Thanks to Addicted To Cloth’s comment on my What Do You Want To Talk About? post, I am going to start a little segment, a few times a week, called Thinkin Outta The Box. Literally. As a mom with children that are sensitive to artificial ingredients, such as artificial food coloring, and artificial preservatives, like BHA, BHT, TBHQ and Sodium Benzoate, I have to make practically everything from scratch. Bread, cookies, cereal, mac-n-cheese, and the list goes on. And while it was very difficult at first, (No, you really can’t have that box of prettily colored fruit snacks.. yes, I know they SAY fruit, but they really are NOT fruit!) it’s become much easier. Much easier. Except the bread part.. I have tried EVERYTHING, my bread never turns out soft and fluffy and yummy. UGH!
A good friend, who also hears the question, “Are ALL these kids YOURS?” very frequently, sent me the greatest gift I have received in some time. A package containing the books, “A Sane Womans Guide To Raising A Large Family” and Family Feasts For $75 A Week” Cookbook. Both by Mary Ostyn. While I was using the Feingold program, the foods they listed were very hard to find and when I could find them they were very expensive! Using Mary Ostyn’s book, I am able to make healthy, from scratch meals (for the most part) for less then $900 a month. That is more then her $75 a week, yes. Most of her recipes, though she has 10 (yes that is 10) kids, are for 4-5 people. I usually make enough of dinner, to serve as lunch in the next couple of days. So those recipes are usually doubled. I also try to buy any fruits and veggies Organic if possible. Most pesticides are made with the same chemicals that the ingredients my children are sensitive to are. I also buy Organic sugar, flour, coffee, and milk, and eggs from free range chickens. When I can find them, I buy free range chicken meat, and grass fed beef. I try to buy juice that is at least 75% juice, if not 100% juice, with NO added sugar. For some reason, it costs more money for companies to put less ingredients in a product, has anyone else noticed this? Yes, these ingredients are more expensive,but as we can get them at the moment, I do.
We do not always eat Outside The Box. At least once a month, usually on shopping days, I pick up Papa Murphy’s pizzas. I will grab McD’s french fries and a milkshake when I have a craving. And right now I am munching on All Natural Lay’s Ruffle chips dipped in Pace cheese dip, drinking a Hansens soda. I am pretty sure the cheese dip destroys any of the healthy benefits of the natural chips and soda. My one year old is totally addicted to Organic pop tarts, and eats two or three a day. But I feel better knowing, that for the most part, we eat healthy, nutritious meals, made right here at home. I know what is in them, how old they are, and better yet, I can puree the onions before adding them so the 6 year old has no idea they are in there. :o)
While I wish that I could share recipes from Mary’s cookbook with you, I am sure there are some infringement laws that frown on that.. I do know that Mary Ostyn has a wonderful blog at http://www.owlhaven.net where she shares recipes and how she stays sane with 10 children. I can however share my own tips, recipes and insanity with you. And I will do my best to share as often as possible! So sit back and enjoy! :o)