Family of Change

So what are the changes we've made you ask?  Quite a few actually.  It hasn't happened over night.  As I mentioned in the previous post, I have been thinking about this for a while but just recently got really passionate about it.  So we have changed little things one small step at a time.  We have a long way to go in my opinion but it's the little things that make the difference.  I would love to have a more environmentally responsible car to drive but right now that is more like a pole vault and I am not equipped for it just yet.  So here is what we have done recently. 

Environmental Changes
  • More diligent on recycling and avoiding buying non recyclable material such as paper plates and paper towels
  • Use of canvas grocery bags.  I keep them in my car at all times.
  • Less use of harmful chemical cleaners
  • Future plans for a rain collection system for our next home
  • more appreciation for our planet and what my part in taking care of it is
  • Plans for a garden and compost

Nutritional Changes
~Daily quality multivitamins for the whole family.  We went with Shaklee which so far have been great.
~Drinking plenty of water - limited milk for the boys to one glass a day and no juice (unless we juice it) to make them drink more water.  I have been using a band system to make sure I drink enough.  Ok so it's just a hair band but I start with 5 on my wrist and for each bottle I finish I put one on the bottle.  The idea is to get all of them off my wrist and onto the bottle each day before I go to bed.
~More fruits and vegetables - even some vegetarian meals

This is pre-juicer.  The magic bullet is one of our favorite kitchen items but it simply could not handle the job.
~Tried out juicing/bought a juicer.  John and I usually replace one meal with juice when he is off work.  I was nervous when I saw the ugly Hulk looking drink but it actually tasted OK.  I wouldn't say it was the best tasting thing I've ever had but it was certainly not bad.  And look at all the nutrients we packed into it!  Juicing is pricey so while we would love to do it daily or even try a juice fast, we just can't justify the cost right now.  (Love the juicer though and well worth the $35)

~Switched to Greek yogurt - Chobani even makes one in a tube and it is waaaaaaaay healthier than the Yoplait GoGurt brand
~Staying away from processed foods as best we can - anything I can make myself I would prefer to so I KNOW what is in it.

~Hired a milk man!  Yes!  Dan the milk man delivers fresh, organic milk, eggs, cheese, and butter from one of their 3 local farms here in the Denver area.  And the best part - it's affordable and the kids think it is the coolest thing ever to wake up to a box of goods from the milk man.

~Joined a fresh fruit/vegetable service called Door to Door Organics that delivers a fresh box of local produce either once a week or biweekly.  Unfortunatly we probably won't continue this service as it is a little pricey.

~Making plans to grow our own food

~Gave up pop - John has not had a single one since January 1st.  I have had two in moments of weakness since January 1st! :)  This is in stark comparison to my almost daily intake of Diet Coke.

~I'm trying new foods - and even eating rice!!!  Yes you just read that... RICE. And I liked it.
~Going out to eat WAY less.  Like almost not at all.  In the month of February we spent less than $50 total on eating out. (This is without counting Ethan's Birthday)

~Got creative with dinners.  The other night we had a fondue night and it was a great success!  Bonus: Aaron is now eating broccoli - even asking for seconds.

Our fondue was made entirely of organic fresh-from-the-farm products.  Butter, Milk, and Sharp cheddar.  Yum!

~Have been drinking herbal tea and honey a lot recently.  So many great health benefits - plus it's great after dinner, before bed.  Helps curb the evening munchies!

Things I've avoided buying processed and made myself instead in the last week or so:
  • Bread - the bread machine has recently become a friend of mine.  I have made some loaves by hand but this baby is a set and forget, great for pb&j, made with whole wheat, perfect loaf that we have fallen in love with.
  • Pita Bread
  • Graham crackers
  • corn tortillas
  • corn chips
  • spinach and artichoke dip
  • hummus - about 5 times!
  • pasta sauce
  • teriaki sauce
  • peanut sauce
  • pizza crusts - and extra to freeze
  • vanilla syrup
  • vanilla creamer
  • potato chips
  • lemon juice (from juicing lemons)
  • started seeds for tomatoes, green beans, strawberries, rosemary, basil, parsley, oregano, and spearmint
  • started regrowing my groceries...  onions, romaine lettuce, celery, lemon seeds
  • started a compost
  • dried out some leftover cilantro to keep for later
  • thought about making a cheap greenhouse for the backyard but may wait until next year

 This is our compost box for outside.  John drilled holes in a simple plastic tote from Walmart.  It can be shaken to stir it up.  We bought two so that while one is waiting to decompose for use, we can fill another one.
Now we can recycle food too!  (As Aaron likes to point out.)

Well, I have become a little more passionate about this kind of stuff every day.  In fact, I feel there is more to my passion than meets the eye - like maybe there is a purpose to all of this.  In fact it makes me very excited to think about how I can use my new found love and knowledge to help others.  My passion is really aimed at overall health and wellness which includes taking care of our bodies inside and out as well as our environments.  John is 100% on board with this and very encouraging and excited about it himself.  The kids are doing great - they are having fun with it and to them, it's just a way of life.  Can't wait for growing season to begin... only 10 weeks to go... ugh!