Eating on Purpose

My attempt to eat less and pay more.

Remember My Guilty Pleasure?

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You may remember a few posts ago that I spoke of McDonald’s chicken burgers being one of my guilty pleasures.  I read an article yesterday about how processed chicken is made.

Let’s just say I’ve eaten my last fast food chicken burger.

The Guardian – Investigation on Chicken Nuggets – This is Where Chicken Nuggets Comes From

National Geographic – Meat Paste

From what I can gather McDonald’s no longer uses mechanically separated meat (at least not ms as defined by the feds), however even the thought that something similar could be happening to something I’m EATING, is enough for me.



Written by hollyck1

October 6, 2010 at 6:55 pm

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Do You Know What’s in Your Cheese?

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When Sammy was a newborn, I had to cut all dairy out of my diet because it seemed to upset his stomach. Before that, I had rarely ever looked at ingredient lists.  But because Sammy couldn’t handle even a trace of dairy, I had to be extra sure I wasn’t ingesting *any* dairy.

Once I started researching the ingredients in what we were eating, it became harder and harder to look at food in the same way. I was shocked to discover, for instance, that there is dairy in almost every processed food out there, including flavored potato chips, non-dairy creamers, crackers and cookies, and even non-dairy cheese.

I came across whole groups committed to eliminating dairy products from their diets. And to be honest, after reading about what is ‘allowed’ in milk, I completely stopped drinking it (this is not to say that every milk producer has the poor standards I read about…it just ‘soured’ me on milk in general…pun intended).

I also realized, on a side note, that my stomach had never felt better than it did during the months I was off dairy. That’s how I started to figure out that I was intolerant to lactose.

Two Popular Cheese-like Products I Avoid

Kraft Shredded Cheese (cheddar)

Ingredients: (what, you thought it would only be ‘cheese’?)

  • Nonfat Cheddar Cheese
  • Pasteurized Skim Milk and Milk
  • Salt
  • Yeast
  • Cheese Culture
  • Artificial Color
  • Natural Flavor (Ingredient not in regular cheddar cheese)
  • Enzymes (these are derived from animals – vegetarians beware. Most factory cheeses use animal enzymes in their cheese)
  • Vitamin A Palmitate
  • Potato Starch
  • Cellulose Powder
  • Calcium Sulfate (Added to Prevent Caking)
  • Natamycin (a Natural Mold Inhibitor)–Shredded-Cheese/000011878

Kraft Mac & Cheese


  • Enriched Macaroni Product: (otherwise known as noodles)
  • Wheat Flour
  • Niacin
  • Ferrous Sulfate [Iron]
  • Thiamin Hydrochloride [Vitamin B1]
  • Riboflavin [Vitamin B2]
  • Folic Acid
  • Cheese Sauce Mix:
  • Whey
  • Milkfat
  • Milk Protein Concentrate
  • Salt
  • Sodium Tripolyphosphate
  • contains Less than 2% of Citric Acid
  • Lactic Acid
  • Sodium Phosphate
  • Calcium Phosphate
  • Milk
  • Yellow 5
  • Yellow 6
  • Enzymes
  • Cheese Culture

(Compare this to Annie’s Pasta. My kids love Annie’s and I recognize every ingredient)

Written by hollyck1

October 5, 2010 at 7:56 pm

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Why I Prefer Eating Local Meat

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Written by hollyck1

August 24, 2010 at 3:53 pm

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Eating Local in Abbotsford

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I’ve been compiling a list of local (Abbotsford) resources for local, ethical eating.

I’m sure I’m missing a bunch, so if you know of other places, please email me and I’ll add them to the list.

Local Farms

Neufeld Farms – Chicken, free run (not free range), hormone free. Local fruits and veggies from their own farm.

Sumas Mountain Farms – Grass-fed beef, and sometimes chickens and eggs. (Why is grass-fed so important?)

Gelderman Farms – Pork, hormone free, vegetable-based diet, ‘spacious room to root and run’. Their breakfast sausages are just delicious. I didn’t much care for their bacon, but my husband loved it.

Goat’s Pride – Goat’s milk, yogurt and cheese.

K & M Farms – In Aldergrove. Pastured chickens and turkeys, available fresh 2-4x a year (chickens 4x, turkeys 2x). I believe you need to call ahead to order.

Rockweld Farm –  Certified organic and SPCA certified chicken and eggs.

Rossdown Farms – I don’t know much about this farm, but they do sell local poultry and produce.

Berry Farms – Too many to list, but I really like Maan Farms. They have a fabulous petting zoo too!

Wong’s Farm Market – Several people have recommended Wong’s to me for great, local produce at low prices.

Stores that Support Local Farmers/Products

Lepp Farm Market – It’s no secret that this is my favorite store. The staff are super friendly, and the selection is actually quite good for a farm market. More importantly, I love their meat. Most (all?) of the meat, including deli meats, are from their own animals, which are grass and grain fed, no hormones or antiobiotics, and raised right here in the Fraser Valley.

Bakerview EcoDairy – We love the Vitala milk, which is produced at the EcoDairy (4 star resort for cows). I believe the store offers local products, however I was disappointed that the origins of the produce were generally not listed. When I buy produce, I like to know where it’s from, and I couldn’t find that info anywhere on the signage.

They also have a great little ‘petting zoo’ (well, you can pet the animals through the gates) and a tour of the Dairy. My kids LOVED the tour.

Abbotsford Farm & Country Market – A great place to experience the best of Abbotsford!  You can buy local produce, bakery items, and hear some local music, every Saturday.

Restaurants Serving Primarily Local Food

Restaurant 62 – Use many local and sustainable ingredients in their menu. I have only eaten there once, but the food was excellent. I didn’t know at the time that they had a focus on local foods; had I known that I’m sure I would have enjoyed it even more 🙂

Written by hollyck1

August 18, 2010 at 4:12 pm

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100 Mile Wine

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I never really realized we had wineries so close to Abbotsford. I’ll probably never stop buying wines from other countries, because that’s just part of the charm of drinking wine.

But I’d also like to buy local wines and support local vineyards. Especially (and only) if I actually like their wines.

Recently we went for a tour of the Domaine de Chaberton Estate Winery in Langley, BC. It was actually a surprisingly fun little outing, even for the kids.

Bacchus from Domain de Chaberton

They showed us around the vineyard, through their processing and storage facilities, and let us sample their wines.  This all cost us nothing, so to pay them back we purchased a few bottles of wine (well, maybe 12).

The Bacchus is delicious, a teeny-tiny bit sweet (sweetness code 1), and perfect for sipping on the deck in summer.

It tasted especially good with this:

Veggies compliments of Abundant Acres, carmelized pecans compliments of me.

Carmelized Totally-Not-Local Pecans

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar

Stir sugar, oil and vinegar in a pan until slightly bubbly. Add pecans, stir, and cook for a few (5) more minutes, to desired crunchiness. I usually do a bit less than 5 minutes because they go from perfect to burned in about 10 seconds.

Place on parchment paper, and separate pecans with a fork. Let cool, and add to salad.

The one cup allows enough for the salad (1/2 cup) and for sneaking while making the rest of your dinner.

Written by hollyck1

August 17, 2010 at 8:50 pm

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Let’s Just Lay Our Cards on the Table

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Lest anyone starts to think that,

1. I’m a health nut, or

2. I’m a hypocrite

I thought I should get something out in the open. None of this will come as a surprise to those who know me.

I love junk food. I drink a Coke Zero pretty much every day. I take the kids to McDonald’s once a week for lunch (and even if I didn’t have kids, I’d take myself there once a week). Occasionally, I send my husband to Dairy Queen to pick me up a Cappuccino Skor Blizzard. And if there is junk food (eg. chips) in the house, I will eat them. All of them.

I’ve been known to make something, oh, like the most amazing caramel corn in the world (of which none of the ingredients, by the way, are local), and polish it off, by myself, in 2 days. The first day I try to control myself, but by the second day, I give up, rationalizing that it’s better to just eat it all at once than to obsess all day about eating it.

So, I guess that makes me a hypocrite. But I’m OK with that.

It’s all about balance. If I think about giving up everything, and changing everything in our diet all at once, I feel completely overwhelmed and want to give up. If I can make small changes, one at a time, it feels much more manageable.

So, here are the things I’ve done so far. I try to:

  1. Not buy anything in boxes. This includes packaged cookies & cakes, prepared side dishes, and snacks for the kids.
  2. Buy foods that have been processed as little as possible. This means largely meats, fruits, veggies, grains, and local dairy.
  3. Use as little processed, pre-salted ingredients as possible in my cooking. This means I try not to use pre-made salad dressings, bottled marinades or seasoning mixes (except for Epicure).
  4. Cook food in a way that brings out the taste of the food, not cover it up (i.e. not frying it in tons of oil, or drowning it in creamy sauces).
  5. Not buy ready-made meals (I do keep these sauces on hand, made in Surrey, BC, which are delicious).
  6. Buy foods where I recognize all the ingredients as food.
  7. Buy local whenever possible, and at the very least, know where my food comes from.
  8. Buy meats that are raised ethically, and grass-fed.
  9. Avoid soy wherever possible. Partly because producers use it as fillers for more expensive, nutritious ingredients, and partly because of the possible dangers of it). Avoiding packaged foods pretty much takes care of this.

This is just a start. There are lots of ways I could be better at local, ethical eating. And hopefully in a few years I’ll have added more items to my list.

How do you try to eat healthier at home?

Written by hollyck1

August 12, 2010 at 1:02 am

Why I Shop at Lepp’s

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Yesterday was grocery shopping day.

The thing about buying mostly whole foods, is that you have to go grocery shopping more often (at least I do). The veggies and dairy spoil a bit faster, and it’s harder to stock up on ‘convenience’ foods.  So, you run the risk of your spouse rummaging through the cupboards whining that, “there’s nothing to eat in this house” (love you DK).

I needed to fill a prescription yesterday at Save-On Foods, so decided to buy some of my groceries there while I waited.  In the past few months, I have tried to shop at places like Save-On or Superstore only as a last resort.

Why? Yesterday is a perfect example.

On my list:

  • milk
  • eggs
  • paper towel
  • yogurt
  • sandwich meat
  • juice

I had a little pep-talk with myself:

“Holly, I know you feel weird about buying your groceries here, but really, it’s not a big deal. No one would fault you for shopping at Save-On. Come on, everyone does it. Plus, I’m positive you can find local food here, you just might need to look harder.”

I stood looking at the eggs for a good 5 minutes. Hmmm….organic, added DHA and omegas, all good stuff. Free run, free range. Packaged in Ontario.  Some packages didn’t even say where they were from. Would I choose local, or free range? Because I couldn’t have both. I settled for local-ish, free run. I put them in my basket.

On to the milk. An older gentlemen noticed me standing and watching the milk. He recommended the Dairyland milk, because “it’s right underneath the organic milk, so it must be good”. Organic, glass jar, but no local milk. Hello?! We live in Abbotsford, home of the ‘healthiest milk in Canada‘. I snuck the Dairyland milk into my basket.

Sandwich meat. I don’t even know where to begin. Prepackaged.  Who knows where or how the animals were raised.

I told myself again:

“This is not a big deal. Everyone’s doing it. And you don’t have time to go to another store. No one has to know”.

I just couldn’t do it. I tried, but I couldn’t. I put all my groceries back and left. Next time I’ll save myself the anguish and go straight to Lepps.

Written by hollyck1

August 9, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized