As time has gone by, we (as a people) have slowly crept away from real foods. As life has gotten busier and busier, we have longed for more and more convenience. Preparing real food takes time and forethought, and that is something that we are not used doing. I will say this - once you get the hang of thinking and preparing, it is so easy and the feeling of serving your family truly nurturing, nutritious food is so worth any extra time it takes.
So step one in the quest for healthy meals is this: SERVE ONLY REAL FOOD
What does that mean? It means that you cannot add a can of cream of mushroom soup to your casserole. It means that you cannot make slice and bake cookies, or jello, or pop a Stoffers Lasagna in the microwave and call it a day. These foods are comprised of all kinds of icky ingredients that are not only not good for you, they are bad for you. Even the very packaging they are in contain all kinds of chemicals that known carcinogens or have known health risks such as BPA. And yes, being packaged in those containers allows the chemicals to leach into your food. It's sad.
Ok, so for some of you, that could be overwhelming. Please don't be overwhelmed. The more of these foods you eliminate and replace with real foods, the easier and easier it will become. Money is not an excuse, time is not an excuse, and information is not an excuse - because my heart's desire is to help you throw off the Standard American Diet and replace it with truly Nourishing Food that your family will THRIVE on! It really is just a matter of rediscovering simple food.
In hopes of inspiring you on just how easy it is, I'm going to jot down a typical day's menu for us. In fact - I think I'll even include some of our more expensive meals!
Eggs (Organic, from Pastured Chickens - more on that later) $2 a dozen. I cook 6, so $1.00
Butter for the eggs (Organic, raw, from Pastured Cows) $.50
Smoothie (I buy Organic Baby Spinach,Frozen Berries and Bananas from Sam's) approx. $3.00
Homemade Sausage (Organic ground beef from Pastured Cows, and spices.) $3.25 /lb, and we'll eat a lb between the 5 of us, so $3.50
Time: 30 minutes b/c I'm REALLY slow in the morning!
Total cost per serving: $1.60
Soup (filtered water, 1 glass jar organic spaghetti sauce $2, 1 bag organic peas $1.50, 1 bag organic corn $2, 1 bag sliced organic mini carrots $2, 5 chopped organic potatoes $1) Throw all of this in the crock pot after breakfast. This makes 2 meals worth, so $4.25
Salad (organic greens from sams, and whatever else I've picked up seasonally) $1.50
Salad Dressing (Apple Cider Vinegar, Honey, Mustard, and Olive Oil - whisked in bowl with fork) approx $.50
Time: 20 minutes tops
Total cost per serving: $1.25
Roast Chicken (Organic, Pastured) $11.00
Butter (Organic, Raw, Pastured) $.50
Rice (Organic, Brown, Sprouted - more on this later too) $1.00
Broccoli (Organic, Frozen or Fresh) $2.00
Time: 30 minutes prep, 1.5 hours cooking
Total cost per serving: $2.90 - and I make stock out of the chicken bones for another SUPER nourishing lunch 2 days later that I don't have to budget for, and is as easy as throwing the bones into a crock pot and adding water!
Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes, which includes serving 15 plates!
Total Cost per person: $5.75
Total Cost for family: $28.75
So you see... This is just one day's example of how you really CAN feed your family truly nourishing meals, on a budget, with not too much more time than it probably takes you now! :-)