Since I asked you all to tell what babysteps you have taken, I thought you would want to know what I have changed.
Before I go into my changes, I will show you where I came from. Let me take you back to the beginning. I was raised on homemade . All our pasta was whole wheat. We had to take cod liver oil and blackstrap molasses. We ate a lot of wild fish and game—trout, salmon, halibut, caribou, and moose. We had plenty of treats, they were just all sweetened with honey. There was never a box mix or canned item to be found in the house. Everything was made from scratch, from the pudding to the pies to the Thanksgiving dinners. We ate plenty of butter and cream.
We ate plenty of everything. I don’t remember moderation being taught in our home. I guess the thinking was that most of what we ate was healthy, so what was the reason to limit it. We were a family with high metabolisms. The limiting only came when the cost was high. We were a family of six and would occasionally go out to Burger King. We would share a couple orders of fries and all get waters. At Christmas time we would get a carton of and each get a small glass. I think it was just this combination that resulted in some over indulgence on my part once I reached adulthood. I remember when I was first married, I bought a carton of egg nog all for myself and then made myself sick because I drank too much of it. I admit that this is still a weak area for me, overeating. I am blessed with high metabolism still, but it’s not as high as it was in high school. J
When I was about 9 or 10, my younger sister and brother were found to be allergic to dairy products, so the whole family went on soy. We had soy milk in the house for the next 10 years or so. I never liked it too much so I remember choosing to do without whenever milk was called for. We had tofu and plenty of other soy products, as well.
Once I reached my teenage years I was embarrassed when friends would come over and all our food was weird. Whenever I was away from home, I would seek out the “good” food every chance I got. I would bring my lunch to school every day and throw it in the trash because I was so embarrassed. Years later I found out my sister did the same thing! I went to a small private Christian school with no cafeteria so I would just eat whatever the vending machine had to offer for lunch, a candy bar and can of pop or a bag of microwave popcorn. We weren’t allowed to leave the campus, but sometimes we would anyway, then I would get fast food for lunch. Little Caesar’s was a favorite, being right across the street from school. Loved that Crazy Bread!
I started cooking at nine years old. My mother was often gone, being a midwife. She called one day and told me to make some meatloaf for dinner. She told me to write down all the ingredients, dump them into a bowl and mix with my hands. Then throw it in a pan and bake. I kept that “recipe” that I had written down for years and years. I guess that was the beginning of my recipe collection. It now includes many years worth of cooking magazines, many cookbooks, and various clippings and printouts. Anyway, I did a lot of cooking for the family while living at home. Most of the things I learned to cook were from either watching my mom or just having to do it. This is why it is second nature for me to make everything from scratch.
Enter my husband. When I met him, he subsisted on KoolAid, soda, , ramen noodles, Kraft macaroni and cheese, and Little Debbies. When we got married I started trying out foods I had never had before. I worked fulltime so I wanted things that were convenient. We tried some and I can remember regularly making chicken and rice—the dish that calls for a can of . One of our favorites was a store-bought angel food cake with strawberries (with that strawberry sauce you buy in the tub) and Cool Whip. I made things from scratch at first, but slowly slipped into buying more and more packaged food items, like spaghetti sauce, granola bars, Yoplait yogurt, instant oatmeal, frozen fries, etc. I EVEN started buying Crisco for cookies and pie crust!!!!
To be continued…