Saturday, October 30, 2010

To Market, To Market

We LOVE going to the farmers' market.  And today was the day. The Farmers' market...when these 3 words were spoken, it was just one of the moments I would like to freeze or at least bottle up and keep forever. Oh the excitement in the little people's eyes, the cheers, the hurrays, and of course the jumping up and down by 2 of 3!   Well, at least the ones who could understand were excited.  3 of 3--not so much as it would disturb his naptime.  Sorry dude.  Saturday is our family day.  Our time to be together and play, laugh and enjoy each other.  We piled into "The Seinfeld" (our minivan) eagerly awaiting all the goodies the market provides.  We made guesses as to the number of dogs we might see.  We wondered if we'd see the same friends from school we saw last week.  We anticipated what special treat we may find and what kind of music we'd hear. We were eagerly awaiting this wonderful experience.  When we arrived there was a great band playing.  People were dressed up in Halloween costumes.  To be truthful, my little people could have probably done without the scary costumes.  There were times we took quick turns to avoid a costume that would have elicited a scream or two, possibly three.  Every booth was giving out candy and some had juice boxes!  This was a treat for mom and dad as they were FREE treats today.  We counted at least 15 dogs of all shapes and sizes.  The dogs brought such giggles, especially the dressed up ones.  It is just a festive time and did not feel at all like shopping.  We stopped and chatted with friends both new and old.  It was an adventure, an outing for family day that left us feeling uplifted and connected!  When it was time to leave we had bags full of bison, grass fed chicken, eggs, milk, and veggies.  This beats the grocery store any day!!!  I know I'll still have to go to the store but I won't have to stay as long.  What a great way to start a Saturday.
Not all food at the farmers' market is for the budget conscious.  I found the meats to be extremely pricey.  The bison was $17 for 2 1/2 lbs and the grass fed chicken was $12.50 a small chicken.  A gallon of milk was $7.00 and eggs were $4.00 a dozen.  I did find many things to be priced comparable to the traditional grocery store.  For me it is worth the price for the better quality.  I'll find other areas to save.  In the next few months, maybe even the summer, I plan on trying to eat organic and GM free food on a budget.  We'll see.  Happy Saturday!

Friday, October 29, 2010


Next up, cereal.  Yep, cereal.  With a baby in the house, finger foods are a must right now.  Without them, what could be thrown on the floor and mashed into the carpet?  What could be so carefully picked up by those tiny, little hands and fed to a sister?  Yes, cereal must be replaced.  I've only had time to shop at Central Market so my brands are limited.  However, the Central Market brand of Honey Nut O's and plain O's were great replacements for Cheerio's cereal.  I thought about switching the cereal boxes so little eyes would not even notice a change.  Then thought better of it as it is deseptive and not a true measure of their acceptance of the new cereal.  Both passed with flying colors.  I did buy one more kind of cereal.  It was EnviroKidz Organic Koala Crisp Cereal  made with organic -brown rice flour, evaporated cane juice, cocoa, and molasses.  I wanted to taste test this cereal myself on a night when little people weren't around.  Just for good measure, you know.  It was a hit.  I fell in love.  They were straight away hidden.  I'd share them gladly with my spouse but not so much the kids.  They have their organic O's.  However, my charming husband found them and ate a hand full of them right in front of the little people.  They saw and they wanted.  Begged would be more accurate.  Brown cereal can only mean one thing--chocolate.  Smart little cookies!!!!  Currently, the story is that daddy was just snacking on brown rice cereal.  Really, who WANTS to eat brown rice cereal???  ME!!!!  So after 3 days of little people asking when they can try the brown rice cereal as it has so affectionately been named, we told them they could try it this weekend.  It was a brief love affair but beautiful.  I will always remember my late night snacks and smile.  Because, baby, it's all over on Saturday.  Once the little people taste the chocolately goodness, one bowl will never be enough.  And every momma knows what that means...Moderation and rationing!!!!  So a huge thumbs up for the Central Market Honey Nut O's, Central Market O's, and EnviroKidz Organic Koala Crisp Cereal.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mission Impossible?

So I am in the process of replacing all of our staples for the organic versions.  It's proving quite challening.  First up, we tackled chicken nuggets.  I found a brand at Central Market called Living Right.  They were uncooked so it took about 25 minutes total to make them.  I also had to make sure the inside temp was a certain temp before they were safe to eat.  A bit unnerving and ummmm I was planning on popping them into the microwave.  So 30 minutes later and lots of screaming by 2 of 3 we finally sat down to eat lunch.  The chicken nugget looked quite a bit different than the usual ones.  They were white and wouldn't brown, covered with oats and they weren't fooling anybody.  In the end, 1 of 3 ate them out of obligation and 3 of 3 out of hunger.  However, 2 of 3 was not buying it.  Even drenched in ketchup, she knew.  She refused to eat more than a bite.  I might add that she only ate that bite as she was bribed by juice.  She wanted juice.  Unfortunately, she chose not to get the juice as she just couldn't muster up 2 more bites.  So the verdict is still out on the nuggets.  It could be nap time melt down, the fact that we were 30 minutes late on lunch, or that the nuggets were just not so tasty.  I tasted them too, and I'm thinking it is the latter.  This would be a great diet food.  A person would not over eat them!  We'll try again and report back.  In the meantime-this momma is on the hunt for another brand to taste test.  Wondering if I should just learn to make my own.  Just a thought.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Good Morning Glory!

To do number 1: find organic canola oil.
The only person in this house that likes to eat breakfast is my husband.  The rest of us do it as a neccessity.  I know, I know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  The problem is I don't like breakfast food very much but could (and sometimes do) eat lunch or dinner meals for breakfast just fine.  Another issue is we are often rushing 1 of 3 out the door in the morning to get to school on time.  For those of you who know me well that is just so hard to believe, huh???  We needed a grab and go healthy breakfast.  1 of 3 and I decided to make morning glory muffins.  We went to the farmers market and purchased eggs and the organic vegetables we needed for the recipe.  Back at our casa we had a blast preparing them.  I must say that batter was well stirred.  The muffins were wonderful.  It was after making a double batch of these somewhat time consuming muffins that I first learned most canola oil is gentically modified.  So I laugh as I remember this is an ongoing process that will take time and education to eliminate GM food.  Still enjoying every bite of those muffins!  I usually add some type of protein and a fresh fruit as sides.  My motto keep it short and sweet.  Breakfast is just a neccessity baby!!!
My Modified Recipe for Morning Glory muffins:

1 c. all purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. grated carrots
1/2 c. grated zucchini (optional, just add more carrots)
1/2 c. raisins or dates
1/2 c. chopped nuts (I add nuts to the top of the muffin batter in the tins)
1 grated apple
1/2 c. canola oil (if you're feeling brave add 1/2 cup applesauce instead)
1/2 c. honey
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
Combine all dry ingredients (including fruit/veggies), then add remaining ingredients.  Mix well.
Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes. Makes about 2 dozen.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Awakening

As a mom of 3 small children (ages 5, 2, and 1) I need energy, a lot of energy!   However, I find that I always seem to lack it.  I graduated from Baylor with a Bachlor of Science  in Nutrition/dietitics.  So 13 years later as I am looking over my life wondering where to make changes, I have decided to finally use my degree.  My mom must be so proud!  The thought crossed my mind that maybe I'm having sugar crashes midday and could modify my diet to prevent them. I started on Sunday by modifying a yummy muffin recipe without losing any taste or texture.  (I'll post recipe later.)   
One thing led to another and I began to watch documentaries on the food we eat and the way it is grown.  The changes over the past 50 years are just stunning!!!  It made me think about going a step further than just modifiying diets.  Now I am motivated to feed myself and my family organic foods that are locally grown.  I am also going to attempt to eliminate genetically modified foods from my family's diet. 
As I researched more and watched a few documentaries I realized how many foods are genteically modified.  Two thirds of all the canola, cotton and corn grown today is geneticly modified and 90% of all soybeans grown are GM.  Derivatives of these products are in most of the processed foods we eat.  This is going to prove challening but I know it can be done.  This really has never meant anything to me until I learned a little about how they go about genetically modifying foods.  I actually learned a few things about biology when I was at Baylor, including that the nucleus of a cell is not easily penetrated.  So, the geniuses who genetically modify food have to resort to some rather unsavory methods to do it.  What can penetrate the nucleus of a cell?  How about e. coli, viruses, and other means things that can kill you.  I'm not saying genetically modified food will kill you just like e coli.  I'm just saying that I don't want to feed this to my family.  It is not very appetizing and I don't trust it.
This blog is dedicated to the pursuit of health through food.  I'll share my recipes, discoveries, and story.