The way we eat has become a foundation of who we are. A person could be any of the following and I’m sure there are other new definitions being created as I speak.
Vegetarian – someone who lives on diet of plant based foods, eggs and dairy.
Vegan – someone who consumes only plant foods such as vegetables, grains, legumes (beans and peas), fruits, nuts and seeds. Avoiding all animal foods including meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, and honey.
Flexitarian – someone who eats vegetarian or vegan most of the time but eats meat and animal products every now and then. Also, could be called a semi-vegetarian.
Locavore – someone who eats food made near where they live, usually within 100 miles.
In the winter of 2010, after the birth of my daughter, I started getting interested in watching documentaries. My first one was Food Inc., after viewing the film, I had a desire to start making better choice about the food my family ate.
So for defining purposes, my family is a Flexitarian with a lot of Locavore and Homegrown thrown in. And to keep things interesting, my step-daughter is also a Chickenarian, one of those new words/terms I mentioned above. We have a 2 chicken flock in our backyard, they give us eggs and after they are done producing eggs. They will become well….dinner. So after time to think about this Avery at the ripe of age of 9 decided to stop eating chicken all together. Avery will be turning 11 in February and is still chickenless.
In the summer of 2011, I moved and expanded our failing first garden. In the garden, I grew tomatoes, melons, carrots and peppers. The garden did wonderful and in 2012 we made and installed all raised beds and expanded the garden just a little. We grew tomatoes (several varieties), peas, cucumbers, green beans, greens, lettuce, peppers, carrots, pumpkins, herbs, blueberries and raspberries. The garden did fantastic, leaving me with the planning of this year’s garden.
I shop every Saturday at the Farmers’ Market, where I try to get and plan the majority of my meals around. I also stock up on produce during the peak seasons to preserve for the winter. I preserve through hot bath canning method, blanching, freezing and drying.
I buy Kentucky flour from a local store, so that I can make bread, pizza dough, pie crust, cookies, desserts and homemade pancake/waffle mixes.
|Veggie Skillet (includes: onion, potato, kale and eggs)|
Our meals consist of a heavy vegetarian diet, I personally feel that it balances out of all the good things to eat. I try to purchase mainly local meat, and from the grocery store organic meats. Another reason we eat a lot of vegetarian meals is because of the cost to purchase organic meat.
The majority of our meals are made from scratch after work. I try to plan leftovers for lunches over the next couples days and for a dinner, if there is enough. It is challenging to make this effort everyday with the world around me throwing convenient food at me. But this is something that is key to making healthy food for my family. And we may not eat until 6:30-7:00 o'clock some nights, but its worth the wait.
|Homemade Pizza (includes: homemade dough, tomato sauce, red pepper, dried tomato, spinach, sausage and cheese)|
Now I’ve watched many more documentaries that help keep me focused on the little things I can do that will make a big difference in my family’s diet. Both of my kids are not picky eaters. Both drink water and some milk with very little or no soda or juice. My step daughter’s diet varies from our, because she is at her mom’s house half of the time.
|Vegetarian Quesadilla (includes: cheese, black beans, corn, red pepper, onion and tomato)|
Now we do have things in our house that are not “healthy”, these are mainly for the kids and my husband. In our pantry you’ll find potato chips, Dortios (at times), little Debbie snacks and some sugary cereal. We are a work in progress.
I try to always keep in my mind a quote from one of Michael Pollen’s books, “You can eat all the junk food you want as long as you made is from scratch.”