Whole Foods Lifestyle - Trying to "Go Green" for my family




Ami12345
09-18-2008, 03:23 PM
Hi. I'm new here. So, realistically, what do I need to do to get my family healthy? I mean I can't afford to take everything out of the fridge/pantry, throw it out, and spend the big bucks at my neighborhood Whole Foods store to re-stock my kitchen. I would really like to skip the junk food all together from now on and start buying alot of produce (preferably organic) because I just had a baby, and I feel that it is in his, as well as my husband's and my own best interest.
Any suggestions on where to begin? I am feeling overwhelmed!
Oh, I got a magic bullet to try to puree my son organic baby food from fresh produce. I figure I can use it to make smoothies and salsas and all that too... ??good idea or hardly likely??
Thanks for your tips!
xoxoxo
-:carrot:Ami


Kofarq
09-18-2008, 03:53 PM
You have some great ideas to start eating healthy. As you use up the unhealthy foods, only shop at Whole Foods for healthy groceries to refill your cupboards.
I have a bullet, it's really good for pureeing foods. Good for you!

mamaspank
09-18-2008, 04:06 PM
I think that is so awesome! I have also tried to go a little more "green" myself. I can't tell you how much money I have saved this year on produce with my garden, and I am eating a lot more than I normally would just because it is 15 feet away and on a vine. There are some things you could start right now or wait until next spring, but no store-bought tomato tastes like a homegrown heirloom out of your own garden.

Also, I don't work, which has been awesome in the sense that preparing food all day isn't a problem. Are you a stay-at-home mom?


zenor77
09-18-2008, 04:18 PM
Sounds like a good plan.

There are other options to Whole Foods, if you are concerned about expense. I do buy somethings at Whole Foods, but only the things I can find there cheaper. You'd be surprised at how many whole organic foods you can find in regular stores these days.

For produce you might want to see if there is a farmer's market or CSA in your area. We are looking into joining an organic CSA. You get loads of organic veggies for $26 a week, which is less then what I spend now and from what I can tell I'll actually get more produce. Also, during the summer season you can work at the farm 2 hours per week and get your share price cut in half. Sounds like a good deal to me.

If you haven't done so already, there are some great "green" cleaning supplies out there too. They have gotten so much better then they used to be. I have extremely sensitive skin and so I had to switch to less toxic cleaners and I was amazed at how well some of them work.

PhotoChick
09-18-2008, 04:27 PM
Here's a big misconception - you don't have to shop at places like Whole Foods to be healthy. You can keep going to your regular grocery store.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Whole Foods and I live w/in walking distance of one so the temptation to go there all the time is huge. But honestly, there are times you can get food just as good and just as healthy for you at a regular grocery store for 1/2 the price.

Ok, another thing is don't feel like you have to go all-or-nothing. I didn't clean out the pantry and ditch all the food when I started eating more healthily. I just found that those things that we no longer ate started getting pushed to the back. AFTER we'd already not eaten them for a couple of months, then I started getting rid of stuff - giving a bag to the food bank here and there. It's ok to take baby steps.

Speaking of babies! It's easy to get caught up in the whole "I'm going to puree baby food from organic veggies and nothing else will ever touch my baby's lips" mindset. :) This goes along with the all-or-nothing thing above - it's ok to buy jars of baby food if you want. You can buy healthy organic jarred food now as well .. so be sure and cut yourself some slack there. Too much change can be overwhelming! :)

So some tips for starting out slowly:
Start buying fresh veggies and eating seasonal veggies instead of canned. Frozen is the next best thing.
Buy whole grain pasta/bread instead of regular.
Buy brown rice instead of white
If you normally buy canned goods, buy the no-salt versions instead and salt things at home.
Substitute olive oil for regular oil when you cook.
Substitute olive oil and a bit of flavored vinegar for a salad dressing.
One night a week, try to have a meatless meal (this will also help your budget).

Try to add veggies to every meal. If you're going to make smoothies throw in some frozen spinach, for example (I know it sounds yucky, but if you puree it, you really can't taste it - you just have to learn to ignore the faint green tinge! :)).

Sometimes just a handful of little things add up to big changes. :)

.

yoyonomoreinvegas
09-18-2008, 04:36 PM
There are other options to Whole Foods, if you are concerned about expense. I do buy somethings at Whole Foods, but only the things I can find there cheaper. You'd be surprised at how many whole organic foods you can find in regular stores these days.

This is very true. There are some pretty excellent sales on good stuff too if it's a national chain. You do have to allocate yourself a little extra time to read all the nutrition labels (under no circumstances trust the big print on the front of the package).

On the west coast, we have some new stores called Fresh&Easy that are like a Whole Foods with Food 4 Less prices. You could check around and see if you have something similar starting up on your side of the continent.

JulieJ08
09-18-2008, 04:37 PM
This is very true. There are some pretty excellent sales on good stuff too if it's a national chain. You do have to allocate yourself a little extra time to read all the nutrition labels (under no circumstances trust the big print on the front of the package).

On the west coast, we have some new stores called Fresh&Easy that are like a Whole Foods with Food 4 Less prices. You could check around and see if you have something similar starting up on your side of the continent.

I mostly go to Trader Joe's. I did just make a WholeFoods trip for certain things, but it's too far for more than about once a month. But there is a Fresh & Easy not too far that I haven't checked out yet. Maybe Saturday ;).

Ami12345
09-18-2008, 05:18 PM
Thank you everyone for all of the great advice... I really like the garden idea, and whatever the CSA is - I will look it up and try to join... Also, I will take it one thing at a time instead of trying to be supermom haha... you guys are great! Good luck and/or congrats on reaching your goals! xoxoxo

zenor77
09-18-2008, 07:15 PM
If you look at local harvest's site, it'll explain what a CSA is and I think you can locate one off the site, although there maybe some in your area that aren't listed. If you can't find one, ask around at your local health food store.

www.localharvest.org/csa/

Ufi
09-18-2008, 11:03 PM
Farmer's markets, CSAs and your own garden are great because you're also saving on gas to transport the food to the market over long distances. I walk to our market once a week.

I know a family that got a hydroponic tabletop vegetable growing container for the winter, but I don't know how good that is. It sounds interesting, though.

Ami12345
09-19-2008, 01:45 PM
I looked into the CSA thing, and there is nothing in my area... the farmer's maket that I could find is pretty far, but I am planning to ask someone at Whole Foods tomorrow about both -- also, I usually shop at Publix... they have a fairly large "Greenwise" selection. How does that compare? Thanks again! xoxoxo

ToutDeSuite
09-21-2008, 08:04 AM
Hey Ami, I have a coworker who lives in Coconut Creek and she belongs to a vegetable Co-op. If you're interested, PM and I can get the details for you.

CyndiM
09-21-2008, 08:47 AM
Planning ahead can make life a lot easier too. Every weekend I make a big pan of brown rice and a lb of some dried bean. We then use those all week (just 2 of us) in a variety of meals (including lunches on no leftover days - toss a scoop of rice, a scoop of beans, some lf cheese, and some salsa in a container and I'm good to go). You could even cook more than 1 lb and freeze the beans in serving size containers. They are cheaper dry and you don't need to worry about BPA.

tdiprincess
09-22-2008, 11:11 AM
These are all some really good ideas. I haven't been around here for a while. But the CSA thing looks good. My problem is that we are only 2 people.. and to spend the money upfront for food that we may not eat... although I like that the one by us offers a variety of different shares. such as just fruit for the summer.. which would be AWESOME!!!

CyndiM
09-22-2008, 10:52 PM
These are all some really good ideas. I haven't been around here for a while. But the CSA thing looks good. My problem is that we are only 2 people.. and to spend the money upfront for food that we may not eat... although I like that the one by us offers a variety of different shares.

Funny, I was thinking about you the other day and wondering if you were still around here somewhere :)

There's just two of us but we love our CSA. We are lucky enough to have one that gives us a little more control over what we receive so we don't get lots of things we can't eat. Sounds like you have a few around and some choices. That's how it is here and it was fun sorting through and finding the one that works best for us.

You can also split a share with friends easier.

Ufi
09-23-2008, 02:11 AM
Spending the money on food I might not eat has been a factor for me. I feel guilty about buying all these fresh fruits and vegetables and not eating them, which is incentive to eat them. Having made it a priority to eat them, there's less room to eat unhealthy food.

nelie
09-23-2008, 09:42 AM
I shop at a lot of different stores. Whole Foods may be one of the best places for you to shop but you need to look around and see what you can get for the best price and where you can get it.

1) We have a Safeway near us that has a lot of organic and natural stuff. Sometimes the stuff is on sale to help make it really cheap. I got a carton of organic soy milk for under $1 last time I went.

2) Whole Foods has some GREAT bargains. Their store brand is awesome and often they will have some produce on sale for cheap. You can also buy bulk foods there which are really cheap.

3) Trader Joe's has some good stuff although I like Whole Foods more these days because its cheaper for what I buy.

4) Coop stores in your area? You may have some Coop type stores in your area or other health food stores that may have great bargains. Bulk foods especially.

Shari926
10-05-2008, 04:55 PM
Hi Ami--The magic bullet is awesome for making baby foods. I used it with my daughter when she was starting with purees (she's almost 22 months now).

I don't live far from you (in Boca) and I also prefer organic food but find Whole Foods so expensive. The good news for us is that farmer's market season is starting soon (if it hasn't already). I sometimes go to the Boca one, the Delray one, or even the West Palm beach one. I'm sure there are plenty in Broward as well.

Also, the farm stand (looks like a barn) on Hillsboro (in between Powerline and Military) is very affordable if you can get there from time to time. I think they open back up soon.

These farm stands/markets aren't always organic, but I'd much rather buy local rather than some of the organic stuff that has been flown here from all over the world (since it tends to be fresher and doesn't hurt the environment as much through transport).

A final option is to try the local organic buying club (google it--I think it's called the south florida organic buying club). I did it for a few months. Every two weeks, you pay $42 and pick up a huge box of mixed organic produce. It's the same stuff you get at Whole foods, but fresher and cheaper.

Just my 2 cents...
Shari

Shari926
10-05-2008, 04:57 PM
adding a couple of things...

There is a CSA in Boynton called Green Cay Produce (I think they have a waiting list). You'd have to drive up there either weekly or biweekly to pick up your box. It may be a hike for you, though it's right off the turnpike.

Also, they recently opened the Publix Greenwise organic market here in Boca. Check it out!

painted lady
11-11-2008, 03:35 PM
also, i like buying organic/cage free eggs. they taste much better.

my mom made baby food when i was tiny... she would puree a lot (like a whole bunch of carrots or broccoli or a few cooked sweet potatoes) and then put the puree in ice cube trays and freeze it. each ice cube was the perfect size for a meal, just microwave or defrost and stir!

zeffryn
11-12-2008, 01:00 PM
Ami - I did the same thing about 6 months before we had DS1, it was a lengthy process to convert our fridge/freezer/pantry over to organic/natural foods. I really hate to waste foods, so we did it a little at a time. When I would need to restock something, we bought organic/natural. The closest WF to us is about an hour away, so shopping there all the time just wasn't feasible. I was surprised at just how much natural food that my regular supermarket had and if they didn't have something, a simple chat with a manager would usually bring it in the store (especially if you mention a competitor that carries it). We buy organic chicken, beef, tilapia and eggs from a local farm and whatever organic produce our co-op doesn't carry, our supermarket does. Sure, I have to plan my meals in advance to make sure that I don't have to make several trips to several different places but that also keeps our budget in check.

Two of the best shower gifts that I received were things that I now use everyday. A copy of Super Baby Food and a Shaklee home cleaning starter kit. Super Baby Food has really been great in helping me to figure out how to feed my son in a natural, healthy way. I made about 90% of my baby food (and still do), but I always had a stock of organic baby food (I like Earth's Best and Beech Nut the best). I highly recommend picking up a copy, there are so many useful tips and charts. I've since bought it for every new mom I know and they have loved it just as much.

The Shaklee kit was great as well, because as good as our intentions are of feeding our family well....when we expose our babies to toxic cleaning chemicals, it kind of moves us back a few steps in the big game of health. You definitely don't have to go buy Shaklee stuff, but having the basics of healthy home cleaning (vinegar and baking soda will move mountains for you) is a must in my home. When my son was about 3 months old, we started making our own laundry detergent - we didn't do it for the cost, although it is definitely cheaper - we did it because his skin was breaking out with every detergent that we tried (yes, even Dreft). A lady at our local co-op suggested making our own detergent and his skin has been fine ever since. He would probably be fine with regular detergent now that he is older, but we do it now for the cost! It takes less than $10 to make an approximately 6 month supply. You can't beat that!

Anyway, just take small steps...large ones can get overwhelming (as well as expensive). I've seen far too many mothers try to be supermoms and do everything...and then burn out and bring their kids McDonalds everyday.

As for me and what I think about an organic lifestyle - I think it works. DS has only been to the doctor once (other than well-baby visits) in his 2.5 years on this planet (for a persistent cough when he was a month old) and has never had antibiotics. 3 out of 4 of his close friends have tubes in their ears and are sick ALL of the time...and these are the same moms that scoff at my son's diet (laughing at him LOVING tofu dogs and brussels sprouts- his two favorite foods). I am proud that my son has had a great start to life and I hope to pass my our food choices on to him. Also, remember that a good multi-vitamin is still essential. We use Shaklee's vita-lea (I'm really not in sales for Shaklee, I just love their stuff!)

Ami12345
03-27-2009, 12:39 PM
Thanks everyone for the advice and suggestions! I was using the south fl organic produce buying club (GREAT!) then I moved up to the FL pan handle, and now I order organic produce from offthevineproduce.com -- it is great and they deliver it right to my door! I even have 3 other ladies ordering too, so we split the delivery fee 4 ways =) As far as other organic goods I primarily shop at publix... and they have the greenwise products, so that's good. And I have been finding alot of local goods that farmers sell independently and also at a local health food store =) I became vegetarian back in September, so I don't eat meat but I do buy vegetarian eggs for my family and I try to buy free-range meat when I can... Also, I am really into the green cleaning products and bath products now... Burt's Bees Baby Bee Products are THE BEST!!!