I never gave much thought to meal planning before I met Micah. My favorite food up to that point was ramen, which I prepared several different ways and ate several times a week. I added fruits and vegetable to my “meals” as well, usually in the form of a stick of celery or an apple. When Micah and I started dating we started to cook together. Ramen dropped from my diet pretty quickly once I realized how much I enjoyed preparing real food and since then we have tried to make as much of our food as we can.
Since we’ve been doing that I have become much more aware of the ingredients lists on packaged food. I wonder what companies add to make their bread so moist or their dressing so tasty and I’m often dismayed to find things like “high fructose corn syrup” or “modified food starch” on the list. It makes me feel like I am eating food that has been manufactured or processed rather than baked or cooked.
This has become an even greater concern to me as we have added Simon to our family and I am even more aware of what we are giving him to eat. I feel the burden of trying to keep my family healthy and to appreciate the food that Heavenly Father has given us. While we lived in Hawaii, it was sometimes difficult to buy very much fresh produce because it is so expensive.(Although I did have a friend who didn’t mind paying $6 for 4 tomatoes because, as she said, “I’m worth it.”) Produce is much more affordable on the mainland and I have been trying to get a variety of fresh produce every week and to continue to make as much of our food myself as I can.
As you probably have realized, I like to read the news. I am often drawn to the health section, and especially to stories about food. Yesterday I read this story about how groups are trying to come up with systems of how to tell consumers how healthy foods are. I don’t know what to make of it. I want to believe that by doing my research and making as much of our food as possible, I can feel like I am in charge of what our family is eating. But it bothers me that eating well is becoming so confused. There are organic options and heart healthy options and Atkins and South Beach and whatever else. I still feel good about choosing “real” foods rather than “food products” and eating fresh and making our food.
But I’m wondering how others of you go about eating well. Do you have a salad with every meal? Do you ration desserts? Do you only eat organic? Do you raise chickens in your backyard? And why? Please tell me your philosophies.