Eating Wholesome Foods

While we were vacationing in Arizona, I noticed the abundance of “whole” foods stores. It seemed every major street had a marketplace that sold organic/wholesome foods.

There was my favorite, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Market, Sunflower Farmer’s Market, Sprouts Market, and some others that I can’t remember the name of.
Recently, I have been trying to feed myself and my family more “wholesome” foods.
By wholesome, I don’t necessarily mean only “organic”. I mean less processed, less sodium, less sugar….in general, less additives!
Here in Calgary, there isn’t an abundance of fresh food markets. Perhaps it’s because of our cold winters? Our local farmers can’t sell fresh produce in the dead of winter. Or perhaps there just isn’t enough demand for these types of stores yet?
Whatever the reason, it is hard to buy organic/wholesome foods here. The grocery stores sell a few organic foods, but I’m talking a very select few. And there are a couple of organic grocery stores, none of which are close to our house though!
But besides the difficulty of finding organic markets, there is also another big factor, probably the biggest factor in going wholesome/organic……..PRICE!
Going organic is not cheap! And when I have 5 mouths to feed each day, it can really add up.
When I was grocery shopping yesterday, I noticed that the organic produce was about 50 cents more than the non-organic produce. So if I buy 10 organic items, that is another $5 added to my already high grocery bill. And if I buy organic canned foods such as beans, that adds another few $ to the bill.
However, after reading Jillian Michael’s book, Master Your Metabolism, she argues that we’ll be spending a heck of a lot more than that on our health care in the future if we don’t spend the extra few dollars now on more wholesome foods! I tend to agree.
So this is why I’m starting to slowly make the transition to more wholesome foods for my family:
We’ve been eating whole wheat pasta and bread since the kids were born.
I’ve recently gotten rid of white rice completely.
I’ve been adding only “good” fats to our diet: olive oil, avocado, natural nut butters, unsalted nuts.
I’ve been using Agave Nectar and whole wheat flour in my baking.
I’ve almost completely eliminated any “processed” foods from my diet. A good rule to follow: if it doesn’t have a mother or grow in the ground, don’t eat it!
I’ve been buying more organic produce including lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, berries, broccoli, celery, canned vegetables.
And the list goes on….
Now before you totally start hating me and saying to yourself, “this girl is nuts!”, we still like to indulge! If I said we eat organic and whole foods 100% of the time, I’d be lying.
I still like my protein bars that taste like a chocolate bar. I still LOVE cake and could eat 1/3 of a cake in one sitting. I will never give up NIBS! I still buy my kids treats like ice cream and the occasional cookie or candy.
I guess the point of this long and perhaps boring blog post is…..
I wish there was more whole foods choices around here. I wish there was a fresh foods market on every corner. I wish it was more accessible and less expensive.
But I figure, if we keep demanding it, it WILL happen!

5 thoughts on “Eating Wholesome Foods

  1. my one and only commitment for 2011 is to eat less processed food. I’ve embraced my bread maker after discovering nearly ALL big name brand breads are made with high fructose corn syrup. Yes. Even the 100% whole grain, whole wheat ones. I’m with you in wishing there was better access to fresh, natural foods in Calgary.

  2. I think you are on the right track! If more people chose organic foods at their local grocery stores and asked for better selections of healthy, wholesome options I think prices would come down for sure! In the meantime, every little step you take is beneficial. I just moved here from Ottawa and back home my husband (who is a trained chef) and I always made a point of making 100kms meals – all ingredients in the meal came from within 100kms of our house! There is a larger selection of locally grown produce in Ontario than here, which is probably why its hard to get organic produce all year round here, and why its so much more expensive. We were shocked at the prices of fruits and veggies when we went to the Calgary Farmer’s Market, its so expensive compared to back home. BUT if more people made the effort to choose local foods it would definitely help with the costs!
    Personally, I think you are doing exactly what you should be, substituting the foods that make sense for your family and your budget. Its setting a great foundation for your children to learn from! I’m trying to do the same with my family as well! I have PCOS so I eat sugar-free using the glycemic index to choose my foods properly, and I always try to choose as many organic, fresh choices as possible. Its easier for me to make alot of my foods from scratch to control what sugars go into them, and its taught me alot about what kind of things go into all the processed and pre-packaged foods we have been eating. Oh, and I definitely agree about keeping your special treats too! My daughter is a perfectly healthy 5 year old who deserves ice cream and tasty treats, I would never deny her that, and my way of thinking is that she eats such healthy staple foods that an ice cream here and there isn’t doing her any harm at all… so eat your NIBS and enjoy them 🙂

  3. I agree, I wish there were more choices! When I’m making my choices on whether to buy organic or not, I often take into consideration if I’m eating the skins. For example I’ll buy organic strawberries over organic bananas or oranges.

    I think it’s a great resolution to eat less processed food.

  4. Pingback: Month in review – January | Kids in Cowtown

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