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{This post is part of the Blue Bike Blog Tour, which I’m thrilled to be part of. To learn more and join us, head here.}

When Aaron and I first got married I was in charge of the cooking, because isn’t that how families work here in America?  The wife does the cooking and the man does the lawn mowing.  That’s how I grew up, and I take it most of you did as well, so when I stepped into my wifely duties I embraced the cooking as much as I could.  I had a few things that I could make really well.  Hamburger Helper, Tuna Helper & spaghetti and that’s it.   Everything I made came from a box or included about 4 cans of cream of something soup.

Woolf Inked

I was never interested in cooking growing up, and so my mom never taught me.  I had lived on my own for a few years in college, but that is exactly where I learned how to master the art of a great Hamburger Helper meal!  My metabolism still worked at a speed that made it okay for me to eat most of meals at fast food restaurants as well.  Needless to say I didn’t bring a lot of cooking skills to the table.

After we had our first son, 10 years ago, a change happened in our home with food.  Aaron was 50 lbs heavier than he is now and I was too (hey I had just had a baby though) and we slowly started making changes in the way we were fueling our bodies.  We began to realize that white flour wasn’t good for us, and cut it out little by little.  Then we looked at the sugars in our home and weeded them out as well.  Then we began to experiment with cooking food that didn’t involve cream of anything soups, and that was a big deal for me.   We thought about soda differently in our bodies.  We began to view food differently and it became a way to fuel our bodies instead of a way to meet all of our desires and wants.

Over the last ten years we have been vegetarians for about 5 of them.  We aren’t vegetarians now, but not every meal at our house includes meat.  I don’t know the last time I bought cream of anything soup.  We gave up our microwave almost 4 years ago and haven’t looked back.  We try to shop mostly on the outer aisle of the grocery store, to fill up on fresh produce and good meats.

cooking

Here’s what this has done for our family.  We are raising our kids to appreciate their foods and enjoy creating a meal.  If Aaron’s in the kitchen cooking, which is most nights if he’s home, there is a kid right there helping him.  They are learning about fresh foods, putting together a meal, and not relying on a microwave or Hamburger Helper.  My kids have never had tacos from Jack in the Box, or a happy meal from McDonald’s, and I kinda like that.  I’m not saying that to pat myself on the back, but I’m just saying you can slow down with your food and it doesn’t always have to be fast and on the go.

In Tsh Oxenreider’s new book NOTES FROM A BLUE BIKE she has a whole section on food and I enjoyed her thoughts so much and felt as though my family’s ideas of food resonated a lot with hers.  We’re on a a journey.  Do I still buy the occasional sugary cereal?  No, but Aaron does!  Do we sometimes buy pizza ready to go in the oven instead of making yet?  For sure, but the times we make it are so much better.  The kids love it, they get to help, and it just tastes better.  Have I been known to let my kids get a mozzarella stick from Sonic?  Yes.  At happy hour you can get four for 99 cents.  That is a treat every once in a while!  All this to say we’re on a journey.  And this is our journey.  And it’s working for us.

I’ll let Tsh finish with her final chapter from food in her  book, “This is not easy to do, and we aren’t perfect at it.  We still employ canned tomatoes and pumpkin, and our backyard barely teems with edible crops.  But one step at a time, we are intentionally choosing to eat slower, starting with how we buy our food and ending with hands held in gratitude around the table as we prepare to savor the evening’s fare.  Even though my daily choices may look a bit different, this is entirely possible wherever I live.”

Notes From a Blue Bike is written by Tsh Oxenreider, founder and main voice of The Art of Simple. It doesn’t always feel like it, but we DO have the freedom to creatively change the everyday little things in our lives so that our path better aligns with our values and passions. Grab your copy here.

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