Wow. So I really did not want to write this blog post, but I called Belinda and she said, “Go for it!” so here it is.  For quite awhile I have known that we were not eating very healthy.  Sure, we’d eat veggies, fruits, salads and use whole wheat pastas/breads.  But I knew we were eating a lot of empty calories and I was not paying very much attention to labels.  This week we decided it had to stop.  Our baby boy is starting in on his first feedings, our 2 year old asks for snacks…a lot and our oldest girls are getting to the age where they notice how we eat.  Because we make sure the kids get their fruits and veggies.

My husband and I discussed it and we decided to eliminate most processed foods from our diets.  Now, I want to state a few things up front.  The “green” community can be pretty aggressive at times.  I consider our family to be ecofriendly…but not militant.  We use cloth diapers, we do our own compost, we have a garden, we can our produce, we recycle and we reuse when possible.  But not all of our napkins are cloth.  Sometimes we use disposable diapers when we travel.  Some of my favorite cleaners are loaded with chemicals and I am fine with that!  I can readily appreciate people who have made commitments to be 100% green, but that is not what works for us and that is ok!  So you will never find me saying we have eliminated ALL processed foods and you WILL see me blog about getting the occasional meal from Chick-Fil-A or using real bleach to clean.

All that being said, here is what does work for us at this point in our lives.

We buy fresh produce, raw sugar and generally all-natural foods.  I am making an attempt to make our beans from dry beans.  Today I made a huge pot of black beans and those black beans are worked into 4 of our dinners this week: burritos, salads, veggie burgers and homemade salsa!  I wanted Mexican Rice, so I found a natural recipe and my own.  We are eating pizza with freshly grated, truly natural cheese and fresh veggies.  I will be making the pizza crust from scratch. The recipe I am trying will take about 2-3 hours so I have to plan ahead.  The overall goal is to be more intentional.  We have gotten rid of our crackers and other processed items.  And eating more of this:


I don’t want to overwhelm myself so we are making a gradual transition.  The next week or two is about getting rid of artificial sweeteners and processed items.  Next I would like to make our own breads, buns and tortilla shells.  I would love to make our own salad dressings as well.  This is not about making some quick change or a diet.  This is about a lifestyle we hope to adopt and making changes that fit for our family.  We want to be healthy for our kids and we want our kids to have a balanced perspective on food.  We want them to love good, natural, healthy foods and we want them to relax and enjoy homemade cookies or a night out at a restaurant too.  It’s all about balance and moderation.

One more personal goal I have made is to get back into running.  This past weekend I took our girls to a race.


The oldest ran a 5k and the youngest a one mile.  Next year, I want to run the 5k as a family.  Well, minus the baby. LOL! He can ride in a stroller.

I will keep blogging a bit about this transition and what works and what doesn’t  Feel free to ask questions, share advice or offer some encouragement to me.



Kristen: Kristen is a wife, mom, blogger and Brand Ambassador. She has four children; 2 boys and 2 girls. Kristen enjoys her role as a stay-at-home mother. Her oldest children are home-schooled. Her interests include gardening, coffee, reading, cooking and finding new ways to be eco-friendly. You may contact Kristen at mudpiesandtiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Kristen


  1. Bri
    Posted June 17, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    This is so great to read! I’m really trying to make positive changes in our lives too, it’s so inspiring to know I’m not alone in this journey! I sometimes have to remind myself it’s just that, a journey! It’s a process to change things 🙂 congratulations! I can’t wait to see a your updates on things!

  2. Ari
    Posted June 17, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Your focus on change is very inspirational! When I think of making a change like this it seems like a very daunting task and it’s true, like you said that it’s okay to do as much as you can as it fits your own ability or your family’s lifestyle. It definitely is a process. I love your idea of making a whole pot of black beans and incorporating them into various meals! I agree that it’s better to have a balanced perspective on food, and perhaps in other areas.

  3. jamie braun
    Posted June 17, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    i love the idea of running the 5k as a family! such a great way to bond

  4. Posted June 18, 2013 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I think little changes along the way can make a big difference in our lives. That’s what I have been trying to do too!

  5. Posted June 18, 2013 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    It is a hard change to make, but it is a great one! And like you said, you still have products that you use that have chemicals, well to each their own and what works for them and their family!
    Love that your girls ran in their races(: I think it’s awesome & it teaches them (kids in general) a lot about themselves!

  6. Posted June 18, 2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Very inspiring! We try to incorporate all these new healthy ideas as a family, it seems to make it easier to follow and FUN.

  7. Posted June 18, 2013 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    We are a hybrid green family too! We have a lot of things that are green and crunchy. But we are not militant either or 100%. But We do try for the most part. But we still use some non-green items because it works for our family.

    So proud of you all for taking changes to improve your eating style though! Kudos! It’s a hard change and one we are still struggling with. But we are making a slow progression towards more natural foods too.

  8. Posted June 18, 2013 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    We did a gradual transition as well, and we are much greener than we were a few years ago. I can’t wait to see what parts of your transition stick and which ones won’t. It’s still an ongoing adventure for us and I love to see how other families are creating their own version of green living. Good Luck!

  9. Posted June 18, 2013 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Good for you!! I started with Revolt Fitness and we are eating clean. It’s great!

  10. Jeanne Dillon
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Hey Kristen, I don’t know if you’ve tried making refried beans already or not, but I started making them from scratch and they are great. I use these two recipes as my guidelines, but they’re really easy and seem pretty fail-proof! I usually use them for a few meals after I make them, then freeze atleast 4-5 sandwich bags of beans, so I don’t have to use the cans anymore. You might already do this, but I thought I’d share, just in case.

  11. Jo-Ann Brightman
    Posted July 14, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    You are really doing a lot to change your lifestyle and I am sure your whole family will be grateful when they become aware of the good results. If it becomes an automatic part of your life then you will all be able to keep doing it.

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