31 Days – Trading This For That


Alternative foods My friend Miranda likes to say it all started with the placenta pills. Having for years been wound tight type A, with a penchant for organization, the birth of Hayden, and the resulting encapsulation of my placenta, led me down the path of free-spirit semi-hippie wannabe. These days I forget a lot more, I let control of a lot more, and I’m a lot more open to different ideas. Whether it was the placenta pills or not, I’ve been more and more open to new ways of thought this past year than I ever have been before.

The other day I posted on Instagram, my use of colloidal silver to help ward off another stinking round of strep throat, and last night I wrote the details of encapsulating my placenta, and how it greatly helped me get through postpartum depression. I would love if you went over and read it, especially if you have ever struggled with PPD and are thinking of having more babies.

And obviously I’ve been a lot more open to switching out our food supply this last year. I have slowly become one of those people I used to roll my eyes at, and I’m slowly becoming okay with that. Just a few months ago I thought there would be no way we could give up Coffeemate, frozen Eggos (remember my first attempt at making GF waffles, ha!?!), and Nutella (here’s my original post on why I wanted to ditch these foods especially). But here we are, Nutella, Cofeemate, Eggo free, and we haven’t succumbed to heartbreak! Here’s the low down on what we have switched out, to help take the place of the food-ish items we used to hold so dear to our hearts. And please note, I make no claims whatsoever that we are 100% all natural, junk food free. Just yesterday I brought home a packet of those Joe’s O’s, Halloween edition, and let the kids snack on 5 of those when they got home from school. We are not saints, but the big switches we made leave me feeling completely okay with junk food indulgences every now and then.

Coffee-Mate creamer – we have substituted French Vanilla Coffee-Mate for a big splash of organic half and half (I always make sure it’s not ultra pasteurized!), and 1 tsp of pure maple syrup. It’s delicious!

Eggos – our kids love, love, love waffles, so we make big batches about twice a week and freeze leftovers. They reheat perfectly in the toaster, and even get crispy in the process. Read this great post comparing store bought frozen waffles to homemade.

Nutella – well, I still haven’t found an alternative I feel good about for Nutella, but I’m okay with that. Really, my kids get fed enough sweets that they don’t need to down chocolate spread too, and downing it they were. The funny thing is, since literally throwing our jars in the garbage, Syd, my Nutella loving freak, hasn’t even asked about it. It is sort of like out of site, out of mind. We now just buy natural organic peanut butter for breakfast toast and lunch sandwiches, with only one single ingredient: peanuts (and sometimes salt).

Granulated Sugar – I have mostly ditched the use of granulated sugar, easily replacing it with options like raw honey, maple syrup and Zylitol. You can make an excellent simple syrup out of raw honey and warm water by mixing 3 cups of warm water with 3/4 cup raw honey. It keeps in your fridge for a month or even two, and while it’s still a sweetener, it offers more nutritional benefits than simple syrup made with granulated sugar. When I want the texture of sugar though, I have switched to Zylitol, but use it sparingly because again, it is still a sweetener. There is some debate as to how healthy this type of “naturally derived” sweetener really is, but for the research that exists, it is safe and its low glycemic index makes it a great option for diabetics.

Chicken Nuggets – not an option when out at a restaurant (here’s why). Instead I make the homemade ones, which I swear I have on video, they say are better than the ones from McDonalds anyhow.

Cheez-Its, graham crackers and other snacks – we all love to snack, not just kids, and so we do keep a few boxes of things in the cupboard, to munch on at night, after school, and to pack in the kids lunches. I’ve found some brands that the kids love, and I feel good about giving to them. Erewhon is a yummy brand of graham crackers I find at Lazy Acres, and the kids love. Pure Bar makes fruit sandwich bars, much like the fruit strips, and are made of 100% natural ingredients, free of dyes and additives. Angie’s makes great popcorn in a few different flavors and even lunch size bags, and can be found at Costco. And Funley’s makes a great line of snack size crackers and little fruit and grain bites. The kids, especially Hayden, love them.

These have been some of the biggest swaps we’ve made, in addition to the meat and fish thing which I’ve already written about. There are other decisions I make every single day, where I choose one food over another, but I try not to get fanatical about my decisions and do the best I can. There’s only so much time and energy you can devote to this stuff before you start feeling like you might be taking it just a little too far. This is why I’m a little gun shy about the Food Babe craze. While I appreciate and respect her research into the scary stuff that goes into our food, at some point it starts to feel like overkill. Just read the labels, but also try to avoid endless amounts of foods that require a label in the first place.

We are on our last 2 days of this series, and while I haven’t done as bang up of a job as I wanted to do, I hope you’ve gotten some good points out of it!

Andrea is the founder of For The Love Of, a lifestyle blog dedicated to approachable, modern living. She writes about style, her love of DIY, and living a healthier life through wholesome, nutritious cooking. She is also a regular contributor at Babble. Get in touch: Facebook, Twitter You can find Andrea on Instagram @andreavhowe and @gwynethmademedoit

  • erica says:

    it’s been a joy to watch this unfolding of ‘this for that’ in your life. i so appreciate how you continue to guide us into “approachable” habits (and style). your honesty & transparency are so refreshing!


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