Last night, I made the Deceptively Delicious vegetable sloppy joe's (again) for some friends. It was another instant hit! I confessed to my friend's husband it was loaded with veggies. To my shock he said he really enjoyed it. He's very much a meat and potato type. I knew it wasn't lip service because he went back for a second helping. AND I left them with the remaining leftovers. It gave me great pleasure to do something kind for them. They have a 1 year old and I could tell my friends appreciate some homemade cooking, even if it is from a veggie loving savvy foodie.
After dinner we started to talk about my new adventure. I encouraged them both to eat naturally occurring food instead of resorting to popular processed foods. My girlfriend, who is usually very laid back, said, "I hate taking my baby to the grocery store because she pulls everything within her reach off the shelves. I frequent the place as little as possible. And if you're suggesting I start eating more produce, I can't. It's too expensive and I'd have to be making trips to the store every other day in order to get fresh fruits and veggies. I'm a full-time mom and I work from home. It's too hard and it's too expensive. I need cheap and easy."
I got the sense she wanted to tell me to 'shove it' because she's currently in survival mode. What she said is valid. I agree, produce can quickly add up and it does require frequent trips to the store. I don't have a child, so I can only imagine how difficult it must be to raise another human being and take care of yourself.
I gently reminded her it's her health I'm advocating for. Her pocketbook may take a more severe beating later in life when she's popping pills and frequenting doctor's offices for health related problems. She has the power to fill herself, and her family, with savvy choices!! It's not impossible. It will take some tweaking of previous habits.
I suggested she buy frozen fruits and veggies. I also said in order to make these changes it takes determination and planning ahead. One trick (that may take some time to get used to) is to redefine what you consider as a meal. I, for one, don't believe in eating traditional meals every time. I eat until I'm full and if I load up on string beans and almonds for lunch, it's cool.
I gave up on processed deli meats awhile back. They're the work of the devil, in my humble opinion. There are alternatives! I take a whole wheat wrap, put some mayo and mustard on one side, layer it with green leafy lettuce, 3 slices of cucumber, 2 tomato slices and a slice of swiss cheese. It's filling and scrumptious!!
My friend inspired me to continue educating myself on alternatives for busy moms. I picked up a book, Supermarket Vegan by Donna Klein, after my nutritionist friend recommended it. It has a TON of easy to follow recipes.
Being savvy foodies is something anyone can do. Let's continue holding hands and support each other.