Today my husband and I both had the day off, weren't feeling pressured to get anything done, be it to the house or for work, and decided to take the kids to the zoo. Afterward, we found a fish & chip restaurant in Portland (we're just over the border in Washington) and had a nice dinner, even if the 2 year old decided to war-paint himself with the tartar sauce. I ate a turkey sandwich and salad (and some of my daughter's fries).
We also drove by a produce stand on the way to the restaurant and I made the hubs turn around and go back. I bought a bunch of locally grown fruit and veg for less than $15. I had borrowed a whole foods cookbook from the library and was itchy to get started on some recipes. I'm pretty excited about cooking healthier, cleaner foods, actually. And, although its too early to really tell, I already feel like I have more energy throughout the day.
I've been cooking us farm fresh veggie loaded dinners for the past week and it seems like I can already feel a difference. Also, contrary to my concern, I have halved my food bill by cooking things from whole foods and not buying processed or frozen foods. Its weird because I thought some of the frozen foods I used to buy were way cheaper than cooking from fresh, but that was because I was preparing food, not actually cooking food. When you prepare your dinners with boxed pastas, too-large cuts of meat and frozen veggies, you actually spend more money than when you cook a meal with 60% farm fresh veggies from a produce stand, a small cut of meat and cooked brown rice. I'm also learning it doesn't take that much longer to cook from whole foods.
Yesterday we had bean and cheese burritos with wheat tortillas (purchased) and homemade beans. I actually made the beans the day before when I was cooking that day's meal. I was able to rinse and put the beans in a pot on the stove between preparing the evening meal for that day. Then, that night, I put the beans in the refrigerator until the following evening. All I had to do then was mush them and heat them up in a little olive oil and voila, dinner was ready.
Also, here's a benefit of exercise. We spent 4 hours at the zoo walking around constantly. I carried a backpack and sometimes the 2 year old, as well as pushed a stroller and had to run after the 2 year old on several occasions. By the time we were done, I felt a bit tired, but not exhausted and no part of my body was in pain. My feet didn't hurt, my legs weren't sore. I remember a time when if I walked for longer than 30 minutes, my legs and hips would ache like crazy. Instead, tonight when we got home I still had the energy to clean the kitchen, get the kids to bed, do some laundry and get my produce washed and put away. Meanwhile, hubby was prone on the couch moaning that his legs and feet hurt. I had to bite my tongue to point out that this is why exercise is so beneficial. No one wants to be nagged to exercise! But, I am such an exercise convert. And, actually, I think the energy drive behind cooking healthy meals from whole foods is from exercising as well. Being active and getting things done just isn't as painful and uncomfortable as it once was, so standing for 45 minutes preparing food doesn't seem as daunting as it would have a year ago. Its all down to exercise, that's what I believe.