936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting
Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!
My aim was to show readers that there are more real families out there saying “no more” to processed foods, learning to purchase and prepare real ingredients, and trading in fad diets for real food!
In the midst of the busyness of work and raising families, these are the people who are just crazy enough and concerned about their health enough to make a whole food diet a priority in their homes. I wanted to show that it is doable, no matter what life stage you find yourself in. And in the middle of hearing and sharing these families’ stories–I was the one who got an education.
Well, it’s a year later and I thought it might be time to revisit these families and see what has changed, adapted, and transformed over the past year.
So this week and next, we will be stepping back into the kitchens of the Marshall family and the Gruetzmacher family! Now, I did find myself with a bit of a challenge in conducting these interviews. Since I last interviewed them, I have moved 9 hours away. And so, instead of my words, you will be hearing directly for these whole food moms yourself! So I hand it over now to Becky Marshall, mom of 4 busy with homeschooling, church planting, and making her family delicious, whole foods every day!
I found this quote online today. This is something that I need to keep reminding myself of. Our family follows an 80/20 approach to eating real foods. I try to not buy much in a box and most of what we eat is prepared in my kitchen from their whole forms. On occasion our family will splurge and buy organic cheese curls or frozen pizza, but really due to cost I don’t buy much in the way of convenience foods. The area I struggle in most is avoiding sugar.
My husband has often needed to remind me that if I don’t buy sugar, or in our family’s case, sucanat, then I won’t be tempted to bake and eat too many sweets. It really is true that if you keep the ingredients you don’t want to be eating out of your house, then you won’t be eating those foods. Keeping the fridge full of fresh produce and real food snacks sets our weeks up for success in the food department.
Now I know this is easier for me, a stay at home mom who really rarely leaves the house. I don’t know how my will power would fare if I was out a lot and faced with delicious treats on a regular basis, but for me bringing the good into our home, and keeping the unwanted out is a key to success.
This past year I have been challenged in a new way in the way our family eats. After visiting a naturopath our family discovered that I had Candida overgrowth and a resulting dairy sensitivity.
My boys both had dairy sensitivity and one had a gluten sensitivity. So for the first time (in forever… sorry for the Frozen reference) our family had to strictly limit what we brought into the home and what we allowed outside of our home.
Starting in October I cut out all sugar and dairy (for the sake of time I will refrain from sharing my holiday failures with you). I didn’t eat honey, maple syrup, sugar, dried fruit, refined flour products, and very little fresh fruit. I eliminated my beloved cheese, sour cream, butter, milk, etc.
We later found that butter caused no problems for me and I feel it is such an important part of a nutrient rich diet so I gladly added that back in. Then early winter we eliminated dairy and gluten after my boys went to their appointment.
I found that if one person needs to be gluten free it is much easier for the whole family to be gluten free. Making a gluten free version and a regular version is way too much work.
Bread became a rare item in our house and I started baking a gluten free loaf on occasion for a treat. It’s kind of funny when you get to the point where a simple peanut butter and jelly is a special lunch.
Most every dinner had rice or potatoes for an easy starch at our meals. I found that many recipes became too much work and costly on a restricted diet. Making a simple gluten free starch, a stir fried veggie, and a type of meat was the simplest & most cost effective way to go.
I started flying through cases of canned coconut milk to replace many of my diary staples and discovered that pizza with dairy free cheese is quite disappointing and that a cheese-less pizza is surprisingly satisfying. For me tacos with no sour cream equates to “what’s the point of even having tacos?”, but when you bring avocados into the mix you don’t miss the sour cream quite as much.
Raising kids stirs something deep in our souls — an innate knowing that our time is finite. Taking my kids outside in creation, I’m discovering how to stretch our time and pack it to the brim with meaning. God’s creativity provides the riches of resources for teaching the next generation who He is and how He loves us. Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!