Monday, April 25, 2011

A big Sara Rose Family Announcement!

Just to end the questions, no I am not pregnant.  On to the bigger thing now!

Well, we've been discussing this for the past 2 months and finally reached our decision.  We talked with Eva about it, ummm Owen probably doesn't care because it won't totally affect him.  Nope, I'm not prego, remember I can't GET pregnant again EVER (and I'm way okay with that one).  No, we aren't moving yet.  What we're doing though, will affect decisions that we make every single day.  We had to talk to Eva a few times so she could see what our decision was about.

As Nolan and I get older, we're gaining some softness (aka FAT), worried about keeping our health up to par, and realizing that when we eat too much meat and/or processed junk . . . well, we regularly feel awful after the fact.  Sluggish, stomach aches, headaches, etc.  We're realizing that while we eat ore healthfully than a whole heap of people we know, we could DO BETTER.

Hearing so many reports of contaminated, antibiotic and chemical loaded meats concerns me deeply.  It does NOT seem natural that the food we put in ourselves has to be altered so dramatically JUST SO WE CAN EVEN TOUCH IT. We talked with Eva.  Explained that a lot of junk food, meats, processed foods have chemicals that make us feel yucky, and pointed out that eating meat means you kill animals.

If there is one thing that kid is against (other than not always being the center of attention), it's animals dying.  She's also really committed herself to the resolution we made for the family of much healthier eating, so she jumped on board.  We already know she's on board for our big old veggie garden.  Eating healthier, exercising more.  So what's the newest thing we're working on?  The big announcement.

We're going vegetarian.  As a family.  With a few exceptions.  We do have to make sure our kids are getting lean proteins, all their vitamins and minerals, and a very balanced diet.  Thus:

-We chose to keep dairy in our diet.  We're just skimming down to making sure all dairy is low fat or nonfat.  The only exception to this is Owen.  He is an INCREDIBLY skinny kid.  His weight is somewhere in the 10th percentile versus his height.  

Simply put, usually after your child breast or formula feeds- at one year you switch them over to whole milk.  At 2-3 you switch them down to whatever your family drinks.  Since his weight is so low, I plan to keep him on whole milk, at my doctors approval, for another year.  There are a couple reasons for this.  Owen WILL NOT eat meat.  He eats fruits, veggies, dairy products (yogurt or milk- he hates cheese), and some grains.  To keep his iron levels strong and make sure he gets good protein, we need him to keep drinking whole milk awhile longer.

-We will eat fish, and occasionally white meat turkey or chicken. No red meats or pork.  We all like tofu, so we've got another option for soy based protein.  The occasions of turkey or chicken will be if we're guests.  Also, if we are guests and are served other meats, we are NOT going to be rude and demand an entirely different meal.  We believe strongly that what someone else serves you is something to not be taken lightly because it is a gift.  We also have friends and family who do eat meat and we will always accommodate guests before ourselves.

-Eggs are also allowed.  Organic, free range, etc.  I believe firmly in the benefits of eggs in peoples diets and it is a protein both my children eat willingly.  Never mind the fact that sometimes, you just need a big pile of eggs and toast.  I have never thought of eggs as harmful or bad for people, unless eaten in excess.  But then again, pretty much ANYTHING is bad for you if eaten in excess.  Ask my thighs ;p.

-We want to cut the pre-processed, packaged, chemical laden foods that come into this house down by 2/3's.  We  absolutely believe in making our own treats and munchies, and let's just be honest.  That homemade brownie tastes a heck of a lot better than the boxed kind.  We want to cut a lot of refined sugars, corn syrups, and just CHEMICALS out of the picture.

-We will be diligently buying whole grain, organic, free range products from now on.  The fact that we, and about 5 friends are putting in gardens of a fairly large size helps immensely- we can trade!  Also, as mentioned before, we live in a town with a great commitment to organic products, supporting local farmers markets, etc.

-We're really committed to learning all about the world of vegetarian recipes.  As in 4 new cookbooks.  Tons of Internet resources.  Menu planning.  The whole 9 yards.

We want our kids growing up learning that they can eat nourishing, healthy food that we grow ourselves or that support an environmentally friendly economy.  We want to teach them that eating healthfully i a lifestyle, and a tasty one at that.  This goes hand in hand with our commitment to healthier family eating habits and our commitment to teaching the kids that the environment must be nurtured and protected.

We're really excited about the start of this journey and SO excited to share it with every one of you.  I hope people chime in with ideas, resources, and opinions!  Wish us luck!  We will be talking to you weekly or bi-weekly as we embark on this new family adventure!


MJ said...

My husband works for the Co-op Natural Foods and when our daughter was born we decided to only use organic milk/food with her. Occasionally he'll bring something home from work that's not organic but he said, "If it comes from the Co-op, you know it's good stuff." I recommend shopping there because they research their products and purchase high quality goods.

jill said...

Congratulations on making such a tough decision for your family! While I don’t agree with removing red meat from your diet (I grew up on an Angus beef farm – meat was and always will be a staple for me!) I do completely support each family’s freedom to make the choices that THEY feel are best for themselves! And great job at making it a family commitment!

I do have an idea for anyone reading – take it or leave it.
Try visiting your local butcher’s shop and let them know you’re interested in buying fresh meat from them. There are times when a farmer/rancher must put an animal down unexpectedly due to an un-healable broken leg or something of that nature. Or maybe they simply don’t have use for all of the meat that comes from an entire animal. In these cases, I know that they will make the meat available for purchase through the butcher. Now, it may not be there EVERY time you go looking for it, but it is there as an option! Very fresh and the least amount of handling between the farm and your refrigerator/freezer. And it helps support our local producers. And this is coming from the daughter of a beef producer, but same applies for turkey, chicken, pork, etc.

I am lucky to only have to buy beef at the store to supplement what I get from my Dad. He will bring a cow in for processing, and we’ll pay for a portion of it and take it home when its done. A “half a beef” fills our freezer for about a year!