Healthy Eating

Has anyone ever noticed that there is seemingly no spectrum of eating healthy? It’s almost as though you’re a 1 – eating crap… or a 10 – a vegan living on a raw food diet. Ok, ok, I know that’s not the case.

I have never been one who has paid much attention to eating healthy. I’m not really proud of that statement, but it’s the truth and it’s life. I have had people in my life who have gone from a “normal” diet, eating hamburgers, fries, pizza, with fruits and veggies sprinkled in to the very next day, seemingly, reveling in their asparagus and brussels sprout smoothie for breakfast gloating about how delicious it is on social media sites.

I am not that type of person.

I don’t think I have it in me to simply and completely walk away from the way I’m used to eating.

I want to eat healthier and I want my family too as well. So, I started implementing small changes. Ordering from a food co-op was the best thing I could have done. It has made me aware that there is an obvious and big difference in quality of meats. I am now pretty picky about the type of meat I choose for my family and am willing to pay the price. One also offers 9-grain bread. You have to buy 5 loaves at once, so I convinced a couple of friends to try it out with me and now I won’t go back. I hate it when we run out and miss out on ordering more. Beyond that the co-ops have given us new types of fruits and vegetables that weren’t on my radar before. I probably never would have bought cauliflower, but found out it is a favorite of my daughter. We just tried plums today and both the kids liked  it (after I forced them to try it!) 🙂

I’ve also tried to reorient how I have my kids eat. If they claim to be hungry, I will give them options of the different fruits and veggies we have. If they say they don’t want that, but want (insert unhealthy snack here) I say, “Well then, you’re not really hungry.” I want them to understand (and get into the habit) that when they’re hungry the best thing to do is grab fruits or veggies. Don’t get me wrong, they get treats, but I want snacking to be healthy.

I’ve also come to the dinner table differently. Just last night we had sloppy Joe’s with raw carrots and broccoli. (In the past I’d probably serve this with chips instead… so don’t judge me for the sloppy Joe. 🙂 ) Anyhow, my daughter didn’t want to eat the sandwich but ate a ton of carrots and broccoli. So, do I force her to take some bites of the sandwich? Really? If she’s happy with the veggies and can fill up, shouldn’t that be ok? So I didn’t push the issue. Today she ate the ham and cheese from her sandwich, but not the bread. Again do I push the issue? Should I make her eat a sandwich a normal way, or allow her to do it her way and so not love carbs as much as I do? I let it go. I’m not convinced I did the right thing in either setting, but I think it’s partly because I was raised in the culture pushing “clean plate clubber” membership. But, I want my kids to learn to stop eating when they’re satisfied.

Here’s my biggest frustration with all this. I’ve made some good healthy steps in the right direction. But when I try to look out there in the internet world about the next step to take, I’m off to asparagus and brussels sprout smoothie land where I don’t know what half of the ingredients are in recipes. To top it off, the recipes have about 100 ingredients and take about an hour of your time. I’m not ready for that. I’m just happy if I can get a meal on the table. I wish there was some type of transition-to-healthy-eating website that lead you through steps of things to add into and take out of your diet progressively. Or one that catered healthy recipes to busy moms that includes freezer meals and crockpots!

I’m happy to take tips, ideas, recipes, advice, amens! and encouragement. But please don’t expect me to being making the above mentioned smoothie tomorrow morning! 🙂

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Published in: on July 21, 2011 at 1:46 pm  Comments (3)  
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  1. I’d say the key words “Whole Foods” will probably get you where you want to go. This basically sets the scene for a diet that does not include unhealthy things like heavily processed foods, dyes, preservatives, etc and puts an emphasis on all things God-given; 9-grain breads, free range eggs, meats raised healthily, natural oils like butter and olive oil, local or organic fruits and vegetables, natural sweeteners like honey, etc. I really REALLY enjoy the blog http://www.nourishingmeals.com/, although she might be a little on the “wild side” :D. Don’t get overly concerned with those people drinking these crazy smoothies- They’re nuts. I should know. Maybe one day I’ll make one for you 😉

  2. Stacie, I think you’re on the right track and I agree with what you did with Lydia, not forcing her to eat her bread, etc. When I got onto my “being more healthy” kick about a year and a half ago, I made the same kids of simple changes: fruit and vegetables instead of chips and crackers. I also started eating more whole grains. I made wraps with whole wheat tortillas and loaded with grilled vegetables to cut down on carbs and meat. I stopped using table salt all together to cut down sodium. I no longer keep snack food or desserts in the house because over eating that kind of stuff is what got me to a really unhealthy place. Of course, I will still eat some chips at a party or ice cream on a hot day (like today), but I eat way less of it since it’s not in the house. My point is, I don’t think you need to go overboard on eating weird stuff to be healthy. I do have a couple recommendations for you. One is to check out the website sparkpeople.com, a healthy living and weight loss online community. I get their daily emails which are very often simple tips on eating healthy, and where I learned a lot about a healthy diet. Also, I recommend Jessica Seinfeld’s book Deceptively Delicious, which is a recipe book specifically for mothers who want their family to eat healthier, but is not full of weird smoothies. She even has a recipe for mac and cheese 🙂

    • Oooo… I forgot about Deceptively Delicious. Thanks!


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