Were you all born this way??? - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 23 Old 07-09-2004, 01:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have to admit, I've been lurking in awe for a few weeks. Wondering, how on earth did these people learn to eat & cook this way??????!!!! My mom was the "cream of mushroom soup" chef. A typical dinner would be Shepards Pie (ground, hormone-full beef, w/C of M Soup, corn (can or frozen), mashed potatoes w/cheese on top) or baked chicken breast (just like that, no spices, no skin, no flavor, no hydration), rice-o-roni & steamed broccoli. She's one of 16 kids & I think she just learned from her mother, etc.

I want to know, how do you learn to eat/cook this healty way???? I mean, we eat I would say 25-50% healthy (organic milk & eggs, some organic produce, organic pasta sauce & cereal), veggis & fruits, etc. BUT, we also eat white pasta, butter, meat from the grocery store. My dd is fed a VERY healthy diet, but I have to admit, I am not eating healthy these days. WAY too much sugar, fat, junky carbs, etc. My dh is another story. Doesn't eat that healthy (doesn't eat breakfast or lunch...), but is thin & physically very healthy.

Help... where do I start..... what do I do with tahini?? what's sprouted bread and what did it sprout? how do you make up these fabulous recipies for porridge? how in the heck do you live with no sugar? what's this raw business??


Seriously.... i feel like I'm an earthy-crunchy faker. I breastfed my toddler, cloth diapered, etc, but drank a ginger ale today. help.
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#2 of 23 Old 07-09-2004, 01:16 AM
 
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I definately wasn't raised to eat this way. It was meat and potatoes and canned veg at my house.

My Mom baked so I was exposed to a mother who prepared food but she did not spice things and ethnic foods were not served at home at all, ever.

In fact, certain veg I didn't eat until my early twenties when I became friends with a woman who worked at an organic whole foods market. That was the beginning of my education with food.

Now I eat mostly raw, about 75% on average throughout the year, 100% organic. The only dairy I eat is yougurt that I prepare myself and I eat unfarmed fish once a week. The remainder is whole grains, legumes, veg, fruit and nuts and seeds.

It was an evolution for me. Learning about a few things at a time.

I suggest the book Healing with Whole foods. It is an encylopedia containing recipes, folklore of food, ethnic roots of food etc.

Hope this helps. Ask any questions you want.
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#3 of 23 Old 07-09-2004, 01:18 AM
 
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#4 of 23 Old 07-09-2004, 01:20 AM
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I grew up on a lot of junk. I ate lots of candy from an early age, I drank Kool-Aid or Tang and grape soda. After my parents divorced, I was forced to eat fast food or junk for every meal.

My eating habits changed drastically when I moved to Italy at 19. Snacks didn't exist at my in-laws home.

After Italy, through research and, well, some common sense, I moved towards eating organic, cooking everything from scratch, avoiding hydrogenated oils, etc. I became even more aware of what we eat when dd was born.

I could never eat the way I did when I was a kid. That's what growing up is all about, though, right?

Tahini can be used on toast or in baba ganoush (eggplant spread) or in hummous.

The sugar will become almost nasty once you have kicked the habit. Start by eating sugarfree peanut butter, for example. After a few months on that, you will find regular peanut butter extremely yucky (at least I do). Cut the sugar out of drinks. Do it gradually.

You just have to read up on white flour and things like that, and really convince yourself that they are no good for you. Really! No good. And then you make a committment. I don't know. I find it easy, I guess.

Hope you make some successful transitions!
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#5 of 23 Old 07-09-2004, 01:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mountain mom

Now I eat mostly raw, about 75% on average throughout the year, 100% organic. The only dairy I eat is yougurt that I prepare myself and I eat unfarmed fish once a week. The remainder is whole grains, legumes, veg, fruit and nuts and seeds.



wow

i don't know what else to say.... where do you get the ideas on what to make? What does your SO think of this? I think my dh wouldn't go for this at all. He was fine when I was a vegitarian for several years, but...

and where do you find the time to make yogurt? I barely have time to stir my yogurt


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The sugar will become almost nasty once you have kicked the habit. Start by eating sugarfree peanut butter, for example. After a few months on that, you will find regular peanut butter extremely yucky (at least I do). Cut the sugar out of drinks. Do it gradually.
Really? I have to admit, I LOVE sugar. I'm a total sugar addict. My dream is a big ole bagel smothered in butter & powdered sugar I know... terrible. YIKES. I'm embarrassed to even write that. I do buy organic PB, but it has organic sugar in it. Maybe next time I buy a jar.


So, how do you start making the changes? I'm a carb addict/overweight, etc. help
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#6 of 23 Old 07-09-2004, 01:38 AM
 
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you know, whenever there's a healthy food thread and someone posts that lurking eating-movie-theater-popcorn smilie it cracks me up.

: mmm taste that hydrogenated fatty goodness mmm :




uhhh anyway... about the food... i had to learn it. i mean, i grew up in a home where my dad (when he was home) would cook these awesome meals, he grew all our own veggies in his garden, and we ate veggies for snacks constantly. but whenever my mom would cook, it was canned ravioli, campbell's soup quiche's or the dreaded overcooked microwaved pork chops slathered in cream of mushroom soup. (did i mention my mom did most of the cooking? and that when they split up, i lived with her?)

so fast forward to when i got out on my own, cooking for my SO and myself, and caring for my not-quite-2-month-old son... we pretty much lived on WIC cereal, WIC cheese, and toaster-oven'ed chicken breasts. i had to teach myself all i knew about cooking, and that came months after we moved out on our own. i just didn't really care at first. but when i went vegetarian (i'm no longer veg*n at all but was for a good 2 or 3 years) i had to learn how to cook ~ i had no other options. so i started from scratch. i bought a ton of veg, and i spent hours in the kitchen trying new things. i burned a lot of stuff. i screwed up a lot of stuff. many nights we ate frozen pizza or cereal or toast after the meal i had attempted got screwed up. but the ultimate result was that i learned how to cook ~ and i learned how to cook healthy food. (ok, i also learned how to cook UNhealthy food, like various fried things and home-made pizza...)

i don't eat healthy food all the time ~ i believe in moderation. and i really feel that the balance and living a healthy lifestyle are ongoing processes. it's not like you start eating a great diet and then *poof* you never crave chocolate cake again, yk?

eta ~ when i realized junk food was kind of taking over my diet (which it did at one point) i did a sort of detox 3-day fast, water only. then i reintroduced only healthy foods ~ raw veggies first, then raw nuts + seeds, then fruit. after a few weeks i began reintroducing other foods, and after awhile i noticed that my cravings for serious junk food had mostly gone away. it made it a lot easier to stop eating junk food so much after that.

it also is easier to eat healthier if you keep easily accesible healthy snacks around ~ i.e., carrot sticks, small containers of natural yogurt, etc. you can get the big tubs of natural yogurt and then scoop them out into little reusable serving-size containers at home. get a bunch of veggies and chop / slice them and bag them up or store them in little containers so you can just reach in the fridge and grab them. keep fresh fruit on the table (or some other central place in the home) so instead of raiding the pantry for chips / candy / whatever you hit the fruit bowl instead. something i also love doing is loading up on healthy cereals in bulk ~ i.e., oatmeal, granola ~ and keeping them around... granola is great for more than cereal: you can fill apples w/ them and bake for healthy baked apples... you can stir granola into yogurt... or mix them with natural peanut butter and make little granola ball snacks.
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#7 of 23 Old 07-09-2004, 02:12 AM
 
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No way! I WAS exposed to lots of different foods, though. My mom is chinese american and we also lived overseas some. So I'm not someone that just sticks to what they know. I would miss out on too much! Growing up, we ate lots of processed foods and I LOVED Tang! When my parents retired in my late teens, we had a HUGE organic garden. But I am a total sugar addict. It's a real struggle for me. I try to follow the Nourishing Traditions line of thinking, but we do enjoy our treats. And I would never forbid myself anything. I figure if I cook healthily most of the time, we are OK.

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#8 of 23 Old 07-09-2004, 01:00 PM
 
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I was raised in a meat and potato family. Even when I went to school and lived on my own I ate that way. I think I liked maybe 2-3 different vegetables. I slowly branched out from there but it wasn't until 7 years ago that dh and I decided to become vegetarians. It took a while to get the hang of it but now we are doing great. I read A LOT of books about nutrition and vegetarian eating and bought a few recipe books. I love cooking and playing around in the kitchen so that helped us make the transistion. Once ds was born and we decided to raise him vegetarian I did even more reading because I wanted to be able to back up our reasons and assure family members and friends that we weren't crazy. I figured it would be easier to do that if I had knowledge on my side as opposed to just saying "I think it's OK". Now I know it's OK.

But I am still in awe of some of the people here. We are working on purchasing more organics but the price makes it difficult. I cook mostly from scratch but am still known to take advantage of some convenience foods. We are trying to cut out some sugars but I still make some homemade treats.

Anyway, my only advice is to just start reading and experiementing.

Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)

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#9 of 23 Old 07-09-2004, 01:15 PM
 
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You cannot do it all at once. Well, I suppose you can, but it won't be any fun at all.

Try changing one thing at a time. Just pick one that will be easiest to change. For example, switch what kind of bread you buy, or stop buying something that you routinely buy that is bad for you. Instead of pouring a ton of butter on the popcorn, try half a ton.

One thing that is helping me is to focus on one meal. Pick one meal and look at the things you normally have at that mealtime. Adjust those menus so that they're healthier. For example, I'm working on breakfast right now. It doesn't take any more time for me to make a smoothie at home (with real fruit, you know) than it does for me to stop off for a bagel (cream cheese) and a coffee (cream and sugar). It's probably faster most mornings. If I get off my hiney in the evening, I can prepare an oatmeal dish that I like better than oatmeal itself that is still nutritious.

I think the best thing to do is make minor adjustments along the way and before you know it, you'll be doing a lot of healthy eating and will have abandoned some bad habits.
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#10 of 23 Old 07-09-2004, 02:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ctdoula
where do you get the ideas on what to make? What does your SO think of this?
and where do you find the time to make yogurt? I barely have time to stir my yogurt
Where do I get my ideas...books. Lots and lots of recipe and cooking books. I have been on this path for just about 20 years now. It is truly an evolution for me. Raw is the newest path for us. I have been doing raw for about 18 months now and love it. Whenever I waiver off this path...and that happens....cravings for sugar and carbs do come back. Thats not to say that I don't have the occasional sweet treat, I totally do, its not from white sugar however, mostly molasses or unpasterized honey or maple syrup. These sweetners are a bit better because they have a mineral content as well and are not just empty calories.

Its really also about cost for us too. This way of eating is cheap cheap cheap. It is labour intensive but a little organization goes along way. Yougurt making is very time effective. Doesn't take more than about 10- 15 minutes of concentrated work. My advice is to change one thing every couple of weeks. Like ginger-ale for example. Instead of purchasing store bought pop, make your own with ginger root, maple syrup and sparkling water.

As far as my dh goes...I am very lucky. He is just as passionate about this kind of eating as I am. We are very similair in our eating habits. He is very healthy and actually has motivated me to stay on track with health. He was a triathalete when I met him, competing in the Iron man competitions. He has taught me so much.

I also am a herbalist by trade thus plant sources for vitamin and minerals was in my schooling. I work at an organic food market (i have for about 5 years) so education with food is ever ongoing for me.

There is many food related illnesses in my family so that also has prompted me to take another path.

ITA with Klothos that everything in moderation is key. Too much of anything is not healthy. Everyone needs a bit of dark chocolate on a ongoing basis....at least I do!!

My biggest advice to you is read and stock your pantry with healing foods!
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#11 of 23 Old 07-09-2004, 04:07 PM
 
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. Everyone needs a bit of dark chocolate on a ongoing basis....at least I do!!



dark chocolate is considered health food now anyway, right?
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#12 of 23 Old 07-09-2004, 05:17 PM
 
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I was not raised to eat or cook healthy. It has been (and still is) a slow process that I'm learning. However, I will still indulge in a box of doughnuts or a Snickers bar. :LOL

I'm learning a lot from the wonderful, smart mamas here.
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#13 of 23 Old 07-09-2004, 05:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ctdoula
My mom was the "cream of mushroom soup" chef. A typical dinner would be Shepards Pie (ground, hormone-full beef, w/C of M Soup, corn (can or frozen), mashed potatoes w/cheese on top) or baked chicken breast (just like that, no spices, no skin, no flavor, no hydration), rice-o-roni & steamed broccoli.
This menu sounds like health food compared to what I grew up on! We often had fish sticks and kraft mac&cheese for dinner, with maybe some frozen tater tots--and lots of red kool-aid to wash it all down. Yummm-yumm!

It has been (and continues to be) a major struggle for me to change my eating habits. Becoming a mother was what motivated me to make some changes, and I tried drastic ones at first. As someone else mentioned, it's no fun doing it that way. But now, I am starting to get to the point where I don't want junk food most of the time. My relapses usually happen when I'm going through a stressful time and want the "comfort foods" of my youth like oreos

But, I now eat healthy more often than not, so that is a start. I even grind my own grains for bread-baking. Five years ago, I wouldn't touch whole wheat bread with a ten foot pole--if I can change, there is hope for anyone I know it is daunting at first. I had to take baby steps. Like buying actual potatoes to cook with my ground beef instead of grabbing a box of hamburger helper
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#14 of 23 Old 07-09-2004, 07:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by klothos



dark chocolate is considered health food now anyway, right?

I hope so! 'cos I just ate a big ol' chunk of it on the way home from my camping trip... it was soooo gooood

I definitely learned a lot from working in whole foods stores, like my friend Mountain Mom up there . Before working in the deli there, I would have freaked at the fact that people eat pressed rolls of seaweed...Ok, I still do a little. But I know it's good for you!

I live with a man who grew up on trashy food, so I do have to suffer through "organic" cheetos every once in a while They're actually pretty good. He concedes to my organic earthy crunchy, so I get to look like the good one when I actually enjoy junk food too. Maybe the key is moderation.

Some days I don't eat as well as I should, either. When I'm in the grocery store, I buy organic & justify it by NOT getting pies & cakes, saying if I want them, I can make them myself with non-bleached flour, organic sugar, etc.

I also own a restaurant, so I HAVE to know about this stuff--It's my job! CT doula, maybe you can check out some books in the library, whole foods cookbooks or the like?
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#15 of 23 Old 07-09-2004, 08:31 PM
 
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Before working in the deli there, I would have freaked at the fact that people eat pressed rolls of seaweed...Ok, I still do a little. But I know it's good for you!
:LOL

i like seaweed, but it freaked me out too before i ever tried it.


and organic cheetohs are good! they're worlds better than regular cheetohs, and a whole universe away from those freaky veggie puff thingies that are sold at health food stores everywhere...
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#16 of 23 Old 07-10-2004, 01:21 AM
 
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: <- covered in tamari & nutrutional yeast!

My mom was the casserole queen. Seriously, get that woman a can of tuna and some miracle whip and some frozen veggies (and of course an oven set at 350) and she could make miracles happen. I was raised on freezer-bag veggies & casseroles.
I learned to eat well & cook well (at all, actually) because when I was about 15 I started babysitting for a neighbor who was a LLL leader, extended breastfeeder, mom to 5, macrobiotic. She passed my babysitting services around to her crunchy friends and thus I became who I am. Of course it is a constant learning process. Seek out those in your community who eat better than you and hang out with them! Tap their brains. Go to the library and get new cookbooks. We don't eat much organic b/c of cost issues, but you can still eat well, even if not OG. Whole foods are key.

This friend of mine (whom I used to babysit for her kids) had a cookbook that said to go to the market and buy a vegetable that you've been too intimidated to buy before. Then bring it home and bond with it. Paint a picture of it. Write some haikus, etc. Then look up all different ways to use it, and go for it!

well, okay, I've never bonded with my vegetables like that, but I always thought it sounded fun

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#17 of 23 Old 07-10-2004, 01:43 AM
 
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did you get those at an indy movie theater?

i can't stop thinking of it as movie theater popcorn!!

Quote:
This friend of mine (whom I used to babysit for her kids) had a cookbook that said to go to the market and buy a vegetable that you've been too intimidated to buy before. Then bring it home and bond with it. Paint a picture of it. Write some haikus, etc. Then look up all different ways to use it, and go for it!
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#18 of 23 Old 07-10-2004, 02:45 AM
 
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Mom raised us on the "Fit for Life" diet for three years (11yrs-14) because she was tired of the constant our childhood ear infections, bronchitis, and her own weight gain. It's mostly veggie, vegan. Then she hooked up with an Indian man, and our diet got very curry-based.

My first husband had instestinal polyps, so from 17-21, it was back to veggies.

Plus, sugar makes me sick. That's motivation enough.

Edited to add: these days I have to eat around the current dh, who has the eating habits/palate of a picky mainstream toddler.
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#19 of 23 Old 07-10-2004, 03:32 AM
 
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We almost never ate a meal together when I was growing up, so it was kinda fend for yourself type deal. When mom came home with the groceries, it was like all you can eat (crap) buffet. My parents ate pretty well, we went to good restaurants, shopped at Trader Joes as soon as it opened, but not to interested in the health factors. I mean my mom never made nasty casseroles, but we did eat a lot of frozen, prepared, full of bad stuff for you type food.
Mom was also constantly on a diet and we weren't allowed to eat her diet food. She also never bought junk food, and when she did she hid it from us, which I think led to some f'ed up ideas about food and guilt, but that's another thread...............
Like many of the mamas I had to figure it out myself. I love food, cooking, shopping, the whole nine. Food is so important and so many people just treat their bodies like crap, no good. By no means do I eat perfect, but when something physically goes wrong, my diet is the first thing I look at. Adjust, change, alter, chances are, I'm better by the end of the month, or week, or whatever. I think the problem is that these dietary changes are not neccesarily overnight successes, and lots of people would rather just take a pill to get better or whatever, but it really is worth it to look into your diet. Oh, sorry . Let me step down :

Mama to 3:
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#20 of 23 Old 07-10-2004, 11:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mountain
I would have freaked at the fact that people eat pressed rolls of seaweed...Ok, I still do a little.
That's something I was actually raised on! Comfort food for me! I'd take it as a snack to school. OR for breakfast we'd wrap up some rice in it, along with maybe egg or ....SPAM! My mom was born and raised in Hawaii and Spam is pretty popular there. I haven't had Spam in years.

Anyway, what's so hard for me to give up is white rice. I've now blended it with brown and am getting ready to make the complete jump!

Zia+Lane+Sonora=Mi Vida Loca! :
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#21 of 23 Old 07-10-2004, 12:23 PM
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My mom was the queen of mushroom soup pork chops and left over roast saturated in gravy over bread. I was alway overweight as a child and had major food issues. When I moved out and could make my own choices I started eating better and lost the weight I had carried around for so long. I have always been careful of what I eat. I try to eat whole foods most of the time, but I think moderation is the key to. This morning was my dd's 5th birthday and we have a ritual of waking the birthday girl up with chocolate cake and eating out of the pan in bed. We do this twice a year (soon to be 3x) and it's fun for them. She has been reminding me of the chocolate cake all week. I could make a healthy alternative, but they are kids. I worry about depriving them of sugars and crappy food. I don't want to take it away so much as to educate them on healthy eating and moderation.

Anyway. I have recently become vegetarian and have been eating and feeding my family whole foods. It's a gradual process. My family is more receptive to gradual introductions and will be more open to trying and liking healthier food alternatives. I don't like sugar cause it drags me down and makes me feel bad, but I like sweet. I use splenda (closest thing I can get) to help sweeten because I do have to worry about adding extra calories from healthy sweeteners (I don't like stevia). However, my sweet tooth is taming down and I don't get those hard core cravings. I love curry and beans, veggies and good hardy breads. I do not miss the meat and actually feel better by not eating it.

Baby steps. As for rice, well I found that Jamine brown rice is very delicious without that strong brown rice taste. Cooking it in the steamer makes a world of difference to.
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#22 of 23 Old 07-10-2004, 04:59 PM
 
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[QUOTE=isosmom When mom came home with the groceries, it was like all you can eat (crap) buffet. [/QUOTE]

:LOL

I had a friend growing up who's dad worked for Hostess and I was always so envious!! I LOVED going over there and macking on some crap! Fortunatly, my mom was not real big into letting us have sweets as kids (all though you wouldn't know it now with her 2-scoops-of-icecream-after-every-meal rule). I remember it being such a huge treat if my dad would bring home a little carton of chocolate milk from the school he worked at. blech!

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#23 of 23 Old 07-10-2004, 05:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ctdoula
and where do you find the time to make yogurt? I barely have time to stir my yogurt
You have time to do it, if I do you do too. I am *very* busy (see my sig line below) but I always have time to make some yogurt (not hard to do once you get your method down), bake bread for the week, make my own butter, sour cream, cook dinner, etc etc

And like everyone has said you can't do it all at once. I started (and am STILL learning) with just one thing which was just cooking at home more, even if it wasn't really healthy it was better than the fast food I was eating every day ya know? And also making different choices in the supermarket was a big deal for me. You get used to grabbing your favorite, tried and true item, changing those tried and true items till you find something better sometimes takes time. I remember the first time I bought olive oil I really didn't know what to do with it or how to cook with it and I really didn't like the taste much! LOL Now I have used it for years and wouldn't know what to do withOUT it and I think it tastes awesome, I love it so much I drizzle it on everything :P

Learning to cook with weird and different ingredients takes time, cleaning with non-toxic products is a change, shopping the farmers market is different than the super market, being involved with a coop is different.

No one likes change and it takes awhile for these new changes to seem like old hat and totally normal and then you add a new things to try. Changing our diet has been an ongoing process for the last 2-3 years for me (I am just now for instance buying raw milk and making my own butter and sour cream out of it).

My mother though always has tried new things, we were all vegetarian for a few years because of my mom, we lived *everywhere* moving all the time growing up so we were exposed to a lot of different cultures and people and foods so I have always been very willing to try new things. I mean growing up it was a BIG deal for us to eat at McDonalds or Pizza Hut for instance, that was not something my family did at all.

Good luck, just start with one thing.

Marilyn,psych RN. Homeschooling mom to Taylor (12) and Lauryn (8)
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