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My Whole Food Journey 11.17.10

It has been a while since I’ve done one of these posts!  I have shared a lot about the changes my family has made up until now little by little.  And, now my trips to the grocery store are easier and it seems like old hat.  It isn’t so difficult to find exactly what I want (or not find exactly what I want depending on what store I’m in – pfft!).   I can go straight to the items I am looking for and I know how to spot the stuff I want to stay far, far (I’m mean really far) away from.  But, I’ve been thinking about what else I’m doing, and have been doing that I haven’t shared with you.

You get so used to doing things, or not doing things, that you don’t really think about it any more.  And, that is exactly what got me into the mess of eating too much processed food before this journey started.  I try to be conscious of my purchases and my food choices.  The choices you make effect more than just you or your family … they effect everyone.  That is why this week’s post is:

Vote with Your Pocketbook

One of the major complaints I here about eating more wholesomely is that people find that it costs more money.  While I can’t deny that since I’ve been shopping this way, including eliminating processed foods, buying more fresh foods, buying organic foods, and grass fed and local beef and chicken, my food bill has increased.  But, I don’t spend nearly as much as some people do who shop similarly to me.  You really can make smarter choices for both your body and your pocket book.

The first step to buckling down and making the switch is just making up your mind.  As easy as that sounds, you will be tempted to fall into your old ways when you see sugary cereal hit rock bottom prices, or chicken (that has been given antibiotics) cheaper than you’ve ever seen it before.  I know I struggled!  Right after I made up my mind I hit a big sale at my local grocery store and the chicken breasts were dirt cheap, I felt bad a first for not swiping them up!   But, you just have to make up your mind about what is really important, and to me, it is the health of my family.  Yes, it may cost me more – but what it really boils down to for me is that I’m making an investment in the most important thing in my life… my family.  What goes into their bodies (and my own) is more important than many of the other things we put our money into.

But, you don’t have to go “organic crazy.”  There are things that are more important than others and when you are first starting out you have to decide where to “make your investment.”  For most people (including myself), the first step is switching animal products – specifically milk.  I recommend switching all your dairy first.  Sadly, it is the most expensive, but to me it is the smartest move you can make.  Then, switch your meat and poultry.  There aren’t really regulations on “organic” fish, so I just try to buy wild varieties (not farmed raised).  This will get you away from antibiotics which act like hormones in our own bodies (and the animals).  Finally, switch your fruits and veggies -but pay attention to the dirty dozen list.  I try to buy the items on the dirty dozen list organically, all others I don’t worry too much about.

Yes, purchasing good, healthy, and fresh foods for your family might cost you a little more up front.  But, I think in the long run, my family will be much better off eating this way.  But, if you are smart, stick to a budget, and make a meal plan, you can still make good choices and you don’t have to go broke doing it!  And, if everyone would begin to make these choices farms would be forced to grow and raise fruits, veggies, and animals this way.  We’d begin to see more in our conventional grocery stores.  AND, the prices would go down!  Show what is important to you and your’s by “voting with your pocket book!”  Make the switch to organic, 100% grass-fed, and local where you can and we’ll show the FDA, the USDA, and anyone else who will listen what is important to us – the health of our families!

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  1. I struggle with this advice, partiuclarly about chicken. We live in a very limited area as far as health foods go, and chicken that is hormone-free costs at least $6 a pound. It’s a staple food in our house, and I honestly cannot afford to spend that. That’s more than steak costs, and we don’t eat steak for that reason!

    perhaps in an area of hte country where there is more competition for wholesome foods this would not be the case, but it is here, and it makes me want to cry every time I go shopping.

  2. That is one of the biggest reasons my family is eating more vegetarian meals now. Organic chicken is extremely expensive, I think here it’s more like $8/lb (for whole chicken). So, I decided to start serving mostly meatless (and by “meat” I mean any animal: chicken, turkey, fish, we haven’t bought beef in like forever). Maybe once a week, we’ll have a meal with chicken or turkey in it. A happy side effect is that me and my husband are shedding some unwanted pounds with our new high veggie, high legume, high whole grain lifestyle, while still eating quite well. :) I refuse to buy corn-fed beef and we don’t have any grass-fed beef around here, so that’s not even an option.

    For me, milk is the toughie. My 3 kids go through milk so quickly, I figured out it would cost $45/week just to offer them each three eight oz cups of milk a day (they are 4 years, 2 years, and 1 year, so they need something, I just haven’t figured it all out yet). So, that’s my next “issue” I need to tackle.
    Great post, Denise!!!

  3. I totally agree. We’ve been trying to go mostly organic/all-natural for about a year now and while our grocery bill has gone up, I feel it is so worth it. In fact, my husband and I have found that our tastes have changed, and some of the processed stuff that used to taste good to us doesn’t anymore.

  4. Just found your blog (was recommended by one of my readers). I’ve just started transitioning us to a healthier diet. I bought my first organic produce last week actually. It is hard though-I have a $60 a week grocery budget for five people so fitting in the better choices is a challenge! Can’t wait to read through your blog :)

    • Denisesawyer says:

      I am so glad!! I hope you find lots of helpful information here relevant to your own journey!
      Denise Sawyer
      Wholesome Mommy

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