Saturday, May 8, 2010

Let's Dish!

I like to talk. Duh, right? Did you know that I'm actually a therapist. No really, stop smirking. It's true! Well, not an active, gettin' my current therapy on kind of therapist (because I'm staying at home with my little loves) but I was once upon a time a real girl that loved helping others help themselves. What does that have to do with the price of eggs in Egypt? Well, I'm going to start something on Saturday mornings called Let's Dish. I'm going to give my take and thoughts on something that is going on with me and my little world and I'd love your thoughts and opinions on it too! In the comment section we can have ourselves a full out group therapy share session - I'm getting excited already!

I'd love for you to join me - you are welcome to chime in, give oodles of input or just sit back, read and take it all in. Just one rule. Be nice. We all have different opinions and experiences and we can all learn something from everyone no matter if we agree or not. The world is mean enough as it is, let's lift eachother up!

Ready? Grab your coffee, pull up a chair and Let's Dish!

Ok, so I've been increasingly aware of what is in packaged food lately. You probably have been aware of this for years but for some reason it became really important when I had kids. Grab something random out of your cabinet and read the ingredients. I can't even pronounce some of that stuff! I've started to make some changes. Let's take the peanut butter and jelly in our cabinet for example. I replaced the store brand that I had with some Natural Skippy I was able to get for around a dollar with a coupon. I also recently replaced the very high fructose corn syrup enhanced jelly we were eating with All Fruit Spread. I had to make some wiggle room in our budget for it but for me, it was worth it. My son eats about 2-3 pbj's a week so it's important for me to have higher quality ingredients for something he eats on a regular basis.
In a perfect world, my children would only eat food in their natural form, or as close to it as possible, but we all know we don't live in a perfect world. We have a budget, a pretty strict one. Organic food is expensive and while I try to make the best choices I can for our diet I wish I could do more. It actually pains me when I think about it. One of the main reasons I'm excited about being debt free is that we'll have more room in our grocery budget to buy bountiful fresh fruit and vegetables until then I'm doing the best I can. What's your take? Do you have any personal thoughts or experiences?


Courtney said...

We love love love The Skippy Natural! We also have some Cinnamon Raisin all natural stuff, and Almond Butter for the Husband. They were both a splurge at Publix one day. I think if you don't have a splurge every once and awhile, you end of totally blowing your budget eventually. ;)

P.S. Big Fat Envelope of coupons being mailed to you on Monday. Choo Choo start that train. Oh you can stop laughing now. lol

Anonymous said...

We've starting does this too. With the problems we've had trying to get pregnant, we've decided to be even more conscious of what we are putting in our bodies. Going organic/natural is more expensive, but I can really tell a difference in the quality and taste of what we are eating. Kroger has some really great gluten-free risotto by Lundberg that we just LOVE.

Bethany said...

Courtney - I love the flavor and how you dont have to stir anything! And yes, i did laugh but it was a good laugh :)

Lauren - is it flavored? Any particular reason for trying gluten-free?

Courtney said...

Yeah the Almond Butter does have to be stirred. It grossed me out the first time I opened it.

We started going Organic/Natural when we were having Mikayla tested and it was suggested to us to try changing some things. We only drink Organic Milk now and get any natural stuff we can. Meat is the biggest issue. I try to get natural but it's so expensive I usually get it when I have a $5/$15 coupon or something like that.


Courtney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bethany said...

What did she have to be tested for? (If you don't mind me asking)

Laura said...

We try to eat as organic/natural as we can, but we can't afford to do 100%.

The biggest change we've made is trying to eliminate as many processed foods as we can from our pantry - and when I do have to buy something "processed" I make sure that the ingredients make sense. We don't buy anything with HFCS anymore - there's almost always an alternative.

After watching Food Inc, I vowed to only buy cage free eggs (and the color is so much richer in those)

We also don't buy much white flour anymore. We've switched all of our bread, pasta, rice, and tortillas to whole grain/wheat varieties.

Meat *is* the hardest. Sometimes I compromsie and buy grass fed ground beef if I can find it for $5/lb or less. We splurge on organic hot dogs for Abs...but, unfortuantely, we just can't afford to buy organic chicken, beef, pork etc... all the time.

Anyway. All to say - I have definitely become a label reader since we started feeding Abs real food. I was shocked how many "simple" foods could have a laundry list of ingredients. Peanut butter is a great example.

sorry about writing a book...

Bethany said...

laura - it is my dream to be able to buy all organic, grass fed meat for my family! What a blessing that you are able to provide that for Abs - so awesome.

We still have/use some packaged stuff bc I'm still working on replacing it but I hope to get there soon!

Courtney said...

Bethany- Mikayla has spent the last 2 years being tested for Autism. We found out in Feb. That she has PPD otherwise known as being very mildly Autistic. I don't mind talking about it. Unless you know her really well you'd hardly notice a difference between her and a average child. Changing her diet has helped her out actually. :)

Bethany said...

Courtney I had no idea. I'm familar with the autism spectrum and have a feeling that there are many more children out there that would actually fall on the line but will never be tested. Laura probably has more insight/input to this since she's in the school system testing every day.

I'm so glad she responded well to the diet changes. I've heard the same thing from many other mothers. It's just crazy that what they are putting in food could actually affect the cognitive ability of our children for the rest of their life! It's scary.

Bethany said...

Hi Bethany! I just found your blog through a link on the Money Saving Mom blog, not because we have the same name :) But I was reading this and I can really relate! I am in the same boat-trying to give the best quality food to my family while trying to stay on a budget. But after seeing Food, Inc., and reading other resources, I *hate* how simple foods have tons of bad stuff in them.
I hear people (my husband included) all the time who say, "Well if it was good enough for our parents to give it to us when we were little, it's good enough to give it to our kid." I'm trying to enlighten him :)
But I also love the Skippy Natural-we've been using it a lot lately! I'm glad I've found your blog and hope we can find more ways to get natural/organic foods into our budgets :)

Bethany said...

Bethany - what a great name! ;)

I'm guessing I need to watch Food, Inc. so I can be in line with ya'll. I'm excited that companies are responding to the concerns of parents and are replacing the "bad" ingredients with better ones. For example, I saw where hunts is releasing a HFC free ketchup this june. woot.