Simple Ain’t Always Easy

The term “simple” means plain, common, not complicated.  But does that mean easy?  Not always.  If you apply simple to eating, for example, easy would be a drive through or a box meal from the store.  Something that has most of the ingredients included, and all you have to do is heat it up.  That’s easy.  I like easy.

ingredientsBut it’s not simple.  Because most of those ingredients in the drive through and box meals are far from simple.  They are adulterated with chemicals, strange concoctions of flavorings and colorings, and boiled/dehydrated/powdered/and otherwise changed from their original form.  That’s complicated.

Simple is eating food as close to its original form as possible.  Fresh vegetables added to soups and stews.  Steamed or sauteed as a side dish.  Fresh fruit for a desert or snack.  No alien-sounding ingredients or laboratory experiment additives.  Uncomplicated.

If you really want to delve into the yuckiness of things, such as food dyes, and get alternatives for how to cook better, visit Katie at Kitchen Stewardship.  The post about food dyes  got me thinking.  I have avoided dyes in a reasonable manner, but it’s pretty hard to go hard core since they’re found in everything, including ice cream!  However, after buying the book, What’s Eating Your Child?: The Hidden Connection Between Food and Childhood Ailments, that she recommends, I am going to make a more concentrated effort to weed out processed food from our diet.

I have two children with significant allergy issues that even I can identify.  What am I missing?  Probably a lot.  So, it’s back to simple.  The basics of food and nothing else.  But that ain’t gonna be easy.

Fresh vegetables don’t keep long.  Ask me how I know.  I’ll have to meal plan more and stick to my plan to use up the fresh produce before it goes bad.  I’ll have to cook and bake from scratch, which I mostly do, but for some people that’s a big leap and no where near easy.  I need to expand my repetoire beyond broccoli and carrots.

The question on most parents’ minds at this point is how to get the children to eat something besides pizza and macaroni and cheese.  I know that battle well, but I have a plan.  It’s called being an example.  When I eat more vegetables, so will my kids.  If I don’t buy unhealthy food to keep in our home, my children (and I) won’t be able to eat them.  It’s a bit of a cold turkey approach which may result in loud wailing for a few days, but the result will be worth it.

So, while we return to a simple pattern of eating, it won’t be easy.  It will take thought, work, planning, and thick skin.  I’ll let you know if we all survive.

How do you do simple eating?


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