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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recognize that our diet needs to change. Heck, a lot of things need to change, and we're very slowly working at it. We can't afford to go totally organic, but we are trying to alter our diet for the best to the best of our ability. We have taken a few steps, but I don't think it's enough. There are a lot of different diets out there that everyone thinks is best for this or that reason, and it makes it really hard to pick which is "right."<br><br>
For our beverages, we have cut down on our soda intake drastically. We drink it maybe once a week now. Instead we are drinking water, sweet tea, and canned frozen juice. Now I know that juice is pretty much liquid sugar, so I am interested in learning to make my own, natural juice somehow, with less sugar, as an alternative to nothing but water.<br><br>
We've cut down on junk food a lot, but we haven't replaced it with completely healthy foods. We're eating more fruits now, but we also eat a lot of frozen burritoes, chef boy ardee, and canned soup--which I know isn't a great alternative for snacks. I'd like to eat more raw fruits and vegetables and healthy snacks, but I Have trouble determining which snacks truly are healthy. Some say peanut butter is, some say it isn't. Some say rice cakes are great for you, some say otherwise.<br><br>
Breakfast is usually cereal, poptarts, or toaster strudels. I was trying to eat eggs with cheese more often, but... I've read that high egg intake can be linked to health problems. We don't drink much milk...so that would be an area where we could switch to natural or soy milk without breaking our budget. I just have concerns about the taste...does it taste the same? better? worse? Do you just have to wait to get used to it? And what would you suggest, 'natural' milk or soy?<br><br>
Dinner is cooked fish, chicken, beef, etc. and a canned vegetable. It's about the only time of the day that we eat meat, and we really need to decrease our meat intake. And increase the number of vegetables. Unfortunately I have trouble finding good recipes, as in...those that my family would like, that call for ingredients I can get without having to scavenger the natural markets!<br><br>
So anyway, what are some changes you can recommend? I would like to hear about your 'special' diets. I know there are some things we could afford to cut out completely, like fats, sugars, etc. (Although I doubt I could ever give up chocolate 100%.) I'd at least like to eat healthy 90% of the time. I just don't know know where to start, what to buy, who to trust. I'd heard about the 'raw food, even meat' diet, and I'm kind of interested in that, amongst other things.<br><br>
So, what are some changes we can make that won't break our budget, and does anyone have any recommendations about 'special diets' that we could try? And feel free to post any favorite recipes that you think we just *have* to check out. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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We are traditional foodists who also just started the Feingold Program. We eat large amounts of eggs (they are very good for you), drink and eat raw dairy, eat grass fed beef and free range chicken (as much as we can for chickens, but try to stick with that). We cook exclusively with coconut oil. We buy probably 90-95% organic everything. We have also, due to the Feingold Program, cut all artificial colors, preservatives, and also sweeteners (well, those were already out) and flavors. For the next 4-6 weeks, we have also cut out fruits and veggies in the "high" salicylate catagory. We hope to eventually reintegrate tomatoes, apples, grapes, and berries back into our diet, but those will be reintroduced one at a time. So, my cooking is becoming much more from scratch, though we do buy some snacks, cookies, breads, and pastas that I don't care to cook/bake on my own. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
Our typical breakfasts are: eggs, oatmeal/creamy buckwheat, toast (with agave nectar & cinnamon), yogurt, or cereal (we are very picky about the type though). Lunches are peanut butter/honey sandwiches, left-overs from dinner the night before, quesadillas, etc. Dinners are grass fed beef or chicken or salmon, veggies, limited grains (sometimes some rice or noodles or a startch like potatoes. I also make soup from scratch, and sometimes serve breakfast for dinner. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> Snacks are cheese, peanut butter & honey, celery stuffed with cream cheese and/or peanut butter, pears/ raw carrots, pretzels. We drink raw milk or water 99% of the time. Right now the only juice that we can have, really, is 100% pineapple or 100% pear, so we only have that as a small side-"dish" so to speak. We don't drink sodas, coffee, or really even tea (if we have tea, it's typically herbal). We avoid all soy, except for traditionally prepared miso if we can find it in a restaurant, and soy sauce. We also avoid high fructose corn syrup like the plague. We limit our sugar intake; if I'm making something at home, I tyipcally sweeten with raw honey, pure maple, agave, or stevia.<br><br>
I think that about sums it up. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> We try to make sure all our fruits/veggies are fresh and organic. We do occassionally use a pack of frozen broccoli or frozen fruit (esp. for smoothies). We eat a lot of fat, but it is only fat we have deemed healthy (and of course, that is a huge debate in and of itself). We use coconut oil for basically everything; we do not buy any vegetable/canola/soy oils, and if we use olive oil, it is only cold (we never heat it). We limit our refined flour and sugar intake as much as we can. We have red meat, albeit grass-fed/hormone & antibiotic free, at least 2 times a week, if not more. We only drink whole milk (that is also non-homogenized and not pastuerized), use real cream and real butter, and stay away from margarine and any reduced fat milks. We also have never felt better, have both (dh and I) lost weight, and all of us have never been healthier. So there you have it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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hmm...I think it's best to avoid doing "diets" as you're almost guaranteed to get sick of it and give up.<br><br>
If you want to eat healthy just cook things from scratch. There are oodles of recipes online. I like allrecipes.com but it can be a challenge to find truly homemade recipes that don't call for canned stuff.<br><br>
I don't follow any "diet," I eat whole foods that I like and it's working for me. I don't limit eggs, meat, fat, grains, dairy, starches, or anything else that has been deemed "bad" and I'm very healthy. At least I consider myself to be. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> I don't see why you think you need to lower your meat or egg intake if you only eat it once a day. I'm always trying to get <i>more</i> of these into my diet just because I feel so much better when I do.<br><br>
I'd start with making more meals from scratch, but keep them simple. Don't attempt to limit your diet by taking out things like eggs, they're full of nutrition, and if you start stressing about what you can't eat you'll just feel like you're depriving yourself. Focus your meals around real, nutrient dense foods like meat, veggies, beans, fruit, etc. and keep the poptarts and rice cakes to a minimum. The less processed the better is really the only rule you need to follow. And it doesn't hurt to be picky about how your food is grown/raised. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/goorganic.jpg" style="border:0px solid;" title="go organic">:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Those are great ideas!!!
 

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It sounds like you've made a great start!<br><br>
Don't be afraid of "just water" we're drinking more & more water and its growing on all of us.<br><br>
I am a whole foods vegan -- my children and husband are not, though most things that I prepare fall into that category.<br><br>
We try to eat food in as close to its natural state as possible. This means we eat a good deal of raw food, specifically raw fruits and veggies. We eat nuts & seeds too. We try to eat things that have been minimally processed - for example we eat lots of oatmeal and brown rice, not so much bread, cookies or crackers (unless I make our own from whole food ingredients!).<br><br>
I was very inspired by a book called Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman. It spoke to me, personally.
 

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I think a good part of how people decide to eat depends on how passionate they are about food and all the associated thoughts and feelings that come with it. I don't know if this makes sense, but when you read about different ways of eating you find certain ideas more appealing than others and it's just makes perfect sense to you. For example, Nourishing Traditions and Traditional Food ideas do nothing for me. It doesn't mean it's a bad way of eating, but if I read about it and dislike it already, I don't think I would be very happy eating that way and what would be the point of that KWIM?<br><br>
Some people also decide to eat a certain diet for health reasons or ethical beliefs. We're probably going to be gluten-free soon and dairy-free later, and I am slowly nudging my family into vegetarianism. The former to see if they help with some health issues, the latter because of all the stuff wrapped up in eating meat makes me uncomfortable. And cooking with raw meat grosses me out, I can't stand touching it, let alone eating it.<br><br>
We don't eat mainly organic because there is not much available in my area, and I have to stick to a budget to make ends meet. We drink mostly water everyday. We drink hot tea instead of coffee. Juice is a special treat, usually when it's on sale. I'd prefer my kids to eat fresh fruit instead of drinking juice. I've been doing smoothies lately since it's winter with frozen berries and bananas.<br><br>
I don't buy a lot of processed food. The "junkiest" I go is tortilla chips and crackers for my kids (they have sensory issues, and crunchy foods helps.) I read labels on everything to make sure they don't have hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS,) preservatives, dyes, etc. If the food has any of that, or ingredients that sound like a chemistry experiment, I pass.<br><br>
I am okay with soy, as long as it is plain soy. Not "soy protein isolate whatchamacallit." It's not a whole food if it belongs in a chemistry experiment. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> Peanut butter is fine as long as it is unsweetened with no hydrogenated oils, I stay away from organic PB for a reason I can't remember right now, something about toxic mold? It's easy to sweeten peanut butter with honey or maple syrup to taste. Eggs are fine to me, but I only use them in baking.<br><br>
Can I ask, how good of a cook are you? Do you like to cook? There are so many great cookbooks out there on how to prepare healthy foods.
 

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Well, I don't consider us on any diet. We eat good tasting, healthy food that I make at home (mostly). We eat a snack/treat here and there, but it's with good ingredients that I make. Like homemade frozen yogurt with berries (one of their favorites).<br><br>
If you guys like juice, I would invest in a juicer. You will see a dip in the grocery bill after not having to buy soda and bottled juice after a while. I can get a huge bag of juicing carrots for cheap, and tons of apples, and I grow beets. My favorite homemade juice is apple/carrot/beet. I actulaly just told someone else that I mix that up with some plain yogurt and give it to everyone like a smoothie, it's really good!<br><br>
I would start off with getting rid of cans and at least buying frozen veggies...gotta go DS is gettin gup
 

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Wow, reading your post brings me back to where my family was about 4 years ago. When you decide to make the leap, it can be overwhelming. Our motivation to change was the fact that my 3 yo was diagnosed with Epilepsy. We knew things had to change. Regardless of your motivation, my advice is to start slow and small. We took a look at the main things we wanted to correct and started there. The first thing to go was food coloring. That in and of itself is quite a challenge. Sllooowwwly we added in other things like canned soups and boxed meals. Again, very slowly. When we felt comfortable we added on. This went on for a couple yrs until my hubby was diagnosed with Heart Failure. His doctors put him on a STRICT diet. So, needless to say, we stepped it up quite a bit. Now, 4 yrs later, we are about 80% organic, free-range and grass fed. It takes time! Don't get discouraged (or try not to). To be honest, our biggest challange has been our extened family and friends not quite "getting it". DO NOT let them (no matter how well meaning they are) talk you out of it. We meet with resistance every day from my inlaws and most of my friends can't really grasp it. But we keep chugging along. We are currently doing Feingold with additional exclusions to try and treat my oldest daughter for ADHA. It has been a challenge to say the least, but we have turned it into a game and the kids are really into it.<br><br>
Changing your whole way of eating is quite an undertaking, but in the end it is worth it. Just hang in there and find ways to make it fun. If we can do it, anyone can.<br><br>
Have fun and Thanks for Sharing,<br><br>
mckinneygirls
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
oh my, I hate to cook, that is why I eat so much microwavable stuff, and I think it's one reason the raw diet appeals to me. I am okay at it but I HATE having to spend a lot of time preparing food while I am chasing kids and dogs and whatnot. What are some good cookbooks with some easy recipes?
 

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I eat an almost no fat diet because of Gallbladder issues, so our eating habits have changed drastically lately. I used to use a ton of cheese and butter in my cooking, but now I can't even eat an egg without an attack! At first I was really, really hungry, but I replaced our breads and crackers with whole grain breads that have a good amount of dietary fiber and have substituted full fat dairy with no/low fat dairy.
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">oh my, I hate to cook, that is why I eat so much microwavable stuff, and I think it's one reason the raw diet appeals to me. I am okay at it but I HATE having to spend a lot of time preparing food while I am chasing kids and dogs and whatnot. What are some good cookbooks with some easy recipes?</div>
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I spend I'd say 20 minutes after kiddos go to sleep. I get things ready to shake up a smoothie or pre-stir whatever into their yogurt. I assemble a little snack tray, make a sandwich, whatever I can do. I keep veggies cut up for next nights dinner, etc. Marinate some meat.....<br><br>
Start cooking! Not like slaving and leaving a sink full of dirty pots and pans. Just simple good food that you cook to enhance flavors. I cook mostly Italian and country French food because it's simple, based on really good ingredients that you don't mash, proccess to death.<br><br>
make a meal planner. Sit down and write out what you will make for dinner ever day during the week. Then write down what you need to shop for. Write down "dairy" "meats" "shelf goods" "produce" and "miscellaneous". Don't buy junk outside the list. Pre-chop veggies the night before. Set out any cans/packages of pasta/rice on the counter with the can opener. I literally do everything I can do so I can walk in and start cooking. GET YOUR KIDS HELPING. DS has a 2 step ladder, or he sits on the counter. I hardly even have to dig out egg shells anymore <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">! He LOVES to stir anything, dump ingredients.<br><br>
You don't have to love cooking, it doesn't even need to take a long time. Just start lovign the fact that you are fueling your family's bodies and not just filling their guts. You really will feel good about it, trust me. Start simple, don't overwhelm yourself.<br><br>
I don't know if you are wanting to get rid of or limit some foods but I could give you tons and tons of yummy recipes that take very little time and ingredients. IF you like pasta/rice you can make just about anything. We eat everything including meat/dairy and homemade sweets.<br><br>
Also I make muffins every week which are a great snack
 

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I eat a moderately low-carb whole foods diet with little to no dairy, and traditional foodist leanings (eg, bone broth, sprouted grains, soaked nuts, etc). Is that convoluted enough? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I've come to this way of eating after several years of tinkering to see what fits me and my family (well, DH at this point <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">) best. So our diet is really of my own devising and I don't follow any one "plan."<br><br>
I started with low-carb because it helps a heart condition that I have, and that got me interested in reading about food in general which led to everything else. I feel SO MUCH BETTER eating this way than I did eating SAD or vegetarian.
 

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I do a raw food diet, because that's what feels good. I am usually about 90-95% raw, but have days that I'm closer to 80 and days when I am 100%. We have multiple food allergies, and this made the most sense as a long term choice.<br><br>
I do eat fish on occasion, though it is generally raw. I have tried many different philosophies and just tinkered until I felt really good. I was a typical vegetarian-lotsa junk when I started on my healing path. I started off YEARS ago with a traditional foods type diet (as recommended by Jordan Rubin) to deal with all my issues...it didn't. I moved on to Eat to Live as it was more like home to me. It got rid of alot, but not all. I went raw and felt great...until we discovered my kids (nursing) had issues with beans, seeds, nuts and several fruits and veggies. I did the Specific Carb Diet for gut healing-and it worked! But it was far too much meat for me, and we are allergic to eggs and dairy anyway. Once we were able to do the fruits and veggies again we naturally drifted back to raw.<br><br>
It requires no thought, and there are no hard "rules." We eat what we like, and I give the kiddos what they ask for. IT just generally happens to be raw. I don't enjoy cooking, and they don't enjoy cooked food!<br><br>
I think it helps in the beginning to have the rules to follow, just to get an idea of what healthy eating feels like. As long as you use them as guidelines and not as gospel you are okay. As Kallyn said-it should always end up being a diet of your own devising.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I used to do that after-his-bedtime thing, but lately he's not getting to sleep until 2 AM. Yeah...and he still gets up at about the same time. :/ That's a totally different issue though.<br><br>
We're planning on going about 80% raw. There are some things I can't give up, like stews, broth, hot tea. That one cooked meal can really warm a body up in these Colorado winters.<br><br>
I'm making a grocery list. I'm going to start with soy milk and non-dairy cheese. I'm going to start buying my grains organic. I'm just going to buy like EVERYTHING in the produce section and experiment with new things, and I'm going to make sure I buy the most important fruits/vegetables organic like strawberries. Then gradually hopefully I can make the change to all organic, but I'm sure it will take time. As for meat I'm gonna start with organic eggs and then move up to buying as much organic meat as possible, because I read it'so ne of the of the more important things to buy naturally.
 

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Is there a severe healthy reason for going no-dairy? Or an ethical reason? If not, I would recommend searching around for information regarding dairy and soy. I know I mentioned above that we don't do soy almost at all. I know for my family, I have read enough to keep us away from it. There is growing research about the health benefits and importance of whole milk (especially non-homogenized), eggs, real cheese, and real butter. The closer to it's original source, the better is my belief. Anyways just thought I'd throw that out there.
 

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I started out vegetarian many, many years ago. Five or six years ago dh and the girls followed me. Then dh realized he was allergic to dairy, one son was born who was also allergic to dairy (and eggs, but we didn't know that until last year). So at this point we were eating dairy-free vegetarian. Then dh gave up eggs, so I stopped cooking with eggs. Next son was born, who seemed to have reactions to corn, so no more corn syrup in products. Somewhere in there we stopped eating any hydrogenateds as well. So now I cook vegan, still not a big deal. Last year son #1 was dianosed with celiac disease, so now everything I cook is gluten-free and vegan. It's difficult, but my vegetarian brainwashing has been too good, I cannot convince them to try meat again. The ones who want dairy can have cheese if I happen to buy it, same with eggs, but everything I cook for the family is gluten-free vegan food.<br><br>
You probably wouldn't want to eat here. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Please! Over here we're gluten free, mostly grain free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, we don't eat meat and can't do peanuts. I don't use anything refined-nothing hydrogenated ever. I don't think anyone is banging my door down for a dinner invite! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
There are no ethics at all behind our diet. I just notice that we all feel tired and rundown a lot, that we're getting sick a lot lately, and so I'm interesting in making some changes--just to see how it affects us. We're experimenting with our diet. We're hoping to try a few different things and then stick with whatever has the best results.
 

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My bf and my basic beliefs are if you can't grow it or kill it, than it is not food.<br><br>
Look at the ingrediant list and see what is food and what is not. If it has alot of things that you can't directly grow or kill than it is not food.<br><br>
We avoid all trans fat (aka hydrogenated oil, just because it lists 0 g doen't mean it has none!!) and artifical sweetners like the plague!<br><br>
We eat alot of healthy fats like olive oil too.
 
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