Why Aren’t You Eating a Healthy Diet?! Part 1

I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but eating healthy food is really, really expensive. It also takes too much time to prepare, and besides that, all healthy food tastes like cardboard.

Those are a few things you might want to say to me if you’re interested in picking a fight. Not that I like to fight…unless you offer me a light saber or a plastic sword, of course. ;)

Trust me, I’ve heard all of the excuses. Shucks, I used most of them myself back before we began our healthy eating journey. I hated spending money on food. And I thought eating a healthy diet meant that I had to live on rice cakes, fake sugar,  and some sort of fat-free cheese like product. (Let us all now pause for a moment of simultaneous gagging.)

Yes, I’ve used all the excuses to avoid eating healthier foods. I have had all the fears. I thought I would get fat if I ate high fat foods. I thought we would go broke if I stopped using coupons for all the “food” I typically purchased at great discount. I thought my kids would hate eating healthy food and feel deprived of their favorite snacks, meals, and treats. I thought cooking healthy would be complicated and beyond my realm of knowledge in the kitchen.  Plus, I had no idea where I would find healthy food in our small mid-western town.

But as I was learning more about eating a good, balanced diet filled with whole foods, I realized that something needed to give. I needed to do this for my family.

Therefore, I did a lot of research. I sought the help of friends. I learned that good healthy food is a great investment for my family’s health. I dug deep and found that there are healthy food sources all around me – I just had to know where to look. And I learned that healthy, whole food actually tastes amazingly better than anything else that comes out of a box or a bag.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be writing a series exploring the top ten excuses I hear from people about why they don’t eat a healthy diet. I’ll work to debunk all the myths you’ve ever heard about health food, and offer you hope if you are holding back on eating a healthy diet because of some excuses of your own.

As we begin this series, I’d love to know:  What are your biggest hang-ups with eating a healthy diet? What are the excuses you use or hear most when it comes to eating twinkies instead of broccoli? If you had to make a top ten list of reasons you can’t eat a healthy diet, what might be on your list?

Comments

  1. says

    Number one excuse… it’s too expensive to feed my family of 6. We do eat mostly whole foods. Hamburger Helper and boxed, sugar-coated cereals are out and I don’t think my kids have a clue what a Twinkie even is. Still, we’d like to eat more raw foods and more organic foods but I can’t seem to manage the budget in a way that would enable that.

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    Camille Reply:

    Me, too! We are a family of 5 and it just kills me that I have to pay $5 for a dozen egss from the farmer when I can get them at the store for $.99! The cost for me is the most prohibitive issue.

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  2. says

    Awesome, I can’t wait to see what you have to share. Over the last year or two, I’ve started trying to sneak in healthier meals, or at least more healthy ingredients than not…my biggest struggle other than cost, is my husband. He’s not really picky, but he didn’t like it when I did certain things like used whole wheat pasta, or if we started eating too much salad or veggies. He’s come to me and asked why certain things that he enjoyed were no longer here…today for instance, he couldn’t believe we didn’t have koolaid(yuck!). I haven’t bought any in ages, but today he wandered why I hadn’t bought any. He’s not really concerned with the whole issue of being healthy, which definately makes my desire to eat healthier much more difficult!

    Blessings,
    sara

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    Ria Reply:

    When I started using whole wheat pasta, I would mix it with white, at first using mostly white and then gradually making the whole wheat the larger part of the mix. My family didn’t notice the gradual change and now we don’t like the texture or taste of white pasta. I did the same when I switched over to brown rice.

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    Muna Reply:

    I did the same exact thing when transitioning to brown rice. Half white & half brown for about 1 month then I just made the switch to all brown. Now my family likes it just fine.

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    jenny Reply:

    Ditto! That has been a refrain here too. But, after our first child was born, I decided to do it anyway. We are doing much better now. He still bugs for junk sometimes, but guess what? Lately, he has started to admit that it doesn’t taste as good. He will buy the organic bananas on his own. We are having a dairy battle currently. His concern is price, plus he grew up on nothing but boxed food. It is a change of thinking for him. But, i think as his parents health continues to get worse, he is starting to admit diet may have been an issue!

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  3. Lynn says

    Hmm….I do cook much more healthy now than I used to, but I got far more compliments on my baking when I used refined white flour/sugar. Even white whole wheat doesn’t give the same texture/taste as the refined stuff. I do have to say that I miss the compliments. I also struggle when we have company over for dinner; I don’t want to be ‘the lady that cooks the strange food’, and I want our guests to like the meal, not suffer though it, which is what i feel they would be doing when they are used to the standard american diet. I am obviously insecure :)

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    Muna Reply:

    Freshly ground whole wheat produces far better tasting baked treats than all purpose flour or store bought whole wheat flour. If you follow Laura’s recipes on here and use freshly ground whole wheat flour, you will have great results.
    I have successfully won my family over to whole wheat with the breads, cakes and such I have made by doing this.

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    Elizabeth Hall Reply:

    I use fresh ground white whole wheat and I still notice a huge texture difference, as does my husband. I’ve even tried fresh ground soft white wheat berries and it still is not the same. My baked goods are always far more dense when using whole wheat. I currently have about 100 lbs of white wheat berries and I’m determined to use them all, but some help would be appreciated. :)

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    Muna Reply:

    What if you weaned your family into it. Maybe subbing half whole wheat with half regular white flour for a month or two. Then maybe doing 75% whole wheat and 25% white flour for a month or two. Then finally make the total plunge.
    You could also stay at the 50-50 if that is what you like. That would be better than not having any whole wheat at all.
    Just an idea :)

    Jenny Reply:

    A couple of ideas: First, when using whole wheat as a substitute in a recipe formulated for white, your measurements should be a bit “scant”, or less than full. I also have great results using half whole wheat and half whole oat. The oat lightens things up a bit, but your are still using whole grains. This also helps with grain variety. Try checking out the whole grain baking book put out by king arthur flour. After checking it out of my local library several times, I have learned a lot about using whole grains and how they work. I think their website has some of the recipes too.

    Lyndsay Reply:

    If you have a recipe that calls for white flour, don’t sub more than half of it whole wheat. The recipe isn’t made to take the difference. Instead, start by subbing half the flour for whole wheat and then try to find a similar recipe that is intended for whole wheat flour. When I have tried to sub whole wheat flour into my recipes that were made for white flour, the result is too dense if I use more than half. But I have found several muffin, pancake, bread, and even cookie recipes designed specifically for whole wheat. They worked much better.

    Camille Reply:

    I just wanted to chime in that for my son’s birthday party in November, I made vanilla cupcaks from scratch using white sugar and flour… AND I made Laura’s whole wheat brownies and the chocolate frosting. I had a ton of leftover cupcakes but the brownies were wiped out! :_) I think it’s

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  4. says

    My current biggest problem is time. I homeschool, my husband works from home (for a big company, so he needs to hunker down in his office most work hours), and my oldest of four is 8yo. We’re still working with the children with chores and their responsibilities (they’re 8yo, 5.5yo, 3.5yo, 22mo). If the meal’s going to take two hours to make and we eat 3-4 times a day… yeah. :( After a year straight of only 3-4 hours of sleep a night I’m over that and prefer to sleep at night vs. endlessly prep food/fold laundry/scrub the bathroom.

    So…. I don’t suppose you’re going to compile something similar to what the Hillbilly Housewife had… It was like a week or a month of easy/inexpensive meals. Including breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, and maybe even a dessert. If you can create that with whole-food ingredients, that would be darned groovy.

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    Lyndsay Reply:

    I hear you! I have four boys, and we have a lot of activities. So I make certian concessions in my cooking. I don’t can my own spaghetti sauce, but I do buy organic. And while I make the sauce, I double it, boil twice as many noodles as we need, and freeze the leftovers. You can put the noodles in a baggie or air tight container, and then just dip them in boiling water for 30 seconds to a minute to warm them up. Also, if we’re having tacos, I will double the meat, using my own seasoning, and then whip up some burritos for the freezer. Leftover roast and veggies? Pop them in the crockpot with some water and spices for veggie beef soup. I have found that you have to be very intentional about what you eat, I plan a menu for each week (which took forever at frist, but now I can get a week done in 10 minutes) and I try to pick several dinners where I can either just reheat leftovers for another meal or re-purpose them. That way, on nights I we have something going on, or I have been up with a sick kiddo, I have something that just takes heating up. I have never been able to convince myself to do one day of nothing but freezer cooking (mainly because I don’t vave the time) so I find that adding it to one or two meals a week works well.

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    CO Reply:

    I also homeschool my kids but my husband does not work at home. Last year I tried making a lot of food changes and it became really stressful for me. I decided that my famiy deserved to have a happy mom/wife. For me, now it is about small changes a little at a time. If I don’t have time to make tortillas then I don’t feel bad about buying them. Also, my husband isn’t crazy about some changes and I personally believe that it is not my place to argue with him or try to trick him. I will keep him happy!

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  5. Linni says

    I think my biggest reason for not eating healthier, is that I do not know how! I know that sounds silly, but being raised on tuna helper and frozen dinners, I do not know how to cook anything. I really do not want to pass that trait on to my daughter. A healthy daily menu planner would be my best friend.

    Reason number two would be that I have an extremely picky toddler … and a husband who is even more picky.

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    KK @ Coupon Crocodile Reply:

    I think that is so great that you said you don’t know how to eat healthy. So honest! You rock!! You might use this rule of thumb “If it grew in the ground and/or you can pronounce all the ingredients, it’s probably on the healthy end of things.”

    As for your pickey toddler, have you tried green smoothies? In a blender add any yogurt you like, a splash of OJ or milk, some fruit (bananas, strawberries, whateversonhand and frozen is just fine too) and frozen spinach (do not defrost). You cannot taste the spinach- not one skinny bit. If you add frozen blueberries, it even sort of hides the green spinach flecks if that is a concern.

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    Julie Reply:

    I am SO trying this! How much of the yogurt and spinch do you use for 2 servings? I could drink this along with her:) Thanks!

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    Priscilla Frazier Reply:

    I can vouch for the veggie laden smoothies going over well with youngsters! OJ makes a big difference in masking the vegetable flavor. I’ve added carrots and kale to smoothies also – and it tastes fine. It’s tough to get little ones (mine are 3 and 1) to eat raw veggies – it’s simply hard for them, and the smoothie route is an easy way to get even small amounts of raw into them. Better than nothing at all! :) Also, sometimes my local grocer has bananas greatly discounted and I’ve found it works well to puree them, freeze the puree in old containers (sour cream containers, etc.) and scoop it out like ice cream to use in smoothies. Gives it a nice chill and texture, and sweetness too.

  6. Shanell Grozav says

    For me it’s the time involved to cook a healthy meal. I feel like all I do is cook and do dishes. I don’t know what to say to working mothers. I also haven’t figured out how to do it cheaply. With raw milk $10/gallon and pastured eggs $5.50/dozen, how can I encourage those on a lower income to eat healthy(except to just stay away from process foods)?

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  7. says

    I get odd looks from all my friends and family for my eating habits. Also, I am a christian vegetarian, which even gets more strange looks from people.

    My top excuses would be:
    1) I have to eat in a college cafeteria
    2) No time to eat healthy between classes
    3) I worked out so I can eat whatever I want
    4) Too expensive

    Since last Fall, those excuses are gone…for the most part! :)

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    Lana Reply:

    I have three college kids and I agree that eating healthy in the college dinig hall is very difficult. They don’t cook healthy because they would end up throwing it out.

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  8. Katie says

    We were getting ready to switch over to a much healthier diet, with a co-op and everything, and then we moved. I’m not talking, like, to another town, like to another continent. Now, here in Australia, I have no idea where to start. I’ve tried researching co-ops and organic foods. I’ve tried finding dairy farmers who are willing to sell raw milk. I can’t find anything. :( So we are still hunting, and I’m hoping we can find something soon.

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    sa'ada Reply:

    that’s my biggest problem too. but i’m in saudi arabia and much of
    what i’m looking for is probably not even available here.

    you might want to join the yahoo groups for wapf and gaps AU.
    you’d be able to get a lot of resource information from them.

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    Katie Reply:

    Thank you! I didn’t even know those groups existed. I’m off to find them :)

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  9. Whitney says

    I grew up in a family where we ate hamburger helper and spam on a normal basis(Eww). When I got married, I refused to carry on those traditions. For the past year and a half, I have been experimenting and slowly getting rid of all the processed foods in our house. I have learned that it 1. Takes time to change a behavior/life style, 2. It takes planning, and 3. Real food tastes so much better. I use coupons to decrease our spending as much as possible, so that we have money for expensive items like organic milk (10% of our grocery budget), coconut oil, and unrefined sugars. When you cook and bake from scratch you save so much money. Plan and have goals so that you set yourself up for success. It takes time to completely change your eating habits, so give yourself grace and keep trying!

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  10. says

    When I tell people that I use coupons, they tell me the same things. That coupons are only for cereal and pop tarts and unhealthy foods. Soooo untrue! I eat healthy, cook and bake a lot, and eat gluten free. But I use coupons. My meals are exploding with awesome flavors. So much more than you would find in a freezer meal. Fresh foods, heathly fats instead of all the icky stuff and lots of veggies. AND I use coupons- ha. Last night I made sweet potato and spinach soup with salad and homemade bread. There is just no way anything from Mickey D’s beats that. And my cost per meal is definitely less! Not to mention the health value.

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    C Sherwin Reply:

    Coupons! Where do you find the coupons for healthy foods? Before I went wacko and really started eating healthy I LOVED coupons. I must not be looking in the right places! We aim for wheat free (allergies) and healthy here.

    Someone mentioned texture above. Without wheat, and using whole grains really does affect my baking. Any suggestions?

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    Emily Reply:

    KK – I am also gluten free (and my husband is not) and I use coupons, while still eating healthy, too!

    I refuse to listen to anyone who says coupons are only for junk. I use them on some food products…but I use far more coupons on household and HBA items.

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  11. Janet says

    I have a hubby who doesn’t eat fruit or veggies unless I hide them in something that looks unhealthy. It’s a big problem in us eating a healthy diet. My goal this year is to get us eating better in the next year.
    It doesn’t help that I want to eat a veg*n diet while he eats meat in almost every meal. He loves his fast food also and that is an expensive habit to break. Yet for the wallet one that needs broken.

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  12. Hanneke says

    Hi Laura,
    First things first! I LOVE your blog and have used heaps of recipes of yours with great success! Boiling your pasta in milk/cream is just brilliant! Keep it up!
    Just one thing with regard to healthy eating and take this ‘in love’ :). I do get dishearted/discouraged by your menuplan. Let me explain. I can’t believe (positively) that you create/have three NEW meals a day!! I have not/don’t want to have time for that. Our menu consists of a new dinner menu most days but roughly the same breakfast as well as lunch! I love your ideas I have used them but I could see from a ‘newcomer’ aspect that could discourage people.
    To end on a positive note :). I do like the fact that you buy on occasions food like ‘the buns for the youthhuddle one time’! We mothers can’t simply do it all, one meal of shop bought things is going to ‘kill’ us! :)

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  13. Jess says

    My biggest hangup is that I’m not quite sure what equals a healthy diet. I’m not sure what the body all needs each day ya know. Oh and side dishes.

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  14. sandra mc combs says

    We were forced to begin eating a better diet when my husband was diagnosed with heart failure, high BP and out of control diabetes. Dont’ wait until it’s to late to begin. This did not happen over night. Read labels. Sodium in our food is obscene. Even “Healthy Choice”…. not healthy. Like one reader said, you HAVE to have a plan. At least for one day at a time.I have found that I spent more at the beginning that the food lasted longer because of smaller or proper portions. I don’t know where everyone lives, but if you have access to Aldi store you can save a lot on groceries. Have a Blessed day.

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  15. says

    I want to join The Force and prepare healthier foods for my family of 8, but I’m slightly afraid of mutiny. I would love to join a CSA but I’m afraid I would go pick up my leeks and radishes and beets and not know what the hell to do with them, slave over preparing them and then no one would eat them. We are kind of partway to healthy eating, as I buy almost nothing that is pre-prepared, pre-packaged. No. No, that’s not true. We do buy cereal and one of my kids eats frozen waffles for breakfast every morning like his very life depended on it. But no Stouffers or boxes of frozen burritos or anything. I am very much looking forward to reading this series. Teach me, oh wise one!
    Btw, I found your blog through the piece you did on growing potatoes in a trash can (through Pinterest). Loved it! Now you’re on my bloglist.

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    Carey Reply:

    I know how you feel. I was raised eating corn, carrots, and potatoes.
    Then through marriage I added green beans. There are so many fruits
    and vegetables out there that I just don’t know what to do with.

    I too have a son who would eat the same foods day after day. My husband
    and daughter aren’t so picky. However, my husband really doesn’t go for
    the radical changes.

    I work full time and find it difficult to stay away from the processed foods
    due to lack of time to prepare the healthier versions.

    I’m looking forward to this series.

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    Kristin Reply:

    There are CSA’s out there that don’t just give stuff you wouldn’t want.
    We looked at all the farms in our area that do a CSA program and
    looked at their growing charts to decide which one we wanted to join.
    Last year we got a total of 3 beets that we gave away, but everything else was
    great! Berries, peaches, apples, all kinds of lettuce, potatoes, carrots,
    etc…Lots of things I would use all the time. Plus a few things I didn’t
    eat before but now do b/c I didn’t want to throw them away and I actually
    like them now like asparagus and snap peas. A CSA is definitely worth it!

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  16. Kati Stephens says

    EATING HEALTHY IS EXPENSIVE! I’m curious to see how you’re going to get around this one. :) Honestly, since we started eating healthier about a year ago, my grocery bill has nearly doubled.

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  17. carrie t says

    I focus more and more on buying organic now that I have a baby. I’ve always been a cook, and try to make sure several meals each week are made from scratch. My big detractors would be cost, time, and my 14 year old stepson. Buying organic is more expensive, and some weeks I can’t, I have to just buy regular. Time, with a 10 month old daughter, sometimes I run out of energy and time by dinner! Lastly, my stepson comes from the world of mcD’s, frozen convenience foods, quick prep convenience meals (hamburger helper, etc) and so on. He has a hard time understanding why cooking is so important to me, a difficult time appreciating meals made from scratch, and gets frustrated that there are limited options in the house for him to microwave a plate full of hi fat nutritionless gunk.

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  18. says

    I think most people think it takes way too long to cook healthy. What they don’t realize is that it can take just as long to cook REAL macaroni and cheese as it does the boxed stuff. I think the meal planning scares people off too, it is too time consuming for them.

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  19. mindy says

    Eating healthy is more expensive, however when you eat more healthy you feel so much better. And you cannot put a price on that. We have been eating more healthy for the past couple of years and we feel so much better. God designed our bodies as our temple, so we are supposed to take care of that temple. Thank you Laura, I love your website you have truly helped me through this and I look forward to these blogs.

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  20. Joanna says

    We’ve come a LONG way in the last ten years but it’s been slow. Here are some of my past (overcome) excuses and some we’re still working on. :)

    1. cost
    2. availability
    3. certain flavors (mostly whole wheat pastas and rice)
    4. husband grew up on a diet composed of frozen and boxed foods (he’s a GREAT sport and loves eating whatever I fix but doesn’t see the necessity b/c after all he ate it and is a healthy person now)

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  21. Amy says

    I think the biggest excuse would be the cost to eat healthy, especially for local grass fed pastured eggs, milk, and meat. I am always shocked at what good prices you are able to get for those items! I’ve had to get creative and make 1 lb of pastured meat stretch into more than one meal. I used to buy grocery store chicken breasts for $1.99 lb and now the organic breasts cost me anywhere between $6-$9 a lb….so needless to say each person in my family no longer eats a chicken breast at dinner. I usually try to buy bone-in meats b/c it is less expensive.

    I am getting ready to move to El Paso, TX and am concerned about the lack of healthy foods, farmers markets, health food stores, etc in this desert region of the U.S. I am used to a farmers market being open year round here and when I love there they are only open 4 months out of the year. A garden is not an option. There are no local meat farmers. From what I’ve read, there is only one small health food/natural store and folks who want to eat organic are extremely frustrated about the lack of fresh organic fruits and veggies. I’ve checked into Azure Standard and they don’t come into my part of TX. I just keep wondering what I am going to feed my family.

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    Amy Reply:

    Typo….”where I live” not “when I love”…oops!

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    Erin S Reply:

    Two of my favorite sites to find healthy, local food in my area are http://www.localharvest.org/ and http://eatwild.com/index.html

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    Erin S Reply:

    I forgot another good website: http://www.pickyourown.org/

    Good luck finding healthy food in your new location!

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    Amy Reply:

    Thanks Erin! Unfortunately, that site only shows a pumpkin patch farm.
    I’m hoping that when I get there, I’ll be able to find more.

    Angela Reply:

    I live in Phoenix, AZ and I felt that a garden was not an option when we got here. However I have found that growing some veggies in containers works out well. Just make sure the container is big enough for the roots to grow good. Some day when I own a house again I will switch to raised beds. They work well in the desert.

    My biggest problems is farm raised milk and meat. We are finally attacking one of these now. We are going to Colorado to get half a cow in Febuary. I can hardly wait!

    My other problem is planning. I find it hard to make and follow a meal plan. Lately I have been doing one for weekdays only. My husband likes to help cook on the weekend and wants to make what sounds good to him then, not what is on the meal plan. But that costs more money buying ingredients at the last minute. So we are working on this.

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    mckinsey Reply:

    You might go to the website http://www.prudenthomemaker.com she is in las vegas
    and has a beautiful garden in the desert! She has tons of ideas on when to
    grow things and how she is able to do it.

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  22. Christine says

    Expense is the number one reason. I cook from scratch but buying organic, unless on clearance, is hard to fit into a $200 a month food budget. I would love to hear how I can do it for that amount. I look forward to this series!

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  23. TaraK says

    I’m with those who think it’s too expensive. We eat fairly well, but the cost of natural organic foods is about double when compared to the canned/frozen same things. Beef and chicken are two to three times (or more) expensive. With four kids who wouldn’t eat it anyway, I can’t throw away double my current grocery budget.

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  24. TaraK says

    I’m with those who think it’s too expensive. We eat fairly well, but the cost of natural organic foods is about double when compared to the canned/frozen same things. Beef and chicken are two to three times (or more) expensive. With four kids who wouldn’t eat it anyway, I can’t throw away double my current grocery budget.

    Oh, and I don’t have storage space to buy in bulk and save. I have a tiny freezer, no space for a deep freeze and extremely limited cupboard space with no pantry. I HAVE to buy weekly.

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  25. says

    My family has been enjoying a whole foods diet for about 3 months now thanks in large part to your blog. The info you provide and the recipes you share make it so much easier. I am not ashamed to say that I have no problem letting someone else do the legwork and experimenting and then I get to reap the benefits! Thank you SO MUCH for that!!! Probably the biggest hang up I had with this new way of eating was believing that real butter, raw whole milk, eggs, etc. were actually healthy for my body and that “diet” foods like reduced fat such and such were bad for me. That was news I was so happy to hear:)

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  26. says

    I’m excited about this series. I’ve been cooking more things fom scratch and slowly improving our families diet over the last year, but we are far from perfect.

    Funny story…I have two 1-year-olds, and they have had a mainly healhty, whole foods diet. Well, for Christmas someone gave them one of the graduate meals in a box (to represent donating money to a starving child). It was a cute idea, and I didn’t want to waste what they gave us. So, one evening I gave them these boxed dinners for supper and they wouldn’t touch it! I guess they thought THAT tasted like cardboard! lol I ended up having to make them something anyways! :)

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  27. Nicola says

    I find that it is a very slow process switching over to real food. We have been doing it as a family now for almost 2 years & we have barely scratched the surface. I find the biggest problem is fear of the unknown. This is especially true for me when it comes to fermented foods, which I have yet to introduce to our diet. Part of me is convinced we won’t like them, the other side of me knows that it will just take a little time for us to get used to them. We didn’t like rapadura, wholewheat flour or wholewheat pasta but begin with but now we prefer them over what we previously used.

    The second problem we have is availability. Living in Ireland, I cannot just get things posted to me from suppliers in the U.S. Usually, I can find a supplier in the E.U but, unbelievably, I am not having any success on the cultures front. It took me 6 months to find a supplier for rapadura. I cannot get sucanat at all even though Rapunzel is a european company.

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  28. says

    I LOVE this! Your website has helped me tremendously on my quest for healthier eating in my home. I am trying to spread the word about eating REAL food, and getting rid of processed garbage. I am a Beachbody fitness coach, and it can be difficult to persuade people to give up their “fat-free cheese like product” in favor of full fat foods our God has graciously given for our enjoyment. Thanks again for what you do!

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  29. says

    We do fairly well most of the time as far as me actually making meals. I grew up with my mom doing hamburger helper and things like that on weeknights some, but she also made really nice meals some nights and on the weekends (she worked full-time outside the house).
    I think there are two main reasons we don’t eat healthily all the time.
    1. My husband is pretty resistant. He loves Dr. Pepper and chips and M&M’s and stuff like that. I just about want to strangle him sometimes when I make a really nice meal and he doesn’t eat a lot of it and then a hour later I find him snacking on chips. It makes me feel defeated.
    2. There are things that I really don’t want to give up entirely myself. I don’t drink pop all the time, but I do occasionally enjoy one. I also love white pasta. I’ve tried a bunch of whole grain but I really do love the white stuff. So I just don’t make it very often.

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    Nanci Reply:

    My husband was definitely resistant at first; he had to have his cokes
    and Little Debbie’s. I started doing lots of research, and when I found
    something that I thought would “speak” to him, I just said “read this.”
    Slowly but surely, he’s changed his opinion, and stands behind me on any
    decision I make regarding our family’s nutrition.
    As for the pasta, it was difficult for us to get used to the taste of
    WW pasta as well. We now enjoy it, but until that happened, I used an
    organic corn/quinoa pasta that tastes JUST LIKE white pasta. I’m sorry
    I can’t tell you the brand name, but try looking at other types of pasta like
    the one I mentioned or even brown rice pasta. It doesn’t HAVE to be wheat.
    I hope that helps.

    [Reply]

  30. Muna says

    I have found that taking baby steps is the best thing. Working on changing one thing at a time.
    For my family, the first step was discarding everything in my home that had high fructose corn syrup and then I began avoiding the purchasing of items with that ingredient.
    Then, after much reading, began avoiding hydrogenated fats and switched from margering and regualar oil to real butter & olive oil.
    Having many friends that grind their own wheat then encouraged me to do so. That was our next step. I now bake all of our own bread and make most homemade.
    I also started making my own mixes, like cream of soup mix, onion soup mix and such. Now I hardly purchase prepackaged foods & mixes.
    So for us it is has been baby steps. That seems to be the best way.
    I also feel that you don’t have to necessarily eat organic to be considered a family that eats healthy.
    Take baby steps to reach your goals. When you are ready then you can decide if and which items you would like to purchase organic.

    [Reply]

  31. Tracy says

    My biggest excuse is the expense, but also the resistance from my hubby. He balks at a lot of the healthy stuff, and seems to sincerely think that our children will be deprived of a good childhood if they don’t eat things full of sugar and food coloring (fruit loops, skittles, etc.).

    [Reply]

  32. Amy T says

    I have to agree w/the expense part. I am really struggling w/affording all that nice food. And once I buy some of that nice, healthy food, either I don’t know how to prepare it so my family will eat it or the kids refuse to eat it and would rather go hungry that night!

    My question for you Laura, how do you get your kids to eat this food? Just last night my oldest son, 7, was in tears because he wasn’t going to eat his chicken tenders. Chicken tenders!! Not breaded, just sauteed w/salt, pepper and a little garlic. They were very good, moist & tender. You’d think I was making him eat road kill or something!! My daughter on the other hand, finished her plate and asked for seconds. . . I HATE preparing good, healthy food and having my kids refuse to it.

    I would love to see you do something on how to get kids to eat. I read your menu plan each week, and I wonder how your kids are eating this. Are you fighting with them to eat everything you make or are your kids ‘perfect’ eaters?? :) I’m really struggling with this. . .

    [Reply]

    karen Reply:

    As far as the picky eater thing….
    Here is a healthy meal.
    If you want to eat it, great.
    If not, food will be available at the next meal.

    That being said, I know my DD doesn’t like broccoli so
    there are also carrot sticks available. Kids are also allowed
    to pick things out of a casserole and set them on the side of
    your plate. (my kids are 6, 3, and 1)

    [Reply]

    Jenny Reply:

    Exactly how it works here too! I started with that when they were babies. As toddlers, it still stands. Sometimes they surprise me and eat great. But, I know they are not going to starve. They will simply be hungrier for the next healthy meal!

    [Reply]

    Michelle Reply:

    I agree with you and I have always done this with my 3 children. They’re all grown now and I still do it but I must tell you, when they’re grown this kind of “flips” on you. Now, they will just make PB&J before they will eat the healthy stuff; and you can’t make them because they are grown people. My youngest son won’t even eat homemade bread. Who doesn’t eat that? When you make it and it just sits or goes bad because they refuse to eat healthy things, it’s very tough. I feel as though they are now rebelling because they don’t “have to” eat it or go hungry now. But I totally feel this is the way to present things to your children.

    Anonymous Reply:

    To get kids to like healthy foods, they really have to be weaned off all the fast food and sugar-filled foods (especially sweet drinks!) Eliminate in-between meal snacking except for fresh fruits or carrot sticks. Then when meal time comes around, they will be hungry, and the healthy foods will taste good! I noticed a huge difference in my kids after the holidays. Dishes that they usually are excited over just were not appealing, and they complained when all they were offered was an apple or banana for snack. This is because of the extra “junk” they were eating at others’ houses, church, etc. and candy they received for Christmas. After coming off of all that, they now have an appetite for “real” food again! When they want a drink – WATER! We drink milk at meals or blend up smoothies with fruit, but no store bought drinks (have you seen the article in Consumer Reports about arsenic in fruit juice? Grrrrrrrr!)

    [Reply]

    Jo Reply:

    One of the best things we ever did was stop all juice. Foods are
    sweeter to them now and sweets are a treat that they are very thankful
    for. AND they are appropriately hungry for supper. One child had to
    stop all juice per the doctor so it became a family affair.

    [Reply]

  33. Tracy says

    In fact, he has actually said he refuses for us to have a grain mill no matter what. I already make our bread using flour I buy at the store (and he likes the bread), but he thinks grinding the flour ourselves would make us “weird.” He says he draws the line there.

    [Reply]

  34. Elizabeth says

    I would have to say that cost is my number 1 issue as well. We were participating in a raw milk coop, purchasing a side of grass fed beef, going berry/apple/peach picking, purchasing in bulk through a coop, gardening on our land and preserving the bounty, and buying coconut oil from amazon.com. Unfortunately we are in a position where we now have to drastically cut back. We’ve cut back wherever possible in every other area of our budget, but now we have to cut back even more and our grocery budget is the only place left. We are a family of 8 and realistically have about $400 each month to spend on groceries without using credit. I want so desperately to avoid moving back into the hamburger helper years of my marriage, but I don’t see it being possible. HELP! :)

    [Reply]

  35. Diane says

    For us it is just so expensive. We do not eat twinkies instead of broccoli though. Twinkies are too expensive and don’t last long in our house. I know that was just an example you were using.
    At the beginning of the year last year, I thought I would try pasture fed beef, and organic cheese. Just started there. It was just harder and harder to make our groceries last when paying over $6 a pound for beef and then it jumped to over $8 a pound.
    I am interested in hearing your ideas. I am already incorporating a lot more homemade cooking into our diet. I love the challenge of making things homemade, this is why I love this website so much.

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    If you space for a large freezer, the absolute best way to save on grass fed and pastured meats is to buy in bulk! I can buy 1/4 of a grass fed cow for about $550. This works out to about $3.50 per pound. I always ask for all the bones as well for making stock, so I feel like I’m getting even more value. We have invested in 2 chest freezers and a basement refrigerator, and these have been invaluable for purchasing things in bulk. Each year we buy the beef, a whole pastured pig and about 12 pastured chickens. I LOVE that I don’t have to buy meat at the store anymore, and everything we use is farm fresh and pastured.

    [Reply]

  36. karen says

    TIME!!! I spend so much of my day either cooking or cleaning up from cooking. If I’m not super organized….the kids are yelling, dinner is only half done, the lunch mess is still lingering, and it’s 6 o’clock. Sometimes I just want something that is ready to eat RIGHT NOW that doesn’t dirty any dishes.

    [Reply]

  37. ms.p says

    When I was growing up this was a “healthy meal” boxed scalloped potatoes with cut up spam, white bread with margarine, canned veggie and canned fruit. My kids have never had spam or boxed potatoes. My kids didn’t know white bread exist intil they went camping with my parents and now that all they want. I don’t know where to start, I went from vegetable oil to coconut oil(great lip balm) and olive oil. I still using white flour but started to mix half white and half whole wheat. My hubby aunt gave me a juicer and now the kids are drinking there fruit. Today, for lunch I going to juice some veggies. Also, going to make some bread with homemade vension vegetable soup.

    [Reply]

  38. says

    Honestly, I just get lazy. We go a few weeks of eating great, then we get lazy and neither of us want to make anything so we go out or just don’t eat a very balanced meal. I love that you are doing this series. I need some motivation!

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    This is us! On again, off again. I always vow to do better, and sometimes I do… but not always.

    [Reply]

  39. Amy says

    “I thought I would get fat if I ate high fat foods.”

    I hope you will explore that further. I was at my sister’s house for Christmas and I was eating a large amount of butter, and my sis got really mad at me because I ate that yet avoided most white carb food, and also I asked her not to reheat something in a plastic container. She thought butter was bad and white carbs and plastic were good.

    [Reply]

  40. Maggie says

    We have a hard time due to not having many options for fresh organic foods. We don’t have a co op or a place that delivers like azure. Also for snacks we are on the go usually at snack time and it is easier to grab a bag of cheese it’s or gold fish and go. I am not good at preparing or thawing out meats in time. I forget about dinner until 3 or so then it is whatever I can find that is quick. I do mill my own grain, but have a hard time making good foods with it and my kids don’t like the bread.

    [Reply]

  41. says

    I have to say, my biggest obstacle is my husband’s cravings. I have only a limited amount of willpower, so when he makes a poor diet suggestion, I’m all for it…and need I mention that the three little ones are more than excited to drink Pepsi/eat sweets?

    I have found that gradual changes are working, though. I totally agree that homemade tastes so much better! We don’t do many premade foods, just because of the cost factor (hence my cheap eating blog). When we do get some frozen chicken nuggets or something, we’re always so disappointed! It doesn’t taste like anything! We are making a very slow, gradual progress. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series!

    [Reply]

  42. Martha says

    While I cook as healthy as I’m able to with what the Lord has provided (grind my wheat for breads and baked goods, raw sugar, healthy oils, all home-cooked foods, no processed foods), you need to realize that much of it IS expensive, and one can only do what they can afford. I’ve checked out the sites you order from, and I have to say, if I had to order my supplies from those places, I would not be able to do it. I love your site, and have gleaned much from you, but have often thought ‘well, that’s easy for her to say, it’s obvious they have way more money than we have to spend on those things’. I also have friends who read your blog, and have made the same comments to me. It may help you understand, if you realize lots of people are doing the best they can with what God provides. No, we don’t spend frivolously, we don’t have the latest gadgets, clothes come from yard sales, and I am blessed to have a Mormon warehouse within a couple of hours drive where I buy my wheat, beans, oats, etc. Also, we have been able to organize a co-op to order from Dutch Valley (getting 20% off their prices, which is way cheaper than the sites you have provided).
    Also, keep in mind you only have 4 children. There are families reading your blog who are buying and cooking for large families, and they may not have the resources to do what you do.
    You have a lot to share, I am grateful for your blog, and I hope my comments don’t come off as harsh – they aren’t intended to be. Just thought you might benefit by seeing another side.
    We can only do with what God has provided, and trust Him to keep us healthy.

    [Reply]

  43. Sara says

    I tend to be a researcher, so you’d think that would help me know what to feed my family, but quite the opposite has happened. I mean, we don’t buy cereal, chips and soda, but milk has me completely stuck. Pasteurized? Organic? Homogenized? Full fat? Raw? If raw milk is best, but can’t be found yet, what’s the next best option? If I buy whole, organic milk, but it’s homogenized, do our bodies use the fat like it should, or is that why skim milk was born – our bodies don’t recognize the fat and store it instead of using it? I have trouble paying more for milk when I’m not sure if it’s any better than what we’re drinking now!
    I did a week of “100 days of real food” menus and my family was not impressed. The baked goods were especially disappointing to them, even though I’ve been using white whole wheat for quite some time. They also like how nice and neat a sandwich on store-bought bread looks, and that it always fits in their lunch containers.
    So, the hang-ups for me would be expense, conflicting information, time and lack of support on the home front.
    I’m really looking forward to learning more this year – and IMPLEMENTING what I’ve learned! Love your site!

    [Reply]

  44. Mayira says

    For me, it’s definitely the time. I don’t dislike cooking, but I don’t really love it either. So to have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen most days is hard. Plus, even though I make a two-week menu plan, so I usually have the groceries I need on hand, I frequently forget to check what’s for dinner until it’s too late to do all the steps needed. I am trying, though, and definitely making progress.

    [Reply]

  45. Anonymous says

    Yes, eating whole foods can get expensive, but if you think about it, cooking from scratch allows you to get MORE food value for your buck (especially if you buy your ingredients in bulk). You are paying for the processing and packaging in those convenience foods, and getting less real food substance for your money. If you eliminate store-bought drinks (except for milk) and just drink water, it will cut your food bills quite a bit also. There is also the benefit of being healthy to consider. Fewer dr. bills, fewer medicines to buy. And, if you are eating primarily whole foods, you will get the nutrients your body needs from your diet. Then you won’t need to buy expensive vitamin supplements! Believe me, there is a LOT of money saved in these areas. You will find that buying healthy foods is more feasible when you see the savings elsewhere.

    [Reply]

  46. Michelle says

    First I must say — What a great blog topic! God bless you as you tackle this subject. I love your blog, just found it about 8 months ago and it has helped me try to transition to a healthier way of eating for me and my family. I think the comments for this series are going to be awesome.

    The top reasons I have trouble eating healthier are:
    1. I seriously cannot afford fresh wheat, a wheat grinder, organic produce, grass-fed beef, all the healthy stuff. My budget is $50 per week for food for 4 people. My husband has been unemployed for almost 2 years and is not receiving unemployment so that’s all we can pay. My 2 grown kids that live with me are both in college so they aren’t large money contributors to the household.

    2. My family is picky and just will not eat some of what I prepare. I am 50, a great cook and baker. I’ve been cooking and baking since I was 8. My husband is also 50 and he is set in his ways. Our children are grown, 2 of them live at home and the entire family just refuses to eat healthier alternatives, even if that’s all that’s in the house. My daughter is vegetarian and she will try somee of it so she’s not too bad. Anything I bake she will eat but my husband and son are tough. Even if all that’s in the house is healthy food, they will not eat it and will spend their last money for unhealthy.

    I am eagerly awaiting anything you have to post. One of my prayers for this year is that God will provide a job for my husband and enable my family to be more willing to eat healthier. This is a very tough area.

    [Reply]

  47. Lisa M says

    My paroblem is budget, plain and simple. My daughter and her husband moved in with us thie past summer (daughter lost her job) and the hit to the budget has been a bit difficult to absorb. We have already cut back so much – no cable, no credit card debt, no car payment, etc… Now my daughter is expecting a baby soon and I still work full time – I don’t use many convenience foods, we have pretty much made the switch to whole wheat pasta and I use more brown rice than white (no minute rice!)And I recently began doing the half whole wheat, half white flour (but not the fresh ground). Beyond that I’m not sure what else can give to absorb the added expense. I do try to find organic veggies and fruit on clearance and either use it right away or chop and freeze for later use. That helps…..So I’m really looking forward to this series!

    [Reply]

  48. says

    We’ve come a LONG way,….BUT, when we “fall off the wagon”,….it’s usually due to time/convenience or in other words, my lack of preparation. :(
    Your blog sure makes a difference, a positive one, THANK YOU, and please, “keep it comin'”! :)

    [Reply]

  49. Kelly_WI says

    I’m excited about this series! I can’t wait to read how you’re going to debunk all the myths. My biggest hang up is money. Another big hang up is finding where to buy things, as I live in a small mid-western town. I’ll stay tuned to read. Thanks!

    [Reply]

  50. says

    I hear alot of “well, I’m gonna die anyway so who cares? I might as well die happy, right?” Argh!! I hate that.

    Also I just wanted to add to those of you who are concerned about the cost, that it really doesn’t have to cost more. In fact, the healthier we eat, the less we seem to spend. Don’t ask why, I don’t understand it. But I think it has to do with cutting out $3 bags of chips and $1-per-bottle of pop. Those things don’t satisfy hunger at all. I could eat two pizza pockets from the recipe here or 3 family-size bags of chips and I’d be full to the same amount. The healthier the food, the less you have to eat. Your body needs nutrients to be full. Large amounts of things is not what “fills” our stomach – it’s nutrient density.

    Also garden and can – that saves quite a big sum of money. Find local farmers markets.

    And my last tip would be to just not use the most expensive stuff. Some things you don’t really NEED to eat. Maybe that would mean cutting out most of your milk consumption. Just make sure you have enough healthy options to fill in the gap. And you can also consider compromises if there is still an issue. For example, get pasteurized honey for cooking (since it will reach hot temperatures anyway) and save the raw honey for when you’re eating it raw.

    Hope that helps somewhat – but I’m sure she’ll talk about it here too.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    We do that with honey too. :) Raw for smoothies, ice cream, uncooked treats, medicineal purposes (of course). Cooked for baking and things that are heated.

    [Reply]

    Bethany Reply:

    Yes, it definitely helps. We also do the same with coconut oil and sometimes for mlik.

    [Reply]

  51. S W says

    My biggest hurdles are #1 my kids won’t eat what I prepare and I’m unwilling to deal with the side effects of hungry tummies so the old peanut butter sandwich standby is available at every meal. my kids are 9, 7, 4, 3, and infant. #2 is that my stomach revolts every time I eat raw veggies, and I spend hours with stomach cramps and then on the toilet

    For people turned off by the higher price of eating a whole foods diet, I’ve found that some things are less expensive but you have to be willing to put the time into it. Cook a pot of beans and freeze them in portions. We don’t eat very much meat around here, it’s a condiment and not a main course. We eat a lot of rice and beans, burritos. I firmly believe that eating well is an investment in health. We live in a smaller house, I don’t buy any new clothes, we don’t go on vacations, or exchange Christmas gifts with family, or have big birthday parties – we eat healthy food. It’s worth the sacrifices we make.

    For right now, we eat a lot of leftovers. I’m worried about how that will change when my kids start eating more, but hopefully they will be old enough to help cook more. I feel like I spend my life at the cutting board right now, chopping peppers and onions, potatoes and carrots!

    [Reply]

    Melody Nunn Reply:

    Wow! I feel your pain on the raw veggies and stomach cramps! I have never met anyone else who understood that. I have read a little on it, and it seems to be an allergy. I have to cook most all veggies, too, to be able to eat them. And it means I can’t eat some things I love, like avocados. Thankfully, my kids are open to eating most foods, so it makes my lief much easier:-)

    [Reply]

    Michelle Reply:

    I’m right there with the two of you but I always thought it was because I have a spinal nerve injury. I would LOVE to eat a salad but the result is two days of pain.

    Michelle

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Reply:

    Have either of you ever tried Betaine HCL? It’s basically stomach acid in a pill form. Apparently hypochlorhydria (too little stomach acid) is far more common than people realize (most people think they suffer from too much stomach acid and they’re wrong…) My doctor (an MD with homeopathic leanings) has me taking 2 capsules before each meal and I seem to digest everything much better. Just a thought…

    Melody Nunn Reply:

    Interesting, Jennifer. I have not heard of that. Thanks for the info! Someone once told me that if I would eat small amounts of the foods I can’t tolerate off and on, I would eventually be able to tolerate them. I have tried it with Romaine lettuce, and it did work. I can eat salads now with no problems. I haved also tried it with green and red bell peppers and it seems to be working. I can tolerate them better. Still a no go with broccoli and cauliflower, though.

  52. says

    My biggest hang-up: chicken. I grow or buy organic produce, I am on board with whole grains, organic dairy… we even get grass-fed beef because my dad raises it. But I have not been able to justify purchasing organic chicken. I know I should because of the antibiotics claims, but when I can get fresh chicken breasts for less than $2 a lb, and dark meat for even less than that, I just haven’t been able to bring myself to pay +$5 a lb for the organic stuff. We eat so much chicken I just feel like it would break my budget, especially with the price of everything else already going up. I would love to be wrong.

    [Reply]

    Terri Reply:

    Katie,
    Tonight, I just bought hormone-free, antibiotic-free, steroid-free boneless chicken breasts at Shoprite (PA) for $1.79/lb. It is made by Amick Farms, and it is not organic, but it is a halfway compromise that I feel is great considering the price. You can only afford so much, but just do what you can. :) Hope this encourages you to look at the options at your supermarket. It was found in the regular chicken section, next to Perdue.

    [Reply]

  53. Mary Beth says

    I tried cooking healthy and the whole family got upset. So I tried just adding one healthy meal a week. The biggest problem is that 9 times out of 10 it is a failure. It is really hard to find a recipe for something that is good for you that also tastes good and is satisfying.

    [Reply]

    Tabitha Reply:

    healthy food can be just as satisfying and yummy… I have two
    staples that I have converted to being healthier that taste just the
    same or better. meatloaf, and Tacos. I use turkey burger instead
    of beef. For the Tacos I use fresh vegies (tomato, onion, and lettuce,)
    and then I use the weight watchers cheese that has a few less cal
    than the reg cheese and is low fat and make fresh salsa in your food
    processor instead of the store bought stuff. For the tortillas you
    can now get 99% fat free and heart healthy ones that Taste just like
    regular ones. These are just as filling and yummy as the full fat beef
    soft tacos and the first time I did it I didnt tell my family and they
    didnt know the difference. For the meatloaf again sub beef for turkey
    shred two carrots( yea I know sounds odd but works as a binder instead
    of oats) and mix into the turkey and one egg white. I also mix in
    pepper, garlic, and onion powder. the only part that I havent found
    a sub for that would be healthier is the topping. still have to use
    the old ketchup and brown suger trick but if you dont over do it it
    will not add a crud load of cal or fat to it serve with either Mashed
    cauliflower( tastes like mashed taters) or mashed sweet potatoes/yamms
    and a steamed veg. It is soooo good. even my picky 11 year old who
    wont eat anything (including tacos) eats my meatloaf. and both of
    these are relatively quick. yea the meatloaf takes time to bake but
    prep is short and sweet spend the time with your fam :)

    [Reply]

    Mary Beth Reply:

    Thank you for the ideas:) I’m not giving up. It’s just hard when the kids sit down at the table and one starts crying and says, “We’re going to die!” HA! I like the healthy foods – everyone else not so much;) That’s why I was thinking just one meal a week and when we find a good recipe add it into our recipes for the month. Thank you for your help!

    [Reply]

    tabitha Reply:

    I hear ya I have a really picky 11 year old. I have to sneak foods
    in that are better for her, she will scarf something like a corn dog
    down in no time flat but give her something like grilled chicken
    mashed sweet taters and corn and it takes her an hour to eat
    even tho its just as yummy.

    Tricia Reply:

    Baby steps are so important. The first things I did were eliminate all unhealthy fats (canola oil, margarine, etc.) which no one noticed at all, and then I switched all my baking from white all purpose flour to white whole wheat flour. No complaints on the flour either.

    We have very strict policies at the table…#1 No complaining! Mom works very hard to cook for everyone and it is very rude and sad to complain about the food she lovingly prepared. #2 You have to try at least 2 bites of everything. You don’t have to like it but you have to try it. #3 After trying everything you are allowed to make yourself something else. The selections of what you can make yourself are very limited and always healthy.

    Hope that helps!

    [Reply]

  54. Jen says

    My number one is the time and planning of it. But I am down right determined to do it!!! I am sick and tired of my husband and kids getting sick and tired. At this point we already eat fairly healthy, much more so than the normal American. But I need to purge the house of ALL easy processed foods and force myself to plan ahead so I don’t get tempted to run out for pizza or chinese every week.

    [Reply]

    Myra Reply:

    Jen, I can totally relate! I’m in the same boat! I’m going re-commit & try to turn things around for the better. I’ve used the saymmm website that Laura recommended & it’s a great resource & helps…when I actually take the time to use it! Maybe you can check it out. Good luck!
    http://www.Saymmm.com

    [Reply]

  55. Jeanette says

    I have been reading your blog for over a year. You have challenged me to think outside my box. I know God has always wanted me and my family to eat healthy. I have slowly been making changes and have seen my Cholesterol drop 82 points by eating healthy fats and walking. My excuses for not eating healthy are:

    1) Trying to get past my old way of thinking (low fat diet is best). Fear that whole food eating is not really Healthy.

    2) Cost of healthy food.

    3) Picky husband and children.

    4) Not knowing how to use certain healthy products.

    My daughters have recently been diagnosed with some health issues. I believe when we change to healthy foods some of their problems will disappear. I had really been praying for God to speak to me about healthy foods and last night we went to a health class at our chiropractor’s office (first time we have ever been to a chiropractor). He told us that for optimum health the best foods to buy were the ones grown and raised the way God intended (organic, cage free…). This was confirmation for me to go ahead and make the change completely over to healthy foods. I will do it gradually because of cost and pickiness.
    Thank you for your blog. You have inspired me to really nourish and help heal my family instead of just fill their stomachs with whatever I can get on sale or free with coupons.

    [Reply]

  56. says

    We do eat a lot of healthy foods as well as some not so healthy foods. We approximate the Weston Price diet, which I consider to be the gold standard for nutrition. The biggest obstacles to me are perfectionism, food burnout and cost. There is no question that eating healthier foods is more expensive, especially if you are paying $7 a gallon for raw milk or up to $20 a pound for pastured lamb. There is no argument that properly raised meat and milk are going to be more expensive than meat and milk from the supermarket. Because of this, we have to make concessions–our diet can’t be perfect, and it’s easy for me to get discouraged and think I’m not doing anything when in fact I’m doing a lot. So, I think an important point to remember is that every little bit helps, so it’s OK if you’re getting started to just change one thing at a time, or if you’re in the middle, to make concessions as needed by your budget and still celebrate what you are already doing. Burnout has to do with getting tired of all the extra time and planning it takes to properly process food–soaking grains, planning ahead to make each component of a cheesecake (make the yogurt, turn it into cream cheese, make the cake, let it chill), making your child’s school lunch every day. Sometimes you just want to throw something together or grab something at a fast food place like “everyone else” does. I think feeding my family well is a spiritual exercise and like all spiritual exercises, requires God’s constant grace to keep at it.

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    Hi Fernanda. I just want to comment that I’ve seen farms around here that sell whole, grass fed lambs for around $250. We don’t eat much lamb, so I don’t know how many pounds you get when purchasing a whole lamb. It seems like a good deal though, if you’re paying $20 per pound! If you have the freezer space, you should definitely look into this option. The Eat Wild, and Eat Local Websites are great places to search for local farms in your area that sell whole grass fed lamb.

    [Reply]

  57. says

    My biggest struggle is getting my family on board, and arguing with doctors who insist my son eat whatever he wants because he’s so underweight. I’ve had a DOCTOR recommend fast food. Ugh.

    [Reply]

    sa'ada Reply:

    oh, that must be so hard. but i’m not surprised. while doing some
    reading up after a family member was diagnosed with cancer, i came
    across some recommendations for keeping healthy while on chemo.
    one piece of advice was to not eat fast food that had been sitting,
    to get it made fresh when you order it.
    i was incensed and wrote them a piece of my mind. at least that
    little bit of advice let me know where they were coming from.
    stay strong and feed your little guy lots of homemade raw milk ice cream!

    [Reply]

    Bree Reply:

    We have had that problem with our kids, too. When our son was very young, his dr. wanted us to
    supplement breastfeeding with Boost Kid Essentials drink. Augh! :(
    A completely healthy kid, who is small just like his daddy and all his uncles were, and we’re
    supposed to fill him with artificial, chemical JUNK. NO!!

    So, instead I switched over to real fats…real butter, heavy cream, olive oil, coconut oil.
    He’s now nearly 3, and still drinks whole milk. (Actually, our nearly 5 year-old daughter does too.)
    I had to really let go of my control issues, and realize that our kids are healthy, and will gain
    weight as they are supposed to. It’s tough when the doctors seem to be advising you to
    feed your kids unhealthy foods, though. I feel your pain.

    [Reply]

  58. says

    I look forward to reading your upcoming posts on this topic. I have been working at reducing the amount of processed food from my diet for the past couple of year and made a vow to take my journey a new level in 2012. I also used to think that eating healthy was really expensive, but the more basic I made my ingredients the more I realized that the majority of things are made from a small group of basic food items. Plus, reading the contents of a jar of prepared Alfredo sauce is enough to turn my stomach and remind myself why I’m eating less processed food in the first place.

    [Reply]

  59. Cristina says

    Hi Laura, I’m so happy about this series! I have four small kids and a husband who works really long hours. My biggest challenge is grocery shopping — we’d need a combination of organic co-op, regular grocery and Whole Foods to go completely healthy and whole, and the logistics are a bit daunting!

    My other challenges are getting the kids to eat more raw fruits and vegetables, and healthier lunch options to pack for them and my husband.

    [Reply]

  60. Rachel says

    Laura, I am so glad you are doing this series. About a year ago we set out to make many changes and I am so glad we did. I feel that it is our job to honor God with our bodies and this journey was necessary to start doing that.

    I must say that because honoring Him is our goal he is faithful to provide. We have not increased our food budget at all. There are two of us and we budget $300 a month for all things eating. As I have prayed and sought God He has not failed to open my eyes to the resources around us and is helping us find these things at affordable prices.

    We’ve also learned that eating real foods will save us money long term (medical bills, drugs, etc) so even as we have children and have to increase our food budget with that attitude it’s much easier to adopt these changes! Not to mention we feel better, have stopped taking prescriptions, have more energy and eat less because our food is much more satisfying!

    I love your blog, thank you for your encouragement.

    [Reply]

  61. Karen says

    Unfortunately, cost. We are a family of six – my husband, myself, our three children and my elderly father (who is quite picky about what he eats). I would love to buy raw milk, but at $5/gallon, it is something I cannot afford because my family EASILY goes through 4 whole gallons each week. I buy our milk at Aldi right now because it is only $2.87/gallon. My husband grew up on a dairy farm, I am SURE he misses raw milk! I would also love to buy grass fed beef, free range chickens and eggs…but again, right now we have not been able to find the extra money to do so. I have stopped purchasing boxed garbage and store-bought bread. I have started making as much from scratch as possible. Breads, rolls, cinnamon rolls, cakes, frostings, pancakes, french toast casserole, biscuits, garlic bread, pepperoni bread, pizza…all are homemade now. I even make my own pasta sauce, salsa, taco seasoning, mac & cheese, “fried rice”, etc from scratch. The only thing, I don’t have vegetables from my garden because we moved over the summer from Texas (where we had just planted a garden 3 months prior to moving) and we did not plant here…yet. This year, we are planning on planting another garden, so that will cut back on some more costs at the grocery store…but really…I would love for prices to be more competitive for the GOOD stuff!!!

    [Reply]

    Nicola Reply:

    Hi Karen

    I know I live in a different country but $5 a gallon is pretty much what I would pay for pasturised milk in the grocery store. Raw milk is one of the changes we have made & I must say, it was the most noticeably benefical. My daughter goes to the local school. For her first 2 years, she was always coming home with little colds & coughs & vomitting bugs that were in the school. Over the summer holidays, we have switched to raw milk. None of us have had colds this year. All the children in mydaughter’s class this year were off for a few days with a really a bad stomach bug. My daughter was the only child in the class not to get it & her teacher commented on it (even the teacher was offfor a couple of days herself). My second daughter had really bad eczema which has vastly improved since we switched to raw milk. I honestly believe that the benefits far outway the extra cost.

    [Reply]

    Rachel Reply:

    Karen good for you for all of the changes you have made! I would agree with Nicola, the costs outweigh the benefits. We pay $6 a gallon for raw milk and have just decided we will drink less milk. We each get one big glass a day or two smaller glasses. We drink a lot of water and some milk. My husband says milk is like God’s “soda”. It’s a treat. :) But yes, the money we have saved from not having to visit the doctor and pay co-pays far outweighs the $15 a month we have to spend more on the extra cost of raw milk.

    [Reply]

    Rachel Reply:

    Karen good for you for all of the changes you have made! I would agree with Nicola, the costs outweigh the benefits. We pay $6 a gallon for raw milk and have just decided we will drink less milk. We each get one big glass a day or two smaller glasses. We drink a lot of water and some milk. My husband says milk is like God’s “soda”. It’s a treat. :) But yes, the money we have saved from not having to visit the doctor and pay co-pays far outweighs the $15 a month we have to spend more on the extra cost of raw milk.

    [Reply]

  62. says

    We’re working on it, but I think our biggest issue is that DH thinks fat makes you fat. So he insists on buying low/non-fat yogurt (full of chemicals) and skim milk and the like. It doesn’t affect me much (I’m lactose intolerant), but the kids eat what he buys. Grumble. And he fears recipes that contain butter, cream, etc. All the good stuff. :)

    Also, the kids. Well, mostly one kid. She won’t eat meat if it’s not in nugget or dog format. Literally. She screams at us or will choose not to eat a meal. And she won’t touch a vegetable to save her life. (The other kid eats pretty well, even if she doesn’t love veggies.)

    It’s just hard to find healthy meals that we can all eat. :(

    [Reply]

    jenny Reply:

    Yes tell

    [Reply]

  63. Janine says

    This is so fun. I have learned that saving money is in my bones! Last year my hobby was extreme couponing. I showed a friend today how to do it. I realized there were only 2 products we looked at that inwould buy at this point. Priorities evolve in this journey called life. Well, i will use all that money saving savvy i learned in 2011 to help me eat whole foods and use whole products for less in 2012! I am looking forward to the challenge. I already learned how to make my own coconut milk for pennies!!! Time is definitely what holds me back…oh yea, and natural born laziness. But as my sister pointed out, when you eat better, you have more energy, therefore, you can spend more time eating better!

    [Reply]

  64. Jenifer Parker says

    WOW so many problems. Mine are 1. availability of organic “anything” at a price ordinary budgets can afford and 2. raw dairy in SW Miami-Dade county Fla. You’d think ‘raw’ believers were criminals. I have been working 2.5 hours at my current job from 8am-10am(they know I am cutting down drastically) and coming home to babysit my new grandson 11am-4/5pm, while his mom and dad work so time is severely limited for cooking ANYTHING. I got a large crock pot, which I LOVE but am running out of options to keep my family (who love all ‘crusty’ food and not ‘wet’ food) happy.

    [Reply]

  65. Karen says

    looking forward to the series as well. i too used to think it was too expensive to eat healthy and i am only a one person household. just me. that excuse can no longer be used. since a 28 day Whole Life Nutrition elimination diet, i found that if i cut out the breads and cheeses and processed foods that i usually buy and do a little planning, and work in the kitchen, i can actually save money on my grocery bill by eating healthy. who knew? i don’t always buy organic, but more and more local…..which is often organic though not certified……that is my concession, and i’m still working towards making a whole foods lifestyle. plus it’s a great hobby learning about a new way of eating.

    [Reply]

  66. Stephanie says

    Honestly, one of my biggest challenges with eating healthy is that there are so many definitions of “healthy!” I get overwhelmed with all of the information on what’s healthy and what isn’t healthy. It just makes me want to give up before I even start!

    And then the usual it’s too expensive and I don’t have time. But those have already been said. :)

    [Reply]

  67. Anitra says

    The time/cost factor (ie. if it’s cheap, then it’s time-consuming / if it’s fast, then it’s expensive)… and a multitude of pickyness. I admit, I am a bit of a picky eater (better than in my childhood) and I won’t put a lot of time and effort into buying & preparing foods that I don’t like. And I tend to stop buying & preparing foods that my oldest kid doesn’t like, too – since she’s 3 and in a “if mom made it, it’s yucky” stage, it’s really hard to stay away from simply making mac&cheese or PB sandwiches every day.

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    I have a 3 year old (just turned 4) who has been in that stage too. It’s so disheartening! I got so tired of hearing “I don’t like dinner”. Seriously… a whole meal, just because mom makes it. Let us occasionally order a pizza or pick up take out though and he is RIGHT THERE at the table eating away. :( He’s getting a little better now, and I’m really praying this phase is about over!

    [Reply]

  68. Cora says

    The biggest excuse we have at our house is, “but those food hold so many of my childhood memories.” We, especially my husband, were raised on eating junk. Cheatos, mac-n-cheese from a box (which my husband still loves despite the many homemade recipes I try), pop tarts, sugary cereal… this list is endless. We have been working towards a real food… healt-filled… nutrient rich.. diet this past few months. I really enjoy your blog and have used many of your recipes already. I look forward to this series.

    [Reply]

  69. Heather says

    We eat a fairly healthy diet. I would love to switch to organic foods and raw milk but it is just not financially possible. I understand the argument that for the health of the family it is a sacrifice that should be made. However, there really are some families (like ours), that are already very frugal with money and there is just no room to wiggle. We are a 1 income family of 8 and our monthly food budget is $400. We have 2 children with very serious life-long medical issues that cost us approx $10,000 a year. I was determined to buy organic produce the other day, but when I looked at the prices, I just couldn’t justify it. I decided that the best I can do is feed my family as healthy as possible, making as much as I can from scratch, staying away from processed foods, and greatly limiting the sweets.

    [Reply]

  70. Kimberly says

    My biggest issues are time and convenience.

    I get overwhelmed by even trying to plan a menu.

    I don’t know how to cook (not that my mother didn’t try to teach me) so it ends up easier for me to run by Walmart and pick up a rotisserie chicken.

    I work lots of hours and the moments I am at home, I would rather be doing anything but cooking. I do like using a crock pot but I rarely have the ingredients to make anything. I’m not very good at grocery shopping.

    Biggest hang ups are breakfast and snacks. My breakfast has to be on the go. When it comes to snacks, even if I have healthy stuff in my office, I still go to the vending machines for candy bar and a diet coke.

    But this year, I really want to make a change in how my husband and I eat. We don’t have any children to take care of us when we get old so we have to keep ourselves healthy!

    Funny enough, I was praying about this struggle my husband and I have of eating like college students (chip and salsa was dinner last night) and this pops up in my email. Excited about this series.

    [Reply]

  71. Jennifer says

    I have been following you Laura for quite a while now, and I have made made many good changes to our diet. Obstacles that still remain for our family are 1) raw milk is illegal in my state 2) it is so easy to revert back to old ways 3) we still eat out WAY too much. Still taking steps…

    [Reply]

  72. Amanda says

    Knowing what’s healthy. Everyone has a different idea, and while some things are easy to agree with (cheese is food and cheetos aren’t; butter is food and margarine isn’t), people have wildly different ideas about what’s healthy. And I don’t find, “Because the Weston A Price Foundation said so” any more compelling than “Because the American Medical Association said so.”

    Sigh. So it’s the research that’s slowing me down.

    [Reply]

  73. Micah says

    I have found that if I can’t afford it, I don’t have to have it. If I can’t afford chicken one month, we don’t eat chicken. If 2 gallons of milk is all I can afford, that is what I buy. I do have a husband who is completely on board with eating a healthy diet and he is not picky at all. I tell my children often that they are not allowed to be picky! I was very picky as a child and it has taken me 30 years to outgrow! Not liking a particular food or texture is not the same thing as being picky. I want to instill in my children that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and we have an obligation to keep them as healthy as we can. Yes, the Lord is the giver of our health but that does not negate our responsibility. I keep a few cans of beans in the pantry for emergencies but use dry on a regular basis (and it is cheaper). I make any crackers/cookies we eat so we don’t have them often. Boxes of organic crackers or cookies are very expensive and organic doesn’t automatically mean healthy. They are usually still loaded with sugar. A garden has saved us money in the past but takes a good bit more time. Again, worth the investment as it is a great learning experience for myself and my children. If we had Azure Standard delivery in Louisiana, my grocery bill would be significantly less! It is cheaper to buy in bulk (grains, nuts, beans, etc) but it costs more up front. Last year was the first time I could order a year’s worth of grain in one order. Most recipes that I used to cook can be cooked in a healthy way with God-made, not man-made ingredients. Allowing my children to help me in the kitchen encourages them to eat more of what I cook, giving them a sense of ownership. And healthy desserts are every now and then a reason for them to eat something they wouldn’t otherwise want to eat! Some days I do feel like I spent the entire day in my kitchen. I really need to plan a menu!

    [Reply]

  74. Lisa says

    The excuses/hangups that come to mind first for me are:

    – The expense
    – Not enough time – my husband and I both work full time and as of August, I’ll be a working first-time mom to an infant. We struggle to put together home-cooked meals as it is; I can’t imagine how we’ll do it once we’re both full-time working parents.
    – I love whole wheat and fresh produce, but struggle with full-fat meat, dairy, etc. (Especially since I have some digestive issues exacerbated by those products). My husband loves the full-fat meat, dairy, etc., along with fresh produce, but simply doesn’t like whole wheat products. I have no idea how we’d both adjust.

    I’m very excited for this series!

    [Reply]

  75. Esther says

    So I’m really new to all this information (a couple of weeks new), but my main problems are money and time. The nearest Whole Foods is an hour drive. I would loooove to supplement my pantry with home grown items, but alas, I’m not allowed to plant in the ground where we live.
    I did some searching for local farms that are organic and can’t seem to find the info I’m looking for. Plus I researched the local meat and poultry farms and gagged on the prices!!!! For now we are trying to just switch the Dirty Dozen and stop with the eating out so frequently.
    Maybe we will be able to afford those crazy grocery trips once we’ve finished with the Financial Peace University and have extra money to budget!!!! =)

    [Reply]

  76. Jo says

    Hands down, I am always running into planning and time issues. I am always forgetting to thaw–not a problem with the pepper strips from the garden but a problem with an applesauce brick! And time….roast the chicken the night before and then get it stripped and packaged away and get the stock into the slow cooker in time to make soup the next day.

    Things that have worked for us…
    1. Having theme nights–one night a week is soup, one is mexican, one is pasta, etc. It saves me from thinking. :^)
    2. A large rice cooker with a steamer basket. A grain and veggie done in one fell blow.
    3. Only having one complicated part per supper–if we are making Laura’s chicken fried steak (hubby loves) the other two side are very simple with no apology.
    4. A little at a time. We’ve never made the leap to all “correct” meat because of the expense. But we’ve cut it down amts., found someone to give us venison for the processing fee, upped our ground turkey consumption, and this year we’ve arrived at raising a batch of our own meat chickens in the spring.
    5. Garden, Garden, Garden. We are getting better at growing more of what we really eat. We didn’t buy any vegetables last summer except for onions.
    6. Don’t waste. It’s throwing away money.
    7. Will your kids really starve to death before they try it? We have a rule that no one is allowed to say they don’t like a food before they’ve tried it. We don’t expect them to like everything but if they don’t like all sorts of things it’s a problem. I always think of the spouses my kids will hopefully have some day.

    [Reply]

  77. Morgan says

    Excuse #1:
    I homeschool and make most of our food from scratch but what causes me to buy processed food is time. I need time friendly breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners that are also toddler friendly. I am about to have baby #4 and had to resort to buying snacks (granola bars, cereal bars, etc) because of time and energy constraints. I love to cook but don’t want to spend all my extra time in the kitchen.

    Excuse #2:
    Also, I live in small rural town with only a few grocery stores (with very limited organic produce), no farmers market, and a health food store with one shelf of groceries (that are expensive). Azure doesn’t run close. I have found one co-op nearby but it is mainly rice & beans. So my other challenge is cooking healthy with the food that is available. I didn’t read all the comments but some mentioned the organic chicken-that is problem for me too. I get good beef from my dad but the chicken is outrageous. And I would have to drive very far to get it. And all this cooking and shopping has to be accomplished on a budget with 4 little ones in tow.

    Can’t wait to read your suggestions!

    [Reply]

    Tiffani Reply:

    I homeschool our 4 boys too and know what you’re saying. I just started something new that’s working and I thought I’d pass it on.
    I started making breakfast at night for our “snack/breakfast”. Usually only a couple of the boys will eat if for a snack (we usually have popcorn at night anyway) and then I’m not rushed in the mornings to start breakfast and school.

    HTH!!
    Tiffani

    [Reply]

  78. Pamela says

    Hmmm…..I’ve read all the comments and have enjoyed them. I look forward to this series!

    I think my biggest challenge at the moment is finding “middle ground”. Switching to a whole foods diet is something we’re gradually doing, in baby steps. (But sometimes I wonder if my baby steps are actually steps.) For example, we used to drink skim milk. We have not yet found a local source for raw milk. So in the meantime, I buy whole milk. Another example, we used to eat cereal every day for breakfast. We’d like to eventually eat pastured eggs. For now, I just buy grocery store eggs (and no more cereal!). A third example: We used to eat margarine. We would love to eat grass fed raw butter. But right now we’re eating Costco butter. I’m hoping these little changes are steps in the right direction, but I don’t know…. Many whole/real food blogs I come across take an “all or nothing” approach that frankly scares me away.

    I would find it very helpful, Laura, if you could help us with transitional foods. Lay out the best, but give us alternatives if we cannot yet source or afford the best: a good, better, best scenario.

    Thanks, in advance, for your time and effort writing this series!

    [Reply]

  79. Jaime G says

    Here’s an excuse I’ve heard from several girl friends who don’t worry about what they eat. They think as long as they are skinny, they are healthy regardless of what they are consuming.

    [Reply]

  80. Sarah O. says

    We have a few hang-ups around here. First, neither my husband or I have any. idea. what to do with vegetables. Except for opening a can of peas or green beans and an occasional bag of salad, we’re pretty veggie-free. Second, my son has a pretty sensitive stomach, which I’m sure would do better with healthier food, but which limits what he can have (and how much he can have of things like fruit). And third, we rely really heavily on “convenience” food. I’m embarrassed at just how many hot dogs and frozen chicken is consumed at our house.

    [Reply]

  81. Anonymous says

    Here are our top reasons:
    1. takes too much time
    2. too expensive
    3. harder to find healthy foods
    4. family or friends don’t like what is prepared
    5. confusion about what is truly “healthy” – even medical experts can’t seem to agree!
    6. pressure from outside to be “like everyone else” (you’re weird if you eat like that)
    7. organic produce spoils faster (or it’s ALREADY looking spoiled in the store!)
    8. have to overcome addictions to “favorites”(like Ben and Jerry’s!)

    [Reply]

  82. Pamela says

    As part of this series, could you do a post on label reading, Laura? I had a family member ask me about label reading over our Christmas dinner. I had to think about it for a bit, but I realized that the ONLY part of the label I pay any attention to is the ingredients. I don’t care how many calories something contains, or the fat grams, or the sodium content, etc….. I just look to see if the ingredients are good (recognizable as food), and make decisions based solely on that. Is that how you evaluate labels too? Thanks.

    [Reply]

  83. Sassy says

    MONEY! That is my excuse. Also, my kids can be pretty picky. I made some healthy soup from some dry beans, corn, tomatoes, brown rice, green chiles, and other things and my daughter wouldn’t eat it. I feel like I can never win.

    [Reply]

  84. Cathy B. says

    The biggest hang-up for me is knowing who to believe. There is so much conflicting information out there. Who is right? Is it better to eat butter, coconut oil, red meat, etc.? Or are canola oil, nonfat dairy products, soy and white meat or vegetarian options the healthy way to go? The American Dietetic Association says one thing, Nourishing Traditions fans another. It’s confusing, and I feel reticent to completely commit one way or the other.

    [Reply]

  85. Michelle says

    My biggest hang-up is trying to figure out what “is” a healthy diet. In our family of five, two of our three children are beanposts and one child is husky. My husband and I are both very lean. I have been so concerned with my son’s weight that I visited a dietician (spelling ?) who is suggesting a diet of veggies and fruits, lean meat and whole grains. I agree but she also says no to coconut oil, cream, and butter etc.. I’m fairly confident that I am making the right choice when I offer whole foods but if my son doesn’t thin out or grow , I may need to re-evaluate again. Another friend says the problem is our diet filled with gluten! Argh! There are so many opinions! I’m always looking for advice. I LOVE your site!

    [Reply]

  86. Juli says

    #1 the cost- broccoli costs more than chips (although I don’t buy chips but it is true.) I do eat healthy and feed my family healthy but it is also true I find myself worrying about the difference between calorie content and health, I know I sometimes get it backwards, I guess it just takes time.

    I will say though, I started feeding my family healthy and whole foods in the last year and the changes are amazing. First of all I went from hating cooking to LOVING it! Making things from scratch is SOOO empowering!!!! Second of all I have lost 50 lbs (I did also exercise) and CANNOT gain any weight even though I’ve tried because my husband thinks I lost too much weight. And the biggest benefit of all is my 3 yr old daughter, Aleena. She was diagnosed with JIA (Junior Ideopathic Arthritis) at 1 1/2 yrs old. We COULD NOT get the arthritis under control, no drug would reduce the swelling in her poor little ankles and fingers! Finally we had to have her ankles injected :( Since then I changed the diet in our home and for a year and a half she has not had one single medical treatment for her arthritis and no swelling in her joints!!!!! Praise the Lord!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

    Nicola Reply:

    Juli, I am so delighted for your little girl. I have mild arthritis in my fingers & ankles since I was a teenager (now 30) & the pain can be horrendous when the weather is cold & damp. I have noticed a difference since we started changing our diet too.

    [Reply]

  87. Dlauren says

    I make almost all of our food from scratch but with my family, my husband simply has trouble with the whole grains…he just doesnt LIKE brown rice or whole wheat pasta or veggies even! He does his best to eat eat some veggies and will eat the rice and pasta but I really want him to love what we eat! What do u suggest! ? He loves processed cheeses for his grilled cheese and hasn’t liked any mac and cheese recipes I’ve tried. Suggestions would be great!
    Lastly, some processed foods just taste so good! Oreos, kettle chips ect.!

    [Reply]

    Nicola Reply:

    I had the same problem with my husband. We tried a couple of different ww pasta & I let him choose which one he prefered of the whole wheat pasta & stuck to that brand. It takes a while for your taste buds to adjust but they do adjust & he likes them just fine now. My husband also was very limited in what veggies he would eat & he only liked them boiled to mush. I started roasting our veggies in olive oil & he loves them. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of the veggies.

    [Reply]

  88. lyss says

    My only real “hang up” or “excuse” is COST! I try to eat simply and avoid most packaged foods, but as far as getting everything free-range, organic, raw milk, etc….I simply don’t have the money. :(

    [Reply]

  89. Katrina page says

    I stumbled upon your blog, (and this post, which I’ll get too in a minute) because, of all things, I was looking for something to make my boyfriend for dessert Saturday night (date night). I looked up what recipes Crystal Paine has on her moneysavingmom blog, mostly because she is my favorite blogger. And I found a link to your apple pie for breakfast link. And I loved it, so I clicked over to your homepage. Now what do you know, but today I have been worrying and thinking and trying to get over this aversion to health that I seem to have. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I find myself eating for no reason and making excuses to not exercise. So somehow, Jesus got me here, to your site, and I’m pretty sure he’s trying to give me a nudge. So you can bet that I’ll be back and I’ll sign up for your email if you have that. Maybe, just maybe, the universe is lining up for me right now. So thank you. I don’t know how or why I got sent here, but I hope it leads to so many wonderful things.

    [Reply]

  90. Kristen S says

    I don’t have an issue with the expense. It may seem daunting but with a bit of planning and saving for a while for a bulk purchase (like beef for the freezer etc.), it doesn’t feel like it costs me any more monthly. I pay more for beef, but I save separately all year and buy it once. When you don’t buy meat ever week, you feel more room in the budget for the fresh veggies etc.

    My biggest issue right now is that I am tired, pregnant, and didn’t plan ahead when I found out.

    I have the beef and chicken in my freezer, but if I was smart, I would have made a few freezer dishes while I had the energy. I am almost to the second trimester (and pray for more energy then) but after several weeks of not cooking and eating too much “food” that wasn’t food and didn’t taste good, my hubby has started helping meal plan (you know things he can help throw together fast after work if needed).

    Nowadays we eat of lot of salad, home grilled burgers, and frozen veggies. Because those are fast, easy, and real.

    [Reply]

  91. says

    I am excited to read your series! You always have such insight and good tips. I do, disagree however, with cost. I agree completely that if you compare the cost of pre-packaged/prepared “convenience” foods to the cost of buying whole foods, that yes, it is very comparable. However, ever since staying home with my daughter, I never did chips/boxes of mac&cheese/cookies stuff anyhow b/c I knew that was so very expensive to eat that way. So transitioning from something like good old vegetable oil to coconut oil for baking, there is a VERY significant cost difference and often times, it is very discouraging. Also, I think regionally there are cost differences in things like pastured eggs and so forth. Being on the west coast, pastured eggs are typically $4/dozen and I know I’ve seen others across the country that get theirs for $2-$3/dozen. All those differences do add up and it can be very costly! Anyhow, I am still very excited to read the series and hope to glean some tidbits either way! :)

    [Reply]

  92. Courtney says

    I’m excited about this series! I’ve really been wanting to try to eat healthier, but don’t even know where to start. I’ve felt guilty with how I’m feeding myself and my family, but just don’t know how to prepare “health food” where my family will eat it. The #1 problem I have is money. We are on a VERY tight budget and I’m afraid it will cost more.

    [Reply]

  93. Candice says

    Learning to cook it all, trying out all the recipes to find something my picky kids will like, and an uninterested husband.

    [Reply]

  94. jenny says

    I crave carbs and sweets more or less chocolate. It kills any good eating I could possibly do. I eat a healthy breakfast,lunch and even dinners. I crave sweets right after lunch and again after dinner. I do eat fruit but it dosent take away my craving for chocolate.

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    Pamela Reply:

    This sounds exactly like me!! I love a little something sweet (preferable chocolate) right after lunch and dinner!

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    jenny Reply:

    :) well its good to know I am not alone! LOL Lets see if Mrs. Hevenly Home Maker have us any tips! :) LOL

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  95. Sabrina says

    My number one hang-up is it’s expensive, though we are trying very hard to eat healthy.

    I love your site, and I have gained so much in just a short time. I even “stole” some of your menu planning ideas, and I went shopping today. I spent a reasonable amount, and I am excited to see how the next couple of weeks play out. It felt really good to say to my husband, “I bought nothing that is process and boxed.” So, I’m hanging around for your series, and I’m ready for tomorrow to begin my meal plans!

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  96. says

    Oh, I have lots of excuses! “I’m too tired/don’t have energy to not use convenience foods/eat out.” “I’m overwhelmed by all the information out there–much of it conflicting.” “I can’t do it all, so I failed and I’m giving up.” “Soak what? Too much prep time!” “I have no idea HOW to make this stuff!” “I live in Alaska, I couldn’t POSSIBLY find THAT ingredient!”

    Oh goodness. I regret, regret knowing better and not feeding myself better through my last pregnancy. I was exhausted and living in temporary housing with no transportation and a make-shift kitchen, but I wish I had tried more. What a crucial time for growing a baby. :(

    Also, for those with picky kids, my mother caved in to my brother’s whims of pickiness and now he is a grown man with full grown food phobias, eats junk 24/7, and has a constant postnasal drip and an aversion to anything healthy. Get rid of all the junk. Forbid it for six months or so, and get everyone’s taste buds adjusted to real foods. Then allow junk, if you wish, on rare special occasions: birthdays, on vacations, etc. Real food is delicious, sweet, salty, crunchy, crusty, etc. Do it while you have some control. You won’t later and may really regret it. Oh and we are on a very restricted GAPS diet and eat chocolates and ice cream and cake with icing and cookies (on special occasions) you can make ANYTHING with healthy ingredients.

    I really attribute you, Laura, to helping me get beyond a lot of my excuses. Your five ingredient recipes, simple casseroles, one veggie sides, fun versions of favorite treats (the french fries and chicken nuggets in a brown bag with a toy post, was an eye opener). You can take many of the foods your family enjoys and make it without packaged foods, MSG, HFCS, with whole wheat, butter, full-fat dairy, etc. and you have a vastly improved meal.

    Okay, I’ll quit the book. Those are just some thoughts.

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  97. says

    I think it is so interesting that you say you used to “hate spending money on food”. Me too. But when you think about it – why do people hate spending money on food? Why is the first place people cut the grocery budget? It truly doesn’t make sense. Maybe it is because we HAVE to eat? But honestly, if it is something you have to do, then why not enjoy it while you are eating? Which to me means eating good food – not cheap, easy to make, comes from a box, only needs to be heated in the microwave food. But good food. What do so many people hate spending money on food?

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  98. Anna says

    1. We are addicted to eating out. It’s something fun that we can do as a family. No clean up, good time talking on the way to and from the restaurant, large menus to fit everyone’s desires. Just plain fun!

    2. My children and husband are picky eaters.

    Looking forward to your series! I know that we need to change…it’s just HARD! (First time reader)

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  99. Ami says

    My husband won’t like it. And he is not on board so there’s the issue of spending extra money when he thinks it’s useless.

    I won’t list all the foods my husband dislikes, but the list is extensive indeed. So if a person has no reason to want to try liking new foods, they just aren’t going to try.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean the kids and I can’t do our best. We eat tons of veggies and fruits, but I’m slow in consistently shelling out the money for organic when it’s not husband-approved. I’ve found lots of things I can do, though, that don’t actually cost much more. (Like drinking water, which costs nothing.) So until I get all the free or actually cheaper healthy habits down, I’m not going to stress about the more expensive changes.

    Just so I don’t sound like a husband basher – my husband has come to respect my garden and he always helps with the heavy labor, he let our son get chickens, he helped me budget to buy half of a very inexpensive grass-fed cow, he tries to encourage the kids to eat everything I give them, and so on. He is a wonderful husband, he just doesn’t get the whole, nourishing foods thing. And I’m not going to nag a good man about his food.

    But if I wanted to pick another fight with you, Laura, I’d ask whether your kids were properly socialized??? We homeschool, so of course that one always gets me biting my tongue before I take someone’s head off!

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    Jen Reply:

    When I began researching a real food diet, I came across so much information! I found all of it fascinating, but I knew all of it would be too much for my husband. I didn’t want to overwhelm or nag him. So I began sharing a tidbit here and there about something interesting I’d read. If I came across a really good article, I would print it out and ask him to read it. This was occasional! I wasn’t handing him stacks of paper every day to read. :) He was on board very shortly, and when there was a free showing of Food, Inc. near us it was HIM that wanted to go. I did too, but he was determined. He is 100% supportive and never questions anything I buy or make in the kitchen. He LOVES my food. I’m blessed! It also helps that his bi-yearly sinus infections and other health issues cleared up, and he feels great. Your husband sounds like a wonderful man, so maybe sharing info here and there and asking him to read something occasionally might work for you too. Good luck!

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  100. Kathie says

    Wow, where to begin. First, I am trying very hard to feed my family healthiER food, but I am having a hard time getting to completely free-range, organic, unprocessed food.

    First excuse: Time. We are not homebodies, we have so much to do between volunteering at church and taking the kids to music and swimming lessons. So on those lesson nights, fast food is overwhelmingly tempting. And it seems that the cheap way to eat somewhat-processed food is to make it myself. I am trying more of that (I have stewed tomatoes, refried beans, and hamburger buns on the list to make this week). But it’s intimidating to plan and execute the time management of making most of my own food necessities.

    Excuse #2: My kids grow pickier by the minute, mostly with regard to vegetables. They won’t eat anything but corn and raw carrots, and if there are green veggies or tomatoes even IN the food, there’s a decent chance they won’t try it. (and all we require at our house is that they try a bite–I am ok with them starving through one meal if they don’t like it).

    Excuse #3: Money…rather, the combination of planning and delving into new experiences in order to save money. I’ve looked at Azure Standard 2-3 times and think it could really help us eat better and still afford it…but the tasks of figuring out how to store the stuff AND what we need AND how to find a drop point AND whether or not we can afford it. It makes me hyperventilate. I’d also like to buy part of a cow, or some local free-range chicken…but again, this combination of new, unknown (i.e. might cost more than I expect OR might be a waste if I don’t use the meat) experiences makes me avoid it. I know, I’m a chicken, haha.

    That all being said, I am very excited to read your posts. I need to just pick one thing and try it. I’ve already converted to using coconut oil and EVOO and butter almost entirely. And the online reading I’ve just done about the flame retardants in soda and the meat glue in mainstream meat products has me gagging and swearing off pop and non-local meat.

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  101. Tricia says

    Here are my biggest obstacles…

    #1 – Time. My husband and I both work FT outside the home and with 3 boys + 1 on the way time is always limited.

    #2 – Eating out. Our family loves to eat out and with the cost of eating whole foods we can’t really do both.

    #3 – Laziness/Distractions. I hate to admit it but I often choose technology over time in the kitchen. So even though I say that I’d like to make homemade bread, yogurt, etc. I give my self the excuse of “down time” to do other things.

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  102. says

    My excuse is that I haven’t figured out how to do healthy food on an exceptionally tight budget… especially when a lot of our fresh fruits/veggies tend to go to waste and the other stuff can sit on the shelves until the end of time and not go bad.

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  103. Stefanie says

    1. Kids won’t eat a lot of it. If they won’t eat it, what good is it doing them?
    2. Hubby is not on board. He still wants margarine because he likes the taste. (Yep. That’s what he said.)
    3. Money. Seven children on one income. Nearest health food store is 50 miles away (approx.)
    4. Planning/prep/acquiring the food, etc. Homeschooling 4 of the 7 children is time consuming. Honestly, I’d just rather be with my children then in the kitchen so much.
    5. Conflicting schools of thought about what is ‘good’ even in the whole foods realm. (i.e., wheat or gluten free, etc) That can be so confusing.
    6. Back to #1. If the kids won’t eat it (and husband) then it’s a waste of time and money to get it, fix it and throw it away.
    Even when I tell myself, “baby steps and change takes time and we are doing better than last year”, it still feels like no matter what I do, It’s not enough.

    [Reply]

    Jenifer Parker Reply:

    melt your margarine and start putting 1/4 of a stick of melted butter in it
    and let it harden again. Two weeks later use 1/2 a stick etc. I did it.
    See if anyone notices.

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    Stefanie Reply:

    Thanks for the tip, Jenifer!

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    Jennifer Reply:

    My husband also prefers margarine over butter. His excuse is that the margarine is soft and ready to use whenever he wants it. I keep my butter in the fridge-im not so sure about leaving it out on the counter to soften all day long.

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    Nicola Reply:

    Oh goodness, I would never use butter if I kept it in the fridge either. I keep it in a butter dish on the counter. We usually use a block within a week to a week & a half. I have never had it go “off” on me. Where I live, we generally have a very mild climate. Doesn’t get too hot in summer & doesn’t get very cold in winter. In winter, I keep the butter dish by the stove so it doesn’t get too hard & in the summer I keep it where ever in the kitchen is coolest. Occasionally I put it into the fridge in summer, normally around mid-day so that it spends the hottest part of the day in the fridge.

  104. Brooke says

    I long for the day of just making/using/growing whole foods. It’s a battle… I do lots of at home cooking and over the past year have really cut down on quite a bit of processed foods, esp processed frozen meals. So I feel I’ve made some progress for my family.
    I think my excuses are:
    1)time – finding the time to prepare everything, or mostly everything from scratch
    2)energy – my energy and time don’t always coincide.
    3)Money, b/c organic is expensive and not always available. I do my best to buy organic when it’s on sale or a good deal.
    4)Laziness – yep, sometimes I’m just lazy :(
    5)Movitation/guilt – It’s really challenging and I feel guilty at times when I cannot/don’t purchase all free range meats, all non-processed/boxed/bagged foods, etc… Because in my ideal world, I would prepare everything from scratch and it would all come from natural sources but it’s a bit daunting. And reading about how people can afford it and do it all gets me a little discouraged when I cannot.
    6)Sugar cravings – I too often get too many sugar cravings and it’s easier to have quick crap in the house ;) – yeah, I know, that sounds so stupid. “quick crap”

    I’m really hoping to incorporate more and more health foods and snacks. I had saved up enough money from Christmas and birthday to get my Blendtec so more smoothies and soups, homemade butter, homemade ice creams and treats, etc…!!!

    P.S. I would prefer to eat brocolli over twinkies, anyday! ;)

    [Reply]

    Brooke Reply:

    Also:
    I do have a desire to make and do all these great things – like all natural or homemade snacks, breads, etc… but I get overwhelmed with feeling like I need to do a bunch at one time b/c if I make it is gone and I don’t have tons of time make things everyday!

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  105. Serenity Summers says

    We have been gradually changing our diet for the past four years. The one food that I CAN NOT seem to get everyone to give up is white rice. Weird, I know. But, my husband and five kiddos LOVE rice and I make it with homemade chicken broth but not one of them likes brown rice. Any suggestions?

    [Reply]

    Pamela Reply:

    Perhaps this article might put your mind at ease (and please your hubby and kiddos!).

    http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/what-white-rice-better-than-brown/

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    Jenny C. Reply:

    My family is the same way about rice! I finally stumbled on a brown basmati rice, which we all ove. It seems to have a lighter flavor and cooks up quicker than regular brown rice. Maby you can give it a try!

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    Colean Reply:

    I actually am the same way. I LOVE white rice! I also dislike most brown rices because of the texture and they just plain dont taste as good (to me).

    In an effort to make an effort, I’ve tried several brands and have found that the Mahatma brown long grain rice in the bag is the least terrible of the brown rices and will at last begrudgingly reat that one :)

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    Jen Reply:

    I’m with you! I used organic brown rice for a few years, but we didn’t love it at all. I finally started buying organic basmati rice and we do love it. We don’t eat a ton of rice, so this is a compromise I’m willing to make. There are way worse things we could be eating than white rice! :) I also felt much better after reading the article on The Healthy Home Economist’s Website.

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  106. Heather says

    Baby steps – I have been married fir almost 13 years and have slowly evolved our eating habits as we learn more. We are far from perfect but I feel even one small change can be beneficial. Don’t let guilt keep you from even trying one thing at a time. It has taken 13 years and we are headed in the right direction. Time is always an issue and a temptation so I say just make one small change at a time – even if it is making one mire homemade meal per week than you have been or using 1/2 brown 1/2 white rice or trying a recipe using whole wheat flour – baby steps!

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  107. Shawnie says

    I agree with Heather. Baby steps. It’s something I’m challenged with every time I go to the grocery store. I have all the good intentions of making everything from scratch and then I’ll have a weak moment when applesauce is BOGO and then I cave, instead of making it from fresh apples in the crockpot. It’s along process. I just try to incorporate small changes every week. Like I try to make one frozen meal every week. That way – on ball game nights I’m not as tempted to go to the drive thru or on plain old lazy nights, I have a go to to throw in the oven instead of going out. We don’t eat out that much anyway, but if we do, it’s usually because I’m tired, or because of sports. This is how I have gotten in front of it.
    And my frozen meals are very simple: i.e. black bean burritos (cook a bag of black beans in the crock pot and pre-make burritos), cook up some ground beef, chop up roasted chicken and freeze. Sometimes it’s a casserole consisting of pasta sauce & cheese.
    I do aspire to eventually buy a side of beef and stuff like that, but for now my next plan of action is to grow a garden. Gonna focus on things that we eat the most and what I find to be expensive at the stores (red bell peppers) and such.
    I will say that the most common way that I cook my veggies is by roasting them in the oven w/ a little EVOO and salt & pepper…roast on 400/425 (high heat) until they carmelize. I do this with squash, broccoli, potatoes, sweet potatoes, asparagus, green beans, carrots, brussel sprouts – everything really. My kids (ages 5 – 12) absolutely DEVOUR them. So if you’ve got picky ones, I urge you to give this method of cooking a try, you will not be disappointed.
    Great post, I look forward to additional comments and follow up posts on this subject.

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  108. Joy says

    My #1 excuse is that it tastes like cardboard. My problem is that my husband is picky. The only 2 vegetables that he will eat is corn and green beans. Also time is a problem b/c I work full-time.

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  109. jc says

    My opinion is any small changes we make are better than nothing. None of us are perfect. And none of our families are perfect eaters.
    I’ve made a lot of recipes from here and other sites using fresh milled ww flour. I have to be honest….a lot of them have been horrible. But I don’t give up. I try my best to buy organic fruits and vegetables, but I also don’t beat myself up if they’re not. Id rather have my kids eat a conventional Apple than a box of cookies.
    It seems like one of the “excuses” we all have issues with is time. If you’re not one for make aheads and freezing…again, due to time, try using your crockpots more. I’ve finally found some recipes that don’t involve canned cream of something and don’t taste like cardboard. Maybe we need to try sharing some of our tried and trues with each other???

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  110. Jackie Leyba says

    Oh boy…working full-time and not having a lot of tiem to cook is a big factor for me. Also, I live in a small town and we don’t have the luxury of have a Whole Foods store here so we’re very limited on where we can get healthier foods. My son is also pretty picky as well. He likes the macaroni & cheese from a box & the chicken nuggets from McDonald’s & Wendy’s. I know these are pretty weak excuses. We’ve also just moved too. Luckily, I have some space where I can plant a garden and I can start with vegetables. We also have some fruit trees as well.
    I think that with support on here and encouragement, we can all do this!!!!

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  111. Julie says

    Probably one of my biggest obstacles is the time it takes to teach my family to prefer the finer things. I am always teasing them about that when I set something on the table they aren’t used to. Training their palates to prefer whole grains over processed flours, to enjoy homemade items over pre-packaged. They have such distinguished taste buds here that they can tell any slightest change I make to their favorite recipes. They constantly remind me that I have made them this way by cooking most things from scratch all along anyway. So…it would seem that I should be able to re-train their palates over time for the better as we switch out some of our ingredients for healthier ones but it sure is a slow process. Homemade chocolate sauce, homemade tortillas, fresh granola, ranch dressing, etc. They are starting to ask for these things over their store-bought counterparts. Because of this we are working on one pantry item at a time. It’s going to take a long time, but it should be worth it eventually.

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  112. Angela says

    1. Money
    2. Money
    3. Money
    4. Money
    5. Knowledge
    6. Knowledge
    7. Lack of family/friend support
    8. Lack of family/friend support
    9. Money
    10. Money

    [Reply]

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