Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cleaner eating

It's been a couple years and I give the Eat Clean Diet credit-- it has some staying power. I detest that it's referred to as a diet, because in pop culture parlance, that implies something temporary, something aimed towards losing weight. Something to try. But I am intrigued by the perspective. In fact, I think that principally, it is my favourite method by which to understand eating well. Eating small meals, made up of the best food sources possible. And by best I mean most natural, most nutritious.
I found it easy to simplify our food intake when I became pregnant and a stay-at-home mom, because I had the time to prepare food and the drive to provide the best nutrition to my baby's nursing mother and then to my growing toddler. It was difficult in Ross River to eat clean (or Eat Clean, trade mark) because we got groceries every 4-6 weeks. By week 3, there wasn't a lot of fresh food left in the house. Here it is still more expensive. With a looming mortgage and a reduced salary to work with, it's sometimes harder for me to buy organic and fresh, when I see a no-name prepackaged option in the freezer aisle. But we set our priorities and if buying food this way is more expensive, we cut costs of eating out. (Sometimes Rich does not like homemade pizza over Stuffed Crust Pizza Hut, and sometimes he wins that argument, because we all need to be happy!)
I am by no means a nutritionist or dietitian, but here are the ways we've been incorporating cleaner eating practices into our home:
1) Making our own bread, when time permits. It's cheaper and though I am still experimenting with recipes every week until I get it just right, I know there are no preservatives in our whole wheat, complex-carb bread. :)
2) Taking preservative-rich prepared foods and making them from scratch. Last night's homemade sloppy joe's were tasty, included fresh veggies and lean protein, and were gobbled up! (And thrown to the dog when Abby decided she was finished).
3) Hiding vegetables. I know we could stand to eat more vegetables. I also know steamed brussel sprouts sounds disgusting and unappetizing night after night. So I borrowed a page (well, a book) from Jessica Seinfeld's kitchen and started adding vegetable purees (that were steamed to retain nutrients) into our food. For instance, last night's sloppy joe's had sweet potato and butternut squash purees mixed in.
4) Smoothies. I need to get more regular with incorporating smoothies, but I am usually so daunted by cleaning up the mess after Abby's done spooning hers into her mouth. She doesn't like drinking them, and can't slurp thick smoothie goop up a straw. But this way we can get our berries (flash-frozen to retain nutrients), spinach, yogurt, 100% OJ, and flax seed quotient happily into our bellies and bodies.
There are, as with any system, a few concessions. Our family uses the higher-fat yogurt and milk products because Abby is 20 months and growing. And sometimes it's cheaper for everyone to eat from the same yogurt, cheese and milk containers than to buy separate. And I usually bake muffins, scones or cookies to eat each week. I figure they're lower in salt/sugar (because I substitute) and no preservatives, but I'm sure I could be making "cleaner" versions of things. Or at least I'll try them out. Yesterday's zucchini muffins may have vegetable in them, but they also have a cup of sugar, eeep!
Anyway, not that you're required to care about what we eat at our house, but I thought I'd share what's on my mind this morning and that is a renewed dedication to eating clean, eating simple, and putting more effort into planning meals and snacks.

2 comments:

  1. The plan that I am on is a super clean eating plan as well. No processed food at all, no sugar for me right now until I hit my goal weight, no white flour or rice, and a few other things. I love it! And getting the organic box from Alpine once a week sure helps out. Between that and shopping at Mel's once a week, we have eliminated much our need for groceries from Whitehorse.

    Of course, the boys still get other stuff. Pancakes from a mix when I am rushed, Matt has granola bars and other snacks at work, and I don't think the kids would ever part with their KD and ketchup!!

    I love the purees too!! Try pumpkin puree in pancakes. Oh my goodness so delicious!

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  2. Slow food....that is a good thing in our fast food, instant gratification society. I often wonder what we are all rushing toward? I like to cook and I bought a slow cooker which is a great way to make tasty food and to take time over making that food. Intent is infuses everything we do.

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