When it comes to simple food, none of us have really been what you’d call good disciples of this approach.
Before the kids came along, Jaclyn and I would frequently eat out, and – more often than not – this would be at restaurants that weren’t known for their healthy options.
Heavy foods like pasta, Asian food high in meat and fat, European goods high in cholesterol. Couple that with beer or a cocktail, and our health soon lost its way.
When the kids came along, we tried to be better, if not for us, then definitely for them. And, for a while, as our work schedules allowed, this worked.
There’d be more veggies, less fast food, and more healthy options for all meal times.
Jump forward a few years, and that too lost track, as work commutes left us tired as parents, with our energy put more towards being with our kids after school/work, than looking after a healthy diet for them.
It wasn’t all bad – we didn’t suddenly start showing pizza and burgers down their faces! But we did notice that we were making more processed foods, just from the sheer convenience factor.
This led to them eating different food from us, as well as frequently at different times, which would lead to just Ewan and Salem sitting at the dinner table, while Jaclyn and I grabbed a bite at our computers.
Naturally, this wasn’t healthy in many respects: family time, emotional connection, and the food that went with it.
Clearly, a change had to come.
Simpler Life, Simpler Food
A few months back, maybe just before summer, Jaclyn’s cousin Theresa introduced us to the Tower Garden concept, from Juice Plus. This is basically an indoor (or outdoor) tower system that enables you to grow a mix of fruit and vegetables to suit your lifestyle.
Its (mostly) ease of use and maintenance means even the least green-fingered person (like me and, dare I say, Jaclyn) can soon be growing our own veggies and preferred fruit.
We grew some chard lettuce as a beginner project, and would have had some cucumbers too, but seemingly you have to pollinate these manually (I was aware of this, but forgot!).
Now that we’ve moved into the new property – though I really must stop saying that, we’ve been here almost two months now – we’ve restarted the tower, and we have a whole bunch of cool veggies and herbs ready to go.
In addition to that, Jaclyn has started cooking in the kitchen! I’ve tended to be the one that does the most cooking, but with the move, my wife wanted to be more active too.
Not only has she started cooking, but she’s trying out a whole bunch of recipes that are all-natural ingredients, with recipes from The Joyous Cookbook. Coupled with the new KitchenAid mixer she got over Christmas, this is a new and exciting side to my wife!
You can read all about that here, where Jaclyn shares her new love of cooking, as well as some of the food she cooked (the taco soup was awesome, as was the marinated steaks!).
The best of it was, the food was full of flavour that I like, while being super healthy too. Even the kids were fans, and – due to our bad food choices previously – that’s saying something!
Remaining Focused on New Starts
Of course, this is the first week or so of the new approach to simpler and healthier foods, so the key for us now is to keep focused on making it a staple part of our diet.
Now, it does help that we don’t have anywhere near the amount of fast or junk food options close to our home as we did in the city! So there’s always that.
However, when we do grocery runs and stock up, it’d be easy to fall back into the routine of grabbing a bunch of frozen pizza, Kraft Dinner, chicken nuggets, etc., and putting that in front of the kids again.
That’s not the plan. We have a goal, and we’re determined to stick to it.
- Prep a whole bunch of fresh and healthy meals at the weekend, and freeze them for future breakfasts, lunches, and dinners
- Use only natural ingredients, and buy local where possible (our son’s friend’s parents have a farm, so that’s useful for this)
- Add more plant-based foods into our diets, reducing our meat intake, and only using high-quality meat when we have it
- Drink more juices and water (we have a new juicer that just arrived as I’m typing this, so that’s exciting!)
- When/if we do eat out, use that as a treat, and not feel guilty about having something a little less healthy than what’s being made at home
We’re also adding an outside vegetable garden once the winter is out the way, so we can grow some of our favourite seasonal veggies outside ready for the warmer weather.
Of course, it’s always easier to plan things than actually put them into practice. But I feel we’re off to a great start, and having Jaclyn be involved more on the cooking side definitely helps ease some of that “burden” on me.
I’ll be sure to keep you updated as we go, and share some of our favourite recipes with you too, if you’re interested!
Note: the product links in this post are affiliate ones, which means we get a nickel or something if you buy from them. 🙂