All the kids in my family love our house. They think it’s a mini supermarket where they can have whatever they like: sweets, chips, chocolate, cookies, soda, etc. Not anymore.Entering this challenge has created a lot of changes in our life, and we are still changing as we go along in this endless journey. I say endless because I hope my kids will carry on with what we started with to the next generation.
Eating vegetarian meals during the week is one thing, but sticking to a vegetarian diet for one whole day isn’t at all as easy as I thought, especially when you’re dealing with children aged 2, 4 and 6. My baby girl always asks for chicken in each spoonful — I tell her that the chicken is hiding. Another trick is to have them involved with cooking. That’s fun, but very difficult, and if you have children you know what I mean. One thing I did was to have a fruit party for the kids, which they loved. Add the magic word chocolate to fruit and you will have the best party ever.
I was taught by my mother and father, may god bless their souls, not to waste blessed food by putting the amount you want on your plate and no more. I’m trying hard with my kids to do the same. I used to eat the leftover food from my kids, but now we also have the compost bin (or the “magic bin,” as my kids call it), and I don’t have to worry about it.
I have been well known as a health-conscious person among family and relatives. So when I had a look at my kitchen, I was shocked at the amount of processed canned food we had, such as tuna, baked beans, corn and sodas.The kids and I were depending on canned tuna as a good source of protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and it is the only kind of fish we eat. But after I read about canned food is processed, I had second thoughts. Why? Because of the heat involved in the processing and potential toxins such as Bisphenol A (or BPA), which is a chemical used mainly in cans, as well as plastic food and beverage containers, that has been linked to reproductive problems and a host of other disorders. (More information on Bisphenol A here from the Environmental Working Group – ed.)
Due to my recent research about canned food products, I have changed my mind about having canned food. I have become a better food selector for myself and my family, and decided that fresh food should be our first choice, with frozen food second, as it is likely to move faster than canned food and lose less of its nutrients in the process.
The boys and I have been diagnosed with G6PD deficiency, which is an inherited condition in which the body doesn’t have enough of an enzyme that works with the red blood cells. This leads to the destruction of red blood cells, which can be triggered by certain foods – and guess what I found: canned baked beans, are one of the triggers. So it’s definitely something for us to avoid.We are also trying hard to cut down on junk food as much as we can. Having lemon, pomegranate, red berries and a new fig tree in our back yard is a blessing, and a green house with lots of vegetables and fruit is definitely one thing to consider in our new house.
As much as possible and based on the above info, I will eliminate having canned food products and replaced them by fresh or even frozen, besides having more organic food. I was scared about abandoning canned tuna, but after a visit to the local fish market (see above), I changed my mind. Local fresh fish from the deep blue sea, I could never ask for more.
“Eat and drink but waste not by excess, for Allah loves not the wasters.” 7:31 holy quran
This applies to everything: food, water, clothes, books and even your rubbish. Just be creative! And know how to deal with it.