Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Healthier eating challenge

I don't know what my problem is because I like healthy foods.
Whole grains, green leafy veggies, squashes, salads, even raw and roasted beets, beans, nuts, seeds, plain old fashioned oatmeal for breakfast, etc...
But I eat crap instead.

We have stepped away from having an overabundance of processed foods in the house, but I still eat them. I also tend to eat TONS of sugar and lately crazy amounts of salt.

Which is dumb, because when I have a wheatberry salad made with beets, carrots, orange juice and cranberries - I would just assume eat that instead of a cookie.

I think my problem is that although I like these foods, I do not know how to really cook with them all yet. "healthy, Vegetarian cooking" seems so daunting to me - which is ridiculous because I rarely cook meats and actually prefer vegetarian dishes. So, what am I so afraid of? I think it's a comfort factor. I am intimidated by cooking healthier - so I tend to just be lazy and make the same 10 things over and over again - some healthy - some not so much.

I also think that in my mind eating healthy has to take so much more time than grabbing something out of the fridge or pantry that's already made and fast.

(having 2 kids - meal times have to be speedy if I want to finish)

So, I have decided that this move is the perfect time to totally clear out my pantry and start over with whole wheat flour - less sugar, less processed chemically crap and WAY less sugary snacks and treats. Once we eat it - I will try very hard not to replace it - except for a few small treats every now and then.

I promise to buy more fruits and vegetables and to come up with meal plans that will force me to cook them before they go bad.

One of my NEW FAVORITES is Kale Chips - you take raw Kale and bake them in the oven with olive oil and salt and pepper and whatever other seasonings you might want and they come out as tasty, crispy yumminess that is WAY healthier for you than a handful of potato chips.

Dave got me a Super Duper cook book for vegetarian eating and I haven't used a recipe yet because I was intimidated - but once we are in the new house with my newly stocked pantry - I think I will try one recipe out of it a week. (to start)

So, here is my challenge - can you swap out one or two of your unhealthy staples for a healthier option?

My first swap will be Kale chips for Potato Chips.
I read a book once that explained it pretty simply - real food is what grows in nature and animals that we kill. Processed, chemically produced versions of food are not natural and certainly not healthy.

The guy in the book made 3 points that really stuck with me -
1) if your grandmother wouldn't have it in her pantry - don't have it in yours
2) try not to eat things you can't make yourselves (potato chips, cookies, french fries, etc...)
but if you really want them - make them yourself. Peel, slice and fry the potato chips - it's a lot of work and it might deter you from eating them all the time!
3) cooking should be a process - taking it out of the freezer and heating it up is not cooking

So, since I'm still breastfeeding which provides more motivation to eat healthier options and it is making me hungrier than I was when I was pregnant, I vow that the next few months I will be making healthier food options for me and my family. I will take more time to cook the food that we eat and not allow making meals to stress me out .
I will try to find ways to enjoy it again - because I realize that now I have 2 little ones looking to me to teach them to make good choices in eating and chicken nuggets and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all the time is not fulfilling that responsibility.

I owe it to them and I owe it to myself.

Plus, I always feel better when I'm eating healthy and taking care of myself - so it really is a win win for everyone!

Will you join me and share recipes, swaps and ideas for healthy snacks????

1 comment:

  1. I'm totally on board for this. I have been making a huge effort here to make sure we are eating healthier, which includes not buying over-processed or "junk" foods. We of course eat things like snacks and sweet, but in absolute moderation and healthier versions. My biggest change has been with grocery shopping. I have been really diligent about going to produce first and stocking up on fruits and veggies and then working my way around to get what I need from the grocery store. I feel like this naturally steers us towards more whole foods. I've also been buying only what we need for 1 week which is helping with portions (I used to cook way way way too much food for dinners). I really like some of the recipes on