I, and my family, have had a huge relapse. I am now addicted to sugar again, and eating some white bread foods, along with other junky stuff.
When I tried to stop, I had horrible candida yeast die-off-type symptoms, and felt so sick. When I eat the SAD (but my version is pretty low-carb compared to SAD I guess) I feel much more relaxed, have more energy, and feel only slightly sick. But I know it will destroy my health quickly if I keep this up (it has before).
How do I get off of this addiction this time? I feel AWFUL when I try to quit, not better! How do I stop with all of the quick and easy foods and transition into actually cooking stuff again? My children don't eat my cooking and my husband doesn't eat much of it, so I feel like it isn't worth it when it's just for me.
My boys would prefer to eat nothing but junk all day, although I don't let them, of course. They absolutely will NOT eat soup or meat (except lunchmeat) or vegetables, though.
The farm we used to get our milk from is almost an hour away (so a two-hour trip altogether) and my husband doesn't really have time to go and doesn't want to squeeze it in (understandably, I don't blame him.) I can't imagine taking all three kids to go by myself.
We can't afford organic food, either. FWIW our grocery budget is about $100 a week for four people, and we can't only go by price when we are all picky eaters.
Oh, also my dh doesn't feel like he can eat very healthfully when he has to bring his lunches to work. He gets bored if he has the same lunch all the time.
What to do? Where do we start this time? It's so overwhelming and I really need for food to be fun and enjoyable and not just a daily punishment.
My 2yo will drink water, 100% juice, and organic ultra-pasteurized milk, my 4yo drinks juice sometimes, but mostly water. Both like cheese, 2yo also likes yogurt-- pretty much any dairy product is a-okay with him, but he is sensitive to dairy so it's more of an addictive craving I think.
Both boys will eat eggs at times, but not every day; both love bacon. My 5yo eats beef hot dogs, my 2yo doesn't like them as much. Both boys like raisins and certain nuts (like cashews). Both boys love ice cream and pretty much any kind of sweet, ever, although, of course, I limit sweets. The boys also occasionally get fast food burgers, very rarely. I try to limit bread products for them, although they have had noodles in various forms a few times.
Oh, they both like eating soaked rice, not so much oatmeal. They would love soaked pancakes, too, but I haven't made that in ages.
As far as fruits and veggies, besides dried fruit, my 2yo ocassionally will have a small amount of fruit, my 5yo, not at all, ever.
That's pretty much it, they are VERY picky eaters.
Fussy baby, I will post more in a bit. Thanks in advance for any ideas!
I have to say I'm not seeing the junkiness in what your kids are eating.
I'm tired, so this won't be comprehensive (and it would also be helpful to know what junky stuff and SAD elements you want to get off of besides the sugar), but some ideas: "rice a cheesy"- its a lot like mac and cheese, but no noodles: soaked brown rice, butter, cheese, cream, and more cheese. baked sweet potatoes with lots of butter and salt don't feel like vegetables. they really don't. they feel like a cross between a starch and a candy.
Can you get organic or hormone free milk that is regular temperature pasturized, not ultra? even non-homogenized? here, both trader joes and whole foods sell milk which is non-homogenized, and most markets here sell at the least hormone free regular temp pasturized milk. is there a reason the 2 yo drinks ultra pasturized?
I imagine you experience die off when you cut off sugar, right? What about it if you start by rehealing your gut in other ways first? Increase your consumption of yogurt, kefir, sourkraut, buttermilk, pickles, etc? Drink and eat lots of broth to heal the gut lining. then try again with the sugar. Maybe start with just white sugar (still haveing honey, molasses, palm sugar, etc, for the cravings, then work to reduce those?). then once you reduce your sugary things, work on refined grains. I don't know too much about die off, but that might help. Also are the symptoms die off or are they withdrawl?
It sounds like your feeling thouroughly overwhelmed. Why don't you start with baby steps? Make dinner one night a week for a month. Then when that feels easy, make dinner twice a week. Spend time to plan that dinner to include broth and kraut, to soak your grains. If that won't fly, if your making boxed mac and cheese, make it in broth. maybe next week, start a jar of sourkraut. But don't feel that you need to do it all right now. Just start with one. Even one change will help, and then go from there.
HTH, I'll try to give more suggstions when I'm more awake.
Caroline, those are WONDERFUL ideas! My DH was also saying that cutting back on the sugar but still indulging in lots of sweet treats (honey, dates, whatever) would be a good idea. It's also relieving to see that others don't think the boys' diet is that bad-- I have this idea that everyone else's kids are eating chicken soup and beef and lots of veggies and so forth-- sigh.
Cheesy brown rice and buttered potatoes are a GREAT idea! Thank you! I'm going to try that.
I'm also going to check around the other stores for their milk options. That's a good idea. The only reason we were getting ultra-pasteurized milk is because it was all they had at the grocery store we usually go to. And I will try slowly adding in more probiotic foods and slowly making more soups and dinners.
I think Magelet gave some great ideas. I have a serious sweet tooth but have completely gotten rid of white sugar and now am using honey as my main sweetener, and some sucanat in coffee (which I've managed to cut down to just 1-2 mornings a week).
A couple tricks that have worked for my family.
We rely on healthy snacks because my kiddos don't always want or eat a full meal. For breakfast I make sure they get a raw milk warmer or hot chocolate with some cream. They'll eat yogurt and occasionally eggs and bacon. But if I can even get a few slices of cheese into my oldest son, I'm happy with that. I make sure we have homemade (or at least natural) beef jerky on hand and I make batches of crispy nuts or seeds about once a week. They really like crispy pumpkin seeds. Fruit leather is good, applesauce (we do strawberry applesauce, blackberry applesauce, etc), celery with cream cheese. I try to make sure that they get some good fat in with every snack or meal, which can be tricky.
Batch cooking and bulk food bins are your friends. We're on a budget, too and I buy just about everything I can through a healthy foods buying co-op. You can also ask your local grocery store if they will let you order by the case at cost (we pay at cost +10% thru the co-op). You can get staples super cheap this way and they last forever. I was even able to get pastured butter, grassfed hotdogs, tinkyada noodles, etc, that we can just keep in our freezer/pantry until we need them. Our produce is unbelievably cheap, too.
I'd also suggest subscribing to the cookingtf menu mailer (www.cookingtf.com) - I started that way and they were wonderful "training wheels" for me to get used to doing the prep that was necessary for tf cooking. Also, check out some of the tf blogs (there is a thread with a bunch of links it in a few pages down) for inspiration.
I find kid snacks to be one of my biggest challenges...its so easy to just grab processed junk foods and have them around. I'm fighting The Battle of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish...they're finally out of the house and I'm really hoping to keep my head above water and not buy them anymore. Here are some of the things I am replacing them with:
nitrate free beef jerky...grass fed when we can afford it
smoked fish (wild salmon mostly)
canned oysters (they like to eat these with a little cocktail fork *grin*)
yogurt, homemade, whole, plain (sweetened with maple syrup and/or a little fruit)
hard boiled eggs
raw nuts (I am hoping to make crispy nuts soon!)
honey-in-the-comb (special sweet treat, served on a spoon)
dark chocolate (another sweet treat for when Daddy insists on dessert)
a baked potato w/ butter, salt and sour cream
applesauce (no sugar added)
For meals...take it slow...the ideas everyone gave you are good...you can segue gradually...that's fine. Its a lot better than going cold turkey and running yourself into the ground emotionally with the stress it sounds like you're feeling. Every little step you take is progress. Any amount of better is better. Just do what you can.
Do you have any TF friends? I make the trip to our local farm with a pal every week and with two people its less crazy to be taking my kids along.
Hang in there... you're doing the right thing, its just a big job!