Welcome to Junk Free Journey our family’s attempt to cut the junk food and eat real, unprocessed food. With four growing boys (with Big Opinions!) it can sometimes be a challenge, but if we can do it anyone can!There was a time (back when I had time — pre-kids) when I used to love to cook. And when I got pregnant I spent a lot of time making sure I was “eating well”, meaning I was getting the right food groups, enough calories, and taking my vitamins. Then I had 4 kids in 3.5 years and very quickly our menu staples became: Cheerios, bagels, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, apples, granola bars (chocolate chip flavor please!), rotisserie chicken, spaghetti, and chocolate milk. Oh, and wine. What I thought was a pretty darn good combination of healthy and easy.
Then came the day ,only a few months ago, when 3 of the kids went to school (kindergarten and 1st grade) and I decided to join them for lunch in the cafeteria. In the lunch room they were eating something completely unidentifiable — a long, pink, shiny, rubbery rectangle that they were waggling at each other like a finger. Now, this is a school that takes pride in promoting healthy eating. They even have their own garden! On this particular day a lady came through the lunch room with a basket of lettuce and a pair of tongs asking the kids if they would like a piece of lettuce from the garden. My kids, surprisingly, said yes and I took the opportunity to ask her what the pink lunch rectangle was. Apparently it was “ham steak sausage”. As I sat there watching all of these little kindergartners eating this food it began to occur to me that there was a lot I didn’t know about what my kids were eating.
So, while the kids were at school I got busy learning too and started reading everything I could about what’s in our food and what I was feeding my family. As it turns out I had been feeding them a lot more than just food! I was startled to discover all the ways our food has been altered and processed (and packed with chemicals along the way) to the point that it is unrecognizable as the real food it once was. I also discovered that its easy to get bogged down trying to decipher the ingredients: pronounce the word, look it up, discover what it is, what it does and why its in our food, and figure out what is truly OK to put into our bodies. When we first started to eat real there were times that I literally felt paralyzed in the grocery store unsure of what I should or shouldn’t buy! Along the way I’ve learned a few tips and tricks (and some great recipes!) that I’ll be sharing and I’d love to hear what’s working for you!
Thanks for joining our journey!