Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Raw thoughts

Good Evening, I have another section of raw thoughts for you. This one left me speechless. It was a typical, yet unusually quiet Wednesday afternoon. As I sat at my desk running through my task list, I was interrupted by the following words:

"Brittney, you think too much about what you are supposed to be DOING, when I want you to focus on keeping you heart right. If you heart is right, whatever you are doing will honor Me. If you're goal is truly to honor Me, you only have to focus on love and guarding your heart. If you do these things, you can trust Me to take care of the what, when, where and how. Do you think Jesus knew when He woke up everyday who he would heal and where it would happen and how he would do it? NO! He woke up everyday with a perfect, pure heart, steadfastly set on honoring Me. I then put opportunities in front of Him wherever He went. You are trying to be the navigator and the driver- that normally ends in a wreck, or lost. It you will focus on navigating your heart, I will drive you to the correct locations." 

Put this in the context of you own life and let God speak to you. He is so willing if only we will listen and set our hearts right before Him.  

Monday, May 28, 2012

The most important ingredient

There are many key ingredients to healthful recipes. I have found certain items are on my staple list. For example, I aim to always have fresh veggies (dark leafy greens and anything other veggie variety), bananas, apples, dates, coconut oil, nuts, cacao powder, beans, quinoa or millet, liquid aminos,  chili powder and cumin in my pantry or fridge. I can always throw together a meal and snacks if I have these items. Some weeks, I am the super star planner and have all my meals written on our lovely calendar in the kitchen. Other weeks...I lean on my staple ingredients and creativity to throw together meals. 

Whether you are a planner, the creative type, or both like me, you will find keeping staple ingredients in your kitchen will make your life much easier and will greatly aid you in staying on track with your dietary goals. Through trial and error you will find what healthy ingredients you and your family most enjoy. It's OK to not enjoy every fruit and vegetable. There are just some veggies you probably won't like- so move on to another variety. Our Creator has been gracious enough to give us a massive fruit and veggie selection- enjoy His goodness. 

As you master your own unique list of staples, make sure you include the most important ingredient- love. This ingredient phenomenon will add flavor to any dish, sweet or savory. This may sound like fantastical, but I firmly believe your food will taste different, and even increase the nutritional value when prepared with love. The alternative is also true. Think about it.  As a kid, how many times did you ask your mom  to make your sandwich for you? Your reason was always "but mom, it taste better if you make it." Sure, sometimes you might have been using a little manipulation because you didn't want to make the sandwich. However, the sandwich really did taste better when mom made it. Why? I believe it's because she made it with love. 

There is something about sitting down to a meal prepared with love no other ingredient can compare with. I believe in picking choice ingredients to feed your self and those you love. Many of my post are in regards to finding, purchasing and making dishes with such ingredients. Love, is indeed the most essential ingredient to feeding those you love the most nutritious, delicious food available. 

If you have had a rough day or you are stressed and frazzled; take a few minutes to gather yourself. Get in  in a loving frame of mind before you prepare a meal. It makes a difference. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Buying Organic without breaking your budget

While I think it is certainly best to buy local and organic, that's not always possible 100% of the time.  On the journey to eating for life and health, everything is a process. This process includes our time and money. I'm sure you have all noticed buying 100% local and organic would greatly increase your food budget if you are currently buying conventionally grown produce from your local grocery store. It is healthy to always move towards buying more organic & local produce. However, on your way there, you may find the following tips helpful.

Techniques I have used in our family process of going organic: 

1- Shop around. I shop at a few different grocery stores that carry organic produce. As I shop, I mentally note how much the organic items are. Over a few weeks I did this at all the stores I shopped at. Now I am familiar with what organic things should cost so I don't over spend on an item. Using the same idea- shop the sales. This means I normally shop at two different stores a week.
2- Look for alternate options. Because the nearest large organic foods grocery store is about an hour from us, I have looked for other places to get organic produce for a reasonable price. Do a little research to see what organic farms are near you as well as local co-ops. You might be surprised at what you find. I always try out an co-op before I join, that way I can see how much food is in the box and if it is conducive to our budget.
3- Wash your non organic produce in more than water. The following link has some great suggestions of produce wash that helps draw out impurities and pesticides. How to wash non organic produce the easy way
4- Prioritize what you buy organic. Make the dirty dozen your top priority to always buy organic and the clean fifteen your lowest priority. If your not eating the peel, it's low priority. The Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen.  

Remember we are all on a journey. Celebrate progress and keep moving forward.