Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Changing Your Diet Series: First steps

When I became concerned about the quality of the food my family was eating, it seemed like an overwhelming task to revamp our diet, and not just in terms of information overload.  What was the difference in cost?  My family can be picky, and the thought of spending extra money on organic products that they might not eat was troubling.  I had to take small steps.

I started my journey by taking inventory of what we ate.  As we opened a jar or box, I would write the date on the lid with a permanent marker.  This allowed me to determine how much we were actually using, and when I realized how much peanut butter my husband and son were eating, that became my first target. 

Commercially produced peanut butter is pretty much a candy bar in a jar.  If you look at the ingredients, you’ll see peanuts, salt, sugar, sugar, oil, sugar….you get the picture.  My son’s favorite snack was always peanut butter on a spoon.  He doesn't do that so much anymore, but he still eats a lot of it!

Refrigerated peanut butter
Since my project now had a focus, I did some research and we tried several brands. The first obstacle we came up against was that the peanut butter separated.  It was just too inconvenient to have to stir it each time we used it.  After much trial and error, we discovered that if we refrigerated it after stirring, it didn't separate and the texture was more like what you would find in processed peanut butter.

When you start eating real food your tastes change.  Your taste buds aren't being drowned in sugar and can begin to differentiate between the flavors in your food.  We now buy a brand that is dark roasted because we really enjoy the flavor, and I love seeing only two ingredients on the label – peanut butter and salt.  Added bonus - since everything isn't sweet, it’s easier now to get my son to try new foods.  Just don't be discouraged - small steps will get you there.

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