Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living)

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

Would Great Grandma eat it

For quite awhile now I’ve been learning to control my type 2 diabetes while living on food from the food bank.  About a year ago I simply stopped dieting and carb counting to concentrate solely on healthy eating. I don’t mean eating rabbit food either.  Its been my mission to prove I can be just as healthy as anyone who doesn’t depend on food banks. The food is free and given with good intentions but that doesn’t mean I have to eat everything given.

According to my test monitor a few days ago my thirty day average was 138 I test the first thing each morning before drinking or eating anything. The averages I had two years ago were in the 250 to 300 range. I feel very confident my A1C is still going down.

Food and kitchen 2015 680

A few days ago someone I hadn’t seen for awhile noticed my weight loss and asked what I’d been doing.  My response was that I was pretending the year is 1943 all over again.  She asked what did that mean?  It means I’m cooking the way cooking was done from 1900 to the mid 1940’s but I’m not limiting myself to the extremes of the rationing or giving up my modern appliances.

When I go through the food bank lines I know I won’t be eating everything I get.  Someone is always willing to trade their carrots or cabbage for my box of donuts.  I can trade my sodas and bottled juices for potatoes.  Yesterday I traded my cheesecake for a bag of onions.  I make trades or give away food before it comes into my house.  Let me explain it this way.

I don’t eat any food that …..

  • is something my grandmother would not recognize
  • is advertised, especially tv commercials
  • contains any ingredients I can’t pronounce or spell
  • is labeled low fat, fat free, low sugar, or sugar free
  • has hydrogenated oil or trans fat ingredients
  • contains potassium bromate or is bromated
  • contains MSG or high fructose corn syrup
  • contains aspartame
  • bottled soda, tea, or fruit juice
  • flavored water or water flavoring drops
  • fast food or so called super foods
  • frozen prepared meals
  • dietary supplements
  • is commercially mixed, bottled, fried, canned, or baked

When I eliminate those listed foods whats left is only the food my Grandma Mama would recognize and be willing to eat.  The food she would have had grazing in the pastures and running around in the yard or growing in her garden and in the orchard.  Good hearty food.  Comfort food.  Chemical free food.

Think of it this way;  what was garbage in 1950; became fertilizer in 1960; cattle feed in 1970; and table food in 1980.  So what do you think people are eating after 35 more years of food transformation?

I’m eating the way I did as a child and its working!

7 comments on “Would Great Grandma eat it

  1. Darlene
    November 4, 2015

    Congratulations on lowering your blood sugar. Doing great! Need to do more of eating healthy in my family. Thanks for the tips. Love the quilts you do.

  2. Linda in NE
    November 3, 2015

    A very sensible way of eating. I’ve been saying for a long time that all the processed “food” with all the added chemicals is why people keep getting more & more unhealthy. But, and this is a big “but”, keeping people unhealthy is big bucks for the medical establishment, the pharm industry and industrialized farming. We can only expect changes in our health if we make the changes ourselves, as you have.

    • Na Na
      November 3, 2015

      Thanks and I agree. The unhealthy food keeps lots of people working and a handful of people at the top, very rich.

  3. Pat Power
    October 28, 2015

    I love your posts. Even though I grew up and live in Canada I can relate to much of what you blog about. I also had an amazing nana. She reduced, reused and recycled before it became trendy. Mostly, she didn’t buy stuff. Her only source of income was keeping borders. She was always happy and positive.
    I gave into consumer culture and now have little to show for my 44 years of work. I am turning it around. It started by reading financial and frugal blog posts. Yours is one of the few I could find that was about a (slightly) older person.
    Please keep it up. You are needed.

    • Na Na
      October 28, 2015

      I’m glad you found my blog. I think alot of us older folks fell into that consumerism and are now realizing we need to go back to basics again.

  4. Donna
    October 27, 2015

    Good for you! Sounds like you have your diet figured out. More people should follow this and be healthier.


  5. sarasinart
    October 27, 2015

    Congratulations on your weight and especially a1C. I like your do not eat food list.

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