Thursday, December 31, 2009

I found a "safe" mock soy sauce recipe!

YAY!!! I haven't tried it yet, but here's the link:

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

early breakfast: organic banana

breakfast: eggs with canned organic peas

snack: organic pear wedges

lunch: Nature's Promise hot dog with canned organic green beans

snack: potato chips with garlic hummus, freeze dried strawberries, and organic apple wedges

dinner: lamb chops fried in EVOO with fresh organic broccoli (steamed) and Alexia potato wedges

planned dessert: hot cocoa made with coconut milk (I have to look to see the brand of cocoa, but it's safe and has no dried milk in it)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I lost my aunt last night. She was like a big sister to me in an ocean of worthless, toxic relatives; and the only person who understood what I was dealing with when it came to my family. But it brings to end a period of chaos that needs to change.

We will be going completely gluten-free. I read Dr. Mercola's Beginner Nutrition Plan and am implementing it immediately. Once we're on track with taking our supplements and eating without our allergens, we'll move on to Feingold diet.

As for today...

Early breakfast: organic carrot

Breakfast: eggs with organic canned peas and water (I had some coffee)

Snack: coconut-milk based yogurt (Pina Colada flavor) and then some potato chips

Lunch: tuna pods (tuna fish made with "safe" mayo in steamed potato halves hollowed out to make "shells")

Snack: potato chips

dinner: homemade red lentil chili with rice. Matthew wasn't interested, so he had an all natural hotdog (Nature's Promise) with steamed, fresh, organic green beans. And we all had water.

Dessert: Matthew had more green beans. After he went to bed, Mike & I had panettone. Panettone is hard to part with at Christmastime. :(

Monday, December 7, 2009

Thank GOD for the Natural Candy Store

YAY!!! Matthew can have candy canes!!!! The box arrived today and he was OUT of his MIND with joy. :(

I also got jelly beans, gummy bears and some peppermint candies (you know those little round ones?)

I hope they carry Easter candy. What a nightmare this year's egg hunt was for my MIL... and my little pickle.

Ready to go completely gluten-free

Yup... you heard that right. We're going to completely get rid of it.

Matthew's had some behaviors that are hard to nail down to anything specific. There are tons of things that COULD be causing these behaviors, but the behaviors are not consistent. We're wondering if it's tied to food... and so we're going to be removing gluten completely.

Of course, that requires a slightly different lifestyle. One that doesn't completely rely on convenience foods (like bread for sandwiches) or at least allows for pockets of time to create our own "safe" convenience foods (like baking bread in the bread machine, slicing it, then freezing it for later use... we freeze our gluten bread anyway so it's not a huge difference).

Monday, December 7, 2009

EARLY snack (last night was St. Nicholas eve--so he was up at the crack of dawn to see what was left in his shoe): 2 triple chocolate meringues and 1 macaroon (both totally safe)

breakfast: eggs with Taylor ham (although his belly hurt... wonder why *eyeroll*)

snack: chocolate yogurt (coconut-milk based)

lunch: leftover chicken thighs cooked in EVOO with canned organic green beans

snack: (can't remember... maybe nothing?)

dinner: potstickers from the freezer (will check the brand later--they were safe minus the gluten in the dough) and canned organic peas

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

breakfast: eggs with organic canned peas and water

snack: contraband: a tiny wedge of Entenmann's cheese danish. We suffered for easily 2 hours after the fact with rather extreme oppositional behavior.

snack: rice crackers (veggie flavored)

lunch: PB&J

snack: coconut milk-based yogurt (raspberry flavor)

snack: organic pear wedges

dinner: leftover pork with apples, onions & potatoes. Shamefully, that was the whole thing. :(

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

breakfast: eggs with peas

snack: rice crackers

lunch: PB&J (we were on the run & it was portable)

snack: organic apple wedges

snack: banana

dinner: pork loin (I'm so trying to get away from pork altogether, but that means finishing what we have) pot roasted in apples, potatoes and onions with a side of canned organic green beans.

dessert: Matthew got 1 Lindt Dark Chocolate (black wrapper) truffle which was--shockingly--safe. :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It's about to get ugly...

So, we had our last delivery of produce as POD (Point of Delivery) coordinators for the organic coop. That means we will no longer have a huge discount on organic produce. It's a little disturbing and concerning. I'm handing over an unfull group which means there's no opportunity to divide shares to earn a discount, either.

The thing is, since we had dropped down to one group, it hadn't been enough food anyway. It was okay during the summer when we had the CSA share on top of the coop but now it's winter. Now I need two shares and I have to pay for both of them when money's already tight.


Double blech.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

breakfast: Matthew had leftover french toast while Mike & I had eggs with organic canned peas

snack: organic apple wedges

lunch: chicken cutlets fried in EVOO with more canned peas (we were rushing)

snack: rice crackers

dinner: Chinese food: Matthew had steamed chicken with broccoli. Mike and I had steamed dumplings and shrimp chow fun.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

early breakfast: cereal bar
breakfast: eggs with taylor ham

snack: coconut-milk based yogurt

lunch: PB&J

snack: oops! no afternoon snack!

dinner: baked chicken breast in olive oil with onions, carrots and potatoes; plus organic escarole sauteed in olive oil with chopped garlic

dessert: apple pandowdy made with GF cake mix and natural food colorings from Frontier Coop (just to be festive)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

breakfast: eggs with nothing in them. :)

snack: organic yellow grape tomatoes

lunch: leftover chicken fingers cooked in lemon juice & capers with steamed organic green beans (need to use these up!)

snack: organic red seedless grapes that I totally forgot about

another snack: Yummi Earth gummi bears for Matthew at a friends house. He was IN. HIS. GLORY. and I could kiss them for introducing them to me so that Matthew can have "candy like other kids" once in a while. :( Of course, our dentist will be less than thrilled. :O

dinner: leftover sliced roast beef from Mike's company dinner last night (they sent home a LOT) with some more steamed green beans. I was very lazy tonight.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

early breakfast: Matthew had eggs with ketchup

breakfast: eggs in a house/hat again for me & Mike... Matthew had an apple

snack: banana

lunch: hot dog and steamed green beans

snack: another banana (completely by accident)

dinner plans: I think pasta and salad. We have way too much organic lettuce that needs to be eaten. Maybe virgin pina colada smoothies for dessert. :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

It's been chaos. I'm panicking because I'm moving the pod to another coordinator... so bye-bye discounted food. :( We were supposed to relocate to IL but that's been pushed back about 5 months--so I'm kind of sorry I'm moving the group now. But that's why I haven't posted: I thought we were listing the house and had to PURGE and stage it. Geesh!

So, today...

early breakfast: Matthew had GF pancakes with shredded apple in them and a leftover spear of non-organic watermelon

breakfast: we all had "eggs in a hat/house" (name under hot debate in our home). It's a piece of bread (not GF today--but Nature's Promise Oat & Honey which has no soy or corn) with a hole cut in the center (a glass turned upside down and pressed into the bread) and then the bread is put in a frying pan and an egg is cracked into the opening and cooked that way (flipping it is actually easy).

snack: organic yellow grape tomatoes

lunch: PB&J with Bonne Maman strawberry jelly for Mike & I and homemade organic Concord grape jelly for Matthew... his favorite.

snack: organic pear slices

snack: potato chips and hummus

dinner: hotdog pieces with pork & beans (I think it was organic--canned from Whole Foods, I know that) and steamed organic string beans

Monday, September 7, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009 (Labor Day!)

breakfast: pancakes from mix... some plain, some with slices of peaches in them and some with blueberries from our backyard.

snack: organic cantaloupe

lunch: hamburgers with organic corn on the cob (Matthew seems to tolerate this, or maybe he only tolerates a certain amount)

snack: organic plum tomatoes (they're really little and we have a lot of them)

dinner: Tinkyada pasta with Bertoli sauce and organic salad

dessert: watermelon

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sunday, September 6, 2009

early breakfast: cereal bar

breakfast: scrambled eggs with ketchup

no snack

lunch: peanut butter and jelly on bread WITH gluten, but otherwise "safe"

We had company for a barbecue from this point on...

snack: potato chips with salsa and hummus

dinner: hamburgers, hotdogs, baked potato wedges (coated with EVOO, salt, pepper and rosemary then cooked for about 90 minutes at 375 degrees), salad

we never actually got to dessert...!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

early breakfast: cereal bar

breakfast: eggs with ketchup

snack: I think we skipped it

lunch: sushi from the grocery store. Matthew eats California Rolls (he prefers them with the orange eggs on the outside) but today he also tried one very tiny roll with some raw salmon inside and he liked it. :)

snack: organic grape tomatoes

dinner... will be at Mike's grandmother's. The inlaws make GF pasta for him and everything else is in the "fresh foods only" category with the possible exception of fried chicken breasts (when they use regular breadcrumbs). But pasta, salad (lettuce, oil and vinegar with salt), some kind of meat and a few veggies. They only use olive oil and nothing is prepackaged--so it's almost always safe.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Good news and bad news...

The good news is that I escaped PMS/PMDD this past month. I broke my own rules and introduced more than one new thing at a time and of course, have no clue which one worker. I have removed the maca root, though. So now it's just the B-complex and D I'm on. We'll see how it goes next month.

The bad news is that I keep slipping with Matthew. We've just gotten so lax and lazy. Trying to get so much done in so little time has led to us really not tending to ANYthing the way we should. Horrible.


Insasmuch as we eat eggs DAILY for the most, it's not the only option for breakfast.

There's eggs, of course (and our cholesterol is actually really good despite a family predisposition to it--read Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon to understand this phenomenon!)

Pancakes, waffles, and muffins made from an allergenic mix. These can be made ahead in large quantities and frozen. That's what we do. It's like buying ready-made/convenience stuff. :)

EnviroKids cereal. I know they have one that we can eat (Koala Crisp)

I honestly never investigated cereals any further. I'm a DIE hard farina person--so gluten free is really killing me on that front.

We also take a lesson from other countries and occasionally eat leftover dinner for breakfast... so meat and vegetables.

Yogurt (especially with some fruit tossed in)

Fruit (we get on broiled grapefruit tangents here)

Fruit salad

Bagels (they can be bought "safe" I think--frozen)

Cereal bars

I'm looking for a Creamy Rice & Fruit recipe... I just found one for Coconut Rice (and we'd eat it with fruit).


We're not a "dessert every night" family. For one, to me: dessert=sweets. For another, allergenically this is a costly thing. And since too much sweets really isn't a good thing... it works. But here's what we do for desserts:

Much like snacks, ANY fruit=dessert. This is when I freeze the little fruits to make them extra special (berries, grapes, etc.)

Smoothies (coconut milk based is my personal favorite, but hazelnut milk or rice milk with extra honey work well, too). Toss in your milk substitute, ice and "stuff" (fruit, honey, chocolate syrup, peanut butter... combine to your heart's content!)

ice cream (often with Ah!laska chocolate syrup)

yogurt--specifically chocolate flavored (since it's the closest we can get to pudding)

cookies from an allergenic mix

ice pops (Edy's Natural has some safe ones, Sweet Nothings Non-Dairy Fudge bars and Cool Fruits freezer pops)

brownies from an allergenic mix

I think that's the majority of what makes up dessert at our house.


In the interest of getting back on track with our food, I went food shopping tonight. Specifically for "snacks". Since we eat snacks 2-4 times/day, they're a major portion of our diet. Here is the very LONG list of what constitutes a snack in our house (organic whenever possible):

peeled baby carrots
grape tomatoes
tomato wedges
canned green beans

potato chips
cereal bars
Envirokids rice bars
rice crackers
Fruitabu dried/smooshed fruit (rolls or flats)

ANY fruit... sometimes I freeze small fruits (grapes or berries) for a spin on things. We also buy freeze-dried fruit for a change once in a while


yogurt (So Delicious has coconut milk-based yogurt)
cookies from an allergenic mix
home made Jello (Knox gelatin and fruit juice--recipe on the Knox packaging)

Those are the majority of our snacks. :D

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009

early breakfast: cereal bar

breakfast: We went out to the local bagel shop that reopened. They made Matthew scrambled eggs on a dry grill with no milk added... SCORE! He also was able to have orange juice. Mike and I were really bad. I have no idea what was on his sandwich (it was called the "What Are You Kidding Me, Or What?" and he recalls that it had eggs, cheese, bacon, sausage and possibly pork roll on a Sun-dried tomato. After recounting this for me, he says "I suddenly feel disgusting for eating that". I just had bacon, egg and cheese on a garlic bagel.

snack: think we skipped!

lunch: sushi (it was just me and Matthew). Matthew eats California Rolls because there's no raw fish in it. I don't know when we'll be adventurous enough for that. Our local grocery store makes excellent, fresh sushi at a reasonable price.

snack: we were out and about, so Matthew had an organic apple, two Fruitabu fruit rolls (grape--they're organic and don't have any corn syrup sweeteners, but do have soy lecithin--which is supposed to be okay for soy intolerant). I think he had something else but for my life I don't remember.

dinner: Wendy's because they'll serve his hamburger without the bun (which is not just a gluten thing: most breads have corn syrup in them and some have soy and food dyes). So he had a hamburger with tomato and pickle (the ketchup has corn syrup so it's off-limits) and mandarin oranges with a bottle of water.

dessert: I'm thinking we had to have eaten something but so help me I can't remember... Oh--cereal bar!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

supplements: On Friday, Mike and I started taking 1 tsp. of Maca Root powder each morning. I also started taking a B-Complex vitamin (which contains 100mg of B6) plus another 50mg of B6 midday. And I started Mike on 2200IU of D3/day. Trying to balance my endocrine system and get some PMS/PMDD issues under control. I'll be starting some calcium/magnesium next Friday and then I will also add the D3. Vitamin D deficiency is actually widespread and responsible for a multitude of issues. I've been looking into it for about a month. So that's the new regimen. As it is, we take Vitamin C and fish oil, plus I take an insulin-regulating supplement that replaced Metformin and has been working better. Although now I need to have my insulin levels run again because regulating the insulin was the "cure" for my PMS/PMDD and now it's back. But that's the scoop.

Matthew takes 1 tsp. of Nordic Naturals Omega 3-6-9 Complete daily (not the kid version) and 500mg Vitamin C (we'll be doubling it come Sept.); then intermittently takes a probiotic and multivitamin. Starting in September, he'll take 1 tsp Sambucol/day to ward off flu (Black Elderberry Original Immune Support Formula by Sambucol You can Google for the research about this--it's great). Actually, this year we'll all be taking it.

breakfast: eggs with Wellshire Farms chicken-apple GF sausage (we cut it up into chunks and mix it in with the eggs)

snack: rice crackers

lunch: tuna in potato pods

snack: So Delicious coconut milk-based yogurt, and a College Farm Organic Naturepops (lollipops)

dinner: hamburgers on Nature's Promise organic hamburger buns (so, it has gluten, but no corn or soy), with organic corn on the cob (still testing the corn thing) and salad with a tomato from Nonni's garden and lettuce from our organic CSA.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

breakfast: scrambled eggs with canned organic peas

snack: organic blueberries (we have a ton of them as they're in season)

lunch: PB&J on GF bread followed by half a container of coconut milk-based yogurt (chocolate flavored)

snack: watermelon... loooots of watermelon (we were at a friend's house) and then freeze dried strawberries (seriously--like an entire bag from Trader Joe's)

dinner: London broil on the grill that had been frozen vacuum sealed with olive oil, garlic and I think Worcestershire sauce (although I'm not sure if Mike used the right one--without corn syrup in it. Lea & Perrins has corn syrup) with organic collards cooked in EVOO, garlic and pine nuts

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

early breakfast: organic blueberries

breakfast: scrambled eggs with organic canned diced tomatoes that had basil, oregano and garlic in them.

snack: organic pineapple

lunch: rice pasta with sauce

snack: organic plum, and then organic peeled carrots

dinner: chinese food (steamed--Matthew gets chicken and broccoli; Mike and I cheat and get shrimp chow fun)

dessert: ice pops

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009

early breakfast... Matthew ate a banana and a cereal bar

breakfast @ Perkin's: Matthew had 2 eggs (we tell them not to add milk and scramble them on a dry grill) plus burnt bacon and OJ (this location's OJ is safe). We bring our own ketchup.

snack: organic canned green beans

lunch (on the road): Burger King burger with pickle and tomato (no ketchup and he doesn't eat the bun) plus apple fries and the box apple juice (which is safe)

snack: organic pear

dinner: leftover meatloaf, Alexia baked potato wedges (OO & sea salt), and... (thinking)... could we have POSSIBLY had GREEN beans? I guess we must've. :O

dessert: Sweet Nothings Fudge bars (wonderfully allergen-free)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday, July 31, 2009

breakfast... GF pancakes (Bob's Red Mill Wheat Free Biscuit & Baking mix) with chocolate chips or apple slices in them depending on who's eating them

snack... missed it today

lunch... PB&J on GF bread

snack... YummyEarth Organic lollipops and an organic carrot (the whole ones I have to peal)

dinner... meatloaf in the oven with Alexia oven fries (OO, rosemary & garlic flavor) plus steamed organic zucchini from the CSA pickup today

dessert... well, I'm going out. My bet is that Matthew has a "Cool Fruits" icepop or a container of So Delicious coconut milk yogurt in Chocolate flavor (which is akin to pudding here). My local grocery store started carrying it so I no longer have to trek to Whole Foods. YAY!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ugh... it's been a while. Talk about chaos!

Breakfast: eggs with canned organic peas

snack: rice crackers (veggie flavored) and a banana Larabar with organic white grape juice

lunch: leftover chicken (made with GF breadcrumbs and olives and some other seasonings) and sliced organic cukes plus a slice of watermelon (we were at someone else's house--so we hadn't brought the watermelon)

snack: he either took an organic apple or organic pear from the fridge, PLUS a pickle (talk about a hunt for pickles without corn syrup OR dye--holy crap! Whole Foods 365 brand organic kosher dill spears and Ricks Picks slices... thumb's up!)

dinner: skirt steak (fried tonight--was grilled the other night), organic corn on the cob (we're testing the "whole corn vs. processed/refined corn" reactions), mock mashed potatoes (organic cauliflower--made with some hot water when pureed and sea salt) and organic Red Russian kale wilted in EVOO with garlic and pine nuts/pignolis.

We may or may not have Sweet Nothings dairy-free fudge bars or coconut milk-based ice cream for dessert depending on whether Matthew's tantrum ends sooner vs. later. ;)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

early breakfast: So Delicious cultured coconut milk yogurt--raspberry flavor

breakfast: eggs scrambled in EVOO with canned organic peas... and coffee (Javana organic,fair trade breakfast blend... which I don't love anymore)

snack: organic grapes

lunch: PB&J (jelly for Matthew: mom's homemade organic Concord grape, et als: Bonne Maman strawberry) and water, of course

snack: organic banana... and then some organic blueberries

dinner: some steaks I bought on sale, grilled; plus organic zucchini & red bell peppers chopped us and cooked in a little EVOO and minced garlic

dessert: Sweet Nothings non-dairy fudge bars

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

early breakfast: cereal bar - blueberry

breakfast: eggs and canned organic peas... plus Javana organic coffee (Fair Trade, too--Breakfast Blend)

snack: organic apple

lunch: rice pasta with sauce

snack: organic nectarine for Matthew, 2 organic peaches for mommy

snack: organic pear for Matthew

dinner: some taco-ish concoction Mike made with ground turkey, potatoes and other stuff we had in the house (mostly seasonings). Served over rice. This was day 2 of this for dinner.

dessert: organic Valencia oranges for all

Seriously going to start Feingold. It's like Matthew's been drinking Red Bull lately--I swear.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Co-op delivery, Sat. June 20, 2009

Veggie share had:

8 carrots
12 medium red potatoes
1 eggplant (relatively big)
English peas--a brown paper lunch bag about half full
1 medium sized Napa cabbage
2 bunches of ENORMOUS collards (1 was instead of a second escarole)
1 head of escarole
1 bunch of parsley
1 bunch of dill
3 heads of lettuce (2 small, 1 large)
1 pint grape tomatoes

1 pineapple
5 Valencia oranges
4 Jonagold apples
1 bunch bananas (about 6-7 pieces)

Fruit share had:

3 med. peaches
4 med. nectarines
1 mango
3 lb. bag of Granny Smith apples (blech... but Mike will be in his glory)
1 pint of blueberries

The only real problem I have is that our green side dish will be collards and salad for a while--but that's what's in season here and our co-op actually tries to stick with what's available local whenever they can. And really, it's better eatin' than what's coming from the CSA alone. ;)

Friday, June 19, 2009

CSA pickup--Friday, 6/19

We got...

handful of pea shoots
enough mesclun mix for 2 side salads for Mike and I
TINY bunch of very small beets. Not sure what to do with these
Bunch of salad turnips... what are those?
bunch of kale
more lemon balm (which is good 'cause the tea was awesome)
3 sprigs of oregano
bunch of scallions

Tomorrow is coop delivery. Wheeeeee....

Friday, June 19, 2009

early breakfast: cereal bar (blueberry)

breakfast: french toast made with GF bread, eggs and pumpkin pie spice

snack: organic red bartlett pear

lunch: PB&J on GF bread

snack: banana

dinner... to be determined. Likely skirt steak grilled with mesclun greens in balsamic vinegar and canned non-organic beets.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

early breakfast: organic pineapple chunks (Mike and I ate the rest of them last night for late munchies)

breakfast: plain eggs scrambled with some spices

snack: organic red bartlett pear

lunch: skirt steak fried with corn on the cob. Apparently, whole corn isn't an issue. Still testing this. Mike and I also had salad (greens, EVOO, white vinegar & salt). Matthew had the last of the organic tomatoes (in wedges)

snack: ummmm... good one. Pretzel rod.

dinner: chicken breasts, canned sliced beets (non-organic), salad. Remarkably, Matthew tried and ate all of it!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday, June 12, 2009

breakfast: scrambled eggs with canned organic peas (and just water)

snack: organic banana... then a Koala Kids Chocolate crispy rice bar (which contains corn starch--as I found only after he started opening it)

lunch: fried (in EVOO) chicken breasts, canned organic peas and fresh pea shoots with balsamic vinegar. Matthew ditched the shoots.

snack: potato chips

dinner: bottom round roast cooked on the stove in herbs (thyme, marjoram, garlic, pepper, onions), kale (wilted in EVOO with garlic and sliced scallions) and rice (with pot drippings)

dessert: watermelon (conventional/non-organic)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

We joined a CSA

So, the coop is now down to one group that gets food every other Saturday. I'm stunned that when 3 families (with children) split a share it was too much food where for just us (2 adults and a 5yo) it's not nearly enough. I mean, it's worth the $49--it's just not enough. When I had two groups getting food almost a week apart, we could just take a share on each delivery. That's no longer the case.

So we joined a CSA farm. This is where you pay a fee to "join" the farm and each week you get a share of the farm's harvest. In this area, a lot of the farm shares are sold out by March. But we re-joined our former CSA--the Cook (Rutgers) Student Organic Farm. You have to drive out to the farm to pick up your food on Thursday afternoon/evening or Friday morning. Many of the other CSAs here in NJ offer a local pickup point much like my coop members have for the coop.

So we got ourselves in just under the gun to pickup for the first time today. YAY!!! So that will be every week to supplement what we get through the coop. I'm hoping it won't be overkill. We'll see. I'm heavily armed with Green Bags. I love that it's local produce but I live in NJ--so growing season isn't year-round. And you don't get the same amount or variety of fruit that you can get with the coop.

Today's CSA pickup included:

2 large handfuls of mesclun mix
2 handfuls of lettuce
1 nice bunch of kale (so, a little more than needed to feed Mike and I for 1 meal, or to feed us for 2 meals if we don't have HUGE portions. Matthew is a non-kale eater due to texture)
1 bunch of scallions (no clue what I'm doing with these yet)
1 bunch of turnips that looked like radishes
1 handful of pea shoots (pretty flowers that you can eat!)

There was a sign to take as much lemon balm and sage as we could use. I skipped the sage, but saw that lemon balm was good for headaches and tension... Mike and I looked at each other and proced to take about 6-7 whole stems of it and are brewing some tea as we speak. Wish we'd taken more!

I love this CSA. I especially loved the newsletters--which were written in true college kid style, as if for the eyes of their own. By the end of the summer, we knew who was involved in a romance, who had no chance of EVER being involved in a romance, who slacked off (lovingly) on the farm, who drank too much, etc. Having never met any of them, we grew to love them week by week through stories, recipes and occasional veggie haiku.

I'm glad we got in this year. :)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

breakfast: scramble eggs with Taylor ham

snack: apple (non-organic, compliments of the school psychologist that tested Matthew for 2-1/2 hours and still didn't finish :( )

lunch: rice pasta with sauce (and water)

snack: skipped... we were horribly on the run from 3pm until 7pm

dinner: Wendy's again... :(

"bed snack": two rice crackers

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

breakfast: eggs with Taylor ham

snack: rice crackers

lunch: tuna on GF bread for mom & dad; hot dogs and canned organic green beans for Matthew (and water for all)

snack: organic banana (mom had an organic white peach)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

early breakfast: organic blueberries (the 2nd half)

breakfast: eggs with taylor ham plus coffee for mom and dad followed by a FruitaBu fruit roll for Matthew

snack: organic apple

lunch: Burger King: hamburger with tomato and pickle for Matthew with safe apple juice and apple fries (we always take the packet of caramel away). Mike and I had fish sandwiches and split a fry. We had water

snack: rice crackers

dinner: chicken breast with canned organic green beans again. I'm pretty sure that was "it".

Monday, June 8, 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

early breakfast: half of the organic blueberries we rec'd on Saturday

breakfast: scrambled eggs with Taylor ham and coffee for mom & dad

snack: organic banana

lunch: hamburger patty with tomato wedges and a pickle

snack: organic apple and a few rice crackers

dinner: chicken breast (non-organic) grilled with some spices plus canned organic green beans, "salad" (lettuce with salt, EVOO and white vinegar) plus more tomato wedges (since Matthew doesn't do lettuce)

Matthew and I went to the movies and had some plain popcorn and another Jello pudding that we smuggled in... plus water.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sunday, June 7, 2009

early breakfast: cereal bar

breakfast: eggs scrambled with canned organic peas plus coffee for mom & dad

snack: rice crackers

lunch: at Wendy's--and they'll serve a burger without a bun, btw. So Matthew had a hamburger (with bun) with pickle and tomato but no ketchup. Side of mandarin oranges and bottled water to drink. Mike and I had grilled chicken sandwiches with fries and bottled water. Matthew ate 4-5 of our fries.

snack: fruit cup from Quik Chek (we were on the road). It had melon, red grapes and pineapple pieces. Non-organic. Mike and I had apple wedges (they give you caramel to dip it in--BLECH! Tasted horrible) and I also had some diced peaches that were surprisingly packed in pear concentrate syrup--not corn syrup! Go, Quik Chek!!!

dinner: well, you'll see from my food shopping post that we bought a ribeye steak (just under 1 lb.) and split it among the 3 of us. We also used some of the organic lettuce from the coop delivery for salad. I should note that salad in Mike's family equals: lettuce, olive oil, salt and white vineg I never manage to get the combination correct--but I'm getting there. Matthew and I also had organic tomato wedges. We all snacked on some cooked shrimp with homemade cocktail sauce (impossible to find without corn or soy). It's just ketchup and horseradish (which I DID find "safe" in the ethnic section of my regular grocery).

And we had corn on the cob. :O I caught wind of a post on a message board about allergenic foods noting that many people could have "whole" corn, but had SERIOUS problems with corn derivatives. We're wondering if this is Matthew's issue because he HAS ingested some popcorn (plain) with no problem, but CLEARLY has a problem with corn that is in something else--especially corn syrup.

I'm going to look at a website I've actually never seen before: Kids With Food Allergies

For dessert, we had some Jello Pudding in cups. It contains dairy (and soy lecithin--which is presumably safe for people with soy protein allergy). Mistake on our part: we allowed multiple questionable items in a single day and therefore any reactions can't be tied to ONE of them. Shame on us.


Post script on Monday, June 8, 2009 @ 10:47am

No obvious intestinal backlash from the milk. Matthew had a "sad" episode this morning, but they've become SO common that I seriously can't tie them to food anymore (although they may be). I'm finally ready to see a therapist about this. That being said, it was absolutely not the worst morning we've ever had with him.

He had almost an hour of school testing (for special ed services) and really did well--he was even pretty focused. Vewwwwwy intewesting. ;)

Coop delivery

We got a delivery yesterday. From now on, we only have a Saturday group--which means food every 2 weeks. It's not enough for us so I'm investigating the CSA we used to belong to. It was cheaper than most because you had to go get your food every week and they weren't certified organic. It was a student-run organic farm for a local agriculture program. It's a little cheaper than the others, but more family-like. :)

So today we got a veggie and a fruit share:

This picture is entirely the veggie share minus some of the fruit. We got:

2 large eggplants (one was in the "take some--extra" box and I live here so I get first dibs :) )
about 8 large carrots
1 head of celery (nice sized!)
4 ears of corn
5 medium yellow squash
1 head of green leaf lettuce (all the way to the left-top of the photo)
1 bunch of VERY large, beautiful radishes (that I generally don't eat)
2 bunches of spinach
1 pint of blueberries
1 large bunch of cilantro (this with the carrots might make a nice summer soup)
2 heads of baby lettuce (you can see one to the right of the celery and eggplants)
2 relatively large tomatoes

Also in the veggie share but in the photo below were:

8 pink lady apples
1 large bunch of bananas
4 white peaches

The rest of the photo above is from the fruit share:

4 lb. bag of Valencia oranges (so about 7 really big ones)
1 pineapple
bag of red Bartlett pears (about 8 of them--medium/large sized)
1 honeydew melon (small/medium sized)

The veggie share costs my members $49 and the fruit shares cost them $17.

To be honest, cost aside--you can't generally find this broad a range and variety of organic produce where I live. And currently, the cost is as good or better than non-organic produce. :)

Right now, we also have on board some potato chips, hummus, lots of eggs from the ladies, some rice crackers and some rice pasta. I think we also have maybe 2 boxes of bread mix for the bread machine. There's about 2 cans of tuna left, plenty of homemade grape jelly and maybe 1-2 jars of peanut butter (not positive).

We're seriously out of meat. There are some leftover potatoes, carrots (in green bags), a few apples and oranges, 4 kiwis--in addition to what we just got. And onions. Plenty of onions.

I think that's the bulk of what we have on hand.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

early breakfast: crispy rice bar--chocolate. huge mistake. Not nearly enough protein.

breakfast: plain scrambled eggs (well, there's some spices in there, but nothing else) and coffee for mom & dad

snack: skipped due to swim class

lunch: PB&J on GF bread that came out AWESOME. 365 brand from Whole Foods made in the bread maker with nobody home--so it rose really well. Honest-to-God, the best GF bread I have ever tasted.

snack: will be peeled baby carrots

dinner: will be meatballs with rice pasta

Monday, June 1, 2009

Monday, June 1, 2009

early breakfast: rice bar (Koala Kids--chocolate I think)

breakfast: eggs--scrambled, plus coffee for mom and dad

snack: banana

lunch: Burger King... no ketchup--tomato and pickle with apple fries and apple juice (for Matthew). We were wicked on the run.

snack: rice crackers

dinner: hamburgers (no buns) with canned string beans and sliced tomatoes

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ugh... what a day. I need to find a grief counselor and get back on track because Mommy was none-too-pleasant today.

early breakfast: cereal bar and banana

breakfast: eggs w/ketchup (and coffee for mommy)

snack: skipped... much to Daddy's dismay

lunch: hot dogs, green beans (organic canned) and homemade potato strings that wound up being more like string clusters

snack: I have no flaming clue. I was washing out the chicken coop and totally uninvolved. I would guess rice crackers or baby peeled carrots (both quick, easy and readily available)

dinner: Outback Steakhouse. Their apple juice is safe as is their Joey Sirloin with side of broccoli sans butter. LOVE Outback for their allergenic-friendliness. Mommy downed 3 Sydney's Cosmos and 3 large glasses of water with lemon with a small prime rib with broccoli and mashed potatoes (which are not okay--dairy) while Daddy had a beer with... you know, I have no idea what he had. I think some kind of pork tenderloin.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

We took a half-share today from the final Thursday group delivery. We got broccoli, potatoes, a tomato, lettuce, some peaches & apriums (what are THOSE?!), a cantaloupe and a few other things I can't remember. Oh, spinach.

early breakfast: cereal bar

breakfast: eggs with spices and ketchup. Tiny bit of fresh-squeezed OJ. ;) Coffee for mom & dad.

snack: carrot sticks

lunch: tuna pods

snack: rice crackers

dinner: Mike's famous meatloaf with side of today's organic broccoli. Mike and I also had some organic lettuce with EVOO and balsamic vinegar and salt (finely ground sea salt).

Matthew & I had Yummi Earth lollipops for dessert. ;)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

breakfast: eggs. In the fall, I'm going to experiment more--I promise. ;) But seriously--I'll bet MOST people tend to eat the same thing for breakfast each day. Matthew's eggs were plain with ketchup. Mike and I had organic eggplant and onions fried up with ours.

snack: last of the organic strawberries

lunch: Matthew had rice pasta. Mike and I had leftover chicken with nothing else (although the chicken had tomato and eggplant slices on it. Mike considers this "vegetables")

snack: rice crackers... and a Yummi Earth lollipop *eyeroll*

dinner: Mike made dinner and it was ENTIRELY FRIED (in EVOO). >:( I mean, the pork chops and the potatoes--I get that. But the ZUCCHINI??? He could've thrown them in the microwave steamer! *sigh*

I feel dessert coming on. Something in the way of fruit. We're overrun with bananas at the moment...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009


breakfast: eggs (Matthew's were plain, ours were with eggplant and onions fried in EVOO) plus some espresso we found that we watered down to make "coffee" because we'd been up REALLY late.

snack: banana

lunch: Matthew had a hot dog with slices of tomato and peeled baby carrots. Mike and I had PB&J

snack: well, I thought apple until I asked the status of the apple only to find out it had been left in Matthew's room. I warned him to get it lest the dogs find it and eat it (which would launch screaming and scolding from Matthew) but he assured me his door was closed and the apple was safe. *eyeroll* So he had the last of the rice crackers for a snack.

dinner: chicken breasts topped with slices of eggplant and tomato plus collards cooked in EVOO with pine nuts and garlic. Matthew doesn't "do" collards, so he had sliced cucumbers.

dessert: Matthew had some Rice Dream ice cream with Ah!laska syrup. BTW, his servings are about 4-6 Tablespoons worth of ice cream. He's 5.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Okay... I got back from Texas only to endure WICKED food poisoning. BTW--it lasts DAYS and includes fever. Who knew?

early breakfast: cereal bar and organic apple (got a delivery yesterday)

breakfast: Matthew had frozen (homemade) GF pancakes (choc chip) and Mike and I had eggs with zucchini and onion (organic from the delivery)

snack: I think we skipped it

lunch: Mike and Matthew had leftover chicken legs from my MIL (who loves to give us food--especially if we're sick) that were grilled with just some EVOO on them. Side dish of organic blueberries & strawberries for Matthew. I had PB&J on Nature's Promise bread (gluten) with side of strawberries.

snack: organic peeled baby carrots from delivery yesterday. Bonus--I don't recall getting them before

dinner: burritos from Baja Fresh. Matthew's is bean and cheese kid's burrito minus cheese plus chicken. He can't have the chips or the Mott's applesauce (corn syrup) but he loves the rice.

dessert: Rice Dream ice cream with Ah!laska chocolate syrup.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

early breakfast: organic strawberries and slices of an organic peach

breakfast: eggs scrambled with Taylor Ham (and water, of course)

snack: banana

lunch: hamburger with tomato slices and pickles

snack: rice crackers and an Apple & Eve juicebox (we were at the playground) plus 2 apples--each one half-eaten. Snacks are likely to cause constipation.

... to be continued...

dinner plans: Mike's famous meatloaf with green beans

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Organic produce coop delivery--Thursday, 5/14

Generally I don't take a share of food on Thursday, but I sold my Saturday share to a new person who came on late and I had someone looking to try out half of a share on Thursdays--so I took half of a share today. Plus I took a fruit share today (it's cheaper for me to buy it on Thursdays because when you have 3+ people buying fruit, the price drops).

So here's what we got:

Half of veggie share (which does include some fruit):

3 small green zucchini (not horribly small--like not "dip in dressing as snack" small)
I got 3 because I evened out the odd number with a sandwich bag of mesclun greens
for the other person--who got 2 zukes
1 cuke
1 small bunch of kale (the other person got a head of lettuce for this)
1 head of broccoli (the other person got about 8 large carrots for this)
1 tomato
1 bell pepper
4 vidalia onions
3 apples
3 oranges
1 large eggplant
1 bunch of bananas (traded for a small cantaloupe--like bigger than a softball, but not by a lot)

The full fruit share was:

(2) 8 oz. containers of strawberries
1 pineapple
(1) 3 lb. bag of braeburn apples (2-1/2" min diameter)
4 peaches

This is good because I'll be away from Saturday night until very late Wednesday night and then we'll get a full share that Saturday after I'm back. So there won't be a lot of food to go to waste while I'm gone. We're getting back into the swing of things--so you should start seeing our food change a little and not be so monotonous.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

early breakfast: cereal bar

breakfast: eggs with Taylor ham

snack: none--we were in class. He did have a Apple & Eve fruit punch juice box on the way home

lunch: leftover chicken breast cooked with fried peppers and onions served with canned organic peas

snack: banana (organic)

snack: Matthew and I split an 8oz. container of organic strawberries

dinner: some kind of steak Mike picked up that was way more money than we normally pay for meat--but it WAS delish. Side of organic broccoli (steamed). Mike and I had a glass of red wine and Matthew had water. Mariella has 2.5 oz. of organic sweet potatoes and tried to pull my hand to her mouth! I guess she IS ready for solids! LOL! She was 6mo on 5/7. :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The behavior reactions continue to flare up in monumental form. I'm "recovering" from the last several months, but I'm still not all the way there--and it shows first and foremost in the attention I pay to my son (vs. sharing it with things I need to catch up on--like reconciling our accounts, cleaning the overwhelming mess that's accumulated, etc.) and food... and therefore budget/money. They are all still suffering and it makes it hard to get through the overload and keep myself okay long enough to get through it and move on okay.

Right now, I'm suffering wicked insomnia because I have to get on a plane and go to out of state again and show up in court to see if we can get our former foster daughter back. The anxiety is really doing me in.

Todays menu...

breakfast: apple pandowdy: apples (organic), raisins (organic), cinnamon and I think that's it... all goes in the microwave to soften up a bit and then layers the bottom of a 9"x13" baking dish. Gluten-Free Pantry Old Fashioned Cake & Cookie Mix batter made up and poured on top. I honestly don't recall how long to bake it for--but I'll check and post back.

snack: apple slices

lunch: Burger King. What a huge mistake. We like BK because the meat is broiled instead of fried in oil. We can get apple fries (they're raw, peeled apple slices) and apple juice in a box that has no corn syrup. But I'm almost positive there's corn syrup in the bun and I'm wondering if Matthew's behavior is that we've exceeded a gluten threshold (which honestly, I never was able to tie to behavior as well as I tied it to constipation/digestive issues).

snack: peeled organic carrot (a big one) and water

a-nuh-szer snack: potato chips

dinner: not yet planned.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

early: organic grape tomatoes AND a cereal bar

breakfast: scrambled eggs with peas. Mike and I also had coffee.

snack: one hot dog

lunch: chocolate chip pancakes for Matthew. Mike and I had tuna pods

snack: potato chips. Matthew actually ate the garlic hummus!!!

dinner: BBQ pork ribs in the crock pot over brown rice with green beans (I think they were frozen--Mike made them)

I know dessert is bound to happen. I feel an itch...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

early: organic apple

breakfast: Mike made GF pancakes. Mine had apple slices in them and Matthew's had Enjoy Life semi-sweet tiny chocolate chips (completely safe).

snack: rice crackers and peeled organic carrot a la "What's up, Doc?"

lunch: Nature's Promise hot dogs and organic tomato wedges. I was desperate.

snack: potato chips

dinner: sushi from the local supermarket. We just have to be careful which ones we buy because sometimes they'll add stuff to the rice or into a sauce or something. Usually soy.

dessert: watermelon (non-organic) from the supermarket trip this afternoon *eyeroll*

What happens when we don't keep to our eating habits...

Okay... yesterday was a COLOSSAL disaster. This weekend I reconciled all the banking and found that with all we've been going through since October, it resulted in spending an extra $1200 on eating out between January and April. :O

Plus, we slacked off badly this weekend. As a result, Matthew was in a class (play skits and fun stuff) yesterday that he LOVES and I not only had to chase him down to get him, but then had to carry him--kicking and screaming at the top of his lungs about how stupid I was and that I was the stupidest parent ever, take him back, etc.--out of the museum his class was in with all kinds of people coming to see what the problem was. Thankfully, another parent carried the baby (who was in a carseat carrier). Ds had to be removed because when he started kicking filing cabinets, it was enough already. I had already brought him into the hall to talk to him when he was misbehaving once before. The class is a total of 45 minutes. We were out by the 20-minute mark.

Anyway, we got outside and I put him down to get the keys and he was OFF and running back into the museum while the other parent stood there holding the baby. I had no idea what to do. Thankfully, she said "Go..." and Matthew DID come back towards the parking lot (because he couldn't open the museum door).

I finally get him in the car only to have him kick EVERYTHING--including the baby's carseat carrier--and scream at me for another 25 minutes (it's a 35 minute drive).

He had a piece of a chocolate chip cookie from Quizno's yesterday (approximately 1-1/2" square--Mike and I were grabbing a sandwich for ourselves to split on the road) plus 1/4 of an Old Fashioned donut (no icing, no filling--nothing) from Dunkin Donuts on Sat. and another 1/4 on Sunday when Mike and I needed coffee.

WHAT. were. we thinking??

He's also had nightmares the past 3 nights.

And dummy me tried to explain to him that we'd go back to the museum next week... that I knew he was sorry... blah, blah, blah. I mean, really--what CAN you do? When I tried ignoring him, he'd tell me "I'M TALKING TO YOU!!!" and really, we DRILL into him "do unto others" so I can't just ignore him.

Ugh... so like the pain of seeing that money (that we DESPERATELY need) go right down the toilet combined with this--well, it's enough to go on lock-down with our food.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Early breakfast: yeah... we're back to cereal bars.

Breakfast: Mike made GF fruit pancakes. Some had blueberries (frozen from our garden), some had organic apple slices and some had organic strawberries (he got stuck eating those). Plus we had some sliced organic strawberries on the side (our produce was delivered Thursday).

Snack: uneaten rice crackers.

Lunch: a concoction of chicken breast, eggplant and onions fried up in EVOO.

Snack: Ugh... 1/4 piece of an Old Fashioned donut from Dunkin Donuts. :(

Dinner: eye round (we can't afford organic meat) and collards made in EVOO with garlic and pine nuts... which I burnt.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Early: cereal bar, then strawberries. This kid is going through a growth spurt for sure.

Then breakfast... we had eggplant fried in EVOO omelette but Matthew decided that he no longer liked eggplant--so he ate leftover steamed chicken and broccoli. *eyeroll*

Snacks: LOOOTS of rice crackers. He just kept coming back for more. Lots of "I'm hungry" today. Sliced organic pears AND some peeled baby carrots (organic this time).

Lunch: peanut butter and jelly on gluten-free bread

Snacks: so help me I have no clue because at this point I took on the task of reconciling 2 very busy bank accounts PLUS both produce coops accounts since January and it took me no less than 9 hours. Based on Matthew's behavior at dinnertime, I'd say Mike totally forgot to snack him down.

Dinner: Believe it or not, we got pizza. We were trying to test out Matthew's dairy allergy. Turns out, he took all the cheese off. None-the-less, there was sauce and who knows what was in it. He had some disruptive sleep last night, but admittedly, we're dealing with allergies--so I'm not sure if it was the pizza dough, or sauce, or allergies, or the combo.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

Matthew is going through some kind of ridiculous growth spurt and COMPLETELY RAVENOUS!

early breakfast: non-organic cantaloupe. Inlaws went on vacation and sent it home with us so it didn't go bad...

breakfast: eggs (plain) with sliced organic pears... for all of us. Mike and I had non-organic hazelnut decaf coffee. Mine had whole, unrefined cane sugar (from Rapunzel) in it.

snack: Matthew had an overripe organic banana AND rice crackers and so help me I think he snook something else, but not positive.

lunch: we all had peanut butter (Skippy Natural) and jelly (Mike & Matthew had my homemade organic Concord grape and I had the last of the Bonne Maman strawberry with the new Smucker's organic strawberry that's seriously too sweet for me).

snack: hmmmm... that explains a lot. I don't remember one and he was a complete bear. No--wait--I'm wrong: he had an organic apple. Note to self: apples, bananas and rice=constipation.

dinner: well, we DID have pork chops fried in EVOO. Mike also attempted to make mashed sweet potatoes. I had to explain to him that cooking them for 10 minutes in the microwave is not equal to an hour or more in the oven. So they had "texture". I also cut up an organic cucumber. Matthew's was plain, but my family "marinates" them in italian dressing and we had some organic balsamic vinaigrette in the house--so I had it that way. Mike wasn't interested.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

early breakfast: Matthew had pancakes made with Enjoy Life chocolate chips

breakfast: Mike and I had Nature's Promise instant apple oatmeal. Matthew just had an apple.

snack: Matthew had those veggie flavored rice crackers. I GAVE him 4. He then opened the cabinet himself and took another 15. Honestly, he must've been hungry because his behavior was abominable right before this.

...AAAAAND some regular store-brand green olives with pimento in them. Completely safe, but ...???

Lunch: Mike and Matthew had leftover meatloaf (homemade) and canned organic peas. I had tuna pods with maybe 3 bites of peas. All with water.

Snack: we were out and about and all I had on me were crackers!

Dinner... eeek! No clue! Likely some chicken and we have bok choi in the fridge but I have no flaming clue how to cook it. Seriously. be continued...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saturday, April 4, 2009

early breakfast: disaster--peeled baby carrots. Matthew's a nightmare without food in the morning, but clearly carrots don't qualify to fulfill this requirement. He ate them, but he was still a nightmare until he ate something else.

breakfast: at Perkins. So he ate a muffin, scrambled eggs with ketchup from home, crispy bacon and OJ (that's actually safe--but given the other stuff, does it matter?). Mike and I ate similarly horrible stuff. I had a Steakhouse Scrambler without sauce, cheese or gravy (and ketchup from home) with strawberries & bananas on the side. Mike had a spinach, bacon & tomato omelette. Plus coffee for the two of us and I had OJ as well. Oh yeah, we had our own muffins.

no snack--breakfast late

lunch: tuna pods (tuna in steamed potato shells)

snack: I seriously think we skipped this, too.

dinner: sushi (ours is completely safe and we buy it in the grocery store--Stop & Shop). Mike also bought some cooked jumbo shrimp and cocktail sauce that had HFCS in it. I promptly put that back in the bag and made our own with Fructos brand horseradish (found in my grocery and the only one I could actually find without soybean or corn oil) and ketchup. Yum!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday, April 3, 2009

early breakfast: organic cherry tomatoes (what's left of them from yesterday's delivery because I've been popping them) and some organic, peeled baby carrots

breakfast: eggs with organic zucchini (cook the zucchini in the olive oil first and then add the eggs)

snack: unfortunately we skipped and had early lunch

lunch: Matthew had a hamburger (no bun or anything) with more baby carrots and ketchup. Mike and I had tuna on Nature's Promise Honey & Oat bread with some pickles in it that Mike bought by mistake not realizing pickles could possibly have corn syrup in them (why is there no eyeroll emoticon available on blogger?)

snack: peeled baby carrots (organic)

dinner: rice pasta (Tinkyada) and sauce for me and Mike (Bertoli oil & garlic--which is safe, but Matthew doesn't like sauce)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009

early breakfast: organic grape tomatoes (Nature's Promise)

breakfast: Matthew had eggs with ketchup. Mike had instant Farina (non-organic) and I had instant apple-cinnamon oatmeal (1 pkg non-organic and 1 pkg organic). Plus I had coffee.

snack: Matthew had chips (Lay's Kettle Cooked)

lunch: Skippy Natural peanut butter and my homemade grape jelly for the guys. I had Bonne Maman strawberry jelly with mine.

snack: organic cherry tomatoes from the coop delivery today.

dinner: Matthew had leftover steamed chicken and broccoli. Mike and I had his homemade chicken & white bean chili over brown rice with some canned organic green beans. All with water.

Delivery day...

Things have been too insane to even explain here. My FIL had a heart attack and emergency surgery for stints in his carotid artery and the following week I had some outpatient surgery (with specialists in the week and half leading up to that) and then a few days later our former foster daughter was removed from her mom again--out of state. That was a week and a half ago. It's been an insane roller coaster ride. We're now waiting to see what happens to our former foster daughter.

But today we got a delivery from the coop. Usually we take a share on our Saturday delivery, but I got a new member really late and gave them ours. Today we got:

6 green apples (Mutsu? or granny smith--I hate them, but the boys like them)
easily a dozen yellow onions of varying size--none huge
an ENORMOUS head of red leaf lettuce
2 large green bell peppers
3 huge green zucchini
3 nice sized (large) yellow squash
a small bunch of asparagus
3 small bok chois
8 large carrots
4 really big clementines
8 russet potatoes (not huge, but not tiny)
a pint of cherry tomatoes
a bunch of bananas (still green)
3 large Bartlett pears

This costs my members $49. I paid closer to $20 (my group isn't full or it would be $6 and if I divided, it would be free).

Of course, this won't last US two weeks--not by a long shot. But it's an enormous help.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

early breakfast: organic apple slices

breakfast: scrambled eggs with sopressata in them plus water

snack: orange

lunch: Nature's Promise hotdogs (no bun) with a sliced organic plum tomato (from Saturday's delivery)

snack: will be apple slices again (ugh... gotta watch him for constipation) and the remaining segments of orange from this morning with a fruit punch juice box (Apple & Eve I think). He'll be at drop-off daycare while Mike takes me to some health tests.

CORRECTION: What Matthew ACTUALLY had was "orange flavored juice and pretzel sticks". Can I tell you how livid I am? You know, if *I* decide something is okay and I'm willing to take the chance on the behavioral backlash--that's MY decision. I know what I have on my plate, what's okay and what we can handle. For someone else to do it by accident when my son is in their care is another story.

On the drive home, he had his apple slices (untouched from the daycare place) and a bottle of water. They had no idea what was in the "orange-flavored juice" because there were no ingredients listed on the package. How the HELL does this happen?? I REMINDED them when I dropped him off that he eats HIS food--it's never been an issue. Of course, I don't drop him there once/week for an hour anymore, either.

dinner: Mike's already formed the clover-shaped meatloaf. We have some kale or small collards in the fridge and we'll just wash & chop them, then throw them in a pot of EVOO with garlic and pine nuts until they wilt (about 5 minutes). Matthew's not likely to eat the greens. We have about a Matthew-sized portion of frozen organic peas, though. be continued...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Keeping a price book

I don't think I've mentioned this before, but it's critical to saving money--whether you eat organically or traditionally.

For 11 years, I kept a price book. I started when I was in my early 20s (yes, seriously). I have been on my own since I was 18 and every penny counted since my father bullied me into using all of my savings as a down payment on a NEW car instead of full payment on a USED car--and then bullied me right out of my house. I never missed a payment on that thing. I only had to borrow (short-term) ONE payment. Ever... in 5 years.

You can't remember the prices of everything. Of course, after shopping for many years, specific things will stand out: I know I'll never buy meat over $1.99/lb and that any meat with bones in it that costs less is subject to much scrutiny. But by and large, you're not going to remember. Especially for things you don't buy all the time--like measuring cups.

A price book is nothing more than a place to keep track of the stuff you buy and how much you pay for it. I have finally found a very small 3-ring binder that is ideal for this, but you can use just about anything and put some self-stick tabs on the side of the page so you can find what you need quickly. The price book goes EVERYWHERE with you. EVERYWHERE.

My price book taught me that places like BJ's, Costco & Sams could never outdo a grocery store sale. My price book taught me that some things were cheaper without coupons if I could tolerate a brand change. My price book taught me that sometimes a place that sells the most of something will have the worst prices; and a place that you wouldn't really expect to buy something unless you REALLY needed it and happened to be in that store--had the best prices. My price book taught me that sale prices weren't always the lowest prices. My price book taught me that what they tell you about how to save money is usually wrong.

Each page in my book is devoted to a specific item and I mean SPECIFIC. It's not just "peas", but "canned peas" or "frozen peas". If you are sometimes buying organic and sometimes traditional, you would then have separate pages to separate the two. Each page has the following information:

Date of the price
Store (I have abbreviations with a key in the back)
Item (brand)
Size (what size packaging)
Unit price (so the price per ounce or whatever)

These headings are horizontal across the top of the page. My paper is lined, so I leave 3-4 lines between entries because there will sometimes be a sale that only happens occasionally for the same thing at the same store and I track those, too.

I can't tell you how much I HATE (and I mean HATE) pencil. Even in school I did my math work in pen (and that was okay because mathmatically, I had it like that! ;) But it drove my teachers INSANE) but I have learned the hard way to do all my entries in pencil. Especially when you keep a book for many years and start to realize that the best price for an item is now 7 years old and you're never going to see it again!

It takes time and effort before your price book becomes REALLY handy. Of course, it may not. Within a week of first using mine I found that I was paying a fortune for deodorant and the cheapest place happened to be a place I'd never think to shop for deodorant.


Start with a list of the top 20 items you buy all the time and build from there. It's a start!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

early breakfast: the tangerine I peeled was rejected (so I ate it) and Matthew had organic apple wedges. Loving my apple corer except that it's so prone to rust.

breakfast: well, Mike got us half of a pie last night to make us feel better and since the only negative it had in it was gluten, I let him have a piece of cherry pie. It didn't have corn syrup, dairy or soy--but it had plenty of other crap in it (no dyes--mostly preservative nonsense). But then Matthew had scrambled eggs with ketchup.

snack: now he ate an orange.

lunch: Matthew had a half of sandwich. It's always half because our homemade (bread machine & mix) bread is really big--so one slice cut in half is good enough for him. Of course, with Skippy Natural peanut butter and mom's homemade Concord grape jelly.

snack: well, for Matthew it was a snack: a hamburger Mike made with organic mushrooms mixed in (they came from the coop delivery yesterday). Mike & mine also had fried peppers (also in the delivery yesterday).

dinner: at Mike's grandmother's... she made rice pasta (born and raised in Italy, btw--came here as an adult... it's good pasta!) with homemade sauce then chicken cooked in EVOO and homemade tomato sauce (kind of stewed) plus green and red peppers fried in EVOO. Nonni rocks. ;)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

Horrible, horrible day. Lots of horrible news. I'm a little in a fog.

early breakfast: I think Matthew had some leftover Apple Pandowdy

breakfast: wondering if I actually ate. Oh wait--I did. Mike made the apples, cinnamon, cranberry stuff from the apple pandowdy because I told him I was sure the smell of eggs would make me sick and I was already not feeling well this morning. He then microwaved an egg for Matthew.

snack: skipped I think

lunch: Wendy's. Matthew had a burger and fries. Mike and I had fish sandwiches and fries. All with water.

snack: organic peeled baby carrots.

dinner: I think Mike is out picking up sushi.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

early breakfast: apple pandowdy made last night (see yesterday for recipe). He woke up at 5:19am (and since DST just started a week ago, that's like 4:19am on the body clock--and he went to sleep at 9pm).

breakfast: plain scrambled eggs with ketchup for all... and water

snack: will be skipped--he's at a class from 9:30-11:30am. I had a yogurt (cultured coconut milk)

lunch plans: Matthew had leftover chicken and peas from last night. I caved and got an Italian hot dog (hot dog with potatoes, peppers and onions--I'm sure this was drenched in soy and corn oil with corn syrup in the hot dogs and roll). Mike opted out of lunch.

dinner plans: no clue. possibly pasta.

.... to be continued.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

early breakfast: cereal bar

breakfast: eggs scrambled with canned (Nature's Promise organic) peas. With it, I had a small glass of OJ (Tropicana mixed with water) but everyone had water.

snack: skipped--we ate breakfast late

lunch: Correction--Matthew had Nature's Promise hot dogs and leftover peas from this morning. Mike and I had left over London Broil from last night with the rest of the peas that went unused this morning. The London Broil was marinated in olive oil and chopped garlic (we buy it already chopped and have a hell of a time finding garlic that isn't in soybean oil--but one of the really cheap ones happens to be safe).

snack: potato chips (Lays Kettle Cooked are safe). I also had some Cedar's garlic lovers hummus. Both with water.

Dinner: boneless, skinless chicken breast (non-organic) with organic dijon vinaigrette dressing (Maple Grove Farms of Vermont brand) and Nature's Promise frozen organic peas... with water.

Okay... dessert. Well, it's 8:24pm and Mike's apple pandowdy just came out of the oven. It's kinda like a cobbler, but more cake-y:

3 cups of apple slices
1/3c. dk brown sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. cinnamon

Mix these and microwave on high for 5 minutes (to soften them) and put in the bottom of a 2 quart baking dish. If desired, add 1/3 c. raisins or dried cranberries on top. Then prepare a 13 oz. pouch of light cake mix per the box. We used GF Pantry's Cookie & Cake mix. Spoon it over the fruit. Bake for 30-40 mins @ 400 or until tester comes out clean.

You can use peaches (if using canned, make sure to drain them) or cherries (remove raisins). If you use frozen fruit, make sure it's thawed. ;) With peaches and cherries, you skip microwaving them.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sorry all...

for the lack of recent posts. Our family is dealing with some major traumas (plural) at the moment and I've had all I can do to keep us eating at all.

Hopefully I'll get back on track quickly. If you're the sort that prays, please keep our family in yours.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday, March 2, 2009

early breakfast: I believe Matthew had a cereal bar

breakfast: eggs with canned (Nature's Promise) peas. I had a tiny bit of that and half a broiled grapefruit. All with water, of course.

snack: organic grape tomatoes

lunch: tuna pods

snack: carrots (organic, baby peeled)

another snack: potato chips (Lay's Kettle Cooked) with Hummus (Cedar's brand). Matthew isn't big on hummus

dinner: boneless, skinless chicken breast coated with Robert Rothschild Farm's Pineapple Coconut Mango Tequila sauce. This is safe (modified starch=corn starch, but otherwise safe) but expensive and a little spicy (I am very sensitive to spicy--Mike and Matthew notsomuch). We had it with some steamed frozen organic peas.

dessert: Rice Dream ice cream--strawberry & vanilla with some Ah!laska chocolate syrup. YUM!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Budget and the restricted diet... take 2

Our eating habits have been pretty bad since the baby came. I was run-down before she came and even more so since she came. Part of that is likely a recurrence of CMV (cytomegalovirus--like mono and causes debilitating fatigue and on/off illness for months). I'm also all screwed up hormonally with what my ob/gyn believes is full-blown PCOS on a rampage.

So we've truly been slacking. And it shows in our diet and how often we eat out. Bonus for you all, however, in seeing what you can do and how easy it is to slip up. ;) (gotta find a silver lining for everything).

We pay for food (groceries and eating out) via the envelope system. When there's no money left, you stop buying stuff. Of course, during the gas crisis we budgeted more for gas and never revisited that amount when the prices came down. As a result, we were occasionally using leftover gas money to enable the "illness" of slacking off and eating out. (blushing with shame here).

That has to stop. We don't have the money to do that.

The coop helps. We are a dropoff point and it earns us a discount on our food. If either of the groups were full, our food would be free (because we help divide the food which offsets the small amount we would be paying for it). It's certainly work, but it's free food. Even with the groups not full, the discount is a HUGE help. If you can't score this kind of deal because it's not available to you, consider starting your own. Find a few friends who want to buy together and find a resource that will sell in bulk for a discount. Then just divide it up. But if you don't have the time, then you just don't have the time. Being a coordinator for another company certainly has it's tasks. I don't find it overwhelming other than finding members. I'm just not good at it.

We have NOT yet gotten to where we can eat organic meats; although I AM able to occasionally find antibiotic-free chicken breast on sale. I've long been a stealth grocery shopper. But that was when it came down to the lowest price and occasionally whether or not I could tolerate the lowest price. Usually, I could.

The thing is, it was a trade-off: was the lower price worth the change in taste? If yes, I bought the cheaper item. If no, I sought out the higher priced item wherever I found it for the best deal.

This is no different: either you feel that the healthier food is worth more money and simply seek it out at the best available price; or you buy cheaper food.

Huge help in finding the best price is a price book. I kept one for 11 years and now I'm going back to it. I had put it down because I couldn't eat most of the items in there anymore! But I just need to redo it and start keeping prices on the things I CAN eat. The price book is what GOT me to being a stealth shopper before. It's going to be critical going forward. Here's a good template for a price book:

I like to keep a line or two empty under each entry: one for "sale price" at that store and one just blank for ease of eyes. But to each their own. You list all the prices for one item on one page. Learn from my error: use pencil. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I hate pencil. I did ALL of my math work from 7th grade up entirely in pen (thankfully, I was a math whiz). But I learned to keep the price book in pencil.

It's not cheap to eat well; but it doesn't have to be outrageous either. None-the-less, it explains the health of a country that is unable to manage it's financials because many are trying to live above their means and opting for vacation over venison. ;)

Friday, February 27, 2009

early breakfast: organic blueberries

breakfast: scrambled eggs with organic ketchup. I also had half a broiled grapefruit with raw sugar and regular honey.

snack: organic apple--sliced

lunch: Matthew had GF bread with homemade Concord grape jelly. Grapes were not certified organic, but our coop buys a lot of stuff from a certified farm and got these from that farm's neighbor--who said they were pesticide-free. I didn't get a sting in my throat, so I believe that. They're native to the area, so they shouldn't have needed much anyway. Mike and I had pasta with Bertolli jarred sauce (Olive Oil & Garlic--one of their few safe flavors). This was not the organic sauce and one of their few that is completely safe.

snack: organic apple--sliced... again. Note to self: this is going to be a constipation problem for Matthew. >:( He also had a Coco Loco bar from Enjoy Life.

dinner thoughts: thinking chinese food... which would be steamed chicken and broccoli for Matthew and who knows what for me and Mike. Alternative is sushi from the grocery store (ours has awesome, fresh sushi). But today is payday--which means food shopping that didn't get done today because of waiting for DYFS to show (rescheduling) which grounded us most of the day after accounting for therapy. So I'm thinking to kick off Mike's week off, we eat out tonight and get down to business tomorrow with food shopping and house fixing. ;) We shall see what ACTUALLY happens. be continued.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

early breakfast: half of a brownie made with Whole Foods brand GF brownie mix

breakfast: Matthew had a scrambled egg with organic ketchup. I had half of a grapefruit with brown sugar and honey. Mike can no longer have that because vitamin C interferes with a medication he takes. So he had the last bag of Stop & Shop store brand instant farina (Maple & Brown Sugar) with organic blueberries. Blech on top of blech IMO. We had caffeinated chai tea (Good Earth) with honey... plus water.

snack: organic apple slices

lunch: Matthew & Mike had leftover meatloaf (homemade). Matthew also had slices of an organic tomato on it's way out. I skipped.

snack: organic grapes (me & Matthew)

dinner: Outback. Matthew will have a Joey Sirloin cooked with no spices or butter (I didn't even know they cooked it in butter until they called--seeing us remove butter from EVERYthing) with fresh veggies (no butter) and water. Mike and I split a prime rib with no spices on it; but we get garlic mashed potatoes--which has some milk in it. Mike also gets cream of onion soup. He is the worst eater among us, by far.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009

early breakfast: cereal bar by request

breakfast: organic blueberries

brunch: at Perkins--Matthew had 2 scrambled eggs and 1 strip of very crispy bacon that was likely full of all kinds of horrible stuff... plus OJ (which is safe) and my cantaloupe and honeydew melon. We bring our own ketchup. Mike had some kind of completely off-limits omelette and I had a Steakhouse Scrambler with on sauce, no gravy and no cheese (so just potatoes, meat and egg) with our ketchup. We all had muffins that I know are not okay. I had OJ & coffee--Mike had coffee.

lunch: Matthew ate the last of his steamed chicken and broccoli and Mike and I skipped.

snack: don't think we had one--early dinner and late lunch

dinner: london broil coated in honey & freshly grated organic ginger that I've had for 3 months plus some pineapple chunks (canned--Dole non-organic). We had fresh organic string beans on the side.

then we went to a party. Matthew was confined to Lay's chips (which MAY have had corn oil in them--they said corn OR palm) and was allowed 3 pretzel sticks because there was no corn or soy in them. Mike and I? Forget it. We are paying for it dearly this morning.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

early breakfast: organic blueberries and then an organic apple in slices (love my apple slicer)

breakfast: eggs. Matthew had his plain scrambled eggs on one slice of GF bread (so it made half a sandwich) with Nature's Promise organic ketchup. Mike and I just ate ours without the fanfare, plus we had more broiled grapefruit with brown sugar and honey... plus some green tea with honey. Of course, we also all had water.

snack: I think we skipped morning snack.

lunch: Matthew is currently eating leftover chinese food: steamed chicken and broccoli. I have no flaming clue what Mike and I are going to eat.

snack: organic apple slices (by request); then more organic cherry tomatoes; then some of the raw string beans I was making for dinner.

dinner: organic string beans (fresh) and leftover pork loin that had been cooked with onions, appples and potatoes.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I'm actually recalling this almost 10 days later and I'm going from memory here because it seems like a day that most of you will face and wonder how we deal with it. It was a day outing at Liberty Science Center.

early breakfast and breakfast were at home--normal.

I packed the diaper bag with Matthew-safe juice boxes and his Edward & Sons crackers.

On the way, we ate lunch at Burger King--a HUGE treat for Matthew. He gets the kids meal hamburger with pickles and tomato (no ketchup, and we pay extra for the tomato). It's flame broiled instead of fried--thus no oil. And now they offer apple fries. So he has apple juice and apple fries. But this day, he wanted potato fries and Mike got them for him. Of course, we empty 2/3 of the bag before giving them to him. Hey--it's a day out.

We get to LSC and do some of the exhibits. The cafe there is horrible for eating around food allergies and barely even offered up fruit. I was able to score one of two remaining bananas and a bottle of water that I shared with Matthew and Mike.

On the way home, we ate at Chili's in pre-celebration of my birthday. THANKFULLY, they had grilled chicken for kids on the menu. Nothing on it. And the veggie was either green beans or broccoli with shreds of carrot. Wonderful. He got some water in a kids cup and all was good with the world. I honestly have no clue what I ate. I know that whatever Mike ate made me think he'd be sorry. I had an alcoholic beverage and he had a beer; but then we had water. I had a decaf coffee before leaving. No clue why.

Matthew fell asleep on the way home. Of course, he woke twice (briefly) during the night; but then we had lapsed on being consistent with his daily fish oil, too. :(

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

I should note that we got a food delivery on Saturday. I took a picture of it--picture to follow. I also took delivery yesterday of a special order (all organic):

12 grapefruit
12 6 oz. boxes of blueberries
3 pints of grape tomatoes
10 lbs. red potatoes
1 lb. pine nuts
1 lb. dried bing cherries (mistake--didn't know they were dried)
2 24 oz. bags of Rapadura whole cane sugar
2 lbs. of green grapes

This cost me $135 (which includes $10 for a box of Green Bags)

Needless to say, Matthew's early breakfast was blueberries.

Breakfast was just eggs. My and Mike's had potatoes and onions in them (we're overrun with onions and apples). With water... the coffee pot has been put away instead of being out on the counter.

Snack: baby carrots (non-organic)

Lunch: kill me--a bagel stick with eggs and salami (insert eyeroll). I had ham and salami with lettuce and tomato, oil and vinegar.

Snack: more blueberries

Dinner... at the inlaws. Pasta with olive oil, garlic and mushrooms (Matthew got GF pasta, but Mike and I got whole wheat pasta) and then broccoli and rotisserie chicken from the supermarket (which shockingly was safe ingredient-wise for Matthew). Matthew also had grape tomatoes (MIL always has them for him) and we all had grapes for dessert.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

No early breakfast today--he woke at 7:45am. Unfortunately, the baby woke at 6am. Six of one, half a dozen of the other (insert eyeroll).

Breakfast: eggs with Taylor ham. Matthew had a sliced organic pear. Mike & I had broiled grapefruit with honey & brown sugar... and coffee. Matthew and I also had our little cups of half water, half Tropicana OJ. Again--Matthew didn't drink his. >:(

Snack: peeled baby carrots (non-organic)

Lunch: Tinkyada rice pasta swirls with Bertoli Olive Oil & Garlic sauce for me & Mike. Matthew refuses, but I still buy "safe" sauce just in case. Water for all to drink as usual.


Dinner: will be the stuffed peppers we should've eaten last night. be continued

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday, February 2, 2009

Today is Candlemas... purification and renewal. Kind of like a "new year's day". :)

Early breakfast: cereal bar

Breakfast: eggs with Taylor ham. Matthew also had sliced organic pears and Mike & I had organic grapefruit with brown sugar & honey (and coffee). Matthew and I had 1 c. OJ (which is Tropicana OJ half-n-half with water).

Snack: organic apple slices

Lunch: Matthew had hard salami on a bagel stick and more Tropicana OJ. In all fairness, he barely touched the bagel stick. I had ham, salami, lettuce, tomato and vinegar on a roll with water. Mike had leftover homemade soup and I brought him an everything bagel with cream cheese. Matthew and I were on the go and this was a social visit more than a food visit.

Snack: I don't remember an afternoon snack.

Dinner: I'm making stuffed peppers that won't be done on time. Contents: ground beef, organic onion, organic tomato paste (Nature's Promise brand), organic low sodium beef stock (Nature's Promise brand), rosemary, thyme, oregano, pine nuts and rice (I think it's Success rice--the boil-in-bag kinds). Put into organic bell peppers from the coop.

Of course, that's not going to be done in time... so Matthew will have leftover Outback and Mike and I will make sloppy joes out of the leftover pepper filling and some organic hotdog rolls.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Early breakfast: organic strawberries

Breakfast: scrambled eggs with Taylor ham. Additionally, Matthew had an organic pear cut up and Mike and I had broiled grapefruit and coffee. Matthew and I each had a very small cup of Tropicana OJ (half OJ and half water). I think the total amount of liquid was 1 c. be continued.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Crazy, crazy day...

Early breakfast: cereal bar

Breakfast: VERY low on eggs. We all had some scrambled eggs (with salt, pepper and organic rosemary) and Matthew had a

Snacks: organic banana and apple (two snacks--lunch was really late)

Lunch: Wendy's take out. Matthew had a hamburger with pickle and tomato on it (no ketchup). He accidentally wound up with french fries instead of mandarin oranges. >:( We remove half to 2/3 of the fries before giving them to him. I had a grilled chicken sandwich and Mike had a fish sandwich.

I don't think there was a snack--lunch was really late (about 2:30pm)

Dinner: Chinese food. :( Matthew gets steamed chicken and broccoli and Mike and I get stuff that's just horrible for us: shrimp Chow Fun. I have no flaming clue how many no-good things are in there, I just thank God that we can get away with eating them and have options for Matthew.

Bedtime snack: 3 organic cherry tomatoes. Yup... back to that again.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009

Early breakfast for Matthew... cereal bar (I should note that it's been fruit otherwise this week)

Breakfast... Matthew had gluten free pancakes and water. Mike and I had eggs and broiled grapefruit (with just honey on top today).

Snack... organic blueberries for Matthew.

Lunch... leftover Outback for me and Matthew. No clue if/what Mike ate.

Snack... not sure we had one

Dinner... despite Matthew's assertion that he would "loooove vegetable soup because plain soup would be deeeescosting" (disgusting) he did not eat the soup. Not shocking--it's a texture thing. I strained the homemade turkey, bean, veggie soup and he ate the turkey green beans and carrots. Not all of it, of course. Mike and I ate the soup. Matthew finished with an organic apple (cut in wedges).

Bedtime snack (since he was hungry) was 3 organic cherry tomatoes.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2008

Early breakfast... I think Matthew had a cereal bar today

Breakfast... scrambled eggs with 365 brand Natural Ketchup (not organic). I had coffee--just Maxwell House with raw sugar and nothing else.

Snack... organic apples, sliced

Lunch... leftover chicken breasts (cooked in olive oil & garlic) for Matthew and Mike. Matthew also had organic grape tomatoes and non-organic peeled baby carrots. Mike had the leftover veggies from Wed. night's dinner: organic collard greens (washed, cut and thrown in some olive oil that was frying up garlic and pine nuts--cooked until wilted/soft) and organic sweet potatoes. I just had leftover sweet potato. I was busy trying to make soup and clean out kitchen cabinets.

Snack... onion flavored rice crackers and Apple & Eve white grape raspberry juice

Dinner... well, Mike wasn't home and the baby was a nightmare--plus the next day was payday (meaning my cash envelopes get refilled) and I still had $100 left in my grocery envelope (no clue how). So I caved and got Outback curbside takeaway. Matthew got a Joey Sirloin cooked with no spices and no butter and broccoli made with no butter. I love Outback for this--seriously. No drink. Usually Mike and I get one entree and split it. I got the Prime Rib with no spices and no butter plus broccoli with no butter, but I caved and got mashed potatoes instead of a plain sweet potato--and the mashed potatoes have milk in them. I just have too much sweet potato at home. I figured since I was already being bad, I got the Coconut Shrimp (and so help me I have no idea how many forbidden items it has in it between the shrimp itself and the sauce (which--without question--is loaded with corn syrup).

Matthew went to bed without a bedtime snack--which was a shortlived thing that we were trying to remove. Thankfully, appears we have. :)

Later, after Mike came home, we had Good Earth decaf chai tea with honey.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Early breakfast: organic pear slices

Breakfast: scrambled eggs with 365 brand natural ketchup

Snack: Archer Farms organic granola bar (had oats in it)

Lunch: Nature's Promise hot dogs (trying to get rid of them!) with organic grape tomatoes (and them!)

Snack: cut up fruit--melon, watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, etc (party for a class that was ending) and water. be continued

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

Early breakfast: cereal bar and organic grape tomatoes

Breakfast: scrambled eggs. Mom and dad also had broiled grapefruit while Matthew had orange slices

Snack: Sorella Bakery biscottines (vanilla) and hot chocolate (made with rice milk and Ah!laska organic chocolate syrup)

Lunch: for my life I can't remember

Snack: ditto

Dinner: Lamb chops fried in EVOO with salt, pepper and rosemary served with Alexia steak fries (Sea Salt & Olive Oil version). Matthew had frozen broccoli and grape tomatoes. Mom & dad had wilted kale (washed, thrown in a pot of hot EVOO with garlic and pignoli/pine nuts and kept moving intermittently until soft).

Dessert: Rice Dream organic strawberry ice cream with Ah!laska non-dairy organic chocolate syrup

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Today was Matthew's birthday party and for my life, I can't remember all of what we ate. But we held his party at a place that let us bring our own food. So we fed the kids:

Nature's Promise hot dogs
Alexia fries
peeled baby carrots
Adam & Eve juice boxes
Cherrybrook Farms chocolate cake mix (for cupcakes) with same brand chocolate and vanilla frosting made with Spectrum palm oil shortening. Actually, I made the vanilla with butter (cupcakes were frosted half chocolate and half vanilla). Mistake: Matthew had a NOTICEABLE reaction.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

Early breakfast was pancakes with syrup.

No later breakfast... mayhem day.

Snack: organic strawberries from FL that had no taste whatsoever, but Matthew didn't mind. I minded.

to be continued...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

going from memory...

I believe Matthew had pancakes VERY early... with syrup. Mike had the same.

Then Matthew and I had scrambled eggs in EVOO. Mike & I continue to plow through our grapefruit and had broiled grapefruit with brown sugar and honey.

Snack was onion rice crackers. Totally forgetting that brand we always use.

Lunch was Nature's Promise hot dogs, Del Monte organic cut canned green beans and Matthew's plate included some organic grape tomatoes. We had Nature's Promise organic ketchup on the side.

Snack was Lay's Kettle Cooked chips (the only one they have made ONLY with sunflower or safflower oil--whatever, just not a "could be soy or corn" oil). Matthew also had one of his tiny trapeze peppermint marshmallows. I had a container of So Delicious "cultured coconut milk" (aka yogurt--complete with live and active cultures). Strawberry banana flavor. Did I tell you about this? So far, it's incredible!

Dinner... we caved to Baja Fresh. Matthew got a black bean burrito with chicken--which is huge, but he only really eats the inside. I got a veggie burrito and Mike (the consummate dietary cheater in this house since he was never bound to it through breastfeeding) had a Cabo shrimp burrito.

Bedtime snack was 2 vanilla biscotinnes from Sorella bakery.

Mommy later had some of the remaining chips.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Matthew's birthday. He was, of course, up at 5:15am. Mommy is learning the wonders of L-Glutamine to remove such wicked sugar cravings that she considered taking a pregnancy test (it was negative, btw ;) ).

Early breakfast: organic grape tomatoes

Breakfast: GF pancakes from the batch make on Jan. 13 with 100% maple syrup. Mom had scrambled eggs in EVOO and both adults had broiled grapefruit (trying to get through the backlog) with dark brown sugar and honey.

Snack: too close to lunch--no snack

Lunch: Nature's Promise hotdogs with DelMonte canned organic cut green beans and more organic grape tomatoes (as requested). Using some Nature's Promise organic ketchup and annoyed that I forgot to buy the Whole Foods brand All Natural ketchup (which is cheaper and while not organic, doesn't have corn syrup).

Snack... ditched due to nap

Dinner: leftover meatloaf, more green beans and leftover home made baked beans (which I think should now be done)

Bedtime snack: the last (I think) Gluten-Free Pantry Chocolate Chip Cookie & Cake Mix

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Need to start thinking about tomorrow's food today... it will be Matthew's 5th birthday. More importantly, need to get food for Saturday's birthday party.

Early breakfast: organic grape tomatoes

Breakfast: Matthew and Mike ate pancakes made Bob's Red Mill Wheat Free Biscuit & Baking mix (this has corn starch!) with 100% maple syrup while I had scrambled eggs (I hate pancakes). Mike and I had broiled grapefruit again--with raw sugar and honey on top. Plus coffee, of course.

Snack: ditched because we ate breakfast, went to swimming and then ran home to eat lunch before his Rhythm & Rhyme class.

Lunch: Matthew had leftover steamed chicken and broccoli and I had panettone (insert eyeroll). Mike got home after we left for Matthew's class and he had a Nature's Promise hot dog with my home made baked beans.

Snack: well, we were in Whole Foods and Matthew insisted that he really wanted some marshmallows and since he was being really good about it instead of begging and whining, I let him use some of his OWN money to buy a package. We bought a package of Tiny Trapeze peppermint marshmallows (which DID have cornstarch in them). There was a larger package below them, but they had corn syrup in them (same price--larger package). He paid the man for the marshmallows (his own, separate purchase) and put the change back into his KidsWealth account wallet. He insisted on eating it AT the tables IN the store... and he shared one with Mommy. :)

When we got home, we eat tried a new coconut milk-based yogurt by So Delicious and it was REALLY good. We had tried a rice milk-based one last month and maybe it was just the blueberry flavor of it (the only flavor they had in the rice milk kind) but it was kind of blah. This was really good!!! YAY! We can eat yogurt again!!!

Dinner: meatloaf (including gluten-free breadcrumbs and mushrooms) with ketchup (Nature's Promise organic) and organic broccoli with my home made baked beans.

Matthew's bedtime snack was a GF Pantry chocolate chip cookie (made from the mix).

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

Early breakfast: alas, a cereal bar

Breakfast: broiled grapefruit (split in half, sprinkle with brown sugar and/or drizzle with honey--we do both--and broil until bubbly, about 3 mins) and eggs cooked in EVOO. Matthew ate a tangerine (minus seeds) instead of grapefruit.

Snack: I think we skipped our snack because of speech therapy.

Lunch: Matthew ate leftover baked chicken and green beans from last night. Mike and I had potato pods with tuna.

Snack: Earthbound organic peeled carrots

Dinner: Chinese food: steamed chicken and broccoli--but Mike and I cheated and got a shrimp roll each and steamed dumplings.

Bedtime snack: GF chocolate chip cookie (made from the mix)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Budget and the restricted diet...

Budgeting food is a nightmare for me since we eat the way we do. I used to be a black belt food shopper. I kept a price book for 11 years and suddenly, a lot of it was irrelevant because we no longer bought that stuff. I realized recently that I could just alter the darn price book to include the stuff we DO buy now. Ummm... DUH! So I'm going back to that.

We figure out a budget per month and then do the math to figure out much that is per paycheck. Each payday, that amount gets withdrawn in cash and put into an envelope. When we buy groceries, we pay cash. When the cash is gone, it's time to turn to the pantries and get creative. But at least we're not over budget--and groceries are a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE black hole in most people's budgets. When I did budget counseling, I CHRONICALLY had people who insisted they knew how much they spent on groceries each month who were stating approximately half (or less) of what they were actually spending. One couple thought they were only spending $250-300/month in food where they were actually spending about $800/month in food. And they were not out of the ordinary by any stretch. When you actually tally up your receipts for 3-4 months and figure it out, you may be surprised. Very few people have a clear idea of what they spend on groceries--and even fewer have a grasp on how much they spend on eating out (which includes Starbucks--anything you eat or drink that isn't made at home is "eating out" and man, does it add up).

My price book evolved to a 5"x7"-ish 3-ring binder with 3-hole punched lined paper in it. I bought write-on self-adhesive tabs to separate out sections and I section it by section of my food store. Each page is dedicated to an item we buy and looks like this:


Orange Juice

Date.....Store....Brand....Size....Sale price....unit price

8/25/05 PM Tropicana 64oz. 2f/$5 .039/oz
9/3/05 S/S Tropicana 64oz. 2f/$4 .031/oz

That's an actual entry. The stores all have an abbreviation that go in the back of my book--the last page. And the price here is "2 for $x". I detest writing in pencil but I learned that it was the best way to keep a price book. I also learned to write in the year because over time, you may never get that price again. I've found cycles to things being cheaper that helped me bulk buy.

But now I'm going to be starting from scratch.

IT IS MORE EXPENSIVE TO EAT RIGHT. This is why the state of this country's health is in significant decline. People's priorities are on the larger house, the nicer clothes, the Wii... not on eating well. So they scrimp on food and spend on the other stuff. And then there are those with no choices--and WIC is horrifying with the crap they won't allow you to buy. In NJ, WIC will give you vouchers to the farmer's markets; but 99% of the farmers at those markets are not organic.

The concept of cutting back to afford better food is completely foreign to Americans. Even when finally faced with the health crises that occur after long-term horrible eating, it's now a fight against long-standing food habits and money to eat right.

I used to be able to buy the "loss leader" items at the supermarket--the stuff that goes on sale to the point where they're practically giving it away. I can't do that anymore. I can't shop at ShopRite's Can-Can sale and have us stocked in canned veggies for 6 months because half of them don't even come in a No Salt option and none of them are organic. No thanks.

Meat is the biggest problem and the place where we are most stumped. I used to be able to buy 2 months worth of meat at $1.99/lb when it went on sale, but now that we're trying to restrict ourselves to meat that at least has no hormones in it (not necessarily organic, but no hormones and hopefully no antibiotics) it's become a real challenge. Add to it that most of the country doesn't eat meat in the proper balance--and we were no different. Meat should only be 1/3 of what's on your dinner plate. In most cases, it's 1/2 to 2/3. So we've scaled back portion size and that's helped. We've also supplemented our protein intake with beans--things we SHOULD be eating anyway. Finding organic dry beans is HARD, but you can now find them in canned form. Again--it's an expense.

We are scaling back in other things to afford to do this. And we're finding that scaling back other things is easier than we thought--although it took some adjusting. We really only have cable at the moment because it's a package deal and the cost is the same if we don't have it. Since the baby has come home, we are certainly watching more TV than we have in the last 2 years. But now we're adjusting and it's been back to normal--where there is very little TV. Without TV, our son reads more and plays more. He uses his brain more actively. Mike and I are doing things that need to be done around the house--stupid little stuff--instead of vegging out in front of the TV. Sometimes, that means just being more engaged in speaking to one another. Good things. We've similarly had to break addictions to the computer. We removed Matthew's from the playroom and have taken measures to make it inconvenient for the adults--so getting to the computer requires effort now. We are far more "connected" as a family without these distractions.

We are probably among the only people we know who don't own a Wii, although we do own a V-Smile. ;) Usage is SEVERELY limited.

We drive a 2007 Hyundai Elantra because we could buy it without a car payment vs. a Jeep Grand Cherokee with heated seats that we could've put a significant down payment on. We didn't need the Jeep. Nor did we need a Nissan Murano or Subaru Outback. The Hyundai has far more trunk space than it gets credit for and the seats inside were no different than any of the others.

I coordinate the organic produce pod which helps. It doesn't feed us for the month, but it's something. If I could get both groups full, it probably WOULD feed us for the month (in veggies, anyway). Working on that.

You find ways. You start making priorities. You believe that eating right has long-term benefits. And you make the changes. You find $5/month here and $10/month there and soon it adds up to a different life.