New babies. Moving. Lay-offs. Weeks of baby not sleeping followed by 6 weeks of figuring out it was because of corn. Bed rest. Adjusting to new jobs (and pay). A usually frugal budget needing to be temporarily cut in half. Morning sickness. Seasons. They happen to us all. Life would be pretty boring without them, no?
It did not take me long to realize there are times in this journey where I need a lot of grace in the food department.
And times when I have taken that “grace” too far.
|Finally a pretty major rash reaction to repeated trace amounts of corn is
To be fair, I did not know this would happen. Natalia has in the past been able to handle some amounts of corn, and we had been avoiding obvious offenders, just not with the gazelle accuracy we should have been. More then two week after we realized just how seriously we needed to take this sensitivity, and her mouth has still not healed.
How many things come down to balance?
Sometimes our food is homemade cheese, homemade sauce, and other fresh, local, and homemade foods making a pizza on top of homemade pizza crust. And other times it is a tasty soup made out of clean (i.e. one-two ingredient) and/or organic canned and prepared foods. Not even always with a salad to bring some more nutrition to the meal.
|How many cans can go into a pot, and still be “real food”?|
As inconvenient of a truth it seems at times- we feel better when we are eating right. We are sick less. Mark has fewer headaches. Natalia sleeps better, has less trouble with yeast infections, rashes, and cradle cap. I have less trouble with imbalanced hormones, yeast infections, insomnia, headaches, fatigue, and stomach trouble. Christopher is not as addicted to sugar.
For us we find cooking from at least somewhat scratch pretty important because of these things. Both Mark and I struggle with energy in general, but are a pathetic duo when we are not eating at least somewhat healthily.
I, and I know many of you, are in a busy time of life. Taking care of a snugly (sometimes clingy) preschooler, a busy toddler, and a growing baby in utero takes a lot out of me. I will not be able to do everything. Because of our special dietary needs diet is pretty high on the list.
This would be were grace comes in.
We are doing what we can to cook from scratch (or at the very least avoid corn, too much wheat, and conventional dairy). But many other things we have let slide. It is a season where I need to give myself a lot of grace.
Paying off as much debt each month. Our budget increased when we got pregnant, and I am sorry to say that even that budget has not been adhered to very well the last few months.
Cloth diapers. I like the frugality and low waste of cloth diapers, but they are an easy thing to go when I have less energy.
We are generally the kind of people who entertain a lot, but are not really right now. Hope to start opening our home more soon!
Our home is not nearly as clean as it is during lower stress times.
Blogging. I am doing a little because writing is a good outlet for me, but still not much.
Doing a lot of extra activities.
Doing school with my not quite four year old. We are embracing a learning environment but his request to be taught to read has not been acted on as much as I wish.
Potty training the 19 mo… who is ready.
Obviously priorities are different for everyone. I just wanted to give an example of how I give myself grace during this time.
Making Real Food Easier
I am not baking right now. I just am not. I buy the occasional loaf of Ezekial bread (not usually in the budget), corn free breads, and we are eating rice and brown rice pasta.
I am sticking to meats Mark can cook, or other forms of protein, as messing with meat still makes me sick. We hardly EVER buy chicken breast due to high costs, but we are right now!
Know your budge limits. The other day we order pizza, but made sure to get it from a source where we could get it corn free. Mark reacts to conventional dairy, and me to dairy and wheat, but we can have limited amounts without problems.
Use frozen vegetables and clean canned foods ect. to make simple meals.
Buy what prepared foods you can. Most of the foods we could eat prepared are the expensive ones, but our budget it more lenient right now to allow for that.
Stick to simple to prepare foods! Especially ones that dirty less dishes. Stacy Makes Cents is one of my favorite sources for simple, tasty meals.
Delegate as needed/you are able.
In seasons full of time and energy, make freezer foods! We have been loving the foods I had in my freezer. We have mostly ran out of them now, but we are able to handle a little more cooking.
Menu planning! I actually am not menu planning much right now as the foods that sound edible change frequently right now with morning sickness.
What are some ways you give yourself grace during crazy times?
Do not forget to check out the posts from Justyn, Sara, and Danielle. We are all talking about Real Food in the Real World today.
Space can be such a frustration no matter how you cook. Danielle has quickly learned how to keep real food on her family’s plate even living in a camper. Read about her story and how to conquer the frustration of Real Food in Small Spaces.
Justyn at Creative Christian Mama has been learning ways to keep good nutrition on the menu, even when life is crazy and she needs to cut some corners. Read about it in her post “Keeping Foods Real When You Can’t Cook From Scratch“.
Sara shares her husband’s constant question and clarifies some shopping questions in Real Food in Your Kitchen
Coming next week….
A massive huge giveaway you won’t want to miss. We will have many Real Food related books and subscriptions.