Freshening Up the Family Menu | Seventh Generation
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Freshening Up the Family Menu

Author: greenyourdecor

Farmers MarketI have a problem. I'm a little ashamed to admit it, but here we go: I'm addicted to convenience foods. I am a lazy cook -- plain and simple. I like meals that are quick and easy and don't require a whole lot of work on my part. In other words, meals that don't need to be made from scratch. If I were cooking just for myself, I might be able to continue this cycle of frozen pizzas and pasta dinners without much guilt. But considering I also have to feed my husband and daughter, I know I need to change my ways for the sake of our health.

So I have resolved to start making more trips to the farmer's markets in my area. My first trip was an eye-opening experience for the whole family. We are so used to buying frozen and canned vegetables that it was a shock to see that nearly half the square footage of the market consisted of fresh, unpackaged produce. Most of the produce was both local and organic, and I couldn't help but wonder what the heck took us so long to make the trip.

It was a stark contrast to the sterile grocery store aisles we peruse every week. But it wasn't until my daughter made a comment that I realized the full effects of my bad eating habits on my family. With her typical, four-year-old innocence, she said "Mommy, I only like corn from a can."

At that moment, I decided that was it. No more canned food. No more frozen veggies. I want my daughter to know where vegetables come from. And I'll never forgive myself if I don't teach her now.

Do you have any bad eating habits that you're trying to change? Have you overcome an addiction to convenience food? I'd love to hear your tips and comments!

photo: NatalieMaynor


BrighterPlanet_CB picture
Greenyourdecor, sunshine, and quazydellasue-- you have taken some great steps toward reducing your environmental impact in the kitchen (and I'm sure many of the readers of this blog have as well!) I wanted to let you know your experiences would be a perfect fit to do a little copy/paste into the Mastering the Art of Sustainable Cooking Contest over at There's a conversation going on about ways to reduce your "foodprint." There are a number of different categories for submitting posts and pictures, prizes to be won like the Amazon Kindle DX, and a judging panel including Alice Waters, Gary Hirshberg and Bill McKibben. It'd be great to have you all join in and help inspire others to make changes in their kitchens. Sustainable Cooking Contest Cheers!
sunshine92192 picture
Diet change (especially when you are too tired / lazy to cook) can be difficult. If you were raised on quick or canned foods, that can also be something to overcome. I suffered with allergies and severe hives (doctors and specialist couldn't figure out why), about 40 lb. overweight and I was a newlywed. It took several years of depression before someone told me the cause of all my problems could be food related. I like to cook, but sometimes I just want a fast and easy meal. Over the years I started cutting out fast food and overly processed frozen meals. About a year ago I started shopping primarily at Whole Foods and Farmer's Market's, it was a gentle transition but since then I have lost over 40 lb. and all my health problems have gone away. Around the same time I did a 30 day detox, which means I cut out all sugar and starch. I ate only protein and vegetables. The first week was HELL and I wanted to give up, but I stuck it out and it was worth it. Now, when I eat anything with sugar it seems way too sweet. I don't crave sugar and bread like I used to and when I do have it now on occasion I can control myself. I have come up with lots of quick options for meals and they are organic with low calories, but very tasty. Here's an example: Ezekiel sprouted wraps - make chicken burritos with them by putting chicken breast pieces (the kind in the bag that you use for salads) shredded cheddar, re-fried beans, black beans, sour cream, salsa and guacamole. Delicious and filling! or you can make tuna salad with sprouts and lettuce or turkey wraps. Eggology egg whites Free range vegetarian brown eggs - use one whole egg and add the rest in whites to make an omelet. My favorite is mushroom and spinach with a little shredded cheddar. Saute the mushrooms until soft and then add baby spinach for another 1 - 2 min, pour egg on top and after a few min. flip over and cook the other side. Then fold it in half onto a plate with some cheese inside. Chocolate/Cocoa flavor Flax seed tortilla chips (Snack) Organic frozen burgers (grill in 10 min) Alvarado Street Sprouted Wheat burger buns Ezekiel 4:9 English Muffins - make mock McMuffins or eggs benedict
lenaluna picture
Just wanted to share a great resource with your readers. I know, there are millions of cooking shows out there, and all of them are very similar in a way - they never talk about where the food comes from! And they often use canned and heavily packaged and processed ingredients! But not on this show, called Organic Living with the Hippy Gourmet. I first caught a glimpse of it on PBS, and then was happy to find it on YouTube. I also got their cookbook - called "Hippy Gourmet quick and simple cookbook for healthy eating" - this is exactly what you asked for in your post! :) Every episode of the show starts either at a local farm or at the farmer's market, and I think this is so awesome! So if you want to check some of their great recipes, here is the youtube link.
quazydellasue picture
My family and I made a similar overhaul almost 2 years ago. We were living off of processed, packaged foods (and very little produce) and shopping only at big supermarkets. After my daughter was born and I started reading more (esp. Michael Pollan), we began to scope out our local farmer's markets. Living in California, we are blessed to have a market every single day of the year. Eventually we found our favorite and started going more and more often, and buying less and less convenience food. Now, about 18 months later, we almost NEVER buy anything pre-made, and we eat LOADS of fresh, local, organic produce. Not because we feel we should but because it's just so delicious, and economical. As a result, my daughter actually prefers fruits and vegetables to any other kind of food! It has been miraculous. We've also started making all of our baked goods (including sourdough bread), and even specialty items like jam, cheese, and beer. Our friends tease us, but they always want to get invited over for dinner! I know it sounds extreme, but once you start taking your family's eating into your own hands, it's addictive! And sooo satisfying. Be patient with yourselves, though--evolutionary change is more permanent and successful than revolutionary change. It's a long process. But well worth it!