Have you ever tried to eat healthy?
Organic, fresh, gluten free, non-processed foods?
Atkins, ketogenic, vegetarian, vegan, south beach, gluten-free, weight watchers?
All of those healthy diet options are nearly impossible to follow if you’re like me and counting down the days to payday in order to go grocery shopping, concerned about getting everything on your mental list done, or trying to make sure you spend your hard earned money on food that everyone in your family will eat.
Hopefully you can get your husband and children to eat what you buy, and prepare, without having to make 4 or 5 different meals.
I have yet to perfect that super power.
I’ve been living on my own for almost 20 years now. When I was 18 and started buying my own food, I never heard the words organic, quinoa, gluten-free, free range, kale chips, almond flour or antibiotic free.
I had moved out of my parents house eager to put my big girl underpants on.
I was going to take on the world, be i.n.d.e.p.e.d.a.n.t. I was going to be my own person, without the constraints of my overbearing parents, and annoying siblings, cramping my style.
Since I only have a high school education (a mistake that still haunts me constantly) you can imagine what my bank account looked like. Young, working full-time and only making minimum wage. Now I had responsibilities to take care of and pay for. My paycheck was very depressing. But, I was eager to take on the world with my adultness, blind to life’s harsh realities.
I went grocery shopping on my pay day with the assumption that I needed to buy enough food to last me until my next pay check came. I quickly noticed that the fresh foods I would buy, to feel like I was responsible, would go rotten.
I tried to prepare healthy meals for one, with the valuable culinary education I obtained from the Food Network Channel, but I was tired when I got home from work, I didn’t want to always have to prepare a meal at the end of the day.
I soon realized that paying for things like groceries, rent, insurance, phone, gas, and all the rest of life’s necessities, was a real drag on my” budget”.
I had to go cheap or go home.
Back to my parent’s home.
Being an adult sucked.
After coming to the realization of how difficult, expensive, and time consuming it was to shop and cook, I starting living on personal oven baked pizzas and fries for many of my meals.
Did I miss my mom’s cooking?
Heck yes I did!
Was I going to give up?
Not even if I had to live on ketchup alone.
Now that I’m a married “adult” with a very large husband and two growing and starving children, I have to try and cook meals. With two paycheck coming in, I’m now able to buy better food, and with the four mouths to eat it, we have a lot less food go rotten before I’m able to mentally prepare myself to go back to the grocery store.
When we do have food go bad, it’s typically the fresh food 90% of the time. The fruits and veggies.
I cook real dinners now; to make my kids, husband, and myself think I’m a real mom. There’s nothing quite like the guilt of motherhood to continuously push you to try and make sure your family is taken care of.
We still have all of the other bills to pay, so I try to make sure the dolla billz last a little longer by buying foods that can be frozen or that are boxed, so that I can prepare them as I need them. Some of the food that I buy can be cooked in the microwave, in case I get tired of cooking and want a night off from being my kid’professional chef.
My daughter loves corn dogs with mac n’ cheese and my son loves anything that’s not healthy and that’s easy for him to grab and snack on.
I do buy fruits and veggies, but I’m usually the one who ends up eating them.
Now that I’m almost 38 years old, I have to watch what I eat. Meanwhile my children and husband can pack away the food without gaining a ounce.
Have you ever watched any of those food documentaries? I’ve watched a few on Netflix (#not-sponsored). You know, the ones that make you think you’re killing yourself; because of what you’re eating. And you’re killing your family, because of what you’re feeding them?
That show freaked me out and convinced me that meats are some of the worst foods humans could consume. Vegetables and fruits were dangerous too, because of the pesticides and other chemicals they’re sprayed with, to help with growth, are just as bad for your body. Dairy products, full of hormones and antibiotics, shouldn’t even be consumed after we’re able to eat solids foods.
These documentaries are very interesting, and probably very true. They really made me think about the realities of what goes on in our food industry, and made me want to really make a change; for animal rights, the health of the Earth, my health; and more importantly, for the health of my children.
Diets And Dieting
It was very interesting; all the information they gave and points that they made seemed logical and convinced me that things should change.
Have you ever tried a diet? If you’re like most of the people on the planet, concerned either about your weight, or about your general health, then you probably have at some point in your life.
Last year I decided to try a vegetarian diet after watching, you guessed it, a Netflix documentary.
This would have been a change that I stuck with; If I didn’t have to worry about budget, time, or what my family was going to eat.
I think I could have done pretty well had I not had to deal with all of those additional factors.
There’s NO way my husband would go without meat. There’s NO way my children wouldn’t wage a war if they had to give up corn dogs for veggie wienies, and real cheese for soy cheese.
If I wanted to eat a healthy diet, going by what is taught in those documentaries, no diet is healthy unless you buy organic.
You know, the more expensive anti-pesticide fruits, vegetables and grass fed, free range, antibiotic free meats that are sitting right next to the affordable ones on the grocery store shelves and racks.
We can’t afford to make every meal, every day, an organic one.
If I feed my family a meal that has one organic item, is that helping?
In addition to the prices of these healthy organic foods , they also spoils so much faster than other foods. We basically through away all the extra money.
I know why they spoil quicker, because they’re not sprayed with chemicals that help to keep them from rotting. I just try not to think about it.
Is it still bliss if your ignorance is simply just ignoring the problem?
I think I’ll double wash the the produce today.
Preparation Is A Pain In The Ass Sometimes
I don’t have the time, nor the patience, it takes to prepare fresh meals for my family members every morning, noon and night. My husband, children, home, animals and work require too much of my time.
Most days I rely on pre-washed, cut, and packaged foods, so that I can go to bed before midnight.
Vegetarian and/or organic frozen meals, to eat healthy and save time, are also very expensive. Even that option is out of my monetary reach.
Does anyone want to go to the grocery store multiple times a week to replenish all the fresh food that makes up a lot, what you could consider the more affordable side of, a vegetarian’s diet? Fresh food also takes up a lot of space in the fridge. My crisper drawer is so small.
A for Effort?
I did try it for a short time, and I did try to be positive about it, even though it clearly doesn’t sound like I was. It just didn’t work out for us, for my tiny fridge, or the even tinier crisper drawer.
Next on the list was a gluten-free diet. Recommended by a nutritional specialist as a potential treatment for my chronic pain, I wanted to see if it would help.
No bread, no pasta, no hamburgers with buns. No donuts, no pastries, no enjoyment of food.
Of course, you can get substitutes for almost anything now, but it doesn’t really taste the same. Trying to get q quick bite to eat on the road can be difficult. It sucks, actually.
You have to read the labels on everything you buy. I just realized that a boxed rice I was eating actually had a gluten pasta mixed in with it.
So, thinking I was on a gluten-free diet this whole time, about 6 months, has all been a sham.
Even the vitamin supplements, that I was told to take by that same nutritional specialist , could possibly contain gluten as a binding agent.
The only reason I’m going to try and continue this particular diet is because I want to see if it helps the pain, or at least helps to keep it from getting worse.
Yes, the gluten-free products are more costly. But, since I’m buying only for myself, it helps a little bit.
I have no real way of justifying why I’m going gluten-free, and basically starting back over from scratch after realizing that I’ve been screwing it up this whole time. Chronic pain sucks. I’ll try anything, within my means, to try and help keep myself from becoming bed-ridden.
Why Do Bad Foods Have To Taste So Good?
Why is it that fast food tastes so delicious? Why is it that fast food, purchased from certain “restaurants”, can be less expensive than making your own food at home? Why does it have to be so easy, and so convenient? And, it tastes sooooo good!
All one has to do is just stop on your way home from work, school, your therapy session, or dance practice, and pick up a pre-made meal to feed to your family. For 20 to 25 bucks, you get a delicious meal and an easy night, with an hour or two of extra time for yourself.
Brownies and donuts are so warm and soft. Cookies and chocolate bars warm my soul. Ice cream is always there when you’re having a bad day. Chips are easy to grab, Cheetos are so cheesy. It really isn’t fair.
It’s A Lot To Worry About
Nonetheless, eating a fresh, organic, vegan, grass fed, south beach, kale chipped, free range, keto, almond flour, antibiotic and pesticide free diet is not within my budget, patience, or sanity level. It’s a lot to worry about. I’m already stressed out about all of the other things that are currently going through my mind.
I’m going to feel guilty regardless of what I do. I can stress out about trying to force healthy meals into my children, growing more and more poor as I do it, or I can feel guilty that I don’t have to fight every day to get my children to eat a somewhat healthy, home cooked, meal that’s not organic.
I’ll just keep on chugging along until something else comes up to stress out about,
Wanna read some of life’s crazy moments from a mom that’s not quite sure what she’s doing? Head over to WhyMommaWhy.blog.
Thanks for reading! I really appreciate the time you took to read my story. I hope my melancholy outlook on the stress of trying to eat healthy has brought a smile to your beautiful face. If we can’t laugh about what stresses us out, we’ll just end up crying.
I hope you have a blessed day!