Tag Archives: healthy eating

How Feasible Are Those ‘Save Money!’ Ideas? Part 1 – Going Meatless

January 29, 2015

I read many blogs about great ideas to save money but I always wonder…do these people keep up with this stuff? How does that work in a busy life, really?

I have written a few posts of my own about how to save money on this or that. This is the first in a series of posts in which I will update you on a ‘how to save money’ post. Did I stick with it? How difficult is it to do on a daily basis? Does it really save money?

#1 Going vegan

After watching Forks Over Knives, my husband suggested dropping meat and dairy. I spent the next week looking up some recipes and jumped right in! We were going to try to be completely vegan…

How did that work? It has been 3 years since we watched Forks Over Knives…

Being vegan did not stick very long.

  1. We have chickens so we never stopped eating eggs.
  2. It was more difficult to drop dairy than meat.
  3. We dropped milk (our pediatrician was none too pleased) but still eat grilled cheese once a week and eat cheese on our pizzas.
  4. We eat meat when we go out to eat and on people’s birthdays (and get sick right after). If we have left-over meat from holidays or birthdays, I’ll try to stretch it as long as possible (ham bone soup, cutting chicken/turkey up & freezing it in 2c bags for pot pies or pasta or enchiladas).

The original goal of dropping meat/going vegan was not to save money. It was to get healthy — eat more plant-based meals. We achieved that goal. Even though we eat eggs every day and eat meat and cheese occasionally, we eat a plant-based diet.

My kids don’t know they are not supposed to like salad or other veggies. They love when I make them ice cream (frozen bananas and blueberries in a blender).

Yes, if you offered them real ice cream or cookies or mac’n’cheese, they would jump at the chance. But, because their bodies are not used to those things, they get sick right after and they are starting to see the correlation.

An unexpected benefit of having a plant-based diet is how much money we have saved, not buying meat most of the year! Dried beans vs. meats is a HUGE price difference.

I know many women who would say their husbands would NEVER buy into a plant-based diet. I hear you. I certainly didn’t want to drop meat! I would encourage two things.

  1. You and your husband watch Forks Over Knives
  2. If that does not change his mind, talk to him about doing a meatless meal one night/week.

Conclusion: I guess we fail at being vegan. But we are healthier and save a bunch of money on food so it’s an overall win to me!

I am linking up with Simple Lives Thursday, Green Thumb Thursday, and the Farm Blog Hop— always looking for more ideas! 🙂

Who else wonders if those ‘Save Money!’ blogs really live up to the hype? Next post, I’ll be talking about Cloth Diapering and if/how it really saves money and is doable…


How Do You Get Your Children to Eat Salads?!

Spinach, Arugula, Cranberry and Walnut Salad

February 14, 2013

I had this question many years ago. You generally start your kids off eating cooked, pureed foods. Eventually, they can eat soft fruit. The day comes when they can finally eat an apple unpeeled! It takes so long for these milestones to come that by the time they are able to eat lettuce without choking, they are going on two and a half and what 2.5yo is interested in lettuce anyway?!

This was our situation a couple of years ago and here is how it evolved into what it is today: our kids eat salad without dressing!…

We do not do snacks at our house. We do breakfast (7am), lunch (11:30am), dinner (6pm). A good snack time would be 4pm or so but that is when mine are taking naps so we just skip snacks all together.

A couple of years ago, my husband was working an hour away so he would not come home until 6:30pm, if there was no traffic, etc, etc. I wanted to wait for him to eat supper so I started giving my kids a ‘snack’ when they woke up from naps, while I was fixing supper and we were waiting for Daddy to get home.

This snack consisted of lettuce, carrots, and cucumbers, with Ranch dressing. The fact that they could eat it on the go (whereas they normally have to sit in order to eat) and the fact that they had never had ‘snacktime’ before made this snack special! So, they started eating ‘salad-type’ things. My son started eating just a carrot each time (one bite, go watch tv, another bite, etc.) and ended up, a couple months later and on into the present, being our biggest salad eater to date!

So, if you would like for your children to start to eat salads, may I suggest making it a before supper/while you are chopping anyway/eat on the go/special snack 🙂 They can eat it or not – no big deal. If they weren’t eating any of this and they just eat one carrot, it’s better than before! And little by little, it will get better!

The children would have their snack and if they ate a certain amount, I would give them a crouton or two at supper. This progressed to dropping the croutons one day but still having the Ranch dressing – all the while me kicking myself that I need to make our own dressing that is healthier than Ranch (which has SUGAR in it – gasp!).

Then, this summer, while I was in the NICU with baby #5, my husband was feeding them and didn’t feel like chopping anything up and forgot to get out the Ranch before he sat down so he just gave each one a big romaine lettuce leaf and a carrot. Lo & behold, when I came home from the hospital, my children were eating salad without dressing! I Love it! Simple, healthy, wonderful!

So, start small. Start with rewards if you want (we did croutons). Start with less healthy options (like dipping in Ranch dressing). But start somewhere!

*I will say, there were no other snack options in the house so if you have other appealing snacky things like crackers, chips, fruit roll ups/snacks, pop tarts, you may have a harder time introducing this – so get rid of those things first!

Let me know how it goes! Remember – it took us two years to get where we are! And my 2 yo just started eating lettuce the other night 😀 (he could only handle cucumbers for a long time) Good luck!

*Image from Life’s Ambrosia (just didn’t have time to take a pic of our salad – we all are sick this week)

Linking to Simple Lives Thursday