Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Most Pathetic Attempt at Better Eating

Hey Guys. Thank you SO SO very much for all the helpful suggestions from my post a while ago, asking about processed foods.

It seems that there is a lot of information out there. Yowza. I had to cut myself off from searching that stuff because I'm a very likely candidate to get sucked into the food revolution, then feel like a failure when neither I nor my family like kale or veggie chips. I'd end up drowning my sorrows in diet Coke and Hershey's Kisses.

But what a way to go, eh?

So, I've decided that I'm going to make a few changes. I'm not going to go overboard and I'm not going to stress out about it. I'm going to do my best and try to remember that any positive changes I make are at least better than what we're doing now. Not that we're eating like filthy pigs now, but I know there's always room for improvement.

First of all, my husband is going to do some type of "cleanse". I don't know what it is, but it's at the suggestion of his doctor, who we trust. He's doing it under the care of a doctor (our chiropractor, actually) and the doctor suggested we get to a starting point when trying to figure out if my husband has any food sensitivities. Plus, it's a good idea just to get all the toxins out of his body that come from processed foods.

Not that *I'M* going to do it, though. Ahem. I'm not ready for that yet.

I got lots of other great advice from y'all, both in comments and on FB and in emails. So, some other strategies I'm going to attempt are:
make 60/40 meals - basically, I'm going to try to remember that I won't be perfect on day one, nor on day two, and it will take some getting used to before it's a way of life for us. So, 60/40 means, make a plan to have 60% of the meals be healthy and "follow the rules" and 40% can be our usual fare. Overtime I can change our plan to 70/30 and so on. Eventually we'll be eating healthy 90% of the time but I'm not forcing our family into a complete overhaul all at once.
no lunchmeat - Okay, this one I'm just not sure about but I'm going to try. I know lunchmeat is filled with fillers and preservatives, blah blah blah. But what about sliced turkey? What about roast beef? Are there certain brands or types that are okay? Because my kids are going to get really sick of PB&J in their lunchboxes every day.

down to 24 oz soda/day, and bump up the H2O - I'm shamed to admit that I do drink a lot of soda. It's become a habit - not only the physical longing for carbonated caffeine, but also the act of putting a drink to my mouth. I know I can replace some of the soda with water but it will take time to adjust. 24oz is 2 cans. I would love to get down to ONE can of soda a day but, ya know, baby steps. Plus does anyone ever think about, if you go to McDonalds and get a Medium soda (20 oz) and refill it once, that's 40 oz of soda? Like, 3 and a half cans of soda, in one meal? Yes, I've thought about it.
less prepared, more scratch - trying to make a meal plan. Trying to make things ahead of time and freeze them so I don't just pop a pizza in the oven out of sheer exhaustion of the day. Planning has gotten harder for me since (a) the birth of #4 and #5, and (2) I'm loathe to admit it, but since I started blogging. Social media, in terms of blogging, FB, and twitter, has become a big distraction for me. I mean, I really enjoy it and I'm not being nuts about it, but I do admit that sometimes things in the house go on the backburner while I'm blogging. But anyway, I'm trying to get my act together and have more time with my kids and less time on the computer. I hope I can do it.

That's it for now. I know I can make a million more changes and maybe we will. I find it intensely hard when I have hungry kids at home who want a snack NOW. I'M. HUNGRY!!! Plus, their taste buds are trained to like granola bars and Go-Gurt and Kool-Aid. It will take them time, too, to retrain their appetites to enjoy things like fruits and veggies and whole grains.

It's hard for me to embrace healthier eating when, frankly, some of those foods are just completely unappealing to me. For example, I LLUUUUVVVVV white bread. Not even the "whole grain" white bread. I'm talking, the white bread that is so soft, you can mush it with your tongue. Wheat bread, to me, is too rough. And too chewy. And too crusty. Don't get me wrong - I like crusty bread, like beer bread.Yum, all warm with butter! But on a sandwich? Um, NO. So it's hard for me to eat a wheat bread sandwich and actually enjoy it. The whole time I'm daydreaming about how good some soft Wonder bread would feel in my mouth. Same goes for sweet potatoes. Yuck. I'm dreaming of white potatoes!!!

Another issue I'm having, it seems that every single thing my husband asks his doctor about, the doctor tells him, "oh that's no good for you." Like recently my husband has been drinking a lot of these:

They are drinks by Bolthouse Farms. They basically have no preservatives (well, the fruit ones don't anyway) and are just blended up fruits & veggies. The doc says they have too many carbs & sugars. Well, hello, all food has carbs! Especially fruit juices!! And why are sugars bad if they are natural sugars, not added sugars? These drinks don't have any added sugars or sweetners or corn syrups, etc. I know they're better than soda, granted. And I understand he can't have like, 4 of them a day. But why would they be "no good"?

And often my husband relaxes, or even sleeps, in our recliner. It helps ease the pain in his back. Again, the doc said, "oh those chairs are no good for you. If you sit in one, you need to get up every 20-30 minutes and walk around."

At that point I wondered if that doctor's life is devoid of any enjoyment or pleasure whatsoever. If you can't even relax in a La-Z-Boy, what good is living?

I know, you can call me on it, melodramatic. I just keep thinking, some people in this life are hardwired to be go-getters. They know what to do, and do it, and do it well. Me? um.... well.... I do try. And fail a lot. And try again. And that's probably what this journey will be like. But I'm figuring, it's better than not trying at all.

I hope.

But you won't catch us getting rid of our La-Z-Boy.

Texan Mama


Lindsay said...

After I had my second child I decided that I was going to get back into shape and start feeding my family healthy meals. It was overwhelming but I found that Kelly's healthified Kitchen blog really helped me.

My husband and three year old are extremely picky eaters and the love her recipes. She even has crockpot recipes such as Chicken Mac and Cheese that are delicious and mostly healthy.

Her site has really been a life saver for me.

Good luck!

Michelle Saunderson said...

It is really hard to change the habits for an entire family. Take baby steps if you need to.

nicole said...

Good luck! It is overwhelming and sometimes hard to make changes, and we have not made as many as we should. I don't like white bread--I don't think it has a taste, so I'm wheat all the way. I get you on the snacks--it is hard to prepare something or convince kids to go for the apple slices or carrot sticks. But we just have to keep trying.

Bear and Bones Mama said...

Congratulations! Baby steps is the way to go. And no it's not easy. And yes you will crave some junk. And yes you can have it sparingly!!! (says the woman who ate 12 choc chip cookies the other day, ahem). (in one 15minute sitting. ahem).


Good luck G, you can do this and it'll be fun. Yes, it will. Really. Ok maybe not fun but so worth it.

Stay in touch. Let me know if you need recipes - I'll send you my kid favorites.


Pam said...

Great idea, "easing in" with the 60/40 plan!

I'm sorta "there" myself, and find 60 is about all I can manage, even after 3+ years of trying to eat less processed foods.

My next revolution is trying to introduce BEANS to my kids so that we can eventually eat less meat. Hard w/ growing athletes in the house, but if I start now, maybe they'll quit turning their noses up at them in, oh, like 5 years or so.

Anonymous said...

Your dr. probably thinks those fruit/vege drinks are "no good" because it's just empty calories. The juice *is* natural sugar, but you aren't getting the skin and the fiber and the natural fillers--that's all laying on the factory floor as a pile of juiceless mush. :)

How about making iced tea and keeping it in the fridge? I like mine totally plain and bitter--because my mom was ALWAYS on a diet and I grew up on unsweetened iced tea. And skim milk. And wheat bread. As a result, I can't stand whole milk (oh, gag!) or sweet tea (ewww!) or white Wonder Bread (meh, where's the flavor?).

*whispers* I don't like pop. I know. How un-American.

I'm going to go make some iced tea! I haven't had any in months because...I'm lazy.

Prairie Mother said...

Kudos for you! I think you have a great plan. You are much more likely to succeed with baby steps.

Jaci, that explains the *bad* fruit juice thing. I couldn't figure out what the dr. would say the were bad either.

I saw a Daniel's Fast mentioned on another blog.(Designed after the prophet Daniel in the Bible) A woman was doing it as a cleanse and then slowly introduce foods to see what her body reacts to (gluten,milk, etc.)
You can Google and find out more than you want to know but it may be a way to go for your husband.

Good Luck!

Jennifer said...

David feels the same way as you do about bread. I don't care. I think the wheat is fine and actually has more flavor than the white, but he is adamant that he only wants white bread.

Lunchmeat - Try the hormel all natural. I get that sometimes and it tastes really good and it is not supposed to have preservatives or bad stuff in it.

I like the 60/40 idea and it actually makes a lot of sense. It can gradually ease you into eating a healthier way. I need to give that some serious thought.

Sarah said...

I think you're taking this the right way! Baby steps is how you evolve. We're trying to evolve over here too because of my husband's diabetes. It's not easy, and some days we do fail...but we're trying :)

leslie@gleaninggrace said...

A lot of good points have already been look at me, you would never know that I have been doing this same thing for while now :-) It really does make you feel better!
A really good start is to read the original South Beach Diet by Agatson. He really goes into detail about how your body works, especially how certain foods affect your blood sugar and what the result can be as far as weight gain and overall health.
There are food lists to avoid like maltodextrin and high fructose corn syrup (and I warn you, it's in A LOT of stuff; I mean even Ritz crackers have it :-()
There are natural and healthy alternatives to most things. Kashi makes some great items that are both delicious and healthy. Just be sure to read ingredient lists and not assume that when it says "all natural" or "whole grain" on the front of the box, it really is; many are not. In fact, anything that starts off with Enriched flour, even if it says unbleached, or wheat flour, it is not the best option. If they had to enrich it, it means they stripped all the good outer parts of the wheat before grinding it. Those parts are important; it's natural fiber and vitamins that are not only better for you, they keep you full longer and take more work from your body to digest (which is good because it means fewer calories left behind).
I know the conversion to wheat bread from white is difficult. Start easy with something like whitewheat; not the best option, but better than most.
Also, I can email you some "Power Cooking Recipes" that allow you to make multiple meals at once and freeze them.
Let me know what you think and good luck!

Maggie, Todd, Jackson, and Tucker too! said...

Hey Girl,

Lunch meats are ok if you look for lunch meats without nitrites or nitrates...they have them at Target, Applegate Farms is a great brand and I think there is another "natural" brand available there too!

Nothing wrong with natural sugars, in moderation, and they are super concentrated in those drinks. That goes for juices in general, it's much better to eat the piece of fruit, rather then just drink it's juice. That way you're getting the fiber and additional nutrients from the skin for example :)

See you Friday!

Maggie :)

misssrobin said...

I'm a Diet Coke girl. In a bottle. Convenient. Easy to carry anywhere. Goes with anything.

I need to drink more water. I hate water.

But, I found an alternative. I use a water bottle, just one of the $1.50 ones that comes pre-filled. Then I add propel packets. I'm not big on sweet, so I use the lemon. It's a light enough flavor that I can stand it. And carrying around the water bottle (which I refill from the tap) helps with the habit of the Coke bottle.

Plus, I can stick a couple extra packets in my purse and refill at a drinking fountain while I'm out.

This is doable.

Lanita said...

Kudos for the new journey! Here are a couple of things that work for our family. If I can cook healthy meals Sunday through Thursday, Friday and Saturday can be whatever we want. We usually have pizza and bbq.

Start planning meals a week ahead of time, then shop for the meals. That way I know what I need to do, when I need to do it and it takes out stress of trying to decide hat to make for dinner.

Rather than lunchmeat, buy a small turkey breast or chicken and bake then on Sunday. Slice them right away and you have lunchmeat for the rest of the week. Ham works, too.

If you want to wean yourself off soda, try seltzer water. No calories, but you still have the bubbles. Then I found some reusable glasses that have a lid and a straw. I found them at World Market.

Remember, a little step is better than no step at all. I just need to remind myself of that daily.

Moomser said...

It's already been said, but definitely fizzy water (cheaper than soda) with half a lime.. Helps with the soda craving! Wraps are a great alternative to sandwiches if your kids will eat them... Good luck, changing our diet is HARD, any changes, however small, are huge accomplishments!