Thursday, February 26, 2009

Chickens and eggs

I have made a real attempt to feed my family more healthy "real" food. It all started when kid #1 was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I HAD to start reading labels. I was surprised at all the stuff that was really in food. All the fillers, additives, extras...it was amazing. In addition, the arrival of kid#2 and understanding the full depth of her special needs caused me to ponder and the things done to food. To change its color, make it last longer, to make animals larger, to get them to give more milk...it began to make me wonder. Not one medical professional kid #2 has seen (and believe me there is a list a mile long) can not tell me why. They say it wasn't environmental, but after being raised on processed foods and artificial flavors (Diet Coke, but not while pregnant.) did I provide a hostile home for my children in utero? So, I have been making the switch slowly to organic, fresh foods. Hormone free meat, farm fresh eggs, nitrate free hot dogs, whole grain cereals, no artificial colors, 100% juice, agave and honey sweeteners, no high fructose corn syrup. It has also become "trendy". Even big box stores like Sam's Club and Meijer, and Target have begun to carry organic items. I have joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) to get organic vegetables all summer long.

I titled this post "Chicken and eggs" because the woman that runs the CSA also delivers chicken and eggs to my house and they came yesterday. I was shocked when I first saw the inside of a farm fresh egg. Kid #1 wasn't so sure..."They're orange mom! How do they make them orange!" It is the fresh diet they feed these chickens and how well they are cared for. (Did you know that chicken coops use fluorescent lights inside the coops to get chickens to think it is day time all the time?) I heard on NPR that a study in England that stated cows that are talked to and that have names give more milk than those that are treated like a number. Duh?! As someone that produced milk myself, it makes good sense. On days I was stressed and feeling like a number I made less milk. I could have saved this study a lot of money and time.

So, I have rambled about food long enough and I am sure I will again. I really am learning more everyday. I want to give my kids the best start possible. My family has become very willing participants in my experiments. Last night, we had smoky pork tacos with a variety of toppings, cumin rice and beans. It was too spicy for some (I'll change that for next time.) It has become a fun hobby. I encourage people to try something new with their families too!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Long Time, No Write

Alas, my goal to write more and more often has not been met. Tomorrow is another day! I have spent the last almost 2 months trying to put my family on the right footings to begin the new year.

First, I am learning to celebrate. We had our usual family feast for New Year's. We have crab legs, scallops, steak and all the fixings. We celebrate and dine and talk about the new year. Kid #3 had her birthday celebration not once, or twice, but three times. Then there was Chinese New Year. I spent some time teaching the kids a bit about it. Finding out what we all where...My hubby and I are rats, kid #1 is a horse, kid #2 a monkey, and #3 a dog. Yet another reason to feast. My kids are such adventurous eaters! Then we had our Valentine celebration it was fun. Writing Valentine's and talking about all the people we were sending them to. I realized that life is much more fun when we have something to celebrate, to look forward to, to work towards.

Kid #1 wanted to know if we could schedule Family Game Night on the first of every month. I think we will. We will also add Family Movie Night and a day every once and a while that each kid has my husband and I all to their selves.

We are traveling to Northern Michigan more frequently too. The change of scenery does us good. There isn't cable or great cell phone reception. We read, do art projects, watch movies, go for car rides, bake cookies, and play board games. My husband would be suprised to hear...it's kind of fun. We are going again soon. I am already planning what we'll do!

It is the little things I am learning to enjoy. It sure makes life easier when you have something to look forward to.