Simplifying Our Food

One of the goals of our Simple Year project was to focus on simplicity in our lives, and that includes our kitchen and what we choose to eat. We’ve also been spurred along by Stephen’s celiac disease diagnosis. We had to learn about foods that contain gluten and make sure we weren’t using it in our kitchen.

I guess we started out doing what a lot of people with a new diagnosis do: we tried to find gluten free replacements for the items we used to buy without thinking including bread, cereal, cookies, and crackers. Those things are expensive, let me tell you. A loaf of gluten free bread can easily be $6-7. For one tiny loaf. So, in the last few months we’ve started reigning the grocery spending in. It was getting insane with two tweens and a husband with celiac. And, in general, I’m trying to move to a more plant based diet and am eating tons of produce. The local health food store is crazy expensive and I’m not a big fan of meat that’s been injected with tons of stuff. I’ve read too much. (See Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan.)

So, we found our way to our local farmer’s market. And there we found not just produce, but a local beef and pork farmer (grass fed, no hormones) and a chicken/turkey/egg/honey farmer (free range). I feel like we’ve won the lottery!

We went this past weekend and I purchased some beef, including fajita beef and some steaks. The farmer also makes little beef jerky sticks without all of the additives and junk you’d find in traditional beef sticks. My kids love them and I can use them in their lunches for school. Our chicken lady wasn’t there (we arrived late in the day), but I still had a whole chicken in the freezer from the last trip.

We go to the same produce guy and because we buy so much (it fills up the trunk of my car), he gives us a good deal. The produce in these pictures is what we got this weekend for $88.

Produce2 Produce1Our meals have transitioned to produce heavy, meat as a garnish, and simple preparation. For dinner I will do a meat of some kind (smaller portions), vegetables (usually roasted) and a fresh fruit. Sometimes I’ll add rice or beans.

RoastedVeggiesThis was my lunch the other day:

LunchI instagram a lot of food pics, so if you want to follow along, I’m @KandiceBridges over there.

Our purchasing habits have changed for sure with respect to food. We rarely eat out and I pack everyone’s lunches. I work from home, so I eat from home. I’m still trying to get the food spending lower, but right now I’m happy with what we are buying and eating.

Question for you all: my kids eat more than I do. Like seriously. I’m not alone, right? Right?