Are You Food Independent?

Independence DayHow are you independent in your food life?  Do you do it YOUR own way?  Or do you do it the way of Kraft and Campbell?  I looked back over my family’s journey with food over the last three years, which catapulted us to much better health, and I decided to list ways we’ve become independent.  Since I was making a salad at the time, I’ll start there.


1.  We never buy salad dressing.  Like many kids, my kids were ranchers.  If not ranch, then French.  Now, they mix up the vinaigrette for dinner for me.  There are very few salad dressings on the store shelf that pass my label muster.  Nasty stuff.  All the salad greens you eat can’t compete with the oxidized oils and glycosylating sugars in there.

Tip:  Buy one of those salad dressing mixers.  We bought one from Pampered Chef, and there are recipes on the side for my kids to follow.  They’re fun for the kids and foster independence for them in the kitchen.

2.  We plant our own garden.  I love our garden.  Love it.  Nothing makes me feel more free than walking barefoot to the garden to pluck vegetables each day.

Tip:  Kids love to pick herbs.  Send them to the garden or pot for chives, basil, or parsley.

3.  We make our own baby food.  Sometimes I wonder how fresh the foods are they use in baby foods.  How ripe were they?  How moldy were some of them?  I make my own and I know.  I do not rely on Gerber, although that baby’s face is awful cute.  Now that I make my own, I kind of wonder why we got into the habit of other people doing it for us.

Tip:  Making food for your own baby is fulfilling, but it is wise to look at the necessary vitamins and minerals a baby needs at each stage so you can focus on getting baby the foods with those specific nutrients.  For example, at about six months, breastfed babies need more iron in their food.  So, I made sure that my baby had red meat, which I can’t even find on baby food shelves anymore.  Man, she tore into that stuff something fierce!

4.  We eat honest foods, honestly.  My 11-year old daughter contributed this one.  We don’t follow a food pyramid.  We don’t follow a named diet.  We eat lots of vegetables and fruits, and we ask ourselves some honest questions each day.  How do I feel?  Did something I ate make me feel sleepy?  Mean?  Sick?  Headachy?  Just bad?  Did something I ate make me overeat and crave more and more and more?  Did something I eat give me post-nasal drip or cough?  Or acid reflux?  Our food choices are governed by the constitution of honesty:  honest, real food and honest, real assessments of how we feel with different food choices.

Tip:  Base your diet on foods that make you feel good top to bottom.  Some foods will light your brain’s reward centers on fire, like ice cream and coffee, but do they really make you feel good, all day, every day, day in and day out?  Be honest.

5.  Freedom from packaged, dead food.  I never thought I’d see this day–ever.  In fact, it wasn’t until three years ago that I even realized how bad this stuff was for me.  (I know.  I can’t believe it.  It seems absolutely preposterous.)  Some of my kids and me–well, we love Oreos, Chips Ahoy, bread, chips, cookies, cakes, bagels, pizza, Chicken in a Biscuit, Pop Tarts.  You name it, we loved it.  It was not easy, but we did not give up.  We left the known motherland behind and journeyed forward in hope.  When the motherland is tying you down that bad and oppressing you that harshly, to leave is best.

Tip:  Try giving up all processed, packaged food for one whole month.  Build up the month with the kids.  Make it sound like the most exciting and biggest adventure ever.  Make it sound like it’s so hard, nobody can do it except your family because you’re all so tough.  Build the kids up mentally.  Tell them how strong and stubborn and healthy they are.  (Yes, we play games in our house and minds to achieve success.)


I could go on and on about ways we are now independent in our food lives, and let’s face it, our food lives affect just about everything we do–if we’re honest.  I wish I could give you the courage, the diligence, and the motivation to get on that ship for the New Land and not jump overboard to swim back to England.  But I can’t.  Only you can.  Only you can set hopes on feeling and functioning better and then staying strong through persecution and battles.  Only you.  Kraft and Kellogg want you, and they won’t give up easily.  They want your kids and they want your grandkids, constipation, chronic allergies, ADHD, obesity, and all.

I’ve said it once; I’ll say it again.  You can do this.

Please bear with me as I will be making some changes to the blog slowly over the next few months.  And pardon my absence the last couple of weeks while we visited with family and friends.  The blog may not have beauty, grace, and style, but I’ve got a passion and staying-power for motivating you and your families to eating for health!  Happy Independence Day 2015 to the USA.  May we always be strong and true and honest.


Thank you to my graphics helpers.  🙂  We did notice the typo belatedly, but not until after saving the graphic.  Thanks for reading!

24 thoughts on “Are You Food Independent?

  1. barbara

    Pretty astounding how all of us were sucked in to buying whatever was advertised. We trusted our companies and our government and our farmers to supply wholesome foods. Hah! They all cheated us, lied about everything they could, got taxpayer dollars to subsidize production and the government agencies to “look the other way.” Corporate bottom line became more important than safety or nutrition. We were had!

    No more! With 1 in 68 children having Autistic Spectrum, 2/3 rds of adults pre-diabetic or diabetic and fat and auto-immune disease rampant, our country can’t afford these sickly people. The costs of productivity, medical treatment and human suffering will bankrupt this country.

    So yes, you and your family are surviving the smart way! Kraft and Campbell’s are buying company’s with more wholesome products to keep their bottom line growing. You and your family are thriving and in good health. Not so hard either!

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Hi, Barbara: I keep seeing that over and over. Little companies I like making unique goods the “honest” way (maybe a juice, a kombucha, a candy, etc) who get bought out by the big ones, so then I stop buying them. Can’t blame the little guy for wanting to capitalize and move on, I guess. But follow the money and you’ll find the power. Yes, people have been sucked in. My dad farms, and I wouldn’t call him dishonest at all. I was (am–bad habit to say because I stay home, I’m not…need to work on that psychology 🙂 ) a doctor, and I wouldn’t say I was dishonest. So, what amazes me is that dad buys into all he’s learned bout farming from his magazines, fertilizer man, etc. And I bought into all my professors and the guidelines said. It isn’t until you step out of your circle that you’re like, “Whoa. Wait. A. Minute.” How did I get here? SO happy you’re making strides and an advocate for real food for health. I do wish more traditional farming methods would re-appear. When I visit home, the hog houses get bigger and more of them. The cattle barns get bigger and more of them. And the little farmers disappear and their farmhouses and barns tumble. And my childhood farming-dependent county is a MESS. Makes me so sad.


  2. Jo tB

    Terri, have a happy independence day with loved ones.

    You are free from the smothering hold food manufacturers have on you. Don’t buy anything in a package, carton, or tin, plastic or glas jar. In none of the cases do we know what they add by way of additives? I know all additives have been tested individually but have they been tested as the mix that is added? I don’t think so.

    So you make your own baby food. Good for you!! Do you know that Professor Tim Noakes of South Africa has been dragged before the dieticians’ board for advising a young mother to do the same. Make her own paleo food to give her baby and not go wholesale for baby food commercially produced.

    What is healthier? Make your own or buy it in a jar?


    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Dear Jo, Thank you for that link regarding Tim Noakes. I am not familiar with him, but I think I may pick up his book now to see what he advocates. Kind of ironic you linked this to me on an Independence Day post, eh? Freedom of speech. Freedom to choose diet. Etc.

      And, yes. I make my own baby food, and I would encourage others to do the same, although I would have to preface this by saying, “There are nutrients we KNOW that babies need and don’t get. We actually supplement commercial baby foods with these nutrients to make sure our babies get them, like iron and omega 3s (and others). If you’re going to make your own baby foods, due to the nutrient deficiencies in our foods and poor quality of certain meats, you must do it in an educated way.” However, the baby food these babies get now is probably just as detrimental, maybe more so, as a baby from a mom who is trying to get her baby real food. I worry about so many vitamins and minerals being deficient from processed baby food; I mean, they have to high heat those to can them. So many lost nutrients compared to carrots I steam and mash with butter. I have a post in my draft bin I absolutely intend to finish on how I introduced foods to my baby, which wasn’t “my own” brilliant idea. If you follow nature, like for iron, you’ll see meats should be introduced early on. I am very bothered by this topic. I am very bothered that Tim Noakes must be called before a board. The only thing I see, is if he only said “high fat low carb,” I don’t agree with this per se. If he said/thought, “Keep it real food. Feed baby plenty of natural fats, particularly those found on and with the meat–steer for wild/pastured meats/fish. Vegetables and fruits as per baby’s lead…” Of course, Twitter doesn’t accommodate all the “ands, ifs, and maybes” our “correctness” now requires. Sorry for the ramble, Jo. I hope you’re doing well nowadays. We are good and busy here! My GI is still stubborn due to nursing hormones, but I’m optimistic.

      Take great care!


    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Your 21 day challenge looked so great! Are you still going strong? Does Monkey still want salmon rather than take out or chicken nuggets? 🙂 I hope I can get the blog changes executed…

      1. EmilyMaine

        I’m doing pretty well although had a bit of a crash this week. Monkey will always want chicken nuggets sadly. I just have to find a way to make them from scratch that he enjoys! He does love veg too though.

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Well, gee, lots is going on! So no wonder!—I just remember your story about how he asked for salmon one night rather than something else you were going to offer. I was so proud of him! 🙂

  3. Simple Days Making for Exciting Adventures

    Love this! Especially the eating an honest diet. I may steal that term. 🙂 People ask us all the time why we eat the way we do and I think telling them that we eat based on how we feel is a terrific answer. I must say that I love going to the store now because I only hit the outside of the store for almond milk (because I am too lazy to make it still), yogurt (again, too lazy) and the occasional cereal. Buying less packaged food is so worth it!

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Honest is as honest does…steal it. (LOL! 🙂 I borrowed the term from a friend, too.) When we did the initial elimination, we were strictly following “a diet” (GAPS), but as we got our training wheels off–we now eat by how we feel. Did you know even Gandhi had a diet he followed, it wasn’t working for him and he was ill, and then it was suggested that he add back in dairy, which he excluded based on his vegetarian status. He didn’t want to, but when he did, he felt so much better. So he had an idea in his head that didn’t suit his body. He listened to his body. I thought that was interesting.

      Shopping is so much easier, especially at a store where they have a separate “natural foods” or “GF/DF” aisle where they put all the weird stuff (like coconut oil, almond butter, arrowroot, etc) all together for us crazies. Our local store recently put those items throughout the inner aisles, all spattered about, and I’m so frustrated. Anyhow, I hope you had a wonderful Independence Day! We did! Just super!


      1. Jackie

        We need to put cards with a link to your blog on them in the bags at McDonald’s — the hood of the nutrition world.

      2. Jackie

        It does taste good…. but yuck! I’m actually happy almost all of their ingredients make me feel sick because that pushes any temptation it may present despite knowing what I know wayyyyyy into the negative numbers.

  4. andthreetogo

    Great encouragement Terri! I love your tips! I have been feeling really crappy lately and am sure it has something to do with the wild abandonment I let happen in my eating while I had visitors over the last month…
    What would be the best post of yours that would help me start figuring out what is making me feel so crappy (besides what you shared above of course)? I feel like you wrote that you started with a modified GAPS diet, but I could be wrong… 🙂

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      I’ll try to write a new one. Give me a bit. Being a fellow foodie, this stuff is not easy. When I stop and think back to when I began, I remember the nightmares. Seriously dreamed of chocolate cake and all that stuff. TV commercials were like the Inquistion’s rack. The smell of bread a living hell. But, with persistence, I figured it out mostly, and feel good mostly and work on doing the things it takes to branch the diet back out again. Chad’s book was great. I left a review. Wish you’d let him out to finish the next one! 😉

      1. andthreetogo

        Oh that is so awesome of you! Thank you… I know I will be having a hard time of it… I tried to cut down on my carbs recently and boy was I a basket case… I actually thought I was pregnant (God forbid) because my emotions were so out of whack!
        Thank you so much for supporting chad and leaving a review! I am currently doing the last read through on book 2 and then it will be published! So probably in a week or two 😉

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Oh, great! Then how long till it will be available to purchase on- line?

        Cut down on carbs? Just a basket case? That’s pretty good! When I first did that I’d describe myself as a ferocious lion pacing back and forth in front of the kitchen cupboards. MEAN! 🙂

  5. rantsrulesandrecipes

    LOVE LOVE LOVE #5 the challenge to omit packaged, dead foods.
    If only we could get a national holiday for just 1 DAY for our country to try this. and then like you state in #4 CHECK IN with how you feel.


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