Monday, February 28, 2011

Updates on the baby steps

I just thought everyone might like to see how the project is going!
  1. Eliminate soda:  It's going pretty well.  Hubby brought how 5 two-liter bottles from work one day last week and I've had a couple glasses.  Both times it tasted sickening sweet and I had to have a glass of water to combat the sugar.  I'm definitely over the addiction.  I drink mostly water and tea with the occasional glass of orange juice.
  2. Salads:  Still buying organic lettuce and making my own Caesar and ranch dressings.  I'm not overly thrilled with the 1000 island recipe and need to do some more searching.
  3. Crackers:  I'm making all graham crackers, cheese crackers and animal crackers.  I've given up on the snack cracker for right now and I'm buying Kashi 7-grain crackers.  They are a little pricey, but so is using pound upon pound of flour for crackers that are ok, but not "to die for."
  4. Eliminate GMO sugar:  I finally purged the last of my cheap powdered sugar stash over the weekend.  I am now buying evaporated cane juice (and trying to use less overall), and C&H brown sugar and powdered sugar.  Eventually I'll probably get rid of brown sugar and add a bit of molasses and extra cane juice in substitution in recipes, but for now C&H is cane sugar so no genetically modified sugar beets and that's good enough.  Down the road, when I have more money to devote to groceries, I'll buy large quanitities of Rapadura, but right now that's not an option.  I will make this change knowing that there is better, but what I'm doing is better than nothing at all.
  5. Organic apples have been reasonably priced, so not buying them hasn't even been a consideration.  As of yesterday, they were within $.10/pound of conventionally grown apples.  That's not enough of a difference to justify buying the cheaper ones.
  6. MSG and nitrate(ite) free meats:  I'm doing reasonably well.  Yesterday I bought nitrate/nitrite free deli meat and bacon.  I like the Hormel deli meat (if not the company), so 2-3 packages/month will work there and I bought Applewood Farms Bacon.  It's on the menu for tonight, so hopefully it's tasty.  For now, we are really limiting ham.  In the past months, I purchased a whole ham and we used it for 4-5 meals.  I'm steering away from that.  There isn't a nitrate free version that is remotely affordable, so we will still eat it on holidays or family gatherings, but not as part of our normal meal rotation.
  7. Following superfoods recommendations:  Meal planning was a little harder than I imagined, but not too bad.  The food that I found getting skipped most often (and it really surprised me) was tomatoes.  Hubby's digestive system doesn't do too well if he eats a lot of acidic foods, so we try to only have tomato-based foods every third or fourth day.  Therefore, we are lacking there.  Since canned tomatoes have BPA in the lining of the cans, not consuming so much might not be a bad thing anyway.  We'll see what happens with our garden this summer.
  8. Meal planning:  I did a lot better last week and with this month's plan, I tried to incorporate several easy meals and easy alternatives.  I also bumped up the budget back to $500/month (including any eating out).  If I were feeding just the 5 of us, I don't think $300 would be unreasonable.  Feeding the daycare kids and providing the variety of options is proving more difficult than I had imagined, especially since food prices have gone up even in the last month.  Additionally, I've added a consistent morning snack which increases the cost as well, but I think it helps the little ones focus more and play together better, which is important for their development.  I'm hoping (fingers crossed here) that once I start buying in bulk and get the garden going, that I can bring that number back down.  We'll see.
Overall, I've fallen off the wagon a couple times, but not too bad.  I've got to go.  I'm off to make mac 'n cheese for snack and an apple salad for dinner.


  1. you're doing great!

    I did want to kind of point out one thing, just in case it was something you are worried about; Kashi is owned by Kellogg's and uses GMO ingredients in all their non-organic products and in fact, defends GMO foods.... so if the crackers you're buying aren't organic you might reconsider. Or even stop buying Kashi altogether, organic or not (we did, unfortunately, love some of their org. cereal) since they support GMOs? Just my 2 cents :)

  2. Zaira: You are killing me! I didn't know that Kashi was owned by Kellogg's. I read the ingredient list and thought I was ok. I'm now going to go bang my head on the wall! LOL ;)

    OK, people! I'm in the market (again) for a cracker I can eat with a dip or cheese ball. Anyone have any suggestions?

  3. ahhh sorry Kristin. It sucks, doesn't it? Ignorance is bliss? lol does it have to be a cracker cracker. 'Food Should Taste Good' makes some really yummy multigrain tortilla chips that are a cross between a chip and a cracker, we love them! (GM free, says so on the bag!)

  4. I know this post is over a year old, but I just found your blog from 100Days of Real Food and am going back through it! We've been eating ak-mack crackers and 'Mary's Gone Crackers' onion crackers with our cheese and hummus! The ak-mack ones are pretty cheap here too! I'm sure you've found a replacement by now, but just wanted to chime in!


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