Monday, January 17, 2011

Baby Steps

I've mentioned before that I struggle with an all-or-nothing mentality.

I'm that way with school.  At times, you can peek in our schoolroom window and find us doing 4 projects while prepping for 2 competitions while reading a lengthy book while....  At others, our heads are on our desks and we're struggling to get a few measly worksheets finished.

I'm that way with housework.  You can either eat off my floors or you have to enter my house at your own risk.

I'm that way with blogging.  Either I post twenty-seven times per week or there's tumbleweed rolling across my homepage.

I'm that way with most things really, but it seems I'm really that way when it comes to cooking. 

I've learned over the years to keep it simple when it comes to food prep.  My inner overachiever longs to put gourmet fare on the table every night, but I tell her to hush up because I know that if I get started in that direction, burn out awaits.  Before too long, my from-scratch, wholesome yummy-ness will make way for convenience food.

Sorry dear ones, I don't feel like making rack of lamb, so here's a Lean Cuisine.

Over the years, I have grown to love my slow-cooker and outdoor grill because they allow me to keep things simple and healthy at the same time.  And generally speaking, my keep-it-simple approach to cooking has worked. We eat a lot of home-cooked meals, fresh fruits and veggies. However, I have never taken the plunge into the world of organics and whole foods because my all-or-nothing brain has imagined that being a very complicated lifestyle.

My friend, Kathleen, wrote a good post recently about whole-food convictions that pretty much sums up what I have feared about a whole-foods lifestyle.  I completely agree with what she has to say about trying to keep meals as healthy as you can as often as you can. 

However, I also agree that there's nothing inherently wrong with eating a Twinkie now and again (even when trying to lose weight).

In recent months, however, both Michael and Wilbur have been suffering from migraines.  Imitrex has become a staple in our home, and there is barely a week when at least one of them is not incapacitated for at least one day from a migraine. 

In other words, migraines are severely effecting our quality of life.

This week I read the ingredients on everything I bought at the grocer.  Specifically I am eliminating MSG for a few weeks to see if it is triggering their headaches. 

That's my first baby step toward what may end up being a mostly whole-foods lifestyle.

I planned to cook a family favorite this week in which cream soup is one of the ingredients.  When I read the back of the soup can, guess what was there...MSG.  I was sure I wouldn't find it in anything I feed my family and was pretty shocked.  I fought the urge to kick myself and instead mosied on over to the organic section. There I found another cream soup...all natural, no MSG. 

I imagine many of you know how to make a homemade cream of celery soup.  If so, please, do share.  However, it may be a while before I try to make it from scratch myself. 

I'm fighting all-or-nothing remember and I need baby steps.

Well, I bought the organic soup and feared it would taste weird and no one would eat the casserole.  I even told Michael that I was making a smaller-than-normal batch so if it was awful I could throw it out, and we could have sandwiches or go to Wendy's.

I know, I know.  Baby steps, remember?

The jury is in, however, and drum roll please....

Everyone liked the dish better with the organic soup!


I will be revisiting the organic aisle next week to find my next baby step.

But, in the meantime, do Twinkies contain MSG???  LOL!

Happy Cookin'!

1 comment:

Kellie said...

All or nothing describes me too. After many years of using organic and natural foods, however, I have finally started to relax a little and not feel guilty about it. I'm definitely not in the nothing category, but more of a happy middle. I will email you my recipe for cream soups that I've used successfully many times. But just so you know, for our dinner tonight I used a can of Campbell's cream of chicken because I didn't feel like making my own soup! (I need to store some in the freezer.) So maybe I've relaxed a little too much, but you get the point. : )

P.S. I'd love to know what brand you used -- I haven't found any organic cream soups that work well. Then if I get lazy again I can at least have a good alternative!