Friday, January 1, 2010

Everyone else has a "Best of 2009" list and I want one too!

I have to confess that it has been so long between posts that I almost forgot how to login but I refuse to let the blog die! Happy New Year and welcome to the first post of 2010.

At the end of the year there are many lists citing what was amazing about the past year so I decided to create my own list of our family's top 10 nutritional changes for 2009:

10. In an effort to cut back on processed foods and the chemicals and preservatives they are laden with, I have quit buying certain staples that used to always be found in a cupboard: Chunky Soup, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and any Campbells "Cream of" soup to name a few.

9. When it won't make the item unpalatable, I have substituted whole-wheat flour for part or all of the all-purpose flour called for in baked goods. I have learned that some items just aren't as good with whole-wheat flour and I don't think we will ever get used to them that way.

8. I started this blog which makes me accountable to any of my friends that I see on a regular basis. If I am writing about how bad a food is, I shouldn't be seen stuffing it in my face!

7. We have an actual garden growing in our backyard with spinach, broccoli and beets. We have been able to eat some spinach but the beets and broccoli are growing very slowly and are not ready yet. I hope they are ready in time for me to start the warm season garden.

6. When possible I buy organic products. I have learned how to shop around and get decent prices on them and have gotten used to paying more for items such as butter and cereal but I truly feel it is worth it.

5. We discovered grass-fed beef and although I do not use it exclusively for all cuts, it has been the only ground beef I have purchased in months and every time a beef recall is in the news I don't need to check my lot numbers!

4. We started receiving Winder Farms dairy products on our doorstep and I love them! It is also good to know that when I go to sleep on Sunday I will wake up to a week's worth of milk on my doorstep the next morning.

3. I have become a better steward of my food because I am paying more for it. In order to cut back on waste I have to shop more frequently for produce and bakery items but I try to stretch them further. I have even made my own chicken stock from bones and veggie scraps and froze it for future meals.

2. I have discovered that I am not alone in this journey. Whether it be friends or online communities and newsletters, there is overwhelming support for these changes.

1. Chickens! I adore my little hens. Raising them has been such a wonderful experience and we have just started receiving the fruit of that labor: 2 nice little brown eggs each morning. We hope to have up to six a day but not all the girls are on board with that plan yet. They do cause us some frustration since it seems impossible to keep them in the part of the yard we want them and out of the parts we don't and we really hate when they visit the pool deck(soon to renamed the poop deck)! In spite of that, they have brought us many hours of joy and, as of today, 12 eggs!

If you have been inspired to make changes in this new year, don't try to do it all at once. Take it a step at a time such as cutting back on processed foods or avoiding anything with high fructose corn syrup in the ingredients. It is also important to read the labels on what you are buying. Know what is in it and where it is from and don't be fooled by the claims on the front of the boxes. Who knows, maybe this time next year you will be getting fresh eggs from your backyard chickens too!

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