Archive for Starting Out

Healthy Habits Start Here!

Simple steps to get started on the path of healthier eating:

  1. Start slow and make small changes until you get use to them and they become good habits.
  2. Drink more water!
  3. Read labels and get to know what is in your foods.
  4. Stop the bad stuff immediately:
    • eliminate aspartame/NutraSweet/Equal from your foods
    • eliminate high fructose corn syrup from your foods
  5. Replace bad foods and ingredients with healthier foods that you enjoy.
  6. Eat more whole grains (avoid enriched wheat flour)
  7. Eat healthy snacks between meals (fruit, veggies, nuts) – avoid junk food

I’m crazy about grains and herbs!

My name is Suzy (the grainiac) and I am crazy about grains and herbs!  I have learned so many great things about health and nutrition over that past several years that I wanted to pass some of it on!  Having said that, I know that I still have a lot to learn.  That is where you come in…please let me know what you think of my blogs; let me know if you try something you read about here and how it worked for you.  I would also love for you to share what you have learned about whole grains, traditional cooking, herbs, etc.

Start Out Slow

Start out slow!  You want healthy eating to be a way of life, not a passing fad.  You also want your family to be on board.  If your husband or kids come home one day and find that all their favorite drinks and snacks have been replaced with kombucha and seaweed sheets, you’re going to have a rebellion!  Let me say it again…start out slow!

The first book I bought was The Busy Mom’s Guide to Simple Living – Creative Ideas and Practical Ways for Making the Most of What You Have by Jackie Wellwood.  Thanks to her book, I decided that the first change I was going to make was making my own bread.  I started making whole wheat bread one loaf at a time using a Zojirushi bread machine and my VitaMix as my grinder.  After buying my Family grain mill and Bosch Universal, I started making five loaves at a time and freezing the extra loaves.  That was an easy change for all of us.

Next think I changed was our milk.  We started drinking raw cow’s milk.  That was an easy switch for all of us except my oldest son.  He pretty much quit drinking milk.  It wasn’t that he didn’t care for the taste…I think he just had to start thinking about udders and it grossed him out.  He still doesn’t drink milk, raw or otherwise!  The upside to that was the money we saved having one less teenage boy drinking milk!!

The next book I bought was Healthy Foods – An Irreverent Guide to Understanding Nutrition and Feeding Your Family Well  by Leanne Ely, C.N.C.  I used her cookbook for a while and then joined her Menu Mailers which e-mailed a grocery shopping list and the recipes and menus for a two week period.  This got me trying a lot of foods that I had never eaten. 

Later, I joined a local food co-op that brought in organic produce twice a month.  We bought chickens, so we had farm fresh eggs.  We grew an organic garden.  These were done over time, not overnight. 

The Sue Gregg cookbook, Breakfasts, was the third book I bought.  It is one of the best resources I have on grains.  I started cooking with grains I had never even heard of before!  Her Main Meals cookbook got me started using lentils.  One of our favorite stand-by meals is her lentil and rice burritos.

Seven years into this journey, I am making cultured and fermented drinks and foods.  I am using herbs to treat my family for illnesses that we used to go to the doctor for.  However, with all the new things I’ve learned, there are still so many things I’m wanting to learn.  I can just look at a plant and it dies…I inherited that skill from my mother.  I can’t get my bread to come out right when I soak my flour overnight.  For whatever reason, I only have about a 25% success rate on that one.  I know that usually when things aren’t working out right, it’s because I’m trying to go to fast. 

Some will think you’re crazy and that is okay.  These are usually the same people who call you for advise when they get sick!  Remember, start out slow and most important, don’t lose your sense of humor.  My oldest son told one of his friends, “Don’t ever eat or drink anything from a mason jar at our house.”   I still laugh when I think about that!