Friday, January 1, 2010

Food Factors

For working poor people, like me, food and shelter are always at the top of the list in the 'have-to-haves' department. With little money to go so far, the learning curve is steep. To supply my family with nutritious food, day after day, has been a challenge, to say the least.

To meet the needs of growing children, I made sure fresh fruit and vegetables were a constant. Snacks consisted of these almost exclusively. No pre-packaged junk food found it's way onto my kitchen shelves. Ditto for those handy dandy frozen condensed juices. Water is a best choice for beverage and costs nothing.

Some say fresh fruit is too pricey to serve all the time. It isn't, if that is the only choice. There are always sales on for certain items; neighbours and friends with fruit trees (and vegetable gardens) that share the abundance of their crop when in season and trades to be made. I, at one time, blanched and froze excess fruits and produce for consumption over the non-growing months.

Grains and protein are integral for complete nutrition. Most of us consume far too much protein, causing many of the health issues we see today. After much research and soul searching, I chose to provide a vegetarian diet for my small family, slowly changing to vegan over the years. I now embrace a raw vegan diet for myself, as my offspring have gone on to live their own lives elsewhere.

Meals made at home save a lot of money. Preparation time is spent with family creating a hands-on appreciation for nurturing your body, fostering teamwork and learning safe and sanitary habits in the kitchen that (hopefully) will last a lifetime. Without the television as a distraction, meal preparation becomes entertainment with the immediate reward of eating the food prepared. Even the youngest of children will participate, if given positive encouragement. In my opinion, the hassle is worth the effort in the long run.

I cannot understate the amount of personal discipline I undertake, daily, to stick to the program and live within my meagre, miserly means.

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