4.23.2008

Oh fuck

** Heads up this is long**

Remember back when I was a good blogger. And I was all, "hey look at me I'm so witty and funny, and fabulous!" And now I'm all, "dude how can I blog when I'm trying to read, and my son is tooting his flute thingy in my fucking ear and farting on me, and my other son is all look I'm so cute you must munch on my fat thighs right now."

I remember back when I would say I was going to write a post and then, you know, like, actually write the fucking post.

Like that one post about the shoppin and the cookin and what not. Ya'll remember WAY BACK THEN? That blog stemmed from the time I went to the store and I bought a bunch of vegetables. The checker, who has been there for at least a year looked at me and said,"Wow this is the MOST vegetables I've ever see, EVER." And then he looked at me because obviously I had fucking beets growing out my ears and I was shaping up to look like a pear because no one on planet earth has ever bought that many vegetables before. I was totally shocked and inquired. He said that in his entire time working there he really had never seen someone buy that much fresh food. Suddenly I felt like I was running for president of the Most Awesome Healthiest Shopper Ever Club and I was giving my speech on why you should elect me and not Polly Processed foods behind me. After he finished looking at me like I was crazy and charging me for 9 pounds of grapes instead of a 9 pound watermelon ($19.87 difference, checker of the month my ass) I went on my way.

I thought about it for a long time. I thought about my love for cooking and started to wonder if maybe I only bought so many fresh things because I loved cooking so much. I started thinking I was so super awesome and cooked the best most healthy food, (she says as she microwaves some macaroni for her son, telling herself it's okay because it's organic..right..right, hello (crickets)). I thought I was pretty specific in my poll until I received this comment:

Lainey-Paney said... time out---to me, cooking hamburger helper IS cooking. so, i suppose i need you to clarify: what exactly is cooking? if I put Eggo Waffles in the toaster, and serve 'em up---that's cooking. right? no? what about combining all of the ingredients to make tuna fish sandwiches? Is that cooking? B/c to me, it counts. I'm just sayin'.....
After I ran and changed my underwear because I had just pissed myself laughing I sat down to think about it. What does home cooked mean? What constitutes healthy? Will Big ever stop cheating on Carry, oh wait, I felt like I was stuck in the ending of a Sex and the City episode there.

At first I thought home cooked meant fresh ingredients. But then I thought, well yeah, but I mean that mom throwing some hamburger helper in a pot is better then buying Jack in the Crack right? I mean sure it is still heavily processed and hold very little nutritional value, but morally she is still cooking for her family and she is still spending more time at home, and less gas and time and energy driving through a fast food joint that surely pollutes our earth more then making a frozen pizza?

There is a girl at my work who really wants to lose weight. She also wants to eat better to improve her health. I was ragging her and ragging her about how its so much easier to just fucking eat healthy. It isn't hard and cooking a damn meal, or packing a lunch, or packing a breakfast isn't that hard. I mean shit, my two year old can throw some yogurt in a fucking bag right? She shouted back at me, "YEAH BUT YOU CAN AFFORD TO EAT GOOD." Oh theres my place, and yes she put me right in it.

Shes right. Everyone is sitting here talking about the fucking crisis in America. Sound the sirens WE ARE ALL FAT ASS WHO ARE UNHEALTHY! Every magazine I open talks about how fat we all are and how to fix it. Every tv show, and movie, and book, and billboard is busy telling me how to be greener and healthier. It is being pound into my skull that I need to eat organic, and healthy. All I hear is how it is so damn simple.

Uhh, there is just one problem. You have to be a kazillionair to do it. Seriously. My grocery bill is at minimum $187.00 a week. I got really happy once when it was $150.00 a week. Oh, did I forget to mention THAT IS WITH OUT BUYING MEAT!!!!! I buy all my meat at the start of the month and just freeze it. So, I'm spending $187.00 on fresh organic fruit, and organic veggies, and organic milk ($3.50 a carton), organic green house cleaning products, fresh cut deli meat instead of the weird gray meat Oscar Meyer sells, real cheese, rather then Kraft singles, and so on. Most of my snacks have even become organic. In fact, it is safe to say the only non organic things I purchase are diapers, wipes, ice cream, and my 100 calorie packs. My tea is even organic, and yes the macaroni my kid eats is organic (it's all he likes sorry).

While I do feel 10000% more healthy, and I have lost 39 lbs by packing my lunches and cooking my food, I can't help but thinking, damn that grocery trip could have paid my power bill, and living on ramen would be so much cheaper. But then I realize that thinking about money and buying a bunch of shit is how I got where I am. And, continuing that will get my kids in the same place. Just because I have boys doesn't mean they won't some day end up over weight and out of shape. Not even thinking about vanity issues, I don't want my kids to end up so fat they can't even run around the track and end up having to be on the chess team and band geeks because they are too out of shape to make it to first base.

What bothers me is that all I hear all day is how I need to eat healthy, so you would think they would lower the fucking prices on organic foods, and healthy foods. Take me and the girl at work. Here is an example of our eating habits, and these are based soley on our different economic status:
Breakfast:
Shannon: 1 non fat yogurt with 1 cup fresh berries, 1 dry eggo red berry waffle, home brewed coffee with low sugar creamer (all brought from home) cost: probably at least $6.00

Her: 1 jerky stick, 1 Large energy drink in a can, 1 cheese stick (all bought at gas station on way to work)cost: $3.00

Lunch plus snacks:
Shannon: 1 hard boiled egg with one piece dry wheat toast 1 tbsp mayo and some mustard, 1 fresh organic apple with 2 tbsp soy nut butter, 2 Clementine's, fresh veggies & home made dip, organic tea and filtered water (again all brought from home) cost: about 9.00

Her: On days she can afford lunch it is either Burger King for about $2.00 off the dollar menu, a large frozen burrito from the gas station for about $1.89. or another energy drink, a handful of chips and a sandwich from the gas station coming in at a whopping $4.00, other days she packs a cup o noodles from home for about $.20

Dinner:
Shannon: Fresh veggies, steak or chicken (for husband), with some pasta or rice. (All made at home with food from home) dinner is about $30.00 a night between husband, me and Brandon.

Her: Either 2 boxes of Hamburger Helper, some chicken with noodles, ramen, frozen burrito, or take out. Most nights they get either pizza, Jack in the Box, or McDonalds. Her dinner probably ranges anywhere from $10.00 to $15.00.

After that I have ice cream, or cookies, or fresh made berry smoothies as snacks or deserts. She can't afford such things.

On weekends I cook eggs, bacon, hash browns (grated from actual potatoes, not frozen), toast and serve it was a yummy orange juice. Some days I make a great egg sammich, or a tasty breakfast burrito.

On weekends she runs and grabs something off the dollar breakfast menu from McDonalds and since she is there grabs a couple McFlurrys or milk shakes.

I'm not doing this to brag about my food, I'm doing it to clearly show the difference between having the option to eat healthy and not having the option. Everyone in her home is over weight, cranky, and lethargic. My house we are all the right weight (or on our way there), active and for the most part upbeat. I already know I will be raising athletic kids, and my older son already has a huge interest in getting in the kitchen and cooking. Brandon would rather eat a banana or watermelon over fries, he would rather have some pancakes or cereal instead of bacon and fatty sausage or fast food breakfasts (he does like the occasional hashbrown though). Last night he argued with me that he wanted to eat his carrots and green beans before eating his mashed potatoes and gravy. I felt like I was on top of the world at that moment. Today we got home and he begged for a banana. I gave him one. I asked if he wanted anything else, some toast, a quesidilla, anything, and he said no he wanted another banana.

Now, I want to make it totally clear that I am BROKE. However I have given up most everything else in favor of eating good healthy high quality food. I traded a social life for environmentally safe dish soap, laundry soap and shampoo. I don't buy myself clothes anymore but I do eat the best tasting apples ever, and they are good for me, and guess what, when you look at my apple it says APPLE, it doesn't say processed, bleached, enriched, hydrogenated, or mechanically separated anywhere on it. My son gets only real maple syrup on his pancakes. I will not buy the high fructose corn syrup gelatinus stuff that Mrs Butterworth calls syrup. Does real maple syrup taste different then Mrs. Butterworth YES, does my son know NO! He will never know that the macaroni he is eating is different because it is organic. He will never know that his milk is lacking of pesticides and hormones. He will never know that his bananas spoil a little faster because they are organic. He won't know this because to him it will be normal. My son ingests about 3 things that are not healthy and organic, his fucking cheetos, his cream cheese (I just can't give up Philidelphia), and his chocolate milk mix. I have yet to find a organic chocolate milk mix that compares to the Hersheys kind. Other then that, his pancakes, and string cheese, and puddings, and fruit, and most cereals, food, juices (rationed) and so on are all organic. He will grow up knowing no different.

That isn't what I worry about. Because I grew up that way too. I worry about what happened to me. I worry that he will move out, be a poor starving college student and discover that ramen is a hell of a lot cheaper then organic bananas, and Suave shampoo is much cheaper then his organic kind.

I'm so bothered by all of this. I'm bothered they make it so expensive to eat healthy then have the nerve to bitch and moan at us saying it's our fault we are fat lazy slobs. I'm bothered that moms who make a frozen pizza or throw together some Dinty Moore beef stew are labeled as lazy unhealthy cooks, simply because they can't afford all the ingredients for a fresh home made stew, or the ingredients to make a real pizza. I'm bothered that we are made to feel bad for our decisions at the check stand yet the government can't seem to lower the prices enough to make it affordable for the whole world to be healthy.

I want to make it clear that Brandon doesn't eat near as healthy as I would like. He prefers macaroni, cheetos, and cream cheese right out of the container. I will admit this is my fault. When I was pregnant, and right when he was born, it was more important to me to worry about money then to worry about quality of food. I figured I could fix him later. I also weighed almost 200 pounds. Then I woke up, realized I needed to make a change, and I'm fighting tooth and nail to make my son healthier right along with me. I am only happy knowing Codi will never know junk food. He will never know low quality stuff. Brandon and I will work on this together, but soon I will win this battle, and he and I will be broken of our bad habits completly.

An acquaintance of mine once talked about how very very obese people often say that they are over weight because they have a disease. And while I do understand that maybe now they don't know how to change those things, that had they been given the right tools and the proper upbringing, and been able to afford healthier options they never would have been there.

So, I guess now I have to ask all of you. If money was no option would you cook more meals using fresh ingredients. I don't mean making tuna salad, I mean making a real home made soup, or a salad with a real vinaigrette, or tacos, with actual veggies, and good tortillas not the cardboard preformed kind, with veggies on them, and real cheese, and maybe even chicken instead of ground beef? Would you cook more then, and pack more lunches, and eat more home made meals?

I also pose a challenge to you. Instead of just grabbing the cheapest box of premade stuff, why not actually check out your store. Why not realize that you can buy a pork tenderloin for $5.00, 4 potatoes, for about $2.00, and a bundle of broccoli for about $3.00 and have a home made meal for 2-4 for just around $10.00. Then realize, that $10.00 can't even feed one person at a fast food joint anymore. It is possible to eat healthier (maybe not organic but at least home made) for less then you can get fast food.

So maybe tonight, look through a Betty Crocker, clip some coupons, buy some fresh ingredients and teach your kids, how to be healthy. I'm not even saying spend the money for organic...I'm just saying, try fresh for once.

17 comments:

Someone Being Me said...

I have thought a lot about this. Money is an issue when it comes to grocery shopping. I can get 2 gallons of non-organic milk for $6.00. It costs $4.00 for a half gallon of organic. I only buy organic if I have coupons. Although I do buy my son the YoBaby yogurt. It is cheaper to eat processed foods than fresh but I try to compromise and cook fresh but I use ingredients on sale and I don't buy organic. I also buy the cheap laundry detergent but I use vinegar and water for cleaning vs regular cleaners. Its a challenge. If money were no object then I would absolutely buy the organic stuff.

Amanda said...

Thanks for your blog , i hope you dont mind me leaving a message.

I really enjoyed reading your post and i totally agree with what you have written.
I don't use organic products that often, simply due to the fact that it is more expensive and i have 4 kids ( 5 if you include hubby) to cook for and it would just cost too much. I'm from the u.k and the organic products are alot more expensive than non-organic.

But i totally agree that just to buy fresh produce and cook a meal is so much better than processed or fast food junk. Soups are very easy , healthy and cheap to make.


Congratulations on your weight loss by the way! I also need to lose weight, i think if i cooked more healthy stuff, rather than buying processed 'diet foods' i'd be more successful in losing weight!

Mom said...

I have the money to afford to get good food and you know me Shannon I always try and buy Organic. I don’t really think it is sometimes the money that stops people from cooking good food to me its time and just being in the kitchen. I’ve been married for 18 years and like you all know he does not cook so I get really board of cooking. I also don’t get home from work sometime till 7:00 that means I’m not eating dinner till 8:00, which we all know is way to late to eat and is unhealthy in its self. Then since I’m the only one to do the dishes well its sometime 9:30 before I get out of the kitchen or I have to get up early in the morning and do them which stresses me out.

As you know in the summer I would rater be outside then in the house cooking and you would rater be in the house cooking then in the yard. To some people cooking is just easy. I’ve been told I cook the best when I’m camping. Why? Because I can make a big mess and not have to worry about clean up. My dad loves to cook but he never has to clean up that is a cooks perfect way to cook.

I make Kirk and me a bowl of cereal with fresh fruit every morning or a shake with fresh fruit that’s where I do good.

As far as going to leave for lunch everyday I think that take a lot of gas and the price of gas being as high as it is a $3.00 hamburger could cost you $6.00.

In a lot of houses family members don’t eat the same thing so some moms could have to make 3 different kinds of meal so it is just easier to run and get them all something. I remember my cousin, yes you Angie, her mom always had to make her, her own dinner because she wouldn’t really eat any they ate.

So I make Sat and Sun my big cooking days cause that’s when I have the most time. Three days during the week I cook but mostly just meat and a veggie that rest I give him a Lean Cusine and I eat an Amys Organic frozen dinner.

LauraMae said...

I struggle with money saving vs. healthy eating all the time. I have found some really great blogs that address the tricky situation of: Eating Healthy while on a Budget. One of my favorite blogs on this topic is Money Saving Mom at www.moneysavingmom.com. Her advice is really helpful! I think it is possible to eat healthy while on a budget; however, it certainly takes some extra effort and strategic planning!

Steph said...

Awesome post Shannon. It is true that people have picked up bad habits and they are habits that they will make excuses not to break. I know that I am not the healthiest of eaters, but I am doing a lot better since talking with you about buying fresh veggies and making meals at home. You have made me want to start bringing food to work to eat rather than eating out. And at the store, I notice the organic. I may not be able to afford it, but I do make healthier decisions.

You are doing a great job.

Amanda said...

Thanks for leaving a message on my blog, but i like your photo, was that taken after you lost the weight, you look great:)

Christy said...

Wow. You have just inspired me to make dinner tonight. Well done Shannon!

We do buy organic fruits and veggies, and it is SOOOOO expensive. We also buy lots of frozen vegetables. I think the only overly processed food we buy is veggie patties (Morning Star Farms). Porgie LOVES them.

Liz said...

I don't think I'd say money is an issue to eating healthy for us. I make homemade stuff every night of the week, except for Sundays when we eat at my mom's and my sister makes homemade food for all of us. I use more fresh foods now than ever before and that's because my son is gobbling up whatever I put in front of him.

That being said, I live in a medium sized town with not very many grocery stores. The organic products they sell are sparse. I do buy organic when I can. To really buy organic food for the bulk of what we eat, I'd have to drive 40 or 50 miles, and with gas what it is I just won't do that. Still with summer coming up, there will be plenty of farmer's markets to go to for good fresh (and usually organic in my area) food. Also, I think for people wanting to eat healthy on a budget farmer's markets are the way to go. They are way cheaper than the grocery store.

angie said...

While I completely agree with you on this because groceries are outrageous right now. Although when you eat out a lot that adds right up too and can end up costing more than what you would have spent at the grocery store! But at the same time I wholeheartedly agree with your mom!

I think money and time both play into what people cook. I agree with her that cooking is easy for some people. I am not one of those people...as she stated I am very picky which is why the Tummy Tuck was so hard for me at first. My mom did cook me something different because I was so picky meaning she spent a little extra time in the kitchen having to cook. Since I am picky I make very bland and boring things. That's why Dave does more of the cooking...but back to agreeing with your mom...

It does take a lot of time to come home and make a fresh meal. With two kiddos I completely admire what you do when you get home from work. But you also enjoy cooking and like your mom I would rather be outside doing something else than be in the kitchen.

That being said...I've obviously worked to make things in my life a little more healthy. I don't eat out as much and we do try to cook homemade meals. I've learned to make chicken soup from scratch and I actually enjoy it. Little by little I am getting better about cooking and trying new things. Hell I tried two new veggies this week alone!

I really think it's a balance between what it costs to eat healthy and the amount of time it takes to cook healthy.

Misguided Mommy said...

EVERYONE: SORRY, TIME AS AN ISSUE REALLY DOESN'T FLY, BECAUSE ON DAYS I DON'T HAVE THE TIME, I JUST TOSS SOMETHING IN THE CROCK POT IN THE MORNING AND THEN DINNER IS ALREADY COOKED WHEN I GET HOME. PLUS I KNOW MY COUSIN DOESN'T GET HOME UNTIL 6:30-7:00 MOST NIGHTS AND IF SHES EXTRA TIRED SHE JUST SAYS TONIGHT IS CROCK POT NIGHT.

Misguided Mommy said...

EVERYONE AGAIN: AND I ALSO WANT TO POINT OUT HOW DIFFERENT MY MOMS SITUATION IS FROM ALL OF YOU. MY PARENTS OWN A BUSINESS, THAT THEY ACTUALLY WORK IN. THEY ARE UP EVERY DAY BY ABOUT 4AM, AND ACTUALLY WORKING UNTIL 6-7PM AT NIGHT. THEN THEY DRIVE HOME, AND TAKE CARE OF THEIR DOGS AND CATS AND IT ISN'T UNTIL THAT POINT THAT THEY GET A CHANCE TO COOK.

MY DAD WORKS OUTSIDE, AND WORKS HARD. MY MOM WORKS IN AN OFFICE, AND HONESTLY MENTALLY HER JOB TAKES MORE OF A TOLE ON HER BODY THEN MOST PHYSICAL JOBS DO.

IN THEIR SITUATION YES, TIME IS AN ISSUE. BUT LIKE SHE SAID, SHE STILL MAKES BREAKFAST EVERY DAY. COOKS ON THE WEEKENDS. GRILLS FRESH GRASS FED MEAT, AND ORGANIC VEGGIES, SPENDS DAYS ON THE WEEKEND SLOW COOKING SPAGHETTI SAUCE, AND IF YOU OPEN HER FRIDGE EVERYTHING IS SO FUCKING HEALTHY A GIRL CAN'T EVEN FIND A GOOD DIET NO NO SNACK.

POINT NUMBER TWO. THEIR KIDS ARE LONG MOVED OUT. THEY EAT VERY HEALTHY AND ORGANIC, BUT THEY DON'T HAVE SMALL MINDS TO MOLD. ANGIE YOU MAY NOT NOW, BUT YOU WILL, AND TAKE IT FROM ME, ITS EASIER TO LEARN THE HABIT OF GOOD EATING NOW, THEN TRYING TO LEARN A DAMN THING WITH A TWO YEAR OLD SCREAMING IN YOUR FACE THAT NO HE ONLY WANTS FUCKING MACARONI

Anna said...

Well that's because I hate my fucking job if I did not own it I would quick ask her and Lisa I try and get fired all the time. I don't know why anyone goes to school to set behind a fucking desk.

Jeninacide said...

Ok, in my house we eat healthy, balanced meals every single night and a lot of the time they are from organic ingredients because I try to buy as much produce and meat from places like Trader Joe's and New Season's as possible. However, because money is tight and food prices are going up I will occasionally go to Costco and pick up a package of flank steak and a package of chicken (non organic) and freeze them in portions for the month... Although it is important to me to buy organic, I know that in order to continue to eat a healthy diet in the current economic climate some of my food is just going to have to be REGULAR, Non-Organic Food. I don't feel bad about this one bit because it is more important for me to eat a healthy diet and sometimes pay less money for non-organic than spend my money at Taco Bell...

You don't have to buy ALL ORGANIC to eat healthy... Although organic is alway the best option. Just sayin.

angie said...

I'm not saying that time is an acceptable excuse...I'm just saying for some people time is an issue probably just as much as money. I completely admire that you come home from work and cook incredibly healthy meals for your family and still have time to spend for them.

And I agree that it's easier to make healthy changes now than with kids that's why I've worked hard on the Tummy Tuck to change my eating habits. I may not eat organic, but I know that my eating habits used to be horrible. I would eat out, no veggies, no fruits and many processed foods. Now I am eating more fruits...working on veggies (like I said I tried two new ones this week!) eating out once a month maybe and that's only because sometimes I have cravings for that crappy food! Dave does a lot of cooking for us so most of my meals are homecooked meals. Some are out of a box, but recently I am learning to make more things from scratch. I will never again make stroganoff from the box...I've learned to make it using no boxed materials, well other than the noodles but those are in a bag haha!

I think that the Tummy Tuck not only helped me to lose the weight, but to learn to be more choosy about the foods that go into my body.

Blogversary said...

I am with you. I stopped reading half way through because we are on the same page. I have given up things so I can afford fresh, natural and organic.

I have started making my own baby wipes. Crazy.

Anyway, I am always floored when I go through checkout and see I have spent over a $100 on a week's worth of food.

But, I will give up my bingo nights so my kids can eat organic.

Lainey-Paney said...

:)
glad I made you laugh.

...if it weren't for my husband, my family would RARELY get a home cooked meal.Occasionally I've been known to make something from scratch....but not that often!

and yes---organic food is soooo expensive!

Constance the Fifty First said...

Coming into this way to late, but I thought I'd just leave this comment for you anyway Shannon...

What if you just plain can't cook? I know, recipe, but I can not cook. I burn Jiffy muffins to the pan, I mix ingredients in at the wrong times. I don't know what all the abbreviations in cook books even mean. My mother almost never cooked. In fact, I can't even eat mac-n-cheese without gagging because I had it 4 or 5 times a week growing up. My idea of cooking from scratch is mixing something from a box with something from a can...pathetic huh?

As for money, it's definitely an issue. I won't spend any more than I absolutely have to on something and since organic isn't absolutely necessary, I won't fork out the extra dough.

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