Working at a grocery store opened up my eye's, and really made me pay attention to how and what I fed my family. Most people say that they don't have time to cook and it is an excuss that they have to get over. Once you learn about all of the chemicals, toxins, preservatives, food coloring, extra sugars, salt, and all of those other words that I can't even pronounce, it will make you aware and should shock you into NOT putting that stuff(I can't even call it food) into your bodies. I got educated and did research on my own. So here is my brief story...
I have been on both sides of the fence. I grew up, as a child, having home cooked meals almost everyday. I come from an Italian family so every Sunday we got together for Spaghetti. My Grammother taught me how to cook but mostly I just learned from wathcing her. She never measured anything, never pulled out a cookbook, and made everything with love. We always centered around food. I never had a weight problem until High School. I was a lean 128lb, 5'8 13yr old who modeled and had huge self esteem issues. The freedom of being in HS was great. We would get our lunch eat it, and then at the very end of the lunch period we got to go back and get 2nd and 3rd of what they were throwing away. At 14 I worked at Wendy's fast food for the next 2 years. I was always active in sports. I played softball, basketball, tennis, golf, swam, was outside everyday. Within 3 years I went from a size 5/6 to a size 16/18. 128lbs-175lbs in 3 short years. Crazy huh?? The summer of my senior year I decided I wanted to change and excercized at started to eat healthy again. Around the same time I realized that my mom had stopped cooking for my dad. I got back down to 150 lbs and I was happy. Then I got pregnant at age 17 didn't really gain any weight but I ate so well with her inside of me. Then in 1995, 3 short years after my beautiful daughter was born, my dad passed away at the young age of 47. I was devasted. He was my world and I didn't understand why he died. I didn't even recognize any of the sign of a heart attack to help him. He died of a massive heart attack in his sleep. When my mom stopped cooking years back, he ate out 3 times a day. He worked 2 jobs to try to provide for us. That forever haunted me and I vowed to myself to eat healthy and excercise. Well I did up until about age 28.
At this time in my life I was working in an office, sitting down all day. Had coffee for breakfast, fast food for lunch, and mostly ate out or ate cheaply for dinner. Then at age 30 I got pregnant again. I was feeling the best that I have ever felt about myself. I was successful, making good money, had a drive thru breakfast, take out for lunch, and took my clients out ot expensive resturants for dinner. The day I delivered my son I weighed 300lbs. I couldn't walk, breath, sleep, everthing hurt. Then a week after I had him a dear friend that had passed, his parents were inviting all of his friends to NY for a get together. I had to pass because my legs were so swollen I was scared to fly.
I didn't realize all of this was because of the food I was eating. I didn't over eat I just ate out all of the time. So at 275lbs I needed to fit into a bridesmaid dress. So back to the healthy eating and excercise. It has taken me 7 years to lose almost 100lbs and the only thing I changed was my diet.
Today I weigh 186lbs and I am back into a size 12 but I am still working towards my goal of 165lbs. When I worked at the grocery store I would put in 70-80 hours a week. I shared a car with my fiance and came home exhausted daily. My one day off I had a week, was my day to cook. I was looking for a natural cure for my eczema and that was when my own food revolution took place. My fiance was always big on reading labels and I was 50/50 at doing it. Once I started doing more research, that is when I changed our familys diet. My kids went from being sick all to time to being healthy. My son had attention deficit issues and hyper-activity and a lot of the behavior that is related to autisum. He was never offically diagnosed with any of these but when we changed our diet, he changed as well. It took about 4-5 months but within 2 weeks of us moving out of state, away fron the temptation of my family forcing junk food on him, his behavior was different. I was starting to lose my eye sight and within 6 months my eczama was gone, and my vision was back to 20/20. I credit this all to healthy food and absolutly no fast food.
You have to make a decision to change and no one can make you. I have been passionate on this since 2007 when I saw first hand what good food can do for you. Don't make excuses or say you can't, think positive. I spend $100 a week on food and it consists of mostly organic staples like, whole roasting chicken,ground beef, ground turkey, no nitrate trukey dogs, brown rice, olive oil, oats, flour, sugar, bread, yogurt, and some crackers for my sons lunch. I would love to buy all of my produce in the winter organic but I do have a strict budget. In the summer we plant a huge garden and all of our veggies come from that. I make every meal from scratch 3 times a day 7 days a week. Luckly, I can stay at home now with my kids. My son is in school and will never eat lunch from the cafeteria unless the guidelines change. When my youngest goes to school, I want to dedicate all of my free time to changing the school lunch program at their school. Some of the meals that they consider lunch is freightening. Taco in a bag??? It is Cheesy cheetos with ground beef trown in the bag with more cheese on top. For real??? How is that considered a food group. I see kids walking to school eating pop tarts, or sugar cereal in a bag or the kids who have to eat breakfast at school because their parents are working. I get up at 6am, have my coffee or tea then make them breakfast from scratch. I switch it up so that they are not getting the same thing every day. Sometimes it is eggs, toast, turkey bacon and fruit, others it is homemade waffles, pancakes, french toast with fruit. Breakfast burritos with turkey sausage and eggs and fruit. Hot cereal and fruit or my homemade granola and fruit. See the pattern. They get fruit with breakfast and before they get milk or juice to drink the have to drink a glass of water. The first day of school this year, his teacher sent a not home telling the parents that the kids can have a snack during the day. It actually had a list of bad snacks and good snacks. I laughed but then I realized how sad it was that the teacher had to emphasize what was considered bad. Then a week later another letter came home pointing out that for the parents who consider oreo cookies, potato chips, and candy as a snack, I am re-emphasizing healthy like fruit, veggie, trail mix, etc. Then I realized there is a problem. The parents are not educated and we live in a society where if the lable says that it is good for you, and has real fruit juice in it, that OHhh it must be good for you. My kid takes fruit or a veggie everyday for his snack and once a week he will get some gourmet cheese cut up,(I was a certified cheesemonger/ Cheese shop manager at the store I worked at so my kids get the best. No processed cheese in this house LOL.) with some grapes or an apple,(that I slice) and some organic crackers. He packs his lunch I his drink is a ginger tea that I make everyweek, more fruit, green beans or snap peas and a raw peanut butter sandwich with a natural fruit spread( no added sugar) or a turkey and cheese sandwich. He comes home after school starved so I cut up some more fruit, sometimes they have cheese and crackers if he didn't have it for lunch that day. Then dinner will consist of a veggie and a healthy meal that I make from scratch. TI will be posting some of my favorite recipes along with a weekly menu of what I am making. My friends have been begging me for this. TV is turned off and they play from 4pm-8pm till school is out. We spend most times walking or biking to the park. Now that I finally have a bike we can go further and longer. My kids are never sick. If they do get something they have it for less than 24hrs and it is gone. The ginger tea I make is awesome. I just boil a piece of ginger root and I buy some bulk tea at the grocery store, Mango is our favorite, and put the tea in an infuser and boil for about 30 mins. When the tea is still warm I sometimes will add 1-2 tbls of raw sugar or honey but my kids don't even miss the sugar now so I rarely add it in. I buy 1 bottle of apple juice a month and when it is gone their options are ginger tea or water. Their treat is chocolate soy milk and oj. My rule is have a glass of water before you have one glass of juice or milk. Kids are thirsty so let them chug the water first instead of the sugar. I buy no POP EVER, our snacks are fruit, pretzles, crackers, rice cakes, veggies or trail mix that I make with raw cashews, rasins, dried cranberries, and dark chocolate chips. Don't get me wrong we have plently of junk but we do the 90% 10% rule. I love to bake as well so once in a while I will bake brownies from scratch. We love ice cream but it is bought once a month maybe. My mother send junk for them and it sits up in or pantry and my kids don't even ask for it. I still have Halloween candy up there. We just don't crave the junk food any more any that saves you a ton of money. Shop the outside isles of the grocery store only!!! Find a store or co-op that sells in bulk. Plan out your meals so that you only buy what is on your list and stick to your list. Don;t even temp yourself to walk through the chip isle or pre-packaged meal isle. I am not a chef but just a mom who loves to cook for her family and I want to help people do the same. I have tons of simple recipes and hello buy a crock pot. All you have to do is dump everything in, add some water and some basic seasoning and it will be done in 4-8 hours. Steam a veg and cook some brown rice and you have a complete dinner. That is why I love roasting chickens. I will chop an onion and some garlic and place them on the bottom, I season my chicken on both sides with sea salt, cracked black pepper, sage, thyme and add some water to cover the bottom. Turn the crock pot on low and cook for 8 hours. I pack all of my fiance lunches of real foods now. I will cook a beef roast that way(minus the sage and thyme) and shred it for his sandwiches.
Well I could go on forever but it is time for me to make out pizza tonight. See we do have some junk food the only difference is that it is not from a box and the sauce I use is my homemade recipe inspired my my grammother Angie.