Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Penny Pinching Healthy, Introduction

Welcome to Mama Made What?!  It seems only fitting that we start this thing off with a bang, so here's a 3 part series for you on what we learned going from a freezer/convenience food family to a relatively healthy eating family.

Now, before you go click that little "x" at the top right of your window at the word "healthy eating," just hear me out.  I know we are not nearly has healthy as a lot of other people, we certainly didn't take it to an extreme and we're not training for any marathons or competitions so we're not terribly strict in the way of calories or macro's.  However, living on Lean Cuisines and Hot Pockets is certainly no way to live.

I remember going to the grocery store after church every Sunday, like clockwork, and we "picked up some stuff."  I remember a grocery list of things we were out of, such as eggs, butter, milk, cheese...the essentials.  After that it just seemed like we tossed some stuff in.  Tuna, canned veggies, hamburger helper, some frozen lasagna's, deli meat.  If there was ever any real meal planning I didn't know about it.  To the best of my knowledge, eating healthy was not possible on a limited amount of time nor on a limited budget.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I completely understand the mindset that goes along with it, especially when you're grocery shopping on a tight budget.  Things like tuna, frozen family dinners, hot pockets, etc seem like the best bang for the buck.  It furthermore seems that way because most families on a tight budget are families where both parents are working, as it was in my home growing up.  So not only does it need to be inexpensive but it also needs to be quick which translates into using the microwave for a lot of people.

When I moved from my parents house to living on my own I was working hours that ranged from as early as 6 am to as late as 9 pm and moved out to a place of my own with no roommate (4 months after I graduated high school) so money was certainly tight.  A few years later I moved to the complete other side of the country to be with my husband as that's where he was stationed.  Between my working mall hours, and his boat schedule and duty schedule, we were lucky to share 1 to 2 meals (out of the 21 available) each week.  So, what I grew up knowing as efficient food shopping continued and we traded health for convenience and what we thought was inexpensive.

And then we went back to a civilian life and shortly after found out I was pregnant.  Lean Cuisines and prepackaged freezer to oven foods weren't going to cut it for me for pregnancy, by my standards nor my midwifes.  So, we embarked on a change, a big change.  And after our daughter was born we continued on with our change because I was nursing and needed to make sure I was providing the best I could.  When that relationship ended 10 months later my daughter was starting solids and there seemed no reason to revert back to old eating habits that we now knew were poor eating habits.

I can only imagine what we were doing to our bodies eating that way.  Every now and then some easy mac, or hamburger helper sounds really good in the way of "comfort food," and within hours of eating it our bodies have told us it was the wrong decision.  So, if you're interested tune in next Wednesday for the start of the 3 part series on tips and tricks we learned to combine reasonably healthy with frugality and not much time!
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