Here’s what I’ve learned about healthy eating: You can always do just a little bit better.
What I noticed about my family’s healthy eating – we were slacking. We’ve gotten pretty busy with our jobs, our activities and our hobbies. By the time we’d get home each night, we were exhausted and wanted something easy and fast. That didn’t always mean it was healthy. So in our minds, we were still healthy eaters, but in reality, we’d really taken a turn for the worse. Time to get back on track.
I’m very good at reading labels and looking through ingredients, but I’ve been reading two books that really changed my perspective on the food we’d been eating: In Defense Of Food and 100 Days of Real Food (although, I read the 100 days of real food blog first – I’m now reading the book). Stop looking at the nutrients in food – many of these have been processed back in. Look at the ingredient list and go for the real food with real ingredients. Changing my focus back to the food I was eating instead of the nutrients in the food really shifted my perspective. I read 200 blog posts in two days – I finally felt energized again with what I was eating and I knew that our family could make these changes too.
Our family is spending the next 100 days moving back to real food – and we’re pretty excited about it. Here’s what we’ve learned in our first few days:
Plan a realistic solution to eat real food.
We have a few items in our pantry that are processed items. I’ve gone through the options and made a plan for each thing – think about what you could do to eliminate or reduce the processed items your house:
- Give them to a friend or donate the (unused) items to a food pantry
- Use them up and buy new, real food options next
- Throw them in the trash
I haven’t had time to do everything in the pantry yet, but getting it started is my first step and helps me to do a little bit at a time as I’m making these changes. You can do this too. Read through the ingredient lists of the things you buy or are in your pantry – what can you eliminate (additives, chemicals) from your life.
Spend time making healthy food the easiest option.
I spent nearly one whole day this weekend prepping food for our week. I chopped strawberries, lettuce, celery and carrots. I made homemade salsa, homemade pico and cubed tons of cheese and packed peanut butter and nuts. I portioned all of these items in single-serve, reusable containers to make them grab and go. I purchased healthy (and real food) snacks for the kids – like Triscuts, fruit strips, no-sugar applesauce – and put them in single-serve containers too. I made sure everything was ready to go for our week and made it the easiest option for us. It’s the middle of the week and it’s saved me multiple times already. We were running late or we forgot to eat lunch or I needed something easy, so I grabbed these snacks. And instead of grabbing cookies or chips – we had the fruit, cheese and veggies as our options.
All of my prep-work took major time on Saturday, so I made the most of my time and watched a few movies too.
Sure, it takes a bit of time to get this prepped – but the time and energy it saves is worth it.
We’re making significant moves toward real, healthy food over the next 100 days and I’m excited to be sharing our journey with you. I encourage you to join us in thinking about how you can revolutionize – in a big or small way – what you are eating. Make the move back to real food. You’ll be glad you did.