Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Life is Good

This week I realized that life is truly good for us right now. We are happy, we are getting along, we are financially solvent, we have a beautiful home and good jobs. Like I said, life is good.

At the same time as I realized that life is good, I realized that life can always be better. We constantly find ourselves struggling to feed ourselves well, to be inspired by all the wonderful food choices that are available to us in Canada. We end up eating the same old things and they end up tasting bad!

I've briefly talked about our love affair with dinner in front of the television. We've made great strides in breaking that habit lately, so Alain and I started talking about breaking another habit... Our reliance on Processed Foods.

This reliance is a big deal. So much of what we have been eating has been heavily processed and so much of it is falling very short of our expectations.

The best concrete example I can give you is Ice Cream. We love Ice Cream. When I met Alain, he was eating a big sundae every night as part of his weight maintenance routine (he threw in bananas, othe fruit and peanuts, so it was healthy, right?). I know that probably drives some of you crazy, we can eat as much ice cream as we want and not gain a bit. Anyways, lately, our favourite brands have changed. One is now labled ice milk. On closer inspection, another is now labelled a "Novelty Dessert". That's what they have to say when there isn't very much milk in your ice cream. These were good brands we were eating and all of a sudden, their composition and taste and texture was entirely different.

For our wedding, Alain and I received the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer Ice Cream attachment. It is basically a double walled bowl that you freeze. You pop it on the stand mixer and turn it on. You pour in your ice cream base (usually milk, whipping cream, egg, flavourings) and after about 20 minutes, the stand mixer has folded in air and you have (soft serve) ice cream. We freeze the batch for a couple hours or overnight, then it's harder ice cream. We have used the attachment a good bit, but, I think we will be using it a whole lot more (By the way, homemade ice cream is pretty much the best thing ever!).

We started thinking about what else we buy and what we can make instead. There are so many things that we can easily make ourselves! Pasta sauce, pizza, french fries, macaroni and cheese, hamburgers, cookies, brownies, lasagna, yogurt, granola bars. Yes, you read that right! Yogurt! Alain eats so much yogurt. Our dogs love it too. We bought a yogurt making maching yesterday but have yet to try it (it is basically just unit which allows you to heat the yogurt to a constant temperature over a long period of time).

Things like pasta, bread, pretzels, cereal etc. can also be made, but for now, we have decided that if we choose these products well, we can find versions that are not so heavily processed.

Reducing the amount of processed food we consume will be good for us, and when I get pregnant, it will be good for our baby too.

What kinds of things do you make yourself and avoid buying?


  1. We make nearly everything from scratch since our little boy's allergies were diagnosed. You name it, bread, pizza, ice cream, baked goods.. I've even given crackers and flatbread a go. I'd say, start with a few easy things... a loaf of bread here and there, pizza (my favourite!), yogurt and ice cream. When you buy processed foods, try to buy the brands with recognizable ingredients. A preservative here and there isn't so bad... but you definitely want there to be more "real" ingredients than additives.

  2. When I was home with the kids (as I will be again soon!) I made lots of things. Particularly tomato sauce and breads. They seem to be easy, just time-consuming, which is why they fell out of favor when I returned to work. I even used to make paper and we had a tiny compost bucket for fresh, rich dirt for our container garden. The compost bucket was awesome. Just a batch of red wiggler worms, some green and brown matter, stuck in a plastic 5 gallon ice cream container I'd jabbed some holes in. Totally odorless, we kept ours outside and the raccoons never knew it was there. Best use for dryer lint I've ever seen - the worms LOVED dryer lint and ate it up very quickly, they also liked coffee grounds but were less keen on egg shells and leaves.

  3. Great comments! Please keep them coming.

    Lana, I see from your blogger profile you are in Ottawa. Are you on ravelry as well? Please contact me on there, or through the contact me button with your contact info!

  4. At our house since a lot of us have food allergies, we make our own bread, pizza, casseroles, most of the time soup, etc. We do have a yogurt maker, but I haven't been using it lately - you've got me thinking about it again since I eat a lot of yogurt and it would be a much healthier choice!
    I wish you and Alain the best of luck!! I think it's such a great choice and it's so amazing when your body starts to feel better do to the more "natural" foods :-)