A Breath of Simplicity

Real food for the whole family
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simple, natural foods

Eliminating processed foods

These past few months I’ve been busy working on reducing my family’s consumption of processed foods. For me, this translates into choosing foods that are primarily free of artificial flavourings, additives and preservatives. 

One thing I’ve learned is that this is really hard to do.

I’ve always known this, sort of… somewhere in the back of my mind, you know?

But it wasn’t until I started reading food labels (and researching what some of the ingredients actually represent) that I learned just how difficult and time consuming it is to switch to natural, unprocessed foods. 

Even healthier options – the ones I considered to be okay are… not okay.

Highly processed foods dominate the shelves at our local grocery store. Most packaged foods have ingredient lists a mile long (many include strange names I don’t know, or recognize as food). I’ve learned that foods I assumed to be natural and wholesome actually don’t fall under the real food category. For example, I didn’t realize until a few months ago that most breads contain preservatives to increase their shelf life. I have yet to find a preservative-free loaf of bread that my kids will actually eat!

A simple journey in real food

The process of switching to real foods has been FUN. At the same time it has been confusing, frustrating and sometimes, downright overwhelming.

I’ve had to be diligent about reading food labels and we’ve had to give up several foods that I considered staples in our kitchen.

The lack of reasonably priced choices at our local stores has inspired me to experiment (extensively) with kid-friendly recipes so that we can break-free from our dependence on packaged, highly processed snack foods.

Luckily, we’ve discovered several quick, easy recipes that we now routinely include in our rota (I will be posting a link to the recipes real soon ;) ).

I’ve always enjoyed the thrill of discovering real food recipes that all four of my kids will devour. Switching out old kitchen staples with feasible real food alternatives is a different challenge that I have learned to enjoy. The process has become an integral part of our lives and I am eager to share the journey with you.

I’ve spent hours scrutinizing my options to get the most bang for my buck when shopping for organic whole foods.

I’m doing all this work, I may as well share it with you!

A Breath of Simplicity: Real food for the whole family 

I’ve decided to give the blog a switcheroo (is that even a word?). This doesn’t mean I won’t post about decluttering or simple play. We do practice simple living habits in all areas of our lives so you’ll still see related articles sprinkled between the recipe posts and the discussion about pastured eggs!

But you will notice a definite shift in the focus to SIMPLE FOODS as we continue our journey towards real food for the whole family.

This wasn’t the path I intended for this blog when I first hit the publish button. I will say this though. It feels SO right.

I want to thank you for your support and I hope that you continue to subscribe to the blog.  If, however, you feel like this is not your cup of tea anymore, I understand. I do hope (really, I do!) that you stick around all the same ;)

Switching to real food is probably one of the best things you can do for your family’s health!

Millet Muffins

Applesauce, maple millet muffins

Muffins are a tricky business. Grocery store varieties and even healthy looking versions from the bakery are usually loaded with processed sugar. And it’s difficult to find one that is made from whole grains. When I first started baking my own whole wheat muffins they were dense and dry. Barely edible past the first day. Then I discovered whole wheat pastry flour also known as soft wheat flour. I now bake almost exclusively with it. Whole wheat pastry flour allows… READ MORE ➞

number activities

Mirror math with glass gems and dry erase markers

I’ve been doing a lot of number counting with my four year old and when I saw the post about number bubbles on Mamma.Papa.Bubba I knew that these mirrors would be a hit at our house. I was right. I couldn’t find mirror tiles at the dollar store (I checked several stores) and in the end I got mine from Ikea for $7.99. It was a four pack amounting to $2 a piece. Here’s what you need for this activity: mirror tiles… READ MORE ➞

painted rocks

Alphabet (Painted) Rocks

These were inspired by a set of alphabet painted baltic sea pebbles I spotted on Etsy.  Last year. Safiya collected pebbles (that were flat and just the right size) last Summer and she’s been waiting patiently ever since for us to get around to this project. I finally bought some acrylic paint and a can of glaze (plus a pack of pebbles from the dollar store so we’d have enough to go around)! While I was painting my ABC’s, the… READ MORE ➞

picky eaters

A FUN, Interactive System to Transform Your Picky Eater

See that cute kid on the fridge magnet? That’s my darling seven year old. Two years ago she ate a variety of foods that covered all the major food groups. She could have been a poster child for the food pyramid. Not so much anymore.   To rectify the situation, I was searching online for kid’s nutrition activities (I was hoping to teach mine the importance of a varied diet) when I stumbled upon a nutrition chart that was used by a mum… READ MORE ➞

Old San Juan

A Family Trip to Puerto Rico

For the past five years, our vacations have veered towards all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean. The first time we travelled to an all-inclusive we had three kids and I was pregnant with my fourth. It was sheer bliss. The second time we chose this route, we had a six month infant in tow. The all-inclusive brand of vacation worked for us. Until it didn’t. On our last vacation we spent ten days in a lovely resort in Punta Cana. Safiya… READ MORE ➞

Teen sleep habits

Is Your Teen’s Sleep Pattern Cause for Concern?

Watching our teen girls stay up past midnight on week-ends and then sleep half the day away has been a constant source of frustration for both my husband and I. It was driving us bonkers. A few weeks ago, we made it clear that everyone in our home was expected to be up by 9:00am on week-ends. We’re up at 7am with the younger two, so technically, the teens are still sleeping in! Although, we didn’t specify a set bed-time, we did warn them to be… READ MORE ➞

teens texting

Does “Normal” Define the Standard for YOUR Teen?

Two years ago I had 4 children. Now I have 2 children and 2 teen-aged girls. My teens used to have limited screen time up until they were 10 and 12 years old. Over the past 2 years we’ve been stumbling down a slippery slope. Why We Stumbled 1. The birth of my fourth child. My eldest was ten years old when my son was born and she was still too young to stay home alone or to babysit; so… READ MORE ➞

Ice Storm

A Winter Wonderland

Tens of thousands of families spent the days leading up to Christmas without power or heat. Some families woke up Christmas morning with power yet to be restored to their homes. Our family was spared the chaos as we were in sunny Puerto Rico and hence we missed the aftermath of the ice storm. When we returned home on Thursday night, the scenery that greeted us was incredible. Trees everywhere were encased in ice. It felt surreal. A winter wonderland. I thought you might… READ MORE ➞

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