Our Healthy Eating Journey, Part 5

  healthyeatingjourney
If you missed them, please catch up on
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4

Back in Nebraska now, I had to adjust to the fact that NONE of the stores doubled coupons.  I sort of went through withdrawals.  Crazy, I know…but double couponing and getting most of our food for free had been a big part my grocery shopping/menu planning/cooking for the past four years.  I had to learn how to shop in a new way now.

I continued to shop the sales and clip as many coupons as I could.  I found I was still able to save quite a bit of money using coupons, spending only about $200/month for our family of five.

Our first summer here, I had my first real garden…asking as many questions as I could to people who knew more than I did (because at that point, EVERYONE knew more than I did about gardening!).  It was fun…yet hard because I had a five year old, a two year old and a five month old at the time. 

I remember learning that I had dug up a nice strawberry patch because I didn’t know what that area of green stuff was growing in the middle of the place I wanted to put my green beans.  I remember asking about what I should put on my tomato plants, then buying and using some sort of bug killer that would also hurt my children if not put up in a high place (yeah, I had barely even heard the word organic then).

My second year of gardening, I brought home my mom’s canning jars and her book about how to preserve food.  That was the first year I attempted to “home can” anything…and I loved it!  (I believe the rest is history in regard to canning and preserving!)

It wasn’t until I was pregnant with our fourth son that we even started thinking remotely about eating healthy.  Even though I was pregnant, I still drank my Pepsi regularly…enjoyed lots of lunches out with friends…had a pantry full of boxes.

Then Matt went on a short trip to Scotland (LONG story) to visit some friends who were living there.  While he was there, he kept a journal.  In his journal, he even kept a record of the food he ate (because he thought I’d probably enjoy knowing…is he the sweetest or what?!).

The friends he stayed with there were pretty health conscious and ate lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.  During meals, they would discuss some of the foods they focused on eating, and some of the foods they worked to avoid.

Matt came home from his trip and told me, “Did you know margarine is made from this stuff called ‘partially hydrogenated oil’ and that’s really bad for us?”  To which I replied, “How bad is it?  Because margarine is really cheap and real butter is expensive.”  Matt finally convinced me that it was worth it to buy butter, not margarine…but oh how I cringed when I put it into my cart.

Our switch from margarine to butter was the very first step we took on our healthy eating journey.  Although, at this point, I wouldn’t yet call it a “journey”. 

It wasn’t until our littlest guy Malachi was born with chronic eczema that we really began looking into what it actually meant to eat a healthy diet.

To be continued…

Like This? Bless Others By Sharing!
Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest0Tweet about this on Twitter0Email this to someoneShare on LinkedIn0Print this page

Comments

  1. LeAnn says

    Laura,
    I really enjoy hearing stories about how you got to your current “whole food” mind set. I too have a little one with chronic eczema that was very hard to manage. I also got really heavy into extreme couponing when my husband took a 50% pay cut late last year. Needless to say, I was staying well within our newly lowered budget but over time our health suffered (actually, it only took about 2 weeks and we started to notice little things). I recently stumbled onto your blog and the light bulb instantly came on! For some reason I had felt the need to go to the extreme. 100% coupon/budget savvy or %100 all natural. I finally found a happy medium. I’m able to make up the difference from the more expensive whole foods with finding great deals on other household needs that don’t need to be organic. (Yes, I know there’s all natural organic toilet paper out there somewhere but I doubt it will find it’s way into my house…really. I have boys. Enough said.) My fridge and freezer is stocked with food from your recipes and I’m truly greatful to have found you. It’s a joy to read your funny stories (definitely a kindred spirit there!) and heartwarming encouragement. Keep it up!

    [Reply]

  2. Kris Mays says

    Was he literally born with chronic eczema? This makes me wonder about my third child. He had eczema very badly as an infant while he was only breastfeeding. Hmmmm…

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    He started showing signs at about 2 months. Then he was COVERED until he was almost three years old. It was a nightmare. I’ll post more about it with the series.

    [Reply]

  3. sunnymommy says

    Oh my gosh, I didn’t know you were in NE! I am in Omaha – are you around here? I love your blog and am working through the how to make things from raw milk dairy posts (butter, ricotta, mozzarella, yogurt, kefir, etc.)

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    York :)

    [Reply]

  4. Sheila says

    I’m really enjoying this series. We kind of go up and down with eating, like a roller coaster. We’ve been in a down slump, so I’m trying to do better, but my husband lost his job, and money is tight. However, we’re trying to do our best right now, and I’m trying to use coupons mostly for non food items. Just today I stocked up on lots of good produce for outstanding prices. I can’t wait for spring so we can get our garden in again.

    I hope the next part comes soon, it’s hard to wait for the installments. :o)

    [Reply]

  5. Terri-Ann says

    I know this is really one past behind, but do these coupons of which you speak exist outside the US? I’m up in Canada, and I have never seen the types of coupons you write about. I mean, I see the occasional $0.50 off a jar of jam, or $1 off an expensive box of cereal, but 99% of the time I look at those coupons and think “I would never buy that product normally.” And so using those coupons means I would actually spend more money on something I wouldn’t usually purchase. I’ve never seen anyone ahead of behind me in line with coupons. In order to save money, my mother shopped the specials at 5 different grocery stores. Not that I’m going backward in my journey, I’m just curious.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Most of the coupons were for 50 cents or a dollar off, but I waited until the product was on sale for WAY low, then the coupon doubled. So, if Hamburger Helper was on sale for 1.50 and I had a 75 cent off coupon, I got it for free! I would also shop at different stores like your mom. The key definitely was to wait for a great sale to go with the coupon!

    [Reply]

  6. Julia says

    I can’t wait to hear more, especially how you gave up soda. I am trying so hard (because its not good for you with all the HFCS). It is also refreshing to know that you started on your journey AFTER your children were born. I sometimes feel guilty that I am started too late and I’m not doing more. But I think baby steps are the way to go. Too much at one time would overwhelm me. It is hard to find a lot of organics around where I live, but when the farmers market opens again in April, we hope to have better luck. Also, we do garden and I hope to can a lot more than I did last year. (The baby born in June kinda slowed me down a little.) Thanks for all your encouragement. I look forward to a little me time everyday to come read your blog. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Danielle Reply:

    I gave up soda, cold turkey almost 8 yrs ago (in June). I don’t miss it, nor do I crave. I *think* we have Pepsi in our fridge right now from when we order Chinese food. When we order CF we get a free can of soda. I use Pepsi to clean the toilets lol.

    At the time I stopped I was drinking OVER a case of Pepsi a week. (24 cans) sometimes I would even drink TWO cases!

    I know for ME, when I stopped drinking soda, I dropped 15 lbs in 2 weeks. When we go out to a restaurant, I’ll drink Sprite, but never Pepsi, and that’s it.

    I did go thru withdrawl for 2-3 days. I felt like I had the flu, if it weren’t June, I might have thought I did have the flu!

    You can do it!!

    [Reply]

    blair Reply:

    http://www.azurestandard.com!!!! 20lbs of organic fuji apples for $20!!! go see their organic produce!

    [Reply]

    melanie Reply:

    *Good* for you, Danielle! =)

    Are you serious about the toilets??

    [Reply]

    Danielle Reply:

    yeah, it seems to clean off the hard water deposits.

    Laura Reply:

    Amazing. If I wasn’t afraid to trust myself with Pepsi in the house, I would SO try that.

    Danielle Reply:

    Laura, to this day I’m still shocked I can have Pepsi in the house and not blink. But you know when God leads you to stop drinking something, you will no longer have a taste for it.

    I do remember a few years back I had a dream and in the dream I was drinking a Pepsi, would you believe I woke up THRISTING for a pepsi. I prayed, and the desire went away. I knew if I had a can I would be back to drinking it.

  7. Elizabeth says

    Looking forward to hearing more about your journey as we continue along ours. I have two children who suffer from mild eczema (as well as myself), so I’m looking forward to the next installment! ;)

    Thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

  8. Missy says

    I really am enjoying this! I am just starting on our truly whole foods eating journey, I thought we were eating healthy before (comparitively to others we weren’t too bad, but we weren’t doing whole foods either). I bought Nourishing Traditions a week ago and can’t put it down! I’ve already begun so many of the methods. I actually thought we were doing okay, but the NT philosophy makes SO much sense to me, I look forward to eating this way for a lifetime!

    [Reply]

  9. Sara says

    My son has had chronic eczema since he was about 2 months old as well. (I didn’t even know there was such a thing) He’s now about 15 months old. We recently had him allergy tested and are working towards adjusting his diet, as well as ours. It’s difficult. I’ll be anxious to hear about your journey with it as well. Thanks so much for, well, everything.

    sara

    [Reply]

  10. says

    I am looking forward to hearing the rest of your story. I have an eight month old granddaughter who has eczema. It has gotten worse since she started eating babyfood.

    [Reply]

  11. blair says

    oh my word.. we too are working toward eating more healthfully.. i started a while back but havent been very serious about it. my husband has digestive problems and blood in the stool and such, so im getting more and more serious about it. it seems really hard, other than nourishing traditions, is there any other books anyone recommends me to read?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    At this point, I don’t know of any other books to recommend (other that Sally’s other books). But, you can read through my Getting Real with Food series http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/category/getting-real-with-food and Feeding the Family series http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/category/feeding-the-family for more ideas/help (if you haven’t already).

    [Reply]

  12. Meghan says

    Post the next installment soon ;) I love this series. I love your whole wheat waffles (btw) I make them every week for my sweet boys. (although topped with syrup;cringe) I will work towards maple…is that better? THANK YOU!

    [Reply]

    Danielle Reply:

    I *think* pure maple syrup is ok. Not sure if it needs to be organic or not. Laura will tell you for sure!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Pure maple syrup, grade B is great!!! Organic is best if you can.

    [Reply]

    Danielle Reply:

    What’s the difference in grades?

    Laura Reply:

    I believe (if I remember right) grade A has gone through more processing to “clean it up a bit” making it less nutrient filled. I THINK. I may have just made that up. :)

    Danielle Reply:

    LOL… too funny!

  13. says

    I am very, very interested to see what you’ve done with Malachi’s eczema, Laura! Although my daughter’s eczema is pretty well managed at right now (we cut all grains at one point, bringing back only whole wheat and adding cod liver oil and soft-boiled egg yolks into her diet,) I know that we still have a lot to learn about it. Looking forward to learning from you!

    [Reply]

  14. Teresa says

    My sweet baby girl suffers with eczema as well. She mostly gets it in her diaper area. I have tried cloth diapering her, all different kinds of eco-friendly diapers and I also use cloth wipes with warm water to wipe her at every diaper change. She has extremely sensitive skin and she also has keratosis polaris on her little arms and legs. I wonder if changing something in her diet would make a difference with the diaper area eczema. Any suggestions as to what to try and cut out of her diet would be greatly appreciated. Also, any suggestions as to what to put on her little bottom as well as the areas with the keratosis polaris would be appreciated as well. My pediatrician recommends a heavy cream like Eucerin, but I have trouble with that because I worry about all of the parabens and other stuff that is in all of those types of creams on the market. The couple of all natural creams that I have tried on her has made the eczema worse.

    [Reply]

    Danielle Reply:

    The thing is Eucerin works. Sometimes you have to use something that you think might not be good, but would be soothing to her. The only other thing you can try (if you haven’t) is coconut oil. If you have, give the Eucerin a try. Sometimes one has to set aside the “worries” and “concerns” about certain products for their child’s health. People have been using Eucerin for decades. Also, you can try Aveeno (made w/oatmeal). Ultimately it’s up to you, but that’s my view. Sometimes, all natural products aren’t so natural. lol Otherwise one wouldn’t have reactions to them. I have sensitive skin myself, it’s hit or miss w/some products.

    have you tried the unbleached cloth diapers?

    Try restricting dairy first. Then go to starches and such.

    Good Luck!

    [Reply]

    Teresa Reply:

    I use the Aveeno Baby Eczema cream on her arms and legs and then I use either Vaseline or Aquaphor on her diaper area. It’s not that I am against using those products with parabens and believe me I have had to use them. I would just like to be able to find something that doesn’t have parabens in it that works and was hoping that maybe someone out there has found something that has worked well for them that is more natural. I personally stopped using products that contained parabens, sls and many others when I was going through unexplained secondary infertility because of what I had read about them and how they can be hormone disrupters. So for me, I feel that if I can avoid those types of ingredients by finding something that really works then I am all for it, but in the meantime I will use whatever works for her and brings her relief.

    [Reply]

    Kathleen Reply:

    Teresa- I have a super sensitive baby that struggled with baby acne and eczema. He’s also had allergic reactions that landed him in the hospital. I have switched to paraben free, sls free, + personal care products. What I have found that is safe and worked wonders on my baby’s eczema is California Baby’s Calendula Cream. It is not carried at my local health food store so I get it at diapers.com. You can order it direct from CA Baby, but it’s more expensive. Diapers.com offers free shipping with $49+ order, which is not hard to do. I buy my natural wipes (7th Generation) and baby soap/shampoo, CA Baby super sensitive, from them as well as CA baby hand soap. I dilute the soap by 75% and put it in a Kandoo dispenser that I’ve dumped the chemical soap out of and cleaned really well. That dispenser works well for my toddler. CA Baby also makes a new Calendula lotion, which I am also trying, since it’s cheaper than the Calendula Cream, when there are no flare ups. The Calendula cream is also an incredible night cream for mamas! I’ve seen amazing results on my own skin and the lotion helps with winter/dry dishwashing hands as well. My best resource for finding safe personal care products is the Environmental Working Group website, http://www.ewg.org. They have a link on their home page to their cosmetic safety database, (http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/). It has revolutionized what I use on my body as well as my family’s. It’s taken me years of reading labels to identify hazards, even in so-called natural or organic products. I have finally found chemical free or toxic free products for every personal care item we use, from laundry soap to hair dye to toothpaste to mascara. I hope this info. helps. Happy searching for what works for your family…a fellow natural mom.

  15. Ariana says

    I can’t wait to read your next post. Our journey has mirrored yours (and has been helped significantly by your posts!) because of our three year old’s eczema. He developed severe, full body eczema at two months and it has been a battle since. While his eczema has improved little, our diet has and I’m grateful for that. Thank you for your ministry – you are helping so many families lead/live better lives!! :)

    [Reply]

  16. says

    Hi Laura,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I grew up in Southern California in the 1980s, in a house full of white bread, packaged foods, sweets, soda, and margarine. Both of my parents were diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, but even back then the doctors didn’t tell them to change my diet. My parents continued to buy the junk food. And, since I didn’t know any better, I continued to eat it.
    I have struggled most of my life with headaches, episodes of low blood sugar, and high cholesterol (due to my childhood eating habits). It wasn’t until a few years ago that I discovered about whole foods (without pesticides and hormones), eating organic fruits and veggies, making bread from scratch, learning to grow a homegrown garden, and living off the land. And, I am still learning how a proper diet in real, wholesome foods can reverse or eliminate diseases like diabetes, cancer, and so much more!
    My passion is to share what I have learned with others. My college major is Health Promotion, and there is so much to learn about becoming healthy. God wants us to be healthy. He designed our bodies to live a long time.
    Please keep sharing your story with us. Everyone who is interested in becoming truly healthy should listen, research, and share the news. I wish I had learned about this lifestyle choice many years ago, but I’m glad I know about it now!!
    Thanks again!
    Jeanne

    [Reply]

  17. says

    I wanna know more about the Scottish friends- are they for hire?
    Could they guarantee converts? ;-)

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I know, amazing isn’t it? They converted my HUSBAND first, then HE had to convince ME!! I’m pretty sure that’s rare in most families. :)

    [Reply]

    Holly Reply:

    The movie “Food Inc” really got my husband on board with what I was trying to do with our food. Now he’s very supportive (not that he wasn’t before, but I think he saw it as an amusing phase until he saw some of the reasons I was doing this in front of his face. Now he’s even increased my food budget, joined a CSA, and even called a local radio station and asked tehm to please stop running Monsanto commercials!!

    [Reply]

  18. says

    LOL, I know I have said it before, but our stories are practacly the same (except for the eczema part)…
    My 8 yr old is a huge JUNKY food boy… and he cries sometimes about the things we haven’t bought in over 2 yrs… Like Lucky Charms and shells and cheese! He once said “MOM… WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU???? YOU USED TO BUY THIS STUFF!” All while acting like the world was ending!
    Of course everyone else in the family is VERY thankful for the homemade goodies and thinks I am the BEST MOM EVER!
    Someday he will thank me… I am sure of it! LOL!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Oh my, we ARE the same person. MY eight year old is my junk food boy too, the one I have the most “fights” with about food. He’s not so dramatic about it, just feels oh so sorry for himself when I don’t make his favorites, which is often because I can not make the same three things over and over. Oh, I could go on and on…

    But I won’t.
    ;)

    [Reply]

  19. alyssa says

    Thank you for these posts- I look forward to reading more! I suppose I’m kind of in the middle when it comes to healthy eating. I coupon shop, but mostly for food items I already buy and toiletries for cheap with the drugstore deals. I am blessed to have 3 competitive healthfood stores within 10 minutes of me! I love how much produce I can get for so little at these places! They also have great sales on meats, cheese, yogurt, etc. I still have a long way to go, though.

    Thankfully, we don’t have much in the way of health problems. The worst health problem I have is acne. It’s hormonal, since it’s at it’s worst when I’m breastfeeding. My skin is broken out, but also dry and flaky. But I’m clueless as to what to do for it. Sorry for rambling, but I was wondering if anybody else out there had experience with this! Thanks for any tips! :)

    [Reply]

    Holly Reply:

    The OCM? The Oil Cleansing Method helped me IMMENSELY! http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com/oil_cleansing_method_reviews.html You can find Castor Oil in the laxative section of the drugstore. I also found that when I cut out all white sugar and processed bread products, my acne improved a lot.

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *