In the past year, I’ve made great efforts to choose organic whole foods over processed foods. At first it was just an experiment based on some lectures from my nutrition school (IIN), but I stuck with it because of the effects on my mood, energy level, and digestion. There are so many reasons to avoid processed foods: lack of nutrients (it’s not actual food…Yuck!), sugar, chemicals, preservatives, GMO’s, you name it.
I run a Holistic Health Coaching business, and I’m a Mom of 1 (Harrison) and step-mom of 2 (Cole and Ella). I want our children to live full, healthy, happy lives. So I take the safest route I can with food by trying to serve our family whole foods whenever possible. That means we eat what grows in the ground, grains served in their natural form, or animals that eat their natural diet (more on that later).
When I shop or cook, my hands rarely reach towards things in a box or a bag because…well, it just feels right to know exactly what we’re eating. There are often so many unrecognizable ingredients on the list, and I want to know what we are putting in our bodies. Yes, I’ve researched the effects of many of the chemicals you find on those lists and they are nasty. But no one has time to research the often 50+ ingredients before buying a box of crackers so I try to stick to whole foods.
BUT…lets get real folks. I did say I’m a working mom of 3 right? I do cook most meals from scratch, and I cook in bulk for the week to save time, but I don’t have time to cook ALL THE TIME. Life happens. When I do have to buy something from a box, I try to go with the least amount of ingredients, none of which are chemicals and the least amount of sugar (the World Health Organization recommends no more than 16 grams of sugar for kids – try that for just ONE day. It’s nearly impossible with processed foods.) I also buy organic (to ensure no pesticides,) and NON-GMO (more on that later too, but hey… I’d prefer not to be someone else’s human experiment)
Breakfast foods are especially hard for me. The kids want cereal or waffles or pancakes but the mixes are FULL of sugar, chemicals and highly processed. I will make a batch of almond flour pancakes on the weekend but getting 3 kids out the door by 7 am for school and getting myself enough sleep to feel sane means I have to reach for a box or a bag.
I found this amazing cereal that all 3 kids will eat. It literally has zero preservatives and only three…YES THREE ingredients. Back to the Roots organic stoneground flakes are made from organic stone-ground, non-GMO corn from Minnesota, organic cane sugar (yes, I know, but only 5 grams), and a pinch of sea salt. Serve this with some fresh fruit and a hard-boiled egg (make a dozen ahead of time on Sunday). Now THAT’s a balanced breakfast and they are only $3.95 at Thrive Market online.
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