This post is expanding on the sentiments that led me to write these words on facebook today:
Forget pinterest. We are having canned soup tonight. I think there is something wrong with the fact that I often feel guilty preparing or eating processed food.
Today I knew I needed to go to the store to get some essentials - bread, milk, etc. But as far as planning a week's worth of beautiful meals, I didn't think I had the energy to do that. I began browsing Pinterest as I often do these days, for inspiration. But I just wasn't up for making one of those dinners today! Whats more, the clouds and drizzle outside were making good old-fashioned boxed corn bread sound really good. So This is what I came up with for tonight:
We had cornbread (I mixed in some leftover cream of corn I had in the fridge)
Frozen green peas with butter and garlic salt
For Jeff: Western Family canned Bean and Bacon Soup with leftover mozzarella cheese
For me: Thai Kitchen spring onion soup
Also notice our card table from Walmart with no tablecloth. Pinterest worthy? Nope! But doesn't dinner look good? ...It was! For dessert we're actually having strawberry banana kale smoothies, but I won't include pictures because that might actually be something you could find on Pinterest. : )
Now this is not meant to be a rant against Pinterest. I do enjoy my account. And I have found many recipes on there. This is a just health-conscious, young-married, PKUer who is pregnant and on a limited budget saying that it is ok to have a box dinner every once in a while!
I studied health in college...I definitely believe that nutrition is important. Nutrition is preventative medice for most chronic diseases. We are what we eat. I subscribe to the philosophy of Michael Pollan -- real food is best. I even follow the 100 Days of Real Food blog on facebook. I am just trying to be realistic with the stage of life I am in right now.
Anyone who knows me, knows I am all about balance and moderation. I feel that nutrition is important - but does that mean I need to stress about menu planning, cooking and using produce before it goes bad? Does that mean I need to spend what little money we have on organic food? I don't think so.
Here are some meals I made for Jeff, one when we were dating, the other the first few weeks into our marriage.
|Tilapia, green beans, carrots and brussel sprouts, sweet potato fries|
|Whole grain spaghetti, chicken, asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, home-made pesto|
I was pretty proud of those meals. But trying to do a meal like that night after night is exhausting! Fortunately Jeff assured me that I didn't need to a have a fresh vegetable every night. That was a huge relief. But I think with all the Pins and blogs of beautiful, home-made, locally grown organic meals out there we start to feel like that is what is expected of us.
And here is a novel idea: frozen vegetables and canned fruit are still good for you! They still have most of the nutritional value as fresh produce. It's better to eat canned fruit than none at all. And it's better to eat canned fruit and frozen beans at dinner and feel more full and therefore eat less junk after dinner. Here is an insightful video from Dr. Oz. I agree that most of America could benefit so much from simply eating more fruits and vegetables in a day, that worrying about whether it's fresh and organic or not, from a public health perspective, isn't a could use of time, energy or money.
I really like the way my mom did it growing up- we always had a fruit and vegetable with dinner. Sometimes it was fresh salad or seasonal fruit, but often it was canned fruit and frozen veggies. But I believe that routine gave us a very nutritious diet. So that is the pattern I am trying to emulate. Someday I have every intention of having a big garden for my family, but until then, I'm going to cook frozen green beans for my husband and I.