Week 14: Eat Great Food, Feel Great Too

From time to time I go on homemade food and food planning kicks. It seems really easy when I’m sitting at my desk at work, reading food blogs and finding recipes. Then I get home and realize how much of my time is absorbed by daily chores, two boys and a husband and leisure time (read: crochet). I’m not complaining, far from it in fact, but I do want to feed my family wholesome food and get cranky when I don’t have the time. I have an entire binder of recipes to try.

organic_foodI do my best to keep the grocery budget at $100 per week for the four of us, frequently going over by anywhere from $10 to $50. And that’s shopping at two or more stores, buying as much on sale as possible. How much could I reduce that weekly budget by making my own snack food, e.g., crackers, granola bars, breakfast bars, etc.?

One of the blogs I follow is I Am Not the Babysitter. Jamie Lynne Grumet has a four-year-old son and an adopted son from Ethiopia who is six. Jamie Lynne started Fayye Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting the global orphan crisis by addressing family preservation. They empower women by supporting their health, education and vocational goals.

One of the foundation’s projects is Waterlink Africa. Jamie Lynn wanted to be able to give more money to the water project so she set a goal to spend $50 a week on organic groceries. After realizing she couldn’t do it by shopping at Whole Foods (nicknamed Whole Paycheck), she started a hydroponic garden, cut meat down to once or twice a week, shopped at farmer’s markets, bought items on sale and scoured recipes and blogs for inspiration. The bottom line: she did it.LiveBelowtheLine

Over 1.4 billion people around the world live on less than $1.50 per day for food and drink (equivalent of $1.75 in Canada). Enter the Live Below The Line challenge which highlights the issue of global poverty. Could you live on $1.50 ($1.75 CDN) for five days? The money raised (over $10,000 so far) will be going to one of four causes: Cuso International, Raising the Village, Results Canada and Spread the Net. The challenge runs from April 29 to May 3.

I can’t do the LBL challenge but I’m willing to challenge myself not to buy any crackers, granola bars or cookies for a month. What the heck, let’s call it any boxed food that’s already prepared.

THE WEEK IN REVIEW

Cake UnfinishedMason’s Lego birthday party was on Saturday. The cake turned out really well!
I made a marshmallow fondant for the first time – marshmallows, water, colour and icing sugar. I had to do a lot of work by hand because I only have a small mixer and I had to make four colours plus white but it was relatively straightforward. It even tasted halfway decent. We made the “studs” with a straw. The cake was three layers, two chocolate and one vanilla.

Cake

Mason had a great time turning seven on the 7th, the only time in his life that that will happen! He ended up with Spiderman, Star Wars, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Chima and Batman Lego sets. He’s been obsessed with putting them together ever since. It’s the thing he does first thing in the morning and the last thing he does before he goes to bed at night.

THE SQUARES – WEEK 14

Square two is a beach and waves pattern for the April challenge on the KAS forum – Sea, Seashore and Shells. I like the colour play on square three. I have a stash of Patons Classic Wool that I’ve been meaning to dive into. I’d previously shied away from it because I find wool stretches more than acrylic so I have to be more careful with my tension. The result is squares four, five and seven. I have a lot more to get through!

Week 14

Lego SquareSquare six is dedicated to my big guy, Mason, and his 7th birthday – Lego, of course! Green is his favourite colour. I love you, Bug!

Now that Mason’s birthday is over, it’s time to move on to Evan’s Power Rangers birthday. At least I have a month or so.

Square Count: 98
Blankets: 2
Hats: 2

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About Andrea Squared

I've been a crocheter since I was 7 years old and I've been knitting since 2013. My life is filled with love and joy from my three boys, Mason (10), Evan (7) and my dear husband.
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4 Responses to Week 14: Eat Great Food, Feel Great Too

  1. Laura says:

    Wow. Awesome cake Andrea. You are amazing. The LBL challenge of $1.75 per day for 5 days sounds like it would be an eye-opening experience. I think it’s a great idea. It is almost impossible –in my limited experience–to make everything you’d like NOT to buy (pre-packaged foods) when you are working full-time in Canada (or even part-time) unless you don’t want to sleep. The only way I figure is not to replace them by homemade but to do without them altogether and eat fruit and vegetables and nuts etc instead which take no extra time. Keep up the amazing creative work Andrea. You have many talents.

  2. Pam Antink says:

    Having sold wholefoods for 35 years, I’m with you Andrea on this one! My brother and I often feel that working Mum’s might be better off doing slightly less hours so they can prepare quality meals from scratch and know exactly what the children are eating. So often the quick pop-in-the-oven ready meals may look good on the box, but in fact have too much sugar and salt, plus the nutritional content is dubious. In Europe, we recently had a food scandal erupt, whereupon trusted supermarket brands of real meals/burgers have not been quality controlled tested as one would assume. Now products have been tested by Trading Standards they have discovered horse meat DNA, being mixed with beef etc., Yesterday, the Dutch authorities had to withdraw 50,000 tonnes of meet because they have discovered drugs given to horses has infiltrated the food! Mum’s home cooking is without doubt the best!!!

  3. Mama says:

    This has to be your best cake yet and all the other ones were pretty awesome. How did you do it?? I’m signing you up for some Food Challenges on the Food Network. And yeah to no boxed stuff for a month or forever? Although I must admit crackers are the hardest to crack – no pun there. Costco has organic whole seed ones that are good in a pinch of a craving. Here’s to good eating and no GMOs.

  4. ecozee says:

    Oh my lord, that cake is truly a masterpiece, and the lego square – inspired – we love lego in our family too. When we were at legoland london last summer we were lucky enough to take part in building the worlds largest lego tower.

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