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Trying to "Go Green" for my family

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Old 09-18-2008, 02:23 PM   #1
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Red face Trying to "Go Green" for my family

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!
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Old 09-18-2008, 02:53 PM   #2
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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!
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Old 09-18-2008, 03:06 PM   #3
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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?
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Old 09-18-2008, 03:18 PM   #4
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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.

Last edited by zenor77 : 09-18-2008 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 09-18-2008, 03:27 PM   #5
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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.

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Old 09-18-2008, 03:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zenor77 View Post
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.
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Old 09-18-2008, 03:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoyodieterinvegas View Post
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 .
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Old 09-18-2008, 04:18 PM   #8
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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
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Old 09-18-2008, 06:15 PM   #9
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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/
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Old 09-18-2008, 10:03 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 09-19-2008, 12:45 PM   #11
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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
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Old 09-21-2008, 07:04 AM   #12
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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.
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Old 09-21-2008, 07:47 AM   #13
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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.
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Old 09-22-2008, 10:11 AM   #14
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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!!!
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdiprincess View Post
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.
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