A few years back I was in New England, USA and a random thought of how does a low income family in the USA live ? So off I went to Walmart - the store which the average American uses for their weekly shop. I could have stopped my research right there.
The particular store I went to in Southbury, wasn't the largest of the Walmart stores, but what struck me was firstly there were no fruit and vegetables for sale. There were however rows and rows of freezers selling all kinds of frozen microwave meals.
So firstly, I had to get my head around the fact that for some families, their entire weekly food consumption comes from a little metal box, ping and it's ready.
Walking around the isles, I passed several lower income families who literally had their shopping trolleys filled with these meals, plus crisps, fizzy drinks, sweets etc. One family I passed who had five young children in tow, had two trolley's full to the brim. I could understand why as when I looked at what they were buying a whole meal was $1.79 for an adult meal. You would struggle to purchase the ingredients and make the meal your self or the same price.
However, it brought me to the question - what will be the cost of this lifestyle to this family over time ? Everyone in that family was overweight - children included.
This year we're on quite a strict food programme. No processed food, no gluten, no diary, as little salt as possible and no sugar - yes you did read all of that right. It's a diet to aid fertility in the quest for a second child and after many failed attempts at natural conception and IVF.
We've done a lot of research about the diet and it's benefits and so far they have been so true. We have a lot more energy, more ability to concentrate, better sleep and better general health. Our bodies have gone back to the natural way they should look I guess as we loose the fat our previous eating habits have provided us with. We're not Vegan, we still eat meat and we tend to cook now with much more taste as our pallets adjust. Using spices which we probably wouldn't have used before.
We also immediately saw clear improvements to Rebekah's Asthma, almost now completely clear after suffering with it all her life and for me, the Anxiety and Panic attacks I was getting have gone. I guess we never think about how our bodies are overloaded with the chemicals in the comfort food we eat.
Some folk have questioned the cost and I certainly did when we started, getting rid of what we had and changing the supplies in the fridge and cupboards to this new way of eating - did test my nerve, but I must say after several weeks of doing this, each week the food shop is slightly less than before. What we save on comfort food which we don't eat we spend on completely organic fresh food which we prepare and cook each day. of course the biggest change is the time it takes to do everything, but thats a small price to pay for long term health.
I found this picture online, which is probably three shopping trolleys worth of comfort in one. Imagine 90% of this going and then half the trolley being filled with organic fruit and veg. We've had to train our brains away from the marketing pushed on us every day by the brands out there who are experts in getting us to purchase what they sell.
There is a move to get to a healthier place, to get back to basics and to discover what it is to eat well, eat better, eat healthy.
So when you are in Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Lidl, Aldi, M&S or Waitrose (just look how many are competing to get you to spend your money with them). Just think before you buy. You may want it, you may like the taste, but you are probably about to eat a highly processed, chemically rich blend of low quality food, which will have long term health consequences.
If you want any hints and tips on how we've done this (warts and all), then message me on Facebook, I'd be happy to share what we've learned with you.