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Eyes Open Wide

So as it turns out healthy food isn't all that healthy.

Here is what I thought:
1. Veggies are good
2. Junk food is bad
3. The boxed frozen diet food was good for losing weight
4. Stuff at Whole Foods is always good for you
5. Organic and not organic... was pretty much the same

Yikes.  Now that I know what I know... I can't undo it!  But here is how my journey began...

When my son was 3 months old I started feeding him some formula.  Don't get me wrong, I am all for breast is best, and breastfeeding as long as possible, but my son wasn't gaining weight.  In fact during some trips to the doctor he was losing weight.  I remember sitting in the car and crying (while I pumped) while my husband took my son to the doctor because I was too depressed to go.  If I knew then what I knew now... or had the supports that I know about now, perhaps things would have been different - but that was my reality.

So, when I started formula I started with the ones I had heard of: Enfamil, Similac, and Good Start.  We went with Enfamil after some trials with our baby.  One day while I was at the store price shopping with my coupons and sales I glanced at the organic brands and thought - well that is probably better and in fact it's cheaper!  And that was the first organic item I bought Vermont Organic Formula.  At the time I didn't even know what it meant to be organic, but I just figured, it must be better.

That summer we also joined a local CSA.  The veggies were yummy and they happened to be organic.  Again, I didn't join because it was organic or even know what it meant to be organic, I joined because it was convenient and I liked veggies and fruit and I wanted my family to eat more good foods.

I went back to work after our CSA summer and ate school lunches, ordered take out for dinner once a week, and did what I could as a working mom to buy what I thought were semi-healthy foods for my son.  We bought organic baby food and I even made some of my own.  I really tried to provide some good food for him - but my husband and I continued to eat crap.  It was hard to have time to cook every night (especially when I was making baby food) so we ate a lot of pizza, Chinese, and frozen foods.

We started DVRing Jaime Oliver's Food Revolution.  From that show I learned lots about processed foods and grass fed meats, but really nothing about what it meant for something to be organic.  This was however one step in the process.  It was around this time that I started observing my students' behavior in relation to what they were eating.

Let me back up.  I am a high school teacher.  I co-teach a humanities class with an English teacher (I am the history half).  One of the many benefits of co-teaching is the fact that you can really take time to observe the behaviors of the students. 

Here is what the students were eating and drinking (prior to the new rules we set):
-Pop-Tarts
-Doritos
-Ice Cream (yea we have an ice cream machine)
-Arnold Palmer Ice Teas (if you have never seen these they are twice the size of a can of soda and 3x the amount of sugar you need in one day)
-Cookies and candy - Oreo Cakesters were a fav
-And more things of the like

After watching the Food Revolution at home - I shared some of the observations I had made with my co-teacher.  We decided only healthy snacks would be allowed in our classroom, and water.  No sugar drinks no candy... the less processed food the better!  Students started to really take pride in their snacks!  "Look!  Peppers!" "I have cherry tomatoes!" "Almonds!"  We started chatting regularly about healthy foods and drinks and really making changes within our classroom and the two hours a day we had our students.

Then summer this came!  Here is where things really changed.  My son is almost two now and I read Robyn O'Brien's The Unhealthy Truth. WOW.  I learned what it meant to be organic and why the heck it even matters.  I started researching feverishly on the Internet about pesticides in our corn and gene splicing in our veggies.  I was horrified. 

This blog is going to be where I post my challenges and successes to feed our family healthy food and the research I find online and elsewhere about what is in our food.  Hopefully it will help you make some healthier changes in your life as well.

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