no longer has cookies for after dinner and I have to put more thought into dinner after a long day, but it’s something we’ve agreed on.
Below are some links to helpful sites for cleaning eating tips, simple recipes and without excess frame of mind.
If you feel like you need some professional help or would like to partake in your own Whole30, get in touch with Becky Wagnon through her website, Facebook or her Whole30 Facebook community. Becky has helped me on my journey, is a supporter and has amazing knowledge and tips to get you started as well as your family on a clean path.