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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Balancing Act: Healthy Meals in My Home - It's been a Long, Rocky Road, Part 2

20 Meals a Week for a Family of 9!
June 2009-present

There have been several stages in this part of the journey, even though I was making meals "from scratch."

Bulk R Us
After those 5 months in the boarding house, we found a reasonably priced duplex that seemed the perfect fit for our family.  Armed with Meaghan's recipes and the knowledge I had gained, we started filling our home with ingredients and I started cooking from scratch every meal.  

Hallelujah!!  I thought I had "arrived"! I had finally learned how to feed my family!  

But God had more for me to learn.
During this stage, we bought the cheapest food possible, but cut our ties to Costco and packaged food.  

Instead, we went to our local restaurant supply store and bought 25 pound bags of rice, flour, brown sugar, sugar, oats, dry beans and cornmeal.  We bought spices in bulk. YES! We still do this!  Restaurant supply stores have spices for a mere fraction of the price of your regular grocery store.  DO NOT get spices at your regular grocery store unless you have a very small family.

The Feingold Revelation
Oct 2009

By this time in our lives we had a 8 year old daughter, 6 year old daughter (Annie) , 4 year old son (Logan) , and almost 2 year old son.  Annie's and Logan's behavior were terrible.  Really, really terrible. 

We thought we were reasonably good parents.  People told us we were good parents, but at home they were just awful.

Logan had an awful temper.  I had never seen a child that was SO angry so often.  He would throw things, scream at people, push, kick -- all with very little provocation.  When he was a bit younger I would just put him in a pack n play and let him scream until he was done.  What else could I do? I was nursing a little baby and he was flailing all over the place! But now that he was older, and quite a tank, I was seriously worried that he would injure his brother or older sisters.

Annie was having extreme anxiety.  Biting her arms, pulling her own hair, night terrors, sobbing constantly, perseveration (repeated movements like tapping her lips), crying constantly about clothing being uncomfortable, completely unable to deal with any amount of change, sobbing over simple was bad.

I found myself disciplining and correcting and DEALING WITH CHAOS constantly.  It was exhausting, and embarassing, and totally not working. Finally I fell to my knees and begged The Lord for help.  We had to change something.  I also asked my Sunday School class for prayer because we needed a miracle.

In October of 2009, by happenstance on an online forum I heard about the Feingold Diet.  In summary, some people are sensitive to the chemicals found in salicylates (not us) and artificial ingredients (that's us).  We very rapidly went through our pantry and cleaned out all of the artificial ingredients, and then had to relearn what we could feed our family.  My next blog post will have this entire lifechanging, prayer-answering transformation and some helpful tips.

Nutrient Dense
November 2012 - present

In the Fall of 2012 one of my husband's relatives was diagnosed with cancer.  At Thanksgiving, Brian's mom mentioned that she was avoiding all meat and dairy.  I thought "How can that possibly be healthy?? Isn't dairy good for you? Don't you HAVE to eat meat to live?"

So, I turned to the almighty internet for answers.  I googled "Dairy and cancer" and inadvertently changed my life.  I will also cover this journey in a future blog post.  Or maybe 5.
   A nutrient-dense meal means getting as many nutrients per calorie as possible.  
This is based on a Dr. Joel Furhman has potatoes, brocolli, onions, tomatoes and is very spicy...but no salt, oil, or fat!

Other Future Blog Posts:
Making my children eat my food :)
Travelling as a Feingold Family
Meal Planning and Shopping Tips
School Lunches, Heaven Help Us

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