Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Shopping Adventures

In my previous post, I mentioned my having to shop harder to find the foods that are safe for my husband.

I found that most meats, chicken, turkey or pork, are injected with a salt broth solution to make it more tender. BUNK! Give me untainted food. They are taking the choice away from me by not offering meats that come without their helpful salt baths.

For that reason, I like Whole Foods Markets. I found some very unique sweet potatoes there. Hannah's are really cool and they come out yellow. The flavor is a little different than the regular orange yams I'm used to. They even have purple ones! That's for my next trip. The drawback as far as I can see is they didn't offer a lot of No-Fat or Low-Fat options. Or even No Salt options - they use a lot of Sea Salt but that has the same amount of sodium as table salt so it's still bad for a heart attack victim's diet.

Our local Stop & Shop chains have a much better offering of the Low or No Fat products. Even cheeses and sour creams are sold as a No Fat option. The price might be a bit higher than I'd like but we really don't have a choice. We no longer make these products ourselves or on local farms - and I don't know if dairy farmers even have the facilities to make anything low/no fat. Who does do that? I'm assuming a secondary factory somewhere. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

The final place that I'm happy about and grateful to have as a resource is Trader Joe's. I found SNACK FOOD! Their Bran muffins with blueberries was a hit with my husband, so were the dried Plantain. They look like bananas but they crunch like potato chips. Very cool. The roasted seaweed is an acquired taste I think. Husband hated it but my kids scarfed them up in one day. I love the 21 Spice Salute of theirs and prefer it over Mrs. Dash. Why? I think it is lighter and sweeter and I smell more citrus in the mix. Mrs. Dash is heavy handed in the pungent herbs like oregano and basil. I found some very low salt wheat tortillas at TJ's too. I didn't need them this trip but when I do, I'll know where to go.

Between the three stores, I think I'll be able to find what I need.

Here's the thing. Changing our eating lifestyle is HARD. Hard to break our typical and usual eating habits and harder on our finances.

I was talking to another friend at the library and she made this comment.

"These days, with everything going up in price, the only people who can eat healthy and buy the organic foods to sustain that better lifestyle are the rich."

She's right. In the winter. At least in the late spring, summer and early fall we have the benefit of farmer's markets to shop at. But right now? We have to pay the higher prices for imported organic foods. And organic food is higher anyway.

The diet that my husband is on says to eat at least three meals of fish a week, preferably salmon or mackerel. Excuse me? Have you checked out your seafood department lately? Salmon on average is $14.00 to $16.00 a pound. Try feeding a family of four with that kind of price tag, especially with two growing boys in the mix. (Hello, bottomless pits)

Did you know that Hydrogenated oils and partially hydrogenated oils are on the WORST list for ingredients in processed foods? Try that new one I found, Interesterified fats. I found it while trying to buy a low salt generic store brand box of saltines. I didn't buy it because I was perplexed as to what this new ingredient was. Boy, am I glad I checked before I bought. What the heck are they trying to do to the people in this country???

You realize of course that it all comes down to the bottom line, money. The big manufacturers don't care about our health and well being, just money. They don't give a flying fig that they are contributing to the high cost of future medical care from the diseases of the body they are germinating within us. Low income families have no choice but to buy what they can afford. And those are products of long shelf life that can be cheaply made with all these wonderful chemically altered mutated elements that may once have started off natural and now are so changed that they harm the consumers after long term exposure.

The nurse in the cardiac ICU said that they are seeing 25 year olds coming in with hardened arteries. YOU THINK? - look at the crap they are selling to kids! Did you know that hydrogenated fats are in Hot Cocoa mixes? And kids LOVE hot cocoa in the winter. It's a must for this time of year. Product after product and more than one gets ingested each day, every day. I am MAD! I am SCARED.

So, after working a whole day, I have to come home and make like Donna Reed and Martha Stuart and create a meal using no helpful pre-made mixes or assists and help with homework, clean the house and do everything else.

Is there a support group for swapping normal recipes out there that is user friendly? I'm interested.

What do I mean by normal? Recipes with ingredients that are easy to find, simple to assemble and can be created in 45 minutes and are geared to heart attack survivors and their families.

And don't say the American Heart Association. I do not find their website easy to navigate, nor do I find their recipes all that helpful. (weird ingredients) Just saying.


Marianne Arkins said...

I so feel your pain -- I try to feed my family healthy foods, not because one of us IS sick but because I'd like to keep us healthy. It's incredibly frustrating (and expensive) to do so.

I was reading in ... "In Defense of Food" I think about getting 1000 calories of food for $1 -- trying to see if you can eat healthy, inexpensively... and you can't. Not really. For all the reasons you mentioned.

And, yes, it hits the low income folks the worst (though I have seen people pay for their "haul" at a natural food store with food stamps before, so maybe some folks are trying).

Very, very frustrating.

RE: recipes, I use -- mostly I use them to "start" and then adjust my meals accordingly.

Good luck!

Brandy said...

Watch out for those No Fat and Low Fat products, they usually have more sodium than the regular version. Our grocery bill went up quite a bit when we found out that Hubs has high cholesterol and I started buying more fruits and veggies. Is there a Farmers Co-Op near you that your could take advantage of?
Best Wishes for everything!

Nulaanne said...

I would talk to a nutritionist, the last one that I talk to told me not to eat low fat/ no fat stuff. She said that when they take out the fat they have to replace it with something and that it usualy is sugar.

I know that to see one costs a bit, but I thought it was worth it.

Michele said...

Thanks, Marianne!
You're like my personal guru in healthy eating.
I've now got All Recipes bookmarked. Thanks for that too.

And...yep, we need all the luck we can get. Plus some good store sales.

Michele said...

Hey, Brandy!

Yeah, I've heard about the Low Fat/No Fat controversy. Yet that is what the AHA recommends. Odd, isn't it?

How's your DH doing on the new menu? What have you found to be the easiest to change? Or the hardest?

I think guys in general don't like change and our jobs as wives is to make it as painless as possible.
They are SO lucky to have us, eh?

Michele said...

Thank you for your comment and for your advice. It's good and you are right, it will be worth it.

I'll be talking to my DH about that ... I can't believe everything I read on the labels of products...their job is to get me to buy, my job is to get educated.

And ...doesn't it seem that anything that is good to do or good for you cost more these days anyway?
It's like the business world punishes you for doing the right thing instead of "their" thing.

Have a wonderful day, Nulaanee!

Annalee Blysse said...

Glad to see this month has gone well and ended for you with shopping woes. Take care to you and yours. Goodness knows I've been trying to eat more healthfully myself so I can identify with the cost of fish! Not eating fish makes me miss my old home in Alaska where I ate fish and game meat and probably ate beef about once a month. I love salmon. Now that I can't really afford salmon it's actually kinda tough. I pretty much eat chicken like I used to eat salmon now. Every once in awhile I'll eat fish when they've got a great sale.