February 13, 2013

What I Love Wednesday - a little more about food and then I'll zip it

Thanks for all your comments on last week's What I Love Wednesday post.  Some of you had great stories, ideas, and inspiration.  We've been digging in deep trying to figure out the best way for our family to be healthier.  Here are a few random things I've found or re-found this week that I love.

A couple of you mentioned the blog "100 Days of Real Food" in the comment section last week.  I spent some time over there and there was a lot of great info.  While we are trying to cut out a lot of processed stuff, we are trying to figure out the best way to make those changes for ourselves and our kids.  We aren't to the point she's at, but there are still some great ideas.  

Eating healthy while on our trip was a lot more tricky.  I just googled "healthy cuisine" and the city we were in and there were some really cool paces listed that I never would have found.  Now I need to google that for our city and see what it pulls up.

We only packed fruit, nuts, and some seeds in our car while traveling.  We stopped at a Trader Jo's to load up on more stuff like that.  I have always packed more "junk"and treats in the past for our road trips.  I felt a lot less sick at the end of the day than I remember feeling after other car trips.

We've been doing a lot of juicing.  I got my husband a juicer for his birthday a few weeks ago.  The green juices aren't as tasty, but it's cool to be drinking all those nutrients at once.  We've been making THIS one.  (Ha!  I should take a picture of my husband like this with his juice.  He is in love with his juicer.)

We don't plan on cutting grains, but we're branching out with different kinds to have more variety in our meals - quinoa, lentils, beans, whole grain rice, etc.

I haven't even started with soups yet, but I'm excited to.  I served a mission for the LDS church (Mormons) in Portugal which means I lived there for a year and a half.  They make amazingly delicious, healthy soups there.  I dream about them.  I pinned a couple I wanted to break out again HERE and HERE.

I also need to buy a good stick blender to make those.  Their soups are mostly blended, which is great for kids. They don't see the veggies so they can't whine about them.  Nice.  Does anyone have an awesome stick blender they'd recommend?  I don't want to buy one and have it break in a few weeks.

A couple of you asked about how much more money we'll be spending on eating healthier.  So far I've been surprised.  I initially thought it would be too expensive to eat healthier, but my views have changed a bit.  I've found that we are buying less items and more things in bulk.  When I buy fruit at Costco we're actually using it all before it goes bad.  I'm not buying crackers and chips and snack food. There are less options in our pantry, but we are making better use of eating what we have.  I'll keep you posted.

We also haven't gone all organic at this point.  I want to do more research on that because I've heard a lot about there not being that big of a difference with many of the foods.  However, I'm excited to hit the farmer's markets when the weather gets warmer.  Buying local fresh produce sounds really fun.

The kids have fought back on some of it, but they've been pretty great overall.  I want to be careful not to totally limit them and have it come back in my face later.  I have noticed that they are more wiling to eat things when they are presented in a fun way.  Even eating bananas and peanut butter feels like a treat when it looks fun like this.

Part of me steps back and looks at myself like, "Who are you?"  I've never been a really big health nut and I used to pride myself when I was younger on eating whatever I wanted.  However something has changed in me.  It's kind of weird, but the more I eat healthy the more I want to.  It's kind of empowering.

I always vowed that my blog would never turn into a food blog and trust me - it won't.  However, if you want occasional updates on all of it I'd be more than happy to share.  Thank you for sharing your tips, ideas, and opinions as well.  You guys are awesome.  Thanks for reading.


  1. Good for you! Btw iowagirleats.com has a ton of great recipes that are "normal" but also healthy if you need some ideas ;)

    1. Yes! I love Iowagirleats.com - she has a wonderful blog with lots of great healthy recipes.

  2. I'd love to keep getting updates on how it's going! I like reading about it from someone who feels like more in the same boat as me :)

  3. I love my Cuisinart stick blender. I use it almost every day and have had it for 2 years. I puree soups with it and make smoothies for breakfast (1c. milk, 1 TBSP cocoa powder and frozen banana slices--I also like to freeze spoonfuls of canned pumpkin and add that along with pumpkin pie spice to the banana mixture but I am the only one that likes that!). I make all of my own salad dressings with it. Just measure a few things and blend. Much less sugar than the bottled stuff and really good, just doen't keep long so I am careful to make smaller amounts more often. My Cuisinart has a little bowl attachment so I can chop an onion or bread crumbs and such with it as well. You mentioned beans. We love black bean soup-again, made with the stick blender. When my kids were about 10 mos. I started giving them beans to eat as finger food. All 3 love them. Best wishes with your endevors!

  4. I forgot to mention after reading your (great) post last week...we have a great little cookbook called Feeding The Whole Family by Cynthia Lair and it's whole foods based and has some additional tips and recipes for babies and kids...and th recipes are soo yummy!
    We haven't gone "no processed food" but definitely have eat mostly "real" food and its great. My husband says he has even started craving Kale! ;)

  5. Good for you. Since Jan I've been cutting processed foods. I have found a lot of resources at kitchenstewardship.

  6. I have the Waring Pro stick blender. If I remember correctly it came from Target. I don't use it every day, maybe once a week, but I have had it for a few years and it still works great.

  7. Thanks for the link to that green juice recipe, I don't have a juicer,but I make green smoothies in my blender all the time and they had a ton of great recipes. I just made one with spinach, pineapple, orange and coconut water that is delicious. I would recommend an immersion blender that is metal. My first one was plastic and it melted a little the first time I used it in hot soup! My new one was not very expensive, and has lasted 8 years , it is a Braun.

  8. I'll be really interested to see how your new food journey goes. I've also been trying to get healthier and buy less processed foods. It is really hard with my little ones. I would love to see if you find any kid approved meals.

    There is also a list on Pinterest of which fruits and veggies you should buy organic and which you can go ahead and buy non-organic.

  9. Hey Cheri - - we're trying to move to a healthier food lifestyle as well - - I am wondering a couple of things:
    --which juicer to do you have? - there are so many to choose from!
    --what about breakfast? this is my biggest struggle - I'm huge into the easiness of cereal for the kids, but obviously it needs cut out. but to what? - eggs everyday? it's the meal I just don't know where to go with...
    Mandy, Sugar Bee Crafts

  10. Love this! You are doing such a great job! Not that you need any other recommendations, you are pretty set in that department but I'll offer up http://fedandfit.com It has soooo many yummy healthy recipes.

  11. I also recommend the Cuisinart stick blender. We've had ours for a few years and it works great. Only $20-25, too!

    You should check out the EWG list of the dirty dozen, if you haven't already. That's what I stick to when buying organic. The clean 15 is the list of foods that aren't affected by pesticides as much as the others. It's not as intuitive as I'd think.

    Good luck!

  12. I have the exact stick blender you posted...so far, so good! Love it for soups.

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  14. Love the Bamix stick blender (the original). My parents bought one in the early 80's. used it all the time. It was "willed" to me and now I use it. Great for making baby food too.

    We recently got a juicer. Heard lots of negativity about "all the sugar and none of the fiber". The way I see it, I wasn't getting my fruit/veg servings before but now I am. Also I use my morning juice as my breakfast not in addition to a meal. I've lost 7lb in the time I e been juicing.

  15. I pitch my two cents in for the Cuisinart stick blender - but in our house we call it the boat motor. (We had a Braun first - but it didn't last.) We purchased ours at Costco - it was a set the included prep/chopping bowl and a whisk attatchment. I confess, we have never used the bowl. Over the last few years we have managed to gift one of these awesome tools to all of our grandparents and parents. It you have a Tuesday Morning - you can often find them there for less than Costco.

    At our house - my biggest block with healthy eating for my kids - beyond their palates- is school lunches. (sigh) With less than 20 minutes to eat, and not wanting to add to their responsibilities of NOT throwing away containers- I default to prepackaged fruit snacks and juice pouches. Oh, and they always want what their friends have too. *chuckling* I keep hoping something will improve every year. Maybe next year. :)

  16. I have a Waring Professional immersion blender, not a lot of bells and whistles, just two speeds, but it's heavy duty and well reviewed. I love it, especially for making soups and sauces.

  17. I like the food posts!

  18. Thanks so much for the update! I am especially interested in how your kids have adjusted. Mine do fair, but then I think..."if that's all they had, they would eat it eventually?", right?? I eat a bowl of veggies w/ lunch and it is quite filling.....getting them to do the same would be torture :)
    I agree on the soups...yummy! I love making big batches and then I have my lunches for several days...nice!
    The money part is always interesting to me. It seems like it costs more (the nuts are always so expensive). But, I agree about using up what you have....I hate throwing out unused food!
    I've really been wanting a juicer....maybe I should watch craigslist? I think my kids would like the fruit ones as they love my healthy fruit smoothies :)
    I have been wanting an immersion blender, so I'm watching the comments. They aren't all that expensive, I should just take the plunge.
    Love the part about "who am I?"...makes me smile. Sometimes I think the same things about myself. But it is empowering and I love trying to help my kids be healthier....I just don't want it to backfire, like you said. I had a friend in college who never had sugar growing up and if he went to his friend's house for visits, he would sneak to the sugar canister and eat it by the spoonfuls...Ack! Definitely don't want that either :) Its a tough balance, but I don't mind if you post a few food related posts now & then. I like reading about your progress!

  19. Enjoy the food posts, definitely. I think it's a complicated path that a lot of us are either on or thinking about, and it takes a community effort sharing ideas and giving encouragement.

  20. I have a braun stick blender that also has a mini chopper that I use all the time. 8.5 years old and still going strong.

  21. my comment on the stick blender is make sure the stick part detaches from the motor. My australian one always has done so, but I moved back to Canada and got given a second hand one, which is nice, but the stick doesn't detach so it makes it really awkward to wash without getting water on the motor. Otherwise, I use mine all the time for soups and smoothies and such.

  22. Cheers from France, and bravo on starting this new way of life Cheri! I started mine when I became a Mom, and pushed it a bit further when I was diagnosed with pregnancy diabetes for my second child.
    We eat a lot organic, and to answer your question, in my point of view it does taste better most of the time and above all there a no (or way much less for pessimistic people) pesticides. Beware of them, as they concentrate in the shells of wholegrain non organic seeds and fruit. So I get all my veggies, fruit and grain food organic. The meats are not though because very expensive in France, but I get them from free range farms as much as I can.
    But then if you can't get organic, we all should at least buy local and seasonal! It's much better for us and nature!
    Best of luck in your new healthy life!

  23. I am so excited for you guys! I am trying to get back into a less processed way of eating myself. I love recipes from clean eating magazine when i get bored or stuck. Keep posting about this!! And I would love to hear about how you are making it work money wise, because that is a huge roadblock for me. Oh and I love the cuisinart immersion blender!

  24. Cuisinart has the "detachable blender" part - I wash it in the DW about half the time. No need to spring for "cordless." Good luck on your adventures. Maybe in your spare time you'll start a garden? (Ha Ha!) Pinterest has AMAZING things there.
    I mostly just do cooking. Sounds like a fabulous adventure!

  25. I do have to agree. The more healthy I eat the more I want to. I gave up processed foods a long time ago (luckily I am single so there isn't anyone to push back) but every so often when life gets busy I have things slip back in. But once I remove them and go back to veggies and fruit…i ask myself..why didn't o get back earlier. I just feel so much better….Good luck with the change and remember it is just one meal at a time!!! No day is perfect…...

  26. Hi Cheri

    I've been following your blog from the UK - loving it very much but have never commented (boo hiss me...!) Anyway - there's a brilliant set of cookbooks by a lovely little independent chain (of about 10 shops) in london called Leon. We love their recipes and they are really nutrious, low GI and spledidly delicious! have a little peruse if you can.

  27. My husband is in love with his juicer too. :) I have the same question another person asked. What do your children eat for breakfast? I can imagine my kids would flip without their beloved cereal... Do they like oatmeal or eggs maybe? Not sure I could get them to eat that every day.

  28. Anonymous14.2.13

    I've had a Philips immersion blender for 3 years and there haven't been any problems.. Oh! do make sure you get a detachable for easier cleaning.

    And I'd love more food updates :)I've been off junk food for 5 months now - and like you said, we finally eat the fruit before it erm. rots!

  29. You should try this amazing juice that we do! It is mostly green and it tastes good too! Good for you for trying this and being more healthy! It is an amazing transformation, we are never going back!

    A few stalks of Lacinato Kale
    1 Handful of Spinach
    3 stalks of Celery
    3-4 Carrots (Depending on the size)
    1 lemon (we cut the peal off)
    1 tomato (usually roma, they are cheap)
    1 cucumber
    3-4 apples

    The awesome thing is you can just add more apples to make it sweeter. We have started buying boxes of apples from Sprouts/Sunflower Market and they usually give you a discount but we have hit it big when apples are only 49 cents a pound. :)

    Yay! We love juicing and we have totally seen results! It is something we will be doing for the rest of our lives, and for once we finally feel like we are actually obeying the Word of Wisdom! Love it!

  30. We have an ESGE blender, had it for over 10 years now and it's incredible. German company though, not sure if they sell that in the US... Good luck with your quest, I think it's one of the healthiest approaches out there, to just cut out the processed stuff. Doesn't mean you can't have cake, doesn't mean you can't have all the yummy things you love, but you'll have to make them from scratch and watch what goes in them.

  31. Nothing like a green smoothie.

  32. I've been neglecting my blogs a lot lately mostly because I'm not a paid blogger and I want to spend time with my toddler. I feel like we haven't talked in FOREVER (probably because we haven't) but I wanted to thank you for your post. My husband and I are going through the same food changes now. Spurred by a few food documentaries, I decided we needed to make the change to eating healthier. I already bought produce from the farmer's market, but our meals were still laden with processed carbs and meat. Now I'm trying to branch out and try new veggies and healthier combinations with our meals. Can't wait to see what you have going on. We've been debating whether or not to buy a juicer too. I make a smoothie or two everyday... do you think the juicer is worth the money?

    1. Thanks for your comment! I think your question depends on you. Let me explain. If the juicer were just mine, it probably wouldn't be worth it to me. My husband is into it the most, so he's willing to take it all apart to clean it every time. It's kind of a bit of work, but he's up for it. If it were just me I would probably do more smoothies because it's less clean up. But, I do LOVE the juice and it's so nice to get a lot of veggies in that way.

      I hope that kind of answers your question. Good luck on your food journey. We are still learning and figuring a lot out ourselves, too.

  33. I have found a lot of interesting information about healthy eating, and the best choices to make at your local grocery store, backed up with a lot of research at wordofwisdomliving.com Check it out if you have a chance!

  34. For those that are wondering about breakfast at my we eat French toast, oatmeal, pancakes, homemade muffins, eggs, and homemade granola (I have a good recipe for that on my blog toristastytreats.blogspot.com). Plus, we like to start out the day with a delicious green smoothie. We aren't perfect. I'm still trying to faze out boxed child cereal.

  35. That juicing photo is Joe from the documentary Fat, Sick and nearly dead. The second half of the documentary is amazing!


  36. I LOVE those peanut butter banana sandwiches! They're my replacement for ice cream because, after about a minute out of the freezer, they've just got that consistency. Mmm.


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