Below is a note I posted over three years ago on my facebook page about an event that changed our family. It sounds a little silly to me now but I didn’t want to mess with the authenticity. Switching over to healthy eating was hard at first!

Living Healthy Anniversary

May 9, 2011 at 1:00am

This time last year Steve was helping the kids and I move back to Maryland after graduating from JAOBC. The only show on the hotel tv was the documentary, “Food Inc.”

We watched in horror as amonia was dumped into beef and government subsidized corn was added to virtually every product in the supermarket. The next morning when we left Virigina we were hungry, but we didn’t know what to eat!

Several months before the movie we witnessed our neighbor, Sonja cure her son’s turrets by removing all artificial ingredients from his diet. She found that both her boys were feeling and behaving better. At that same time, Andrew was having some difficulites in school and his teacher complained that he couldn’t pay attention. My research validated what Sonja had discovered, but in January it was time to move to Virgina and survival mode kicked in.

Andrew ate breakfast and lunch at the day care and Sophia was still mostly on breast milk. Dinner was whatever I could slap together in the hotel room we three called home. To be honest, I felt so guilty from leaving him all day I often let him eat as much of and whatever he wanted. At his three year old check up his doctor told me he was overweight, but I couldn’t tell if that was from snacking or the daycare’s menu.

My family on graduation Day after surviving five long months in a hotel.

My family on graduation Day after surviving five long months in a hotel.

When we came home we were committed to eating healthy. I spent the rest of the spring researching organic eating and natural living and developed three priorities for my family:

1) The absence of bad stuff- no artificial dyes, high fructose corn syup, pesticides, growth hormones, genetically altered produce or antibiotic fed meat.

2) The presence of good stuff- whole grains, natural sources of vitamins, calcium, iron, minerals, lean proteins, etc.

3) Environmental sustainability- because the better we felt the more we cared about the world we are leaving our children.

While we did manage to piece together meals, it was really hard in the beginning. You can’t rely on words like “natural” on products. Going in to stores nearby is really stressful, but walking into stores like David’s in Gambrills is like taking a breath of air after being underwater. Also, just because I prepare a meal from scratch doesn’t eliminate the preservatives and additives if they are in the base ingredients.  I look for locally produced raw food: Fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, milk, and meat. Every now and then I go on a bread making kick and I use organic milled whole grain flour, otherwise I buy it. Same thing with peanut butter, condiments, etc. Snacks and prepared foods are available too, and increasing so over the past year I have noticed.

I am so grateful that Steve was my partner in the decision to make this lifestyle change. I absolutely needed his support. Not only did our grocery bills go up, especially in the beginning, but I needed more time to get the food, and prepare the meals. We had to change other aspects of our lives too.  There were a few factors that led me to leave my law firm in October, but this new lifestyle was a major one.

By the fall, we were really transitioned. I knew that at home the children were eating according to our principles, so I could relax when we were out and allow them to eat commerical products in moderation. Andrew is doing well at school and is at his target weight. Steve’s cholesterol is perfect this year. The most amazing thing to me is that we all four made it through the winter without getting sick. Steve had lyme disease which is random. Sophie had an ear infection in her left ear, where she has a small ear canal, but last year she had four so I think it was an improvement.

There is a lot of scary stuff out there if you look for it, or stumble upon it in our case. For us we couldn’t turn back. I am so pleased where this year has brought us.

The challenge this summer is my heirloom (non genetically modified seed) garden. Right now we have tons of lettuce and spinach, the rhubard is ripening, the peas are climbing, and the broccilli looks awesome, so come over for a salad :)