We started with detoxing our home. We only use natural cleaners. We make our own using vinegar, castile soap, lemons etc or use Mrs. Meyers or Seventh Generation I've heard is good. We even make our own laundry detergent (except when I just miss the other stuff, but there are still clean options)
The next thing we did, was switching our soap, hair care, toothpaste etc over to natural products. Our favorite kids personal care is Truekid (below). They smell good and are gluten free (yes even shampoo etc. has gluten) some other favorites are listed below.
The next thing is food. This one is one of the most important to me. Being a mother and wife, I feel it is my responsibility to provide healthy nourishing food for my family.
I do my best to buy local and organic, but that is not always the case. We do a lot of our shopping twice a month at Sam's. They have some organic produce (carrots, tomatoes, salad, spinach) and milk and whole wheat bread and cheese, and we buy thick skinned produce there as well. Our children eat a ton of apples and grapes and strawberries, so those are for sure organic and purchased at a Natural Grocery Store as much as we can. We also purchase honey, yogurt, and eggs at that store.
I know you may be thinking that is too expensive, but that is why we took baby steps to get here, and after our shelter we spend the most on food. It's what is most important to us. I can't describe the feeling I have when I purchase food and prepare meals for my family with the healthiest and most fresh ingredients I can find. I enjoy that so much.
I will give you some examples of how we eat, and some of my favorite reads on healthy living.
grainy cereal with fruit
toast with honey and slivered almonds
toast with basil pesto and an egg topped with parmesan cheese
blueberry pecan waffles
homemade smoothie pops
tortilla chips with homemade salsa or guacamole
fruits or veggies
chocolate chips with walnuts or pecans (for your sweet tooth)
rice with tomatoes, beans,cheese
strawberry spinach salad
avocado chicken salad sandwich (shred cooked chicken with a mashed up avocado, salt and pepper, and garlic salt. I like it on a crescent roll...yum!
veggie or chicken nachos (i like to bake up a whole chicken or whatever I have and use throughout the week.
Burritos (with whatever you have on hand) chicken, beans, rice, cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, salsa, corn) there are so many ways to make these we have this often. My favorite rice recipe.
Enchiladas are also wonderful. I boil the chicken and shred it. Then make a sauce. For a white sauce I use butter, milk, flour. Use veggies if wanted (spinach and mushroom) with cheese on top.
Spaghetti can be made several ways too. You can bake it with red sauce topped with cheese. You can make it with just a red sauce, using tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, peppers, italian spices pureed. Or you can make a white sauce made with cream, butter, garlic, and lemon topped with parmesan cheese.
Soup. There are so many ways to make soup, but a fast simple one a friend shared with me a few years ago is Tomato Basil Soup:
Start with tomato soup, add about a cup of milk, a cup of cream, 1/4 c of basil, 1/2 cu parmesan cheese..
Let simmer on low as long as you need (an hour is good, but longer if wanted)
Before serving add fresh basil and parmesan cheese.
Open face Chicken Parmesan Sandwich
Roasted/baked chicken with roasted tomatoes topped with basil and mozzarella
Southwest Pasta Salad
Love this pork carnita recipe! EASY and SO good!
Okay, so I hope I got you started on some good ideas for healthy living and some good simple food. I just basically use the same ingredients all the time, adding only a few extras here and there.
So our main grocery list looks something like this:
flour (whole wheat)
veggies (including tomatoes, onion, and garlic for salsa, soups, and pasta sauces)
herbs (unless you have them growing in your kitchen, which I just started)
We are still on steps. Some day I'd like to bake more bread or make my granola or yogurt. But for now this is what we are doing.
Enjoy the process. Might as well. It feels wonderful to know that you are giving your family the best you can. Start slow and with what's most important to you. It can be such a blessing!
So crank up some music, put on your apron, and get to work ;) OR if you're like me...do a bunch of planning and list making first....
Oh and my favorite food inspiration right here.
Wonderful Uses for Coconut Oil
Washing you face naturally
Great post on avoiding sugar
I liked to make our boys' playdough when we were trying gluten free (because regular contains flour) and we use regular ol' art supplies, but I just LOVE to look at these and maybe one day, Ill buy some for their birthdays or something.
Eat Well and Spend Less. A new series starting next week!