Our Healthy Eating Journey, Wrapping it Up

healthyeatingjourney

If you missed them, please catch up on
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6 , Part 7, Part 8 and Part 9.

I had finally accepted and realized that our bodies needed nourishment.  Eating food wasn’t just about filling a hole.  Eating food was about providing our bodies with all of the right nutrients, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and fats.

I re-read Nourishing Traditions.  I asked millions of questions of my friends who knew more about healthy eating than I did.  I got completely overwhelmed.  I began throwing processed foods out of my pantry.  I pretty much turned into a Nazi about healthy eating.  If it wasn’t organic, raw, fermented, grass fed, soaked whole grain or cultured…I was scared to let it pass our lips.  We would probably die!  We would for sure get cancer!  Malachi’s eczema would get worse!  My asthma would get worse!  We would all get terribly sick!

This way of thinking turned me into a nervous wreck anytime we went anywhere.  If I was at home, I could control what we ate.  But if we were at a friend’s house or out of town visiting family or if someone offered my children candy…I was scared to death to let us eat!  Those foods were poison!!  It sounds crazy (because it was) but that’s how I was when I first learned about eating nourishing foods.  When you’re first learning about the harmful ways animals are raised for meat and milk and how many pesticides are sprayed on produce, it can make you want to run away screaming. 

It took me a few months to come around.  Part of it was that I just needed to wrap my brain around this new lifestyle.  I had to figure out how to eat and serve my family a healthy diet.  I had to learn where good food sources were.  I had to learn to spend money on food (and figure out where that money was going to come from).  I had to learn how to grow my garden organically.  I had to learn how to cook and bake differently.

But I had to learn to CHILL OUT.

I learned that while we could try our best to eat the best foods we could most of the time…we could never eat perfect foods all of the time.  And guess what?  That’s okay!  The stress of trying to eat perfectly, and the fears I had developed when we couldn’t were probably more harmful than the occasional store bought pizza or non-organic apple we might eat.

And so I discovered a healthy balance.  More importantly, so that our children would come along with us on this journey and not be afraid that Mommy would be serving them yet another weird dish that they’d never heard of and that they hated…I learned to re-create all of our favorite foods.  Now, we could eat all of our favorites (Pizza, Mac and Cheese, Tacos, Nachos, Spaghetti, etc.), but they were made with healthy and wholesome ingredients!  The kids were happy.  The parents were happy.  Our bodies were happy.  

So that’s where we’ve landed.  We don’t eat a perfect diet…we just do the best we can.  Our journey continues, because that’s what journeys do, don’t they?

Now my goal is to continue to develop more healthy and tasty recipes that my family loves and share them with you!

I’m wrapping up this series about Our Healthy Eating Journey today, with plans to launch into another series of sorts in which I’ll share some simple steps you can take toward healthy eating if this journey is new to you.  I’ll share specific information about healthy meats, dairy products, eggs, spices, grains, produce, fats, etc.  More importantly, I’ll give you ideas and tools for where to start.  You DON’T need to change everything all at once!

My goal is to help you know that eating healthy is a possibility for EVERYONE.  No matter what your budget, your cooking ability and experience, your understanding of nutritious food.  You can do this!

Healthy eating tastes so good!  Learn along with me that changing over to a healthy lifestyle is simple, affordable and delicious!

Comments

  1. Jennifer says

    Thanks you so much for sharing. Your story is encouraging, and I look forward to your advice about getting started (and/or taking it to the next level…).

    [Reply]

  2. Kelly says

    you have been such an encouragement!! we have taken the first steps into eating better and we even planted a garden!! grant it we have no idea what we are doing when it comes to gardening but i’ve bought your e-book, subscribed to the home depot garden club and am doing my research otherwise. Hopefully God will bless our little garden!! I even had my daughter take worms we found under our deck and put them in the garden (although i didn’t talk to the worms Laura)!! We recently found a Natural Foods and a Whole Foods Market in our area so I’m very excited about that. We were out of town a few weeks ago and made our very first trip to a Whole Foods Market where i bought some sucanat and quinoa. I also found out that Azure Standard now delivers to my area. I’m just thrilled with all the new and healthful changes that are available. all it took was a bit of research!!! thanks Laura for all the encouragement and knowledge you have provided for all of us!!!

    [Reply]

  3. Christy says

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us, Laura. I have been on my journey for a couple of months now & it feels so good to be eating better. I have learned a lot from you!

    [Reply]

  4. says

    I’ve really enjoyed your series! Looking forward to the next series! Most of the healthy eating is so abnormal I don’t have many people to go to for advice, so this will really help me. By the way, we LOVE your sloppy joe’s. They were dynamite! A hundred times better than Manwich…which is saying a lot if you ask me! :)

    [Reply]

  5. Ariana says

    Too funny. I found myself in the same stressed state after starting down the same path. Everything snowballed quickly for me b/c once I started reading one thing I was quickly motivated to read more, and more and more! While I still struggle with panic attacks everytime our church hands out candy as a snack (at 9 in the morning!!) to my preschooler, I have come to realize that we eat as healthy as we can at home so when we eat outside the home (which isn’t often) our bodies can carry the burden that much better. Thanks for sharing. This series has been wonderul and I so appreciate knowing that I’m not alone on this journey! :)

    [Reply]

  6. Danielle says

    Oh I can’t wait either!!!! how long will we have to wait?

    I’m so glad you learned to chill out. lol. It shows DEEPLY in your compassion w/others. The willingness to HELP, and not condemn.

    [Reply]

  7. says

    Loved this series so much and I have learned so much from you. My family is just starting this journey so I have lots to learn but I am very excited about it. Thanks for sharing all of your knowledge and I can’t wait to read your next series!!

    [Reply]

  8. says

    I have loved this set of posts. And, I am looking forward to getting on the right track with eating. You inspire me to try to eat better and cook better. Thank you.

    [Reply]

  9. Laurie Plath says

    I’ve really enjoyed this series. I’m thankful to God for putting it in your heart to share this with us and I’m so thankful that you listened to Him!!! You’ve been a blessing to me and I can’t wait to see what is coming next.

    [Reply]

  10. shorty says

    Thank you for taking the time to post this series. It is nice hearing how someone went from one place to another. We usually read the end result in all these books and it gets so wearisome, undoable and scary. You let us see how it is one step at a time. I checked out the book you read but couldn’t get myself to read it! I think I got scared. I know that sounds silly but there was WAY too much for me to process so I do look forward to hearing you next series. It sounds like MY next step:) Thank you so much
    Shorty

    [Reply]

  11. Mrs Team S says

    Thank you so much for the time you put into this blog. The Lord has used you in our lives more than you will ever know. The phrase “Laura from Heavenly Homemakers…” is frequently heard around our house. Not to mention that all my children (and occasionally my husband too) will shout out, “Taco Night” with an appropriate shake down. :)

    I am really excited for your next series on easy steps to eating healthy.

    Thank you again. May the Lord bless you and your family for the time and effort you take to minister to others.

    Have a blessed day!

    [Reply]

  12. Melissa says

    Thank you so much for this encouraging series! I really enjoyed reading it! We have slowly made some positive changes in our diet, but we have a long way to go. Thank you for sharing your journey! I’m looking forward to the new series!

    [Reply]

  13. Jessica says

    Really enjoyed this series! Not many around me have a clue what I’m talking about when I mention Nourishing Traditions or soaking grains. I think they think I’m looney. But I also appreciated the note on balance and perspective. I can get really overwhelmed with all this info and feel badly when I can’t find sources of pastured animal products (or afford them). Good encouragement not to throw in the towel and just do the best with what I’ve got.

    [Reply]

  14. says

    Thank you so much for sharing this journey. I have learned and seen myself in so much of it. I admire the radical way you changed your thinking, preparing and eating foods. I am looking forward to reading your next series and implementing some suggestions into the way my family eats! Thanks again:)

    [Reply]

  15. Esther says

    Laura, thank you so much for this post. I’ve been really struggling with the whole Nourishing Traditions and finding balance. Reading your post just reassured me that I’m doing things right. I make virtually everything from scratch and substitute healthier ingredients when I can. The stress and constant worry of everything Nourishing Traditions throws at us is overwhelming which just makes life harder. Finding balance is hard, but knowing that I do the best I can to establish healthy eating habits in my kids and showing the value of those healthy habits is what I’ve determined to be the right choice for our family. Thank you so much for the series!!

    [Reply]

    Danielle Reply:

    I never read NT… and quite frankly, I’m turned off from it. Another blogger just jams it down you throat. But that’s why I LOVE Laura’s blog! She doesn’t give you the guilt!

    There has to be balance… our kids won’t be damaged for life if we eat out a friend’s house who serves white rice, or used refined sugar in the dessert. It’s a treat!

    [Reply]

    Esther Reply:

    You’re so right!

    [Reply]

  16. Laura says

    I’m so excited about your new series! I am wanting to eat and cook healthier, but I have no idea where to start and I get overwhelmed VERY fast! Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

    [Reply]

  17. says

    Thank you for this series and I’m excited about the upcoming series. We’ve begun eating healthier and I have found myself become overwhelmed and just almost sad that I couldn’t ‘do’ everything I needed to right away. It is a process! So, I’ve had to take a few deep breaths and just chill out! So far I’ve eliminated packaged fruit bars and granola bars. I’ve found local free range chicken eggs for us and also local beef. Although the beef is quite expensive, so I just get it when I can. I’ve had to learn that a little is better than none. We are blessed with a local dairy that sells milk, whole fat buttermilk, and lots of cheeses. I just got some mozzarella, yum! It’s also where I get the beef from too! They aren’t certified organic (just isn’t a step that they’ve taken although they would probably qualify) and they do not sell raw milk (illegal here) but it is not homogenized and not ultra pasteurized. I love that you can actually watch the cows as you drive past the pasture and then even watch them being milked! They also sell local honey! So, I have been able to find a great resource for our family. The biggest thing that we lack in is produce, organic produce. We don’t garden (we rent our house and don’t have the land space) but my dad grows a huge garden so soon we will have lots of produce. But until then, it’s chemical laced produce for us. UGH. That makes me want to cry! But, God is in control. Ok, I’m rambling. What I meant to say was, thank you!

    [Reply]

  18. May says

    I am new to your website and I need to go back and read your previous posts. I have begun some changes to our meals and used some of your recipes already! I have experienced some of that initial “panic” of what to eat, how to get it, how to avoid it and how much ti all costs! However, I cling to our Lord that He blesses the food to nourish our bodies in order to serve Him. Yes, we should eat in the healthiest manner as we can and I am so glad for your HARD work and have it available to us! I will work toward a good balance between eating well and not let it dominate my mind.

    Thank you!!

    [Reply]

  19. says

    I am so looking forward to your next series coz we are also facing health issues and I do want to make the change. But the whole thing is so overwhelming I am literally paralyzed with fear and I don’t know where to start!

    IT doesn’t help that here in SIngapore, most of our food is imported so it is hard to control the type of food we buy. Organic here literally costs an arm and a leg.

    So I am first trying to add more vegetables and fruits to our diet. I am looking to eliminate white sugar and flour. But it is hard to wean ourselves off it :(

    Thanks for doing this. I am looking for inspiration!

    [Reply]

    Danielle Reply:

    I know it IS hard!!! I weaned us off white flour… I’m slowing bringing the kids off skim milk. I do not feel comfortable giving my family raw milk, but I do buy the organic milk.

    [Reply]

    Kathleen Reply:

    A great flour alternative is Hard White Wheat, freshly ground if you can. It is 100% whole wheat, but has the taste and texture of the white processed flour, meaning your baked goods come out the same but with the nutrition of whole wheat! King Arthur is one brand that sells it. I think Montana Prarie Wheat is another. It does not have the “wheat” taste of hard red wheat, yet has the same high nutrition.

    [Reply]

    Esther Reply:

    I had no idea about this! Does it substitute 1 to 1 in recipes?

    [Reply]

    Danielle Reply:

    Hmmm Kathleen… we have King Arthur around here.. I know they have white whole wheat flour..I never saw if it said hard or soft tho.

    Kathleen Reply:

    Esther it absolutely does substitute one for one. I have never turned back once using it. It makes amazing baked goods and breads! You can buy hard white wheat berries (preferably organic) and grind your own. Azure carries them. So do some health food stores in their bulk sections. Or you can find the companies previously mentioned that sell it premilled as flour already. I am sure there are others companies as well. I make absolutely everything with it now, unless I want to use a flour like oat or gluten free flours. What I love is that it is just as nutritious as hard red wheat but tastes like white flour, not “wheaty.” Even if a recipe calls for whole wheat pastry flour (which is soft white whole wheat) I still use the hard white wheat.

    Danielle- KAF white whole wheat is the hard white wheat. Soft white wheat is pastry flour and it should be called pastry flour if it’s made from soft wheat. Believe me, I bugged King Arthur for all of the facts once I learned about hard white wheat because I couldn’t believe I had found whole wheat nutrition in something that tastes as good as the bad processed white flour! I am a hard white wheat convert! I’m in Idaho and I’ve seen KAF prices from $5-$7 a bag. Azure carries both the hard white wheat berries and the flour as well if you have access to them, cheaper than the “name brand” flours. If you know any LDS (Mormon) friends that live near a LDS cannery, which is open to the public, they often have hard white wheat berries too but they’re not organic. The canneries don’t carry the hard white wheat flour though. I’m not LDS, but I’m learning from my neighbors that are, as many make just about everything from scratch too.

    Dawn Reply:

    Kathleen and Esther,
    I STRONGLY encourage you to consider buying a mill and wheat berries and
    and grinding the flour yourself. Yes, the KAF does substitute 1:1 in
    recipes for white flour, and the difference is barely detectable,
    but you are missing so much by getting the flour that is “dead” off
    the store shelf when you could be using fresh, nutrient-dense flour
    which contains the oil(with vitamin E!) that the store-bought flour
    is missing! If the oil was left in that flour, it would go rancid
    on the store shelf. (You can read more about this on the website
    http://www.breadbeckers.com under “articles”). The mill is a big invest-
    ment, but it will pay for itself in no time! It is so much cheaper
    to start with the whole grain than to buy expensive flour like KAF
    or whole grain bakery goods at the store, and homemade tastes SO
    much better!

    Esther Reply:

    Well, I convinced my husband to get me a grain mill for Mother’s Day. I’m still researching the types. I
    know that the Nutri Mill comes highly recommended, but it’s a lot of money. Since I have a Kitchen Aid
    mixer, I’m actually thinking of getting the attachment for the mixer. I also found a semi-local granary
    that gets all of it’s wheat from within a 150 mile radius of where I live. I’m really excited to get
    started on this journey!

    [Reply]

    Dawn Reply:

    I have to HIGHLY recommend the Nutrimill! I know a friend who has
    been using hers for about 15 years and it is still going strong!
    I love mine and have been using it for almost 6 years now. The
    great thing about the Nutrimill is that it can mill your flour fine
    or course, depending on what you are using it for. It can also
    handle big things like beans and yellow corn (for wonderful corn-
    bread!)
    If you are really going to take the “leap” and not just try it a
    little here and there, you will want a machine that will be able
    to handle heavy use. In my opinion, the attachments are not worth
    the money in the long run. I once tried grinding meat with a
    Kitchenaid attachment and it burned the motor out. I had to buy
    a separate (heavy duty!) meat grinder that had a decent motor to
    to the job that it was made for. There are other electric mills,
    but I like the Nutrimill because it takes up less space on my
    counter. As far as noise goes, I understand that they are all LOUD!
    (I wear earplugs whenever I run it!(-:)

  20. says

    Laura, thank you for sharing your family’s journey. I can really relate. I went from being a coupon queen to now cooking from scratch, eating local and organic. Still learning how not to be too fanatical about it or become so filled with guilt when I don’t soak something beforehand! You actually were my inspiration to move our family towards a healthier way of eating. I remember in an older post you sharing your grocery budget and it really got me to thinking. For only $100 more a month than I was spending on double/triple coupon deals, you were feeding your family more nourishing foods. So we increased our grocery budget a little and slowly started moving away from the processed foods. Thanks for the inspiration to take those first steps!

    Mary Ellen
    The Working Home Keeper

    [Reply]

  21. DorthyM says

    I am really looking forward to the next series. I need all the help I can get in eating healthier.

    [Reply]

  22. Jennifer says

    Thank you for being such an inspiration…I know it has been said time and time again, but you are changing lives. My husband has not rejected one of your recipes yet and they are such a help to me since I struggle in the kitchen. I am sure taking pictures takes a lot of time, but they are such a help. This series has inspired me to take the first steps to a healthier lifestyle. I’m looking forward to the next series. Thank you and may God continue to bless you.

    [Reply]

  23. Svetlana says

    Laura,
    My note will probably prove what you were writing about finding the balance. And this is what I want to mention : it is the verse in NT somewhere that talks specifically about buying food that we shouldn’t analyze it but bless and eat. ( I am not quoting). It liberated me when I was getting really overwhelmed with info. It’s a challenge to rely on God , sometimes, and his divine provision, especially in this sphere. Seems to me, that being moms and homemakers we are trying to carry more than we should and can sometimes.

    [Reply]

  24. Lisa says

    This is sort of a side note about your food budget – I’m in shock and awe that you feed the 6 of you on $500 a month! That’s incredible, good for you! I need to learn how to curb our food budget, it’s tough though especially since I don’t have the room or enough sunshine for a garden. Boo hoo

    I checked out this link… http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/FoodPlans/2010/CostofFoodFeb10.pdf to see where we fit in, and I guess I must be more moderate than thrify, but I’m learning! And I appreciate all your great tips to keep things healthy and inexpensive.

    [Reply]

  25. Dawn says

    Excellent job with this series, Laura! I’ve really enjoyed hearing about your journey, and looking forward to future info. By the way, what kind of muffins are pictured at the top of the “Journey to Healthy Eating” heading? They look so good, but they look too light to be whole wheat. Are they corn muffins? Do you have the recipe on your site? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    They are actually banana muffins, made with whole wheat (whole white wheat). The recipe isn’t on my site…YET! :)

    [Reply]

    Danielle Reply:

    I LOVE banana muffins, can’t wait to see the recipe!

    [Reply]

    Dawn Reply:

    Please post the recipe soon!!!!

    [Reply]

  26. Jennifer says

    Yeah I’m totally at that STRESS OUT stage where I freak out with all bad things my kids come across. I’m changing sooo much all at once and it’s like I can’t change it fast enough. I threw everything processed out of the pantry so that is at least a start and I make everything from scratch…although some stuff is still refined (white rice, white sugar..etc). But I’m working through it and luckily my husband keeps me grounded by letting me know when i go overboard…lol. Thanks so much for your blog. It is inspiring and encouraging. I love that you are a real person who CAN actually do all this stuff and still have time for yourself and family, so we can all see that it IS possible to eat healthy and take care of our families without cutting corners. It takes prioritizing and planning but it is doable. Thanks so much for bringing that realization to your readers!

    [Reply]

  27. says

    So great to hear about your journey. I’m not quite as far on mine but I just posted some tips for people just starting out on their journey. Everyting was very well said. There is so much great stuff to learn! Can’t wait to hear more about what you have to say!

    [Reply]

  28. says

    Your story is really encouraging, thank you so much for sharing it. I’m looking forward to your next series. Although I’ve already started trying to make healthier food for my family, I know I have a long way to go.

    [Reply]

  29. Elizabeth says

    Thanks so much for your 10 part post about your healthy eating journey. This past year I have begun this journey, and I am currently at the point where I need to “CHILL OUT.” I was reading part 10 out loud with my husband and sister…they all agree that I need to CHILL OUT. I realize it now too. :-) Thanks!

    [Reply]

  30. holly says

    I am a little embarrassed to tell you I am reading all ten installments of your journey to health as i enjoy, yes, enjoy, a diet coke and chocolate raspberry luna bar. I have gone on health kicks on and off, along with some pretty “crunchy” phases. My husband is a good ole boy who enjoys his food. We are now working out together. He is finally actually reading labels on food! I am ready to strike while the iron is hot, so to speak, and get the family eating more whole foods. Thanks for your encouragement and honesty.

    [Reply]

  31. Sarah Mulholland says

    I enjoyed reading about your journey. I found it interesting that one of your driving forces was your son’s eczema. This too was my driving force with my 2 year old daughter. I started reading Nourishing Traditions and decided to make Kombucha. With just that single change and having her drink a “dixie” cup full with each meal, her eczema was gone in two (yes two) days. I was shocked! I tossed all the junk out and now sprout, grind, soak and dehydrate. I try and make everything from scratch. And it has not been that hard. It’s somewhat like a hobby and very enjoyable to me. My husband enjoys all the goods as well :) I’m looking forward to checking out the rest of your site. Thank you for writing down your thoughts as it helps us relate, learn and not think we’re the only crazy person out there….because my friends and family think I’m crazy because of my changes :)

    [Reply]

  32. Susan Robinson says

    I just started receiving your emails, so I’m probably missing a few posts, but I have a question—-do you support eating meat? So many people who are advocating healty eating say to eliminate all meat products and that is hard for me.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, absolutely. We go through a lot of meat in our house, but work to be sure we get healthy, grass fed or free range meats if possible! Research done proving meat is unhealthy was done on meats that are raised in an unhealthy way – cramming too many animals in one location, compromising the feed, etc. I feel like if the animal has been raised and fed well the meat is perfectly healthy to eat!

    [Reply]

  33. Kelly_WI says

    First off, I love your site. It’s a great resource and starting point. I received a link from my sister in law to your sausage and pancake muffins recipe(yum). I was seriously reading your post about your healthy eating journey while drinking a Pepsi…what are the chances?! My husband and I lost our son in May due to some complications during labor, and since then, I’ve decided to make some big changes in the way we eat. I’m just taking baby steps, but this site has really helped. Thank you for sharing all of this with everyone.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I hurt, hearing of your loss. I’m thankful that my site can offer you encouragement. (Enjoy that Pepsi on my behalf. Oh wait. I mean – throw away that Pepsi!!) :)

    [Reply]

  34. Monika says

    I’ve been really wanting to start cutting processed foods out of our family’s diet and make everything from scratch. I stumbled across your site in an completely unrelated way – I saw a link on another blog on how to make 6 meals out of one chicken; however, I started browsing around and am so fascinated. I haven’t done a lot of reading about eating a whole foods diet, but it’s common sense that natural things are better for you than chemicals and preservatives and refined “foods”.

    I do have a question, though, and you probably cover this somewhere on your site. I looked at a couple recipes (they look sooo good!) and noticed that you use a large amount of foods high in saturated fat. For example, a whole cup of butter in the pizza and 3 cups of whole milk in mac and cheese. I’ve always been taught/read/heard that saturated fat (except the kind that is in coconut oil) is really bad for you and leads to fatty buildup around the heart and other health problems. Could you please set me straight on this if I’m wrong, or give me a link if you’ve already blogged on this topic? Thanks so much!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, I definitely do prepare foods that are high in saturated fat, which throws people off sometimes since I use “butter” and “healthy” in the same sentence! Here are some series I’ve written about healthy eating that might help explain my thoughts about healthy eating and real, whole foods: http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/category/getting-real-with-food; http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/category/our-healthy-eating-journey; http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/category/simple-steps-toward-healthy-eating

    [Reply]

  35. Michael Gaumer says

    I just stumbled upon your website while looking for a granola bar recipe for my wife. I have been into health/nutrition for 29 yrs now, since getting ‘saved’ in Dec 1982. God delivered me from booze, drugs, rock and free sex. My first encounter with nutrition was bee pollen. I ate a teaspoon/day for 8.5 yrs, as well as trying other products. Bee pollen has a ton of vitamins & minerals. Since you are concerned with new cooking ideas, look at the site below….also the case studies. Great stuff!!

    Everyone needs to see this…
    http://www.greattastenopain.com/cmd.asp?af=1180234

    http://www.greattastenopain.com/cs/casestudies.asp

    God Bless…

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

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