Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Vegetarian Wanna Be

It really is a struggle to eat the way I know I should eat. When I live in NM I had access to a natural foods store (Sunflower Market) and that was the most awesome store ever. They had a huge selection of very good produce at affordable prices. They sold all the vegetarian and health food stuff that anyone could ever want. They had awesome incense....my favorite one that I love. It was just a feel good store and when you went in there the atmosphere was totally different than any other store I have been in. It had a new agey feel to it. 
Here it's hard to find what I need to eat right. I do have directions to a natural food stores but it's not nearby and I have to drive a distance to get to it. I will check it out eventually. The only places to shop in this city is Wal-Mart and two smaller grocery stores. I've had luck at one of the stores finding some neat things like the African tea that I can't find anyplace else. I have considered shopping online. I want to try things like quinoa, bulger, whole flax seed, large grain couscous and a few more things. I'm hesitant about buying large sizes of these things in case I don't like them. Then if I do, I can buy a larger size which seem to be a much better deal online.

The other thing that could be a problem is that I don't want to cook two separate meals, one for Russell and one for myself. He has been pretty good about eating the stuff I've made.  I want to be accommodating to him and I want him to have the things he likes. But.....a lot of things he likes (such as fried foods) are really bad for us. He thinks that since he's thin and gets a lot of exercise working, that he does not have any cholesterol problems and it's OK to eat that way. But it's not. He drinks a ton of coffee.....probably about a dozen cups a day and that can't be too healthy either. All that coffee has sugar it also and that fake creamer that has high fructose corn syrup as the 1st ingredient. I do buy half and half but he prefers the fake stuff. I think it's a matter of what we are used to. 

In the home I grew up in, there were a lot of packaged food. Yes they did exist in those days but not as extensively as they do now. My mother was a horrible cook....No offense but it's true. She would whip up some boxed macaroni and cheese or a box of packaged spaghetti that comes with a small can of tomato sauce and call it lunch. Throw in lots of canned veggies, cereal, and canned things like chefboyardee and that is what our meals would consist of. Every once in awhile she'd cook something homemade but the taste of it was very bland. It's no wonder we preferred the junk stuff. 

I had to learn to cook once I got married. It took quite some time and a lot of watching my then Mother In Law. She was a wealth of information when it came to cooking. But looking back, I now realize those meals were loaded with fat. So that's how I learned to cook. Now I am totally craving healthy stuff. I can barely look at meat anymore. I want spaghetti squash, zucchini, spinach, strawberries, blueberries etc and my favorite 9 grain harvest bread with all the seeds in it. I want to be able to grind my own wheat and make my own bread. I want to learn to make Ezekiel bread.

Now Russell's Mother cooked from scratch and is a good cook. His  last ex didn't cook healthy stuff...that is when she did cook. Usually the kids had to do the cooking. Ramen noodles galore. Then he was alone with his son and his meals consisted of lots of pork chops and either fried potatoes or french fries.... or those prepacked meals like hamburger helper.  And corn....good old faithful corn. I think that is the only veggie he liked to eat.  He eats all kinds of veggies now. 

I have tried to slowly make changes but it takes time. I buy real food. I buy Russell lots of avocados (when they are affordable), bananas and apples which he loves. He also wants hot pockets. So I do get them once in awhile. There has to be somewhere to meet in the middle in order for me to eat the way I want to eat and for him to not feel like he's starving.  I'm sure we will come up with something. Any ideas? 

How do you feel about prepackaged foods? Do you feel better when you eat more healthy food?


  1. Chef Hymie Grande (www.chefhymiegrande.com ) is the first and only bottled BBQ sauce to carry the seal of the American Diabetes Association on the label. It has no high fructose corn syrup, no processed sugar, it is all natural and vegan friendly. It is produced at the Rutgers Food Innovation Center in Bridgton, NJ by Jamie Failtelson, a.k.a. Chef Hymie Grande of Carlstadt, NJ. 5% of proceeds go to the American Diabetes Association.

  2. Awesome post! I think we could have shared mothers!!

    Actually, after I was well into my teen years and lived with a foster family, I did not know what a home cooked meal was, and that is where I learned to cook.. granted perhaps not the healthiest but could easily adapt any recipe to be healthy!!

    I very seldom buy prepackaged foods, We are a meat, potato , veggie family for sure,

    Like yourself I prefer to eat healthy, my husband would eat burgers and fries every day 2 meals a day.... so here is what I do since we already have a meat, veggie potato...

    I still cook for the family their foods...Im more of a fish and chicken or tuna person...not so much red meat... potato for me I cut in half and I make a salad nearly nightly and add cottage cheese... simple little things and I still eat healthy and they can have what they want/ I have also learned for myself to prepare some of my stuff ahead of time. place in containers and baggies and still eat as a family and cuts down a lot on preparation time!!

    Not sure it makes sense but that is how I do it and hope it helps ya a bit!

    Have a great week!

  3. I tried to havve a vegetarian diet, but with five other people living in the house - all of whom eat a certain amount of meat - that just wasn't working. Besides, I was worried about my health - which turned out to be an iron issue which the doctor doesn't really think was diet related as such anyway. It gets complicated doing several different home cooked meals though, so I'm eating the meat, though I'm specifying that I would prefer more veg and less meat on my dinners, so I'm having a small portion of the meat part, but a large helping of the vegetables. And I do try to stick to "real" food. Yes, I have some packaged foods, or processed foods. But we eat proper home cooked meals at least 5 days out of the week, fresh fruit every day (well, most of us do... I tend to have a few issues with persuading hubby to, and Mam has a simular issue with my brother). Also, my Nan drinks mostly water, Mam drinks mostly water, but with a few cups of coffee of some sort thrown in, and I drink mostly water or orange juice, with only one cup of tea a day now, and a couple of cups of milk and water if I decide I want them (usually either if it's really cold, or if someone makes it without asking and I don't want to waste it). We do, as I said, eat some processed food. One day a week, for example, is "help yourself day" where we have whatever we really want... Usually either take-away or a microwave meal. But personally I think that's the best way to do it... Everything in moderation. Rather than stopping Russel having the fried junk he wants, for example, give it to him in moderation. You could even home cook the items, meaning you could fry something for him, but because you'd be there to do it, you could use a low fat cooking spray, or olive oil and make sure to drain off all the fat you can. That way isn't as healthy as say boiling or grilling stuff, but it's still healthier than the microwavable meals or take-out places do. Just a thought.

    As for you eating meat and him not. What Kelly and I were doing when I wasn't eating meat was usually cooking a vegetarian meal, but then cooking a bit of meat seporately for him. For example, if I was doing a veggie bake, then he would cook up a bit of chicken for himself, and I'd dish mine up, then we'd add the chicken to the rest for him to eat it.

    As for getting him to eat the healthy stuff, what Mam and I do because of those who don't eat fruit - despite the fact we know they like it - is to cook it in something they will eat. For example, make a banana cake from scratch using real bananas, add some chopped apple to his breakfast (or raisins if he likes those), put some fresh raspberries in some rice pudding or oatmeal, or serve him some fruit and custard. Those are just a couple of suggestions.

  4. I live alone and eat at irratic hours - so prepackaged stuff is about all I can do. I can't cook and freeze much either - I tend to binge eat :(

    I do avoid eating out though - I think I'd be dead by now if I ate fast foods.