I have been doing a lot of reading lately. That's not new for me, I tend to read a lot. When I was pregnant with Eli I really started getting interested in what we were eating, what we were cleaning with. One of my main motivations was Jonah. We strongly believe that he is severely ADHD. And the more I read about ADHD the more I became interested in the effects of diet on behavior. And the more I read about the way our foods in the country are made the more concerned I became. High fructose corn syrup is in everything! Even things that it really doesn't need to be in. And if it's not HFCS it's MSG, or trans fats (which can hide under so many different names!! Oh, and did you know that they can still put 0 trans fats on the label even when it still has some!! What?!) When you stop to read a label in the grocery store there are dozens of ingredients, even on the foods that should be the simplest. For example, bread. Why does bread need to have 20+ ingredients, including HFCS?!? And most of the things on those lists we can't pronounce. Why do I want to put something in my body that I can't pronounce? Or into my kids? Especially my kids!
So through wonderful sites like 100 Days of Real Food, Kitchen Stewardship and Deliciously Organic I have learned so much about food and how to change our habits. Now, some of the things on these sites are way out there for me! I don't see us becoming an all whole wheat pasta, brown rice, all whole wheat flour all the time kind of family. I figure if 90% of the worlds population can eat white rice with every meal and still be thin then we can eat it a few times a week and be healthy also. And can you imagine how hard Italians laugh when they hear that Americans eat whole wheat pasta! Ha! (And have you tried it!??! It tastes like crap!!!) And I'm sorry, but I will not be making my Christmas sugar cookies with whole wheat flour! But they have taught me how important it is to really pay attention to what we are putting into our bodies. And how to change our habits. If our grandparents didn't eat it, we shouldn't be eating it either! Our food system is all about convenience now and not about health. And it so much about making money and it is really sad!
Some of the things we are going to do this year to help change our habits are
1) Make our own breads, biscuits, muffins, etc.
2) Cut out HFCS, MSG and other ingredients that we can't pronounce out of our diet.
3) Because of #2 that means cooking more from scratch.
4) To help save time in the kitchen I'll be trying to do more big batch cooking to have items in the freezer for days when things are crazy and we would resort to fast food.
5) Try to buy organic, grass fed, free range, no antibiotics, no growth hormones whenever we can fit it into our budget.
6) Make our own laundry detergents and other cleaning products. I figure if vinegar, baking soda and water were good enough for our grandmothers they should be good enough for us too!
7) Try not to eat out more than once a week
and in honor of one of my new favorite sites Global Table Adventure
8) Try to make different recipes from countries around the world. I'd love to expose my kids to foods they wouldn't normally eat. Plus, eating globally is so healthy. You see how off base our food system is when you see how other countries cook and eat.
Oh, and #9 is just for me but it's to get back to doing yoga. I used to do it regularly and I got out of the habit. I felt so good while I was doing it, and I think it'll help with my joint pain from my arthritis as well.
So those are some of our healthier living goals for 2013. What are yours?