Saturday, March 19, 2011

Food Strategy

A practical post today. Over the past 6 months or so I have been slowly making over our eating -- trying to fit more organics in, natural/organic meats, less HFCS, more whole grains, etc.

This past week I noticed something interesting. I bought some Ezekiel 4:9 tortillas, which are made with all sprouted grains, no flour. I noticed that when I ate them for breakfast, I wasn't hungry all morning, and I lost a pound this week too.

I am also trying to consider how to simplify our eating so that we waste less food -- I still come across some spoiled food every week, and I want to cut that down to almost nothing. I also want to look at ways to eat well and inexpensively, and I know it is possible -- it will just take some more work and foresight.

Complicating matters are (1) Fridays in Lent, which mean no meat. This is not a big deal, but it is an extra thing to think about. (2) Ben gave up potatoes for Lent, so trying to find enough starch to feed him when he dislikes pasta, squash, oatmeal, and hippie grains like quinoa and amaranth. Mmm, grits, anyone? (3) Norah eats all the time now so I have to figure out real-food solutions for her. This is not that complicated either, but it does take some planning.

So. I am cobbling together some principles to try out, and see how they affect our use of food. Here are my ideas so far. I might not incorporate all of these, and I might add to the list as well. I would love to hear any suggestions that anyone has!

1. For me, I am trying a flourless week. It sounds crazy, I know, but when I don't eat flour I lose weight a lot faster. I will still eat grains and carbohydrates in general, just not flour.

2. Use more beans. They are cheap and easy to fix, and they are healthy. Homemade refried beans are reeeeeeally good.

3. Keep the Ezekiel tortillas on hand. I have found a recipe for sprouted grain bread here, and in a few weeks I might try it. I am not jumping into that yet, but it might be worth it later.

4. Buy natural foods in bulk. New Leaf Market here has some great bulk options, for much cheaper than pre-packaged stuff.

5. Buy dry grocery items (tomato sauce, cereal, etc.) in bulk at discount prices.

6. Cook myself several meals on Sunday and freeze them in portions to eat during the week. This helps me avoid the I-don't-have-enough-time trap, which often leads to things like chicken fingers and tater tots. And half-packages of Oreos. Just for example.

7. Process veggies on the day I get them. I am thinking that on veggie day (the organic buying club provides a new shipment every week) I will make a salad out of the perishable salad stuff -- lettuce, tomatoes, etc. -- make a fruit salad, chop up the snacky veggies like celery and carrots, and wash, chop, and freeze the things that can be frozen. This way everything is on hand and ready to go.

8. Plan meals along with the veggie shipment. This would be easier if the buying club posted veggie lists ahead of time, but they don't always. So, mostly, shop on Wednesdays, the day after veggie day.

9. Clean out and inventory the stuff I already have before shopping, to avoid the seven-bottles-of-unopened-ketchup-but-no-mustard-anywhere syndrome, which I am sure you are all familiar with. ;D

That's about it for now. Just an experiment. Suggestions?

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