Isn’t it funny that we often don’t realize how much we have taken for granted until we are in the middle of a challenge. Maybe it is just me. I find a lot of times that I am most grateful and most observant when I am right in the thick of things. That is where I found myself today.
I used to go to the grocery store with a shoddy list and would buy what sounded good or was on sale. It actually wasn’t all that bad. I always liked the food that I came home with. I mean, you really can used to Cheetos for dinner! Man, have my shopping habits changed.
Since I found out about Nena’s food allergies, my whole food process has changed. I do have the help of a brilliantly amazing woman who either makes my breads for Nena or gives me her homemade mixes to do on my own (plug for her business… button on the side of my blog) and for that I am extremely grateful. However, it doesn’t stop there.
When you have a combo of food allergies, you become obsessive with reading labels. You notice everything. How often do you notice a new cereal at the grocery store? I ALWAYS do because there is that slight glimmer of hope that it might be dairy, gluten or soy free. The challenge has been a bit fun. Every time I find something new that fits into her diet, I do an imaginary happy dance in my head. Yes, it is THAT exciting.
The only drawback (and it is a BIG drawback) is that it is extremely expensive. Example, a small 24 oz package of oatmeal is around $8.00 and a 10 oz bag of chocolate chips is around $5. Even at the normal grocery store, it is almost guaranteed that the cheap, generic brands won’t work. If I am to find something, it is almost always the most expensive brand. So, I really keep my eyes peeled as I walk through the grocery store.
Today as I was walking down the aisles of the grocery store, I could imagine someone walking behind me during my whole trip chuckling about my behavior. I very cautiously read the back of every single label scrutinizing over every single ingredient as though I am an extreme health junkie. However, as I walk down the baking aisle, I load up the cart with brown sugar, powdered sugar and marshmallows. I check every ingredient in frozen entrees but throw bologna in my cart like no one’s business.
So, here are my new recent finds that made me squeal a little bit out of either giving me variety or saving me money!!!!
*Kix honey: Kix has been gluten free for a while, but now they have a new flavor! Yipee! Betcha didn’t notice that one.
* Recess Puffs: How great to have a fun cereal choice.
* Best Foods Canola: Being allergic to soy yet loving chicken salad, we have been forced to buy $11 for a 10 oz bottle of mayo. For the first time ever, we have found canola mayo that doesn’t have any soy… for only $4!
* There is only one brand of peanut butter (that isn’t organic and sugar free and my kids will eat it) that doesn’t have soy. Twice the price, but worth it’s weight in Muddy Buddies and Flour free PB cookies!
*Brianna’s is the only salad dressing that I have found that isn’t made with soy oil. Cool enough, they have about 6 varieties that are soy free!
* Prego: The only soy free pasta sauce… that we have recently converted to be pizza sauce.
*Pre minced garlic! FINALLY without soy. Oh how I have missed thee.
I know that it is boring to read about our odd eating habits, but really it is something that I cheer about.