It’s 9:30 p.m., and all four kids are finally in bed. Three-part grocery list in hand, I head out the door for my weekly, kid-free grocery shopping trip. But this trip will be unlike others before. This time, I have no idea what I’m doing.
I arrive at the store and start in my comfort zone. Bananas… check. Apples… check. Potatoes… check. The “Non-Health Market” section of my grocery list is soon complete. As I make my way into the inner aisles of the store, I refer to the “Check Labels First” section of my grocery list. I begin reading labels and trying to recall what I’ve learned about high fructose corn syrup and refined flour and things I can’t pronounce. Unsweetened applesauce… check. Spaghetti sauce… check. Baked beans… better not. Graham cracker pie crust… yikes!
Next I arrive in uncharted territory–The Health Market. I enter the first aisle where I am now officially out of my comfort zone. I look at the “Health Market” section of my list and then back at the shelves. I find myself standing there staring, lost in a foreign world of foreign name brands and foreign packaging. My eyes scan every box, carton, can, and bag, looking for something… anything… that might be on my list. With no possible way of even pretending that I know what I’m doing, I am suddenly thankful to be standing alone and out of sight. Bread crumbs… bread crumbs…. BREAD CRUMBS!… Check! Now for xanthan gum. What in the world is xanthan gum?….
And so, three list sections and two hours later, I finally arrived back home with my ($80 worth of) groceries. (Yes, it really did take me two hours to buy twenty items.)
Other than spending lots of time in the grocery store (Ha!), the past couple weeks since we started changing our diet have gone well! In order to help me feel less overwhelmed and more successful, I came up with some specific eating/cooking goals for November/December. These include
- Do not cook with sugar. Use natural sweeteners such as raw honey or real maple syrup instead. (I also bought some Stevia and some organic evaporated cane juice crystals so I will have a wider range of natural sweeteners on hand as I learn what works best in different types of recipes.)
- Make my own bread using healthy ingredients. (My bread-making deserves a post of its own, so hopefully there will be more to come on this.)
- Find healthier snacking alternatives. (I’m still working on this. So far I’ve been snacking on gluten-free crackers (I don’t even know what gluten is, by the way….), stovetop-popped popcorn with sea salt, homemade bread with butter or organic peanut butter and raw honey, and fresh fruit.)
- Make my own butter. ( I hope to try this sometime this week!)
- And, of course, break my sugar addiction! (The first week or so of not eating chocolate or ice cream–my primary sugar sources–was a little hard. I found that I had a pretty persistent dull headache and felt extremely tired and even a little bit depressed for several days–all of which I assume was from the lack of sugar–but now that I’m through that, my cravings for chocolate have weakened and become fewer and farther between!)