Eating Clean and Living Green

Homemade goldfish, anyone?
January 23, 2012, 3:32 pm
Filed under: background and research, clean eating, weekly meal log

I think from now on, I’m just going to do detailed day-to-day info on our breakfasts and dinners, then just list snacks and lunches at the bottom. I was feeling a bit too repetitive.

A tip to feeling more full and truly enjoying what you’re eating: when you eat, just eat. No multitasking allowed. This has made a tremendous difference for me. I used to eat in front of the computer or while trying to feed the girls too, and I’d finish my food without even realizing how quickly I’d been eating. Not anymore!

Breakfast: oatmeal with natural peanut butter and banana slices
Whole wheat rotini pasta with wilted kale and homemade tomato sauce p.194*, topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese with some fresh roasted red pepper foccacia bread from Earth Fare.

Whole wheat rotini pasta with homemade tomato sauce, kale, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Breakfast: America’s favorite breakfast
Beans and Greens burritos p.503* with modified pico de galla p.47*. In an effort to save time, I threw all ingredients in the blender and blended it up into a thick salsa. Delish—and would work well as a chip dip!

Stuffing for beans and greens burritos. Added the beans after this shot.

Homemade salsa in the works

What the sink looks like after making dinner while two kiddos are pawing at my heels

Breakfast: Whole-wheat pancakes made from our homemade baking mix smothered in marionberry jam
Brown rice and vegetable stir fry. I thawed a couple of bags of brown rice from the freezer that I cooked on Sunday and mixed in the leftover chopped vegetables for the week (I chopped up too many this week, and we weren’t able to munch through them all at lunch) plus leftover kale (wilted into the stir fry) and some mushrooms we forgot to put on the pizza. I seasoned it with some soy sauce and olive oil and topped it with freshly grated Parmesan cheese because, well, it’s amazing on anything.

Clean out the pantry stir fry with mushrooms, kale, brown rice, and chopped up bell pepper and carrots

Lunches, snacks, and desserts
Started lunch off each day with a big pile of raw veggies (added edamame to the mix this week), followed by sauteed zucchini and squash, ants on a log, and Anjou pear.

Snacks were homemade granola, brown bag popcorn p.38*, and for the girls—organic cheese sticks from Earth Fare. I had a great coupon that made them a little more reasonable. For a twist on the popcorn, I got butter and oil hot in a big skillet and melted in sugar to the mix before adding the kernels. Once they were all popped, I tossed the lot with salt and cinnamon. Cinnamon-sugar popcorn with a touch of saltiness—amazing!

On Wednesday, Abigail and I made homemade, whole-wheat goldfish crackers from scratch. I came across the idea on Pintrest, and opted to make them whole wheat as I had no other flour on hand. I made the cracker cutter out of a piece of aluminum can shaped into a fish and secured with tape. They turned out pretty yummy—even made little eyes for the fish with a toothpick. The recipe made 200+ fishies! They turned out to be pretty dense, but that’s worked out well as we can each eat fewer (read: 5 for the girls, 10 for me and David) and be satisfied vs. needing 30-50 Pepperridge Farm goldfish.

Cutting out whole-wheat cheddar goldfish

My baking assistant

Enjoying the fishy bounty at lunch with homemade granola

I even made her an "A" cracker

I forgot to buy another carton of Earth Fare strawberry ice cream, so we made whole-wheat chocolate chip cookies one night with Ghirardelli semi-sweet chips (used the recipe on the bag for the cookies, and just substituted whole-wheat flour for all-purpose), and any other night I needed a sweet fix, I had a spoonful of Justin’s organic chocolate peanut butter. Mm!

Whole wheat chocolate chip cookies

Changes we can see and feel so far:
1. My face is clearing up. I never had really bad acne or anything, but I’ve always seemed to have some amount of breakout on my face, and now, I’m pretty much cleared up.
2. I’m sleeping better. This couldn’t have come soon enough! I had no idea how poorly I had been sleeping until I started getting good sleep. Loving this!

Upcoming eating clean, living green goals:
1. Try a new vegetable/fruit every week for a while—next week, we’ll be trying roasted broccoli (I’ve only ever had it smothered in cheese)
2. Once our dish detergent and laundry detergent run out, make our own (I’ve seen a few good recipes for both)—they’re both almost all gone, and I’ve got plans to make laundry detergent with a pal next week. We’re splitting a 10-gallon recipe, and the 5 gallons I get out of it should last 9-12 months (for around $10). Can’t wait to share details!
3. Use more reusable containers—especially glass ones. I bought more plastic containers this week for our popcorn, and we’re starting to save up money to purchase glass containers in the future.

Interesting articles and quotes I came across this week:
Little difference between children’s cereal and Chips Ahoy cookies
I grew up eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Frosted Flakes because, well, didn’t everyone? Seeing articles like this makes me feel good about my girls eating organic unfrosted mini wheats. They love ’em, too!
3 surprising reasons to give up soda
We don’t really drink soda, but occasionally, I indulge in a can. Never again! If you drink soda, stop. Save yourself the money and shed those soda calories.
Feed your baby real food
I wish I’d read this article before having kids. Abigail ate loads of rice cereal because we were told that was the best first food. Madilyn had almost none because we heard rumors about it being bad, and it was just easier to give her real food. This article backs that up.

Michael Pollan quotes:
“Anything fat-free that should have fat—Fat-free cheese is not cheese. It’s imitation cheese.”
This concept took a while to really sink into my brain. After growing up thinking that “fat-free” is the way to go, I’m now realizing that if I buy a food in a fat-free version when it should actually, naturally have fat, I’m buying a chemically created imitation food. No bueno! We now eat and drink (milk) full-fat everything. It’s so liberating!

A new rule for eating: “Don’t eat any foods you see advertised on TV. 95% of the foods advertised on TV are highly processed foods.”
It makes me sad that healthy options aren’t advertised much at all, but it makes sense. The folks producing fresh foods don’t have the budgets that Coke and Nabisco and Kraft, etc have to spend on ads. Right now, I think about 95% of what’s in our kitchen has not been advertised for on TV. I think we’re doing pretty good on the whole get-away-from-processed-foods bit!

*recipes taken from Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook.”


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

You’re kitchen assistant seems to love her job! Always smiling. I wondered where you found a goldfish cutter. Makes sense that you made your own! You could market that! 🙂

Comment by Learning to Limit

I wish I could say that the goldfish cutter was my original idea, but I found it on a different blog.

Comment by Sally Ann

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