My family has been testing out a theory about processed foods. The idea is that processed foods may not make you fat but they keep you fat. They do that by offering you cheap food that leave you hungry for more cheap food. We wanted to get our two boys off junk food and put a damper on their sugar addiction.
Since they were getting mini spare tires and lounging around playing video games, we decided that this was the best time to carry out our plan. I had a couple of rules that I wanted to follow and my wife agreed to do more cooking even with her busy schedule.
The rules were as follows:
No more high fructose corn syrup in the house. HFCS was our biggest issue because it is in everything.
No hydrogenated oils – This was another big issue for me because of the effects they have on hormones called prostaglandins (PGs) which are produced from fats in our diets.
Anything that we could make reasonably cheaply to replace an established product, we would give a try. If we were not successful and we absolutely needed to have it, we would get it as long as it did not violate our ingredients rules.
We would make and freeze our meals to give us the convenience factor. This was important because when we get busy, we order out. When we order out, the kids usually dictate what we eat.
Fruits and vegetables that are out of season will usually be more expensive than those that are in season. We allow for seasonal vegetables at the farmer’s market and the supermarkets. We made a deal with the kids that if they wanted to learn about canning, my wife would teach them. Because we live in California, we are pretty much guaranteed fresh vegetables.
So with those rules in hand, we allowed extra expenses for things like an extra crock pot and a new food processor. Since I love to cook and my wife has found cooking to be fun again, we have been getting busy in the kitchen together, burning more calories and even washing more dishes.
The increased activity and healthier lifestyle choices have been paying off in the wallet because we eat out less and tend to do less impulse shopping. As far as the kids are concerned our eating habits still allow the occasional fast food once a month and ice cream is still legal in our house; as long as it’s sugar free.