Something happens when a person starts looking at the foods they buy and they meals they eat after realizing that whole foods leads to better health outcomes. All of a sudden they feel badly, or secretive, if they eat something that isn’t considered “real food” or “nourishing”.
But did you know that stress (or feeling worried about the ingredients in your food) while eating has a disastrous effect on digestion?
Did you know that we are not only what we eat, we are not only what our animal products eat, we are what we digest.
So one might gather that eating food under stress, even of poor quality, might be worse for us than if we ate it under a relaxed and pleasurable state.
In my last newsletter I asked what topics you all might want me to write about and the one response I got many times over was how to eat when you’re in survival mode. Or how to eat when you don’t have the time/money/resources.
Everyone moving to a whole foods diet wants to be able to cook everything from scratch, buy only organic produce, and organic/grassfed animal products. We see others doing it and we see other bloggers doing.
I have done it.
I have learned how to source my food from farmers and farmer’s markets, traveling all over town and making special trips for the foods I desired. I’ve made all of our meals, snacks, and desserts in my kitchen. I have gardened and preserved a majority of the food we eat.
If I’m honest, I like when I’m able to say that! I take pride (maybe sometimes too much pride) in how my family eats. But on the other end of pride, can also be shame. We feel shame that we know better than to eat like this. (been there) We can feel shame that our income isn’t high enough to purchase the farm fresh milk, meat, and eggs or that we’re so busy that our time in the kitchen is at a bare minimum. (been there too)
We can feel so much shame that we hide from each other what we’re really eating.
Let’s be real with each other, shall we?
I want to be able to talk about food here without shame, knowing that each of us is in different stages of life and in different places in our journey to whole foods. Sometimes that journey moves forward in leaps and bounds, other times at a crawl, and some days may feel like you’ve taken a giant step backward.
My goal in buying food for my family is to make it work for my lifestyle, my budget, and my sanity.
The above is what I bought today at the supermarket. I decided on my way home that I needed to share it with you, so it most definitely isn’t staged. If I had planned on it, I probably would have made different purchases.
- organic apples
- red, orange, and yellow bell peppers
- snap peas
- corn on the cob
- organic potatoes
- butternut squash
- organic butter
- cheese sticks
- 2 single serve yogurts as treats for my littles after we shopped
- chicken breasts
- nitrate free bacon
- breakfast sausage
- deli turkey meat
- black beans
- white beans
- diced tomatoes
- basmati rice
- Fruit snacks
These foods (some already in our freezer/pantry) will be made into dinners like:
- tacos with homemade shells
- aussie chicken, rice, corn on the cob, and asparagus
- homemade chicken strips, potatoes fried in coconut oil, and green beans
- homemade pizza for movie night (unless I’m over exhausted from little sleep at night in which we’ll order out)
- salmon patties, crispy potatoes, broccoli
- butternut squash soup
Just showing that picture is enough to give me pause. I want to quickly explain why I bought meat from the store and not the farm, to tell you the Doritos are for Todd (they are…but I’ll have some too), and to make it seem like this week at the store was unusual for me. To tell you that I’m currently unable to make multiple stops per week, or multiple trips to the store as my littlest one screams through most car rides. That I’m also unable to purchase grassfed beef, raw cheese, and pantry staples in bulk due to financial constraints as I have taken most of this year off from working at home.
That some weeks I’m able to purchase different foods depending on if I’m able to get to my preferred grocery stores, but some weeks all I can get to is our “country-bumpkin” grocer who carries only the main essentials and rarely anything organic.
Do those reasons really matter though? Why must I feel like I need to put on a front?
“What kind of crazy world do we live in that there are moms out there who feel bad for spending an extra quarter to get their cheese pre-sliced? Why should anyone feel like a failure for picking up a package of sandwich cookies now and again? And, really, since when is one’s worth, intelligence, or intention all wrapped up in a decision to use Velveeta? … What you buy at the grocery store does not reflect your compassion, your brilliance, or how much you love your kids. It really doesn’t.”
- quote from “No Shame in Being Real” by JessieLeigh from Parenting Miracles
In no way do I want you to think that I eat a “perfect diet”. Sure, some days I’m a heck of a lot closer to it than other days, but know that I am, most likely, just like you. I believe that food is the foundation to good health, but it’s not the only thing that keeps us healthy. Our state of mind and our stress levels can increase or decrease our health the same way our diets can, and it’s finding the balance that works for us that’s most important.
When we know better, we do better, but let us strive for progress, not perfection if it isn’t within our means. And let’s enjoy our food without shame shall we?
What seasons of your life have you had to relax your whole foods standards?
Do you ever feel badly for how you eat? Why?