Our Healthy Eating Journey, Pt. 3


If you missed them, you may want to go back and read Part One and Part Two.

Okay, let’s see now. Where were we?

Oh yeah, it was 15 years ago, and I had just met and married a (really cute) soccer player from California.

Now that I was a newlywed…I had the MOST fun setting up my household and my very own kitchen!!! I LOVED having my very own kitchen! I had exactly one shelf in my little kitchen, for which I lovingly sewed a crooked little curtain. Crooked or not, I was so proud.

Matt and I were both college students for the first year of our married life. We didn’t have a lot of money, so of course I bought the cheapest food I could find at the store. I don’t remember using coupons in those days…just buying cheap canned and boxed foods. And low fat.  Don’t forget about my low fat thing. I baked a lot and loved experimenting with new recipes (surprise, surprise).

Most of our friends at the time were unmarried. We liked having company over and (surprise, surprise), I got a big kick out of feeding everyone.  Our friends enjoyed home cooking since they were used to college cafeteria food…but I’ve gotta say…they sure did put up with a lot of goof-ups from me. Even though I had cooked a lot with my mom…I had mainly just helped her. I had A LOT to learn about cooking. (Like, leave a pancake on the griddle until it is bubbling very, very well…and then flip it. Otherwise the pancakes will be a doughy, gooey mess and…yuck. My company had fun trying to be polite about those that night.)

None of the above information has much to do with our journey to healthy eating…but it is, I suppose, all a part of my cooking journey

If you recall, I grew up on green beans, corn and peas (as well as the occasional salad or carrot). So, guess what I served my new husband at every meal?

Green beans, corn or peas (with the occasional salad or carrot).

After a few weeks of these side dishes, Matt lovingly suggested that maybe sometime we could try a different vegetable (you know, just for fun), like broccoli.

Broccoli?  Really? People eat that stuff? Huh.  How do they eat it? 

Steamed, Matt suggested. 

Ooh, we’d gotten a vegetable steamer as a wedding gift! I could try steaming some broccoli in my handy dandy steamer!

So I did, and it was good! Cool! 

Little by little, I ventured out of my fruit and vegetable comfort zone and tried a little more variety. I suppose that was our first, tiny step toward healthier eating.

Beyond that though, I was still preparing food with the least amount of fat as possible. We drank skim milk (white water, Matt called it), used margarine (since it was SO cheap), white flour, low fat cheeses and sour cream, fat free yogurt.

OH…and I’d also decided that real sugar wasn’t good for me…so I’d switched to diet pop and sugar free everything else. I started consuming ALL kinds of artificial sweeteners…mostly nutrisweet. Lots of it. (Remember, I LOVED drinking pop.)

Looking back at some of these diet trends and such…all I can say is, Thank You Matt for Putting Up With Me! He just ate or drank whatever I put in front of him. Even if it was “white water” and sugar-free, fat-free, flavor-free ice cream.

Did I mention that the sugar free, fat free ice cream gave me terrible gas? 

Did I seriously just share that?

Wo-ow, I think I just did.

It was a great way to start out your first year of marriage. We speak fondly (not really) of the sugar free ice cream days.

Okay, puh-lease, let’s move on from this subject….

After we’d been married for almost three years, our first son Asa was born. During his first year, I read The Weigh Down Diet, which was quite life changing for me. It taught me to “just eat when you’re hungry and stop eating when you’re full”. Wow, what a concept. I didn’t need to count calories or be obsessive about eating low fat or make my husband pass out because I had bad gas because of eating freaked out toxic ice cream? Nope, just eat regular food…but don’t over-eat.

So, I stopped buying everything “low fat” and “sugar free” and just started buying the cheapest food possible. When Asa was 15 months old, we moved to Colorado where there were lots of cool grocery stores. Thus began my days of being ” The Coupon Queen”.

To be continued….

(And also, I’d like to say a big thank you to you for coming back and still looking at me the same way after reading about…*the gas*.)  ;)

This post is linked to Frugal Friday.



  1. Christine M (France) says

    I really enjoy reading your posts.. Your pancakes remind me of the first coffee I made for our 15 friends having dinner at home, one night, a few month after we got married ! It was really awfull, untasty (I probably had put coffee for two cups and I made 15, you see ????) The only person to drink it was my dear husband (he knew I did not know anything about cooking, but I was trying trying…) Since then (21 years), he’s always been so supportive and kind to me and my cooking (science ?) projects… Have a nice day !


  2. says

    I appreciate your openess about everything. It’s comforting to know that you too had to learn all this and so wonderful that you are sharing with us….thanks Laura!


  3. Jeanne says

    Just found your blog and love your recipes, already made Giant Breakfast Cookies. I am looking forward to the future posts on your healthy eating journey. I am just coming off a 21 day fast and am being drawn to healthier foods, especially interested about sugar and the effects of refined vs. unrefined on your health. Thank you for sharing!


  4. Sherrill says

    Thank you so much for your post. I really enjoy your blog. I have a question. How much would you be willing to spend on raw milk? I have looked and asked and asked and looked some more. I found some for $6.50 for a HALF gallon. 4 children and a husband who love milk = 3-4 gallon/week. That would be a large portion of our food budget. We live in the desert of SoCal and the nearest dairy is over an hour away. I is also technically illegal to sell raw milk, but there are soe loopholes. Thanks for your help


    Laura Reply:

    YIKES! That is a LOT! What a bummer. I feel so thankful to have it for such a good price right up the road. I’m not sure how to advise you. At the very least, I’d buy organic milk from the store.


  5. says

    Believe me, it only makes you more real to us when you talk about gas, ha,ha. I have to put up with my husband’s! What’s funny is in my early marriage-learning-to-cook days, dried beans were a DANGER! I didn’t understand anything about how to make them more digestible, and you talk about GAS!

    To this day, my husband gets a little worried when I’m cooking beans, but thanks to Nourishing Traditions we don’t have problems anymore at all :)

    And, during all of my pregnancies, in the first three months, I’m the gas queen.


  6. says

    I am curious where that “cute soccor player” grew up?? We are from California too… were raised in the “deep south” of California (think Disneyland) but happily reside in Northern Oregon now! Do tell!


    Laura Reply:

    Fresno :)


  7. says

    Oh, good grief – I remember NOW that you said you were having some issues. Guess I should have been paying better attention! I’ll put in a blurb on my roundup this weekend in case any of my people are your people. :>)


    Laura Reply:

    Yes, please do mention it to your people. It’s been a nightmare!! Lost all my subscribers and am just praying that they all (like you) miss me and come back and resubscribe!!! Thanks for coming back!!


  8. Shelly says

    In my house – terrible un-successful meals are referred to as “SAD’s” (aka: Saturday Afternoon Disasters) and goodness -I have had my fair share! I just told my husband the other day that he should expect one soon -simply because it’s been a while. ;)
    Cooking and especially cooking healthy is definitely trial and error, and a huge learning process. Thanks for all your insight, encouragement and ideas! Made the pretzels the other day -some cinnamon/sugar topped and some garlic salt topped. BIG HIT!


  9. says

    Wow. you are so funny! :-) thanks for sharing. and I can’t wait for the rest.

    did you ever switch to real butter… oh, dang it, I forgot I have to wait.



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