Thursday, April 2, 2009

Barley & Me

Yesterday was the big day, the day we started eating mostly fruits and vegetables. I picked a Wednesday to start our new healthy diet because Wednesday is also my weekly shopping day and so I would be able to shop with a purpose- Fantastic Health!

I followed the example of a weekly menu from the “Eat to Live” book with exactness. I made a shopping list (typed, two columns, it filled the entire page), and after nap time was over, the Baby and I headed out for our weekly shopping.

Several things quickly became apparent to me.
First- a weeks worth of Fruits and Vegetables fills up a shopping cart- to the brim if not slightly over flowing.
Second- I have a very inquisitive child, who wants to touch anything he can get his hands on, this has always been easy to deal with in the past (just keep the cart in the middle of the aisle, well I guess I had never filled the cart full of food before).

Third- I should have picked up my Bulk Food Items first, as the little ties on the bags, apparently, are not to hard for a 1 year old to get off and the bags are not “Teeth Proof”. Who would have known that my son would want split peas so badly that he would rip a whole in the bag, only a few peas escaped and I was able to get a new bag, no harm done. Two minutes later I realized that there was Half a pound of Barley on the floor…and a very happy little boy holding a bag which had once held a pound of Barley (…I twisted the twist tie, I really, really did, I twisted it several times…) It is very, very, very embarrassing to have to tell employees of a store that there is a clean up needed on Isle 3. (Isn't the little culprit cute, I decided that it was the Babies April Fools Joke, it was funnier this morning)

Fourth- Healthy food cost too much. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a $400-$500 food budget per month, it is more like $140-$150, so as I was at the checkout stand, and the clerk was praising me for what a great job I had done, purchasing so much good food so cheaply ($90 is cheap?) I actually wanted to cry- I didn’t because who wants to explain to the clerk at the store that you just realized that you are too poor to eat healthy foods.

I had 3 other stores to go to, I decided that it would be better for the Baby to stay at his Grandma’s while I finished shopping (she actually lives in between all the stores so it was easy to drop him off) and I went to the next store- realizing that I was truly on the verge of tears each time I crossed another item off my list, and as my 2 hour shopping trip had already reached 3 hours and I was less than half done, I decided that I would pick up the baby and go home, we would get the remaining items later in the week.

I was able to get home and start dinner, I actually had to make a concerted effort to get started before I told Ken my stories from the day because I felt like as soon as I started to talk, I would break down and be good for nothing. Ken took care of the baby and me, he hovered near me helping me stir, finding the right ingredients for the dinner I had planned to make. By 6 pm, we were eating dinner- I had only messed up once during the preparation process- forgetting to toast the sesame seeds before making the Orange Sesame Dressing (which is amazingly yummy even when the sesame seeds are not toasted). Ken, bless his heart, did not say “Yuck, I hate it, What is it?” in fact he said that a couple of the items we had for dinner were good. (Here is what we had- Roasted Bell Peppers, Portabello Mushrooms and Beans, and Spinach Salad with Orange Sesame Dressing)

I told Ken about my main frustration- that I really feel like this is something we need to do, for the health of our family, I know that it will work, that I will be able to lose and then maintain a healthy weight. I don’t want to get Diabetes and Heart Disease and I feel like, unless I make a drastic change, I am going to be on the express train towards those two diseases. But I just didn’t know if it was possible to do, unless by some spectacular miracle, the food I bought today lasted for the majority of the month. He listened, and reassured me that we would be able to make it work, whatever we had to do, adjustments we needed to make to our budget over the next 6 weeks (I wanted to follow the instructions strictly for 6 weeks and then we would make our own adjustments), we would do what we needed to do. I felt better after he reassured me, as I chopped I started to realize that there are little things I could do to make the grocery bill a little smaller. Like using canned diced tomatoes instead of fresh-diced tomatoes- especially if the tomatoes are going to get cooked anyway.

So, this morning I am back on track, praying for a miracle and hoping that any change we are able to make will be good for us, because we are trying and sometimes all you can do is try. I know, Yoda said, there is no try, only do, but I don’t think Yoda ever had to shop for healthy food, you’ve seen him, sure he lived for something like 800 years, but did he look healthy to you?

Anyway- by adding 1-2 large Salads and a good amount of fruit to my diet last week- I lost at least 3 pounds but I think it was actually 5 if not a little more. More updates on further weight loss to come, I am sure!


Jodi said...

There are different things you can do to eat healthy and stick to a small budget. I have a food budget similar to yours and I feed three adults (one being Ale) and three children on that budget. When I read Dr. Furhman's recipes I noticed he used a lot of exotic ingredients (meaning not able to be grown locally). Make your own menu and meals using local produce. Also, don't try to make yourself eat as much as he claims you should. I found his meals where too much for my stomach. I have settled on about a cereal bowl's amount or less, it is plenty to fill my stomach. Also, I only eat when my body tells me I'm hungry. I only eat two meals a day because that is what my body needs. Listen to yourself and you will be able to know what your body needs and in what amounts.

Adam and Eve didn't import produce, they ate what they grew. Feed your body well, but don't kill yourself doing it. A person can maintain great health on a local diet. I will finish getting my recipes typed up and send them to you.

I have other nutrition books if you are interested in continuing to read up on the subject. They may help you learn to make your own meals and menu. Natalie Darling introduced me to a new blog of a friend of hers (and my SIL),, she has a link to her vegetarian menu and recipes in the sidebar. You may find these helpful.

The Shumways said...

Have you ever heard of the Utah Food Co-op? It is a volunteer based organization that allows you to buy fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, grains, and meats once a month at a really low cost. Joseph and I just started doing it. I know that they have a pick up in Lehi. The website is, if you want to check it out. I’m also going to do a blog entry about the food co-op on our site, so check it out when I post. It is a great way to save money and eat healthy!

I love reading your blog, by the way! Jared is SOOO cute! We love his big grins!!

Lisha said...

I want to hear how it all goes. I may have to ask you more questions about the diet later. It sounds very interesting to me.