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.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

So much for resolutions...

Early breakfast: Matthew gets a Nature's Choice Triple Berry Multigrain Cereal Bar (and water).

Breakfast: eggs scrambled in EVOO with canned organic peas. Water for the child. Mom and dad are drinking caffeinated coffee.

Snack: Earthbound organic individually wrapped peeled carrots and onion rice crackers (the brand we always get).

Lunch: potato pods (cut in half the long way and scoop out the middle to make a hollow, steam until soft, and fill with tuna fish)

Snacks... Gluten-Free Pantry Chocolate Chip Cookie & Cake mix cookies (made last night--we often make multiple batches and freeze) and onion rice crackers

Dinner: baked chicken breast with organic potatoes & onions plus some jarred roasted peppers and white wine plus some broccoli (Matthew got green beans that my MIL made last night and since they left town for 3 weeks, she brought us uncooked broccoli and cooked green beans). Green beans were boiled or steamed (not sure) and then coated with EVOO and vinegar. A lot of my MIL's recipes involve vinegar and almost all of them involve EVOO. In fact, I'm struggling to think of a time in the last 12 years I've eaten a "bare" vegetable in her house--they are always covered with one, the other, or both. Beverage is water, as usual.

Bedtime snack: Gluten-Free Pantry Chocolate Chip Cookie & Cake mix cookie.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Today was an extremely late start.

Early breakfast: as usual... cereal bar (Nature's Choice--Triple Berry)

Brunch: Land O'Lakes natural eggs with salt (sea salt ground fine), pepper & organic rosemary. Wellshire Chicken Apple sausage patties. Leftover pieces of potato (scooped out to make potato pods for lunch) fried in EVOO with garlic powder, organic rosemary, salt and pepper.

I honestly think we must've forgotten about a snack.

Dinner: Well, we TRIED to get Matthew to eat Ratatouille taken from the freezer (homemade with organic veggies from our produce coop--eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, celery and I honestly don't remember what else). Matthew historically does not like mushy food of any sort--so soups and stuff like this are generally an absolute "NO!". We put the Ratatouille over rice to thicken it up which really doesn't do much for him. Add to the problem that there's obviously tomatoes in it and while he loves tomatoes and ketchup, he can't stand tomato pieces in ANYthing. We got him to try one bite and then he moved on to Nature's Promise hot dogs with organic cherry tomatoes and slices of an organic pear (and water). Mike and I ate all the Ratatouille.

Bedtime snack was a Vanilla Biscottine from Sorella Bakery. Probably the most expensive cookie you can buy, but I'm addicted to the Hazelnut Anise and they're minus all the stuff we can't have--so it's a huge plus. We don't usually have them in the house. I'm rationing this purchase much better so they should last longer.