Saturday, July 17, 2010

An Effort to Eat More Greens Without A Lot of Green

Now that my daughter is eating more and at regular times, I have decided that I want to try and set a good example for her by making most of our meals from scratch and at home. I also want to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into our diets. You see, when she really didn't eat at all, it was like, just get anything you can into her for some calories, it doesn't matter what it is. Both my husband and myself are guilty of some not so great eating habits. We eat fast food for lunch on a fairly regular basis, him because he doesn't know when or if he is able to take a lunch break since he is on the road for a good part of his day. I eat fast food because when I am out running errands it is just easier to pick something up. Plus I am sure that there is a little bit of "I am pregnant so I can eat anything I want" going through my head when I am in the McDonald's drive through.
I know that fast food is terrible for you and I don't want my daughter to become a victim of the childhood obesity epidemic. So I have set out to start living a healthier lifestyle for her (and her unborn sister). I am not talking low-fat or low-calorie. Just home cooked meals with lots of fruit and vegetables eaten together as a family at the table.
Problem is, healthy food is really EXPENSIVE! That may also be the reason that we eat fast food, because it is cheap. Its so bad but we are not wealthy by any means and every day means living on a budget. Anyway, I came up with a meal plan for the week that included lots of fruits and vegetables and set out today to get all my groceries. Normally I get most of my produce at Wal-mart but most of the time it really lacks in quality and goes bad really fast. And I am really trying to live a "greener" life so Peanut and I went to the local farmer's market this morning to see what we could find.
I really love the idea of buying locally grown produce because I know that the farmers that grow it really put a lot of pride into their products. However, this pride does translate into a higher cost for me. I was planning on making a jelly for homemade scones this week and I needed 4 cups of berries. I was floored when I saw that most booths had berries for $5 a pint! So the jelly idea went out the way. No way I am paying $20 to make jelly. Then I saw that a booth had fresh cauliflower but it was $6 a head! This was crazy talk to me. Suddenly my long list of fresh produce dwindled down to a few things. I did get kohlrabi, carrots, potatoes, fresh peaches from Michigan (they smelled so good), apple wood smoked cheddar cheese from Wisconsin, and fresh baked whole grain bread. It was much pricier than the grocery store but I was happy paying what I did for what I got.
Then we went to the grocery store to get the remainder of our "healthy" ingredients for the week. This grocery trip was about twice as expensive as a normal trip. I did get ground flax seeds, bags of trail mix and nuts, fresh maple syrup, and some other pricier ingredients. I just don't know. I know you can't put a price on the health and well being of your family, but damn, healthy eating sure is expensive.
I think I have learned on my adventures today that I have to take this one step at a time. While I would LOVE to buy almost all of my ingredients from the farmer's market, I know it just isn't going to happen. I still plan on going next week, seeing what they have, seeing what I can afford, and picking the best of that. I still plan on incorporating lots of fruits and vegetables into our diet. I think the most important thing in the coming weeks is going to be eating together as a family whenever we can.


  1. This is just like us! I did this about 3 weeks ago, and it is SOOOOO EXPENSIVE! We found a lot of great produce at BJ's which is like Sam's or Costco, do you belong? or your parents? b/c they have great produce and it is less expensive. Plus, I also found things like fat free greek yogurt, panko breadcrumbs, organic milk and eggs (etc...) at our local wholesale club (BJ's again). We also stock up on ground turkey, salmon, tilapia and chicken breasts (and you can't beat the price).So if either sets of parents belong, I say go there with them and check it out. Plus, if you love it, just ask for a years membership for a present (or pay for yourself). I also found that with eating healthier I have 1/2 the groceries for twice the price. But, I totally agree, I don't want Emerson dealing w/ childhood obesity or obesity in general (plus I still have to lose my baby weight), so I started the same thing! Good for you! Hope something I said can help you.

  2. Yeah I do have a costco membership but I was trying to eat locally as well as fresh and healthy. I don't know if you have seen the movie "Food, Inc." but it really makes you think about where your food is coming from and what is being put in your food. I may have to go to cosco next time though.

  3. I did see that movie, but... I can't afford to buy from farmer's markets (ours is more than double the price). I would probably be vegetarian too b/c of all the nasty videos on how they kill chickens and other animals, but I'm too big of a fan of meat.

  4. I think Costco has the best produce at the best price, plus I feel like we eat more of it when there's more available at the house. They have some dynamite giant bags of frozen veggies too- big fan of their organic carrot/corn/green bean mixture. You might have some luck at Aldi too. Of course, this doesn't do much to solve the locally grown problem... I know a lot of my friends have actually been growing a lot of their own produce, which is dead cheap if you grow from seeds. I meant to, but didn't get things in the ground early enough. Maybe next year!

  5. Kate we did grow a garden again this year and that helps. We grow the garden more for fun than for yield but I did pull some nice zucchini and squash out. The tomatoes should be ready soon too.