Heather asked some questions and I also tend to get the same questions repeatedly IRL. While recipes are important, I think it's also good to hear about the day to day experiences of eating this way and how it affects our lives beyond feeling better and losing some weight.
What Do the Kids Eat?
Emma is just starting solids. She has mostly breastmilk, an occasional supplemental formula bottle, rice cereal, and homemade, sugar-free applesauce.
Will eats mostly what we are eating, especially at dinner. However, I am still serving him dairy (2% milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.) and meat. He mostly eats chicken (the boy loves his nuggets) and turkey, he also loves his Gramma's meatloaf and she sends us home with frozen slices of it that make a great supplement to our meal. I am fortunate, in that he likes raw veggies (he'll ask for baby carrot and cucumber slices) and loves fruits (he begs for grapes and apples). He does still love Goldfish crackers and macaroni and cheese and general "kid foods" and we just try to keep those things as special treat.
I find that more and more of our choices are leaning towards organic foods for the kids. We give Will organic milk. We choose organic for fruits and veggies that I cannot thoroughly wash.
Heather asked how long it takes to put the tortilla soup on the table. I will admit that I didn't look at the clock that night, but I think maybe 30 minutes, start to serve? You do have to simmer this a bit longer than other soups, to get the tortillas to "melt" into the broth. But seriously, that soup is pretty fast and easy, it's a great starter recipe. You could even put cooked shredded chicken in it, too, if you were wanting to add a protein source.
Most meals that I make do not take any more time than meals I was making before. I have learned a lot of shortcuts along the way, like making a double or triple batch of the basic roux or roasting enough veggies for several meals at once. I also am coming up with more and more "easy" dinners to make, like the chili (that's a fast one! - you don't even have to cook the meat - you could have that one on the table in 20 minutes) and also I made some black bean tacos this week that I made in TEN minutes. Ten.
I will confess that I enjoy cooking and always have. I find it soothing to chop, slice, stir, and create. An hour in the kitchen can feel like mere seconds. I have heard there are people that feel this way about cleaning. Not me. I enjoy making the messes, but not so much the cleaning up.
While our grocery bill has stayed about the same (we are buying way less meat, cheese, dairy, junk foods, etc. BUT we are buying more fresh fruit and veggies in the off season and more specialty ingredients like vegetable stock and coconut milk), our going out bill has been reduced dramatically - to nothing. There is very little we can eat from a restaurant and it makes no sense to go out and spend money on a meal we can't eat. We were relying way too much on eating out or grabbing something on the way home through a drive-thru. When I go shopping, I use coupons, shop sales, and buy bulk when I can to save money. Overall, we are spending less money that we were before.
Are You Really A Vegan?
No. A vegan is not just dietary restriction, it is a lifestyle. Veganism is an ideology and lifestyle whose adherents seek to eliminate what they see as the exploitation of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose. The most common reasons for veganism are ethical concerns about animal rights or welfare, health, environmental concerns, and spiritual or religious concerns. Vegan advocacy organizations generally regard animals to have some form of rights, and therefore consider it unethical to use animals in ways that infringe those rights (definition from Wikipedia). While M and I both love animals, and I cringe when I think about animals being mistreated, we haven't chosen to eat this way for that reason. We are trying to eat better and feel better.
Do You Ever Cheat?
Yes. I have. I regretted it. I actually promised you that story, so I will share it now. We went to McDonald's on New Year's Eve with some friends. I was going to have a salad, but we got in line and the Big Mac called my name. I had been talking about indulging for days. M encouraged me to eat it and I did.
Oh, I so did.
It was everything a Big Mac should be. It was Big, it was Mac. It was cheese and meat and cheese and meat and special sauce and did I mention the cheese? I face planted in that thing.
Within about ten minutes of eating it, it felt as if I had a Big Mac Boulder in my stomach. Within twenty minutes, I was on the toilet. I ended up being on the toilet for the rest of the afternoon.
Now, don't get me wrong. I don't think meat is evil. I especially don't think cheese is evil. But when you haven't had either for five weeks, it might be best to start a bit slower.
In all seriousness, I don't consider it "cheating" if I eat something that isn't "on the plan." For me, this is a not an "all or nothing" situation. My husband is a person that has to have rules. If he has a "bite" of something, it snowballs into three weeks and ten pounds later. For me, I can eat 98% great and still have an occasional bite of brownie or piece of cheese. I just try to make my occasional splurge a healthy choice. The entire goal of doing the detox was to cleanse our bodies, retrain ourselves how to eat real food, and hopefully feel a bit better in the process. As I feel I accomplished all of that (and more!), I try not to beat myself up when I make a less-than-ideal choice.
What Other Questions Do You Have For Me?
Oh, and I promise that I will post about salad dressings and pizza this week! Last week kind of got away with me!