Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Yes, you can afford real food

I can't afford real food! I hear it alot. If you are buying processed "health foods" yes, it can be expensive. If you are paying for brands and labels it can be overwhelming. The biggest part of eating real food is finding the sources of "good, whole food" at prices that can fit into your budget.

1. A well stocked pantry and fridge is key.  A well stocked pantry includes herbs and spices, good oils, and wonderfully flavored vinegars. it also includes beans, lentils, rice, and  a variety of whole grains as well as canned fruits, vegetables, and beans. Keeping the fridge stocked with  fruits and vegetables is important.  Keep fruits and veg cut up at eye level.  Keep pre-cooked grains and beans in the fridge. They can be thrown into soups or salads if they are cooked and ready to go.  Dinner can be made in a snap if the time consuming work is already done (veg chopped, grains cooked). Cooked grains and lentils/beans will stay good in the fridge up to 10 days.
2.  Invest in a freezer. Buy good quality meat in bulk. Buy half a cow. Buy a pig. Grow your own produce and store it. Buy when there is an overwhelming bunch of produce and it is dirt cheap. We bought blueberries this last week and now we have enough berries to last. It cost about 10% of what it would have been otherwise.  It took just a few minutes to wash and freeze them for later use. Learning a few simple preservation skills is essential to eating and living well.

3.  Buy in bulk. Start small, but work up to buying in bulk. Pre-packaged grains are fine in the beginning while you are finding out what foods you family likes.  Find out what your family will eat, and then buy those things in bulk. Some of the grains can be so expensive in a package (2 or 3 dollars a pound) yet, in bulk those same grains can be  super cheap (less than a dollar a pound). There are options out there, you just have to search them out. Ask your store to expand the health section or get a bulk food section. There are online resources that can be utilized. Sometimes if you buy in bulk you can save on shipping. Find a few friends with similar values, and share the cost of bulk buying with them.

4.  Learn how to navigate the grocery storeShop the perimeter, and lower/upper shelves of the grocery store. The middle isles  right at eye level are where the most unhealthy foods are located. The store is arranged with the big brand, over processed foods at eye level. (even the health food stores do this)  Look up and down. The healthy foods are usually located on the highest and lowest shelves. I spend 90% of my time browsing the outer perimeter of the store. I rarely go down those middle isles and when I do, I usually keep my eyes near the ground, looking up only to scan the upper shelves (and watch out for other shoppers)

5.  80/20 rule.  This means that you strive to eat well and get good nutrition 80% of the time. This gives us room to have cheat days. It does not have to be an all or nothing thing. So many people get on an "all or nothing" kick. They then beat themselves up when their diet is not perfect, then they give up because they cannot achieve this elusive "perfect diet". There is no perfect diet. The key is to make the changes for the long haul that are sustainable. 100% perfection for a week, and then collapsing on the floor and going back to the junk because it was to darn hard, this is not sustainable. Simple choices and changes one peice at a time makes it easier to incorporate it all into a sustainable way of life.

6. Change the mind set. We get it into our minds that if we eat differently, people won't understand why I make these choices. We get into the mind set of some foods are "evil". Many men and children have the mindset that healthy food tastes like dirt. There are many who are of the mindset that vegetables and grain are for animal feed not for humans. There are many stories that we tell ourselves about the food we eat, Some of it conscious and some way back in the depths of the sub-conscious mind. For me, I had to get over emotional eating issues. "I eat to fuel my body, not to feed my emotions"  I had to repeat that over and over again until it became a part of me. It is not a diet for the short haul it is a journey of good health.

I hope that I have helped you to change your mindset to "I can do this". Take your family on the journey of good health. It is a journey well worth taking.

This post is shared with several link-ups including well fed wednesdays

Monday, June 24, 2013


A number of years ago a popular movie was "pay it forward". It was a movie about how one good deed can go around and come back to you.

It is something that has been forgotten in our culture. We are so busy living our own lives we forget to do good deeds. We have lost our humanity by being wrapped up in our own little lives. THE CHALLENGE! LET GO OF YOURSELF AND DO SOMETHING KIND.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013


We are in the middle of berry season. What does one do with all the great berries that are all around right now? Triple berry pancakes of course!

It all starts with soaked pancakes made with  whole wheat flour and a natural yeast start. While they are cooking add blueberries right on top of the batter. What could be more wonderful then fresh whole wheat blueberry pancakes?   Blueberry pancakes topped with fresh strawberries and raspberries!  Add a dollop of fresh whipped cream and you have a nutrition packed breakfast fit for a queen or king, and it is super yummy to boot.

Link to our pancake and waffle recipe
natural yeast waffles or pancakes

blueberries make great pancakes

shared at real food wednesday

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Is it really the peanuts?

In the United States peanut allergies are growing at an alarming rate! 

 courtesy of Microsoft images

It makes me ask "what is going on here?"  There are so many kids being diagnosed with peanut allergies. Schools are going peanut free because of  it. It is super crazy.  A number of years ago we did not have this problem. After doing some research into real foods and how to keep our family healthy I have decided that it may not really be the peanuts causing troubles with our children and our schools.

I believe that it may not be the peanut itself, but the toxins in the soil that they are grown in. Peanuts are a root. They grow down  and suck up everything in the soil and water storing it all in the peanut that we eat.  Peanuts are routinely grown in cycle with cotton plants which are one of the most pesticide laden crops grown in the United States. The ground is totally saturated with round-up and other chemicals that kill everything in sight. The next year they will grow peanuts in the very same soil. IT THEREFORE MAKES ME WONDER IF IT REALLY  IS THE PEANUTS?

Now we go onto peanut butter. It is loaded with sugar (often in the form of corn syrup), and hydrogenated oils many of them made with cottonseed oil again doused with chemicals while being grown and then bathed in a chemical pool to help in the extraction of the oils. This oil is processed further by being hydrogenated and then it is put into the peanut butter.  Are we really shocked that so many of our children are allergic to peanuts? 

If you enjoyed this, you may enjoy another post I have written.
Is it the wheat, or the way it is processed

Sunday, June 9, 2013

preserving pinapple

A few weeks ago we got a great deal on pineapples. We bought 6 large pineapples. We ate some, and canned a bunch for later. Preserving pineapple is so easy and simple.

To preserve your own pineapple follow these easy steps.

1. Gather up the gear you will need

a. pineapple
b. canning jars and rings
c. new canning lids
d.  hot water bath canner or steam canner
e. sharp knife
f. cutting board
g. hot pads
h. canning funnel
i.  jar lifter

2. wash the jars and rings in hot soapy water or run through the hottest cycle of the dishwasher.

3.  peel and core the pineapple, cut the pineapple into approximately 1 inch chunks.  I have included a tutorial at the end of this post.

4. pack the cut pineapple into jars.

5. cover with cool water leaving 1/2 inch headroom. You may use a sugar syrup here, but we prefer water packed (in natural juices)

6. preheat canning lids in a small saucepan of boiling water

7. wipe the rims of the jars with a clean  damp cloth to ensure a good seal

8. place preheated lids on jars and tighten down the rings jsut until snug

9.  place jars in the water bath

10 cover the jars with cool water and then bring to a boil.

11.  Start timer and process for 15 minutes for pints and 20 minutes for quarts adjusting for high altitude as needed.
 A general rule of thumb is  add an extra  2 minutes for every 1000 feet above sea level for quarts. Pints add an extra 1 minute for every 1000 feet.

12. remove from the jars from the water bath and let cool completely

13. check to see the jars sealed properly. This is done by pressing in the center of the lids. If they did not seal you will feel the lid popping up and down.

14. wash the jars to get rid of any sticky residue, label and store for later use. Best used within a years time.

We had six pineapples.  We ended up preserving 5 quart jars and ate the rest.

Our pineapple as they went into the jars, and the finished jars. 
This was such a fun and easy project. I loved that we were able to buy the pineapple for such a sweet deal. We already had the jars and supplies on hand. It was worth my time and energy to preserve the pineapple. It saved us a ton of money.

Below is a tutorial on how to cut a pineapple

Cut the top and bottom off the pineapple

Stand the pineapple on end. With a sharp knife follow down the pineapple cutting away the outer rind, exposing the inner yellow flesh

Cut the pineapple in half, then into quarters.

 Cut away the hard center core, (Sorry that picture did not turn out) Then cut the quarters into 2 or 3 spears (depending on the size of the pineapple).

Cut those spears into bite sized pieces and enjoy.

Monday, June 3, 2013

cheese and onion buffins

Buffins a cross between a biscuit and a muffin. These are simple little tasty treats. I found a recipe a while back and thought I would give them a try. They were pretty good. but I can't leave a recipe alone. I have modified the recipe to be a bit more to our liking. I made them with cheese and onion this week for  a real tasty treat

Cheese and butter buffins
yeilds 12

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
lightly grease 12 standard size muffin cups

1 stick (8 Tablespoons) butter, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk or cream
2 Tablespoons sugar
Cream these ingredients together until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes with an electric mixer)

Dry ingredients
2 cups flour (I use whole wheat flour made from white wheat)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 Tablespoons dried onion flakes
1/4 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
Combine the dry ingredients together and then stir them into the creamed butter mix stiring only until mixed together.

Spoon the mixture into 12 standard size muffin cups that have been greased with a bit of oil or butter
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. 
Can be served warm or at room temperature.

The buffins as they were ready to go into the oven and as they came out of the oven.