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  • Julie Allesch, IHP

Beat the Labels

If we shop the perimeter of the grocery stores, we can largely avoid buying processed foods which contain many of the toxins that are hurting our health. When buying something in a container, we look for as few ingredients as possible, and stick to things we can pronounce. But we all have to work within our budget, too, and buying healthy nourishing foods can cost more than buying cheap unhealthy foods. I am not going to teach about the hidden costs of unhealthy food now, rather I want to help encourage you by teaching how to make it work, both on the finances as well as feeding a family, that, well, would rather eat mac’n cheese. We all have to do the best we can, and honestly, I think my first child was built on macaroni and chicken nuggets. But I know more now, and am doing what I can to help make it easier for you and your family to live well.



Make sure you read the actual ingredients!

So let’s take on mac’n cheese, a child favorite. Maybe you’ll cook some extra veggies on the side and throw in a fish stick or chicken nuggets to round it out. (I’m pretty sure I did that!) You could make one small upgrade and buy Annie’s Organic instead of Kraft, and make a pretty big improvement in the ingredients. But even still, if your kids eat a big bowl of that about an hour later they are hungry again. It doesn’t satisfy.


Training our kids to eat healthy takes work, but it sure gets a lot easier if we don’t really give them a choice. When there is only good food to choose from, they will get hungry enough to eat it, and someday their taste buds may actually prefer it.



They make pasta out of only black beans now! (or lentils)

I have started seeing prices of organic food come down, as the supply of it has increased. I am seeing things I’ve never seen before - at Aldi’s (a great place to save on food bills), I bought pasta made with only one ingredient - only lentils!, the other only black beans. And my family actually ate it and didn’t seem to notice the difference. I haven’t eaten much pasta in over a year, so it tasted amazing to me!


Even if you cook conventional noodles, just put on some grass-fed butter or better yet olive oil, sprinkle on salt & pepper, add a little cheese if you want, but just keep it simple! Serve a smaller size of the pasta with some vegetables and maybe chicken, and you can make it a much healthier meal that will satisfy.



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