Friday, September 23, 2011

A New Outlook

I'm not going to lie...I love junk food.

I mean that I could probably eat some sort of sugar passing for breakfast every morning, gorge myself on a McDonald's value meal for lunch and finish it all off with a steak dinner out.  Oh and don't forget dessert.  Preferably of the ice cream variety.

I love food, and I've never been picky about it...except for mushrooms, keep them far from me.  I've always been more concerned with the cost of food.  So if it was cheap it was fine for me.

Then something happened.  I'm not exactly sure when this change exactly took place.  But over the past couple of years I've definitely gone from "Who cares if it's processed" to "Chemicals?  In my food?!?!?!"

On top of that, I was tired of feeling so blah all. the. time.  I had gained weight since having the kids and dieting wasn't happening.

I made the decision to start feeding us better.  Not because I want to fit back into my 7 for all Mankind jeans (although that would be awesome).  Not because I wanted to eat cardboard.  Not because I wanted to make my family hate me.

Because I wanted us to be healthy.  I took a really good, hard look at what our meals were consisting of and I just decided that it wasn't worth it.  We were eating food from boxes most nights.  Other than an occasional grape or banana, fruits were not being utilized for healthy snacks.  A side of veggies was a steam fresh bag from the freezer.  But just one, because those things are expensive and even if it only says 2 servings, the kids can share with us.

Suddenly I couldn't believe the garbage I was feeding myself and my family.  So I made a change.  A pretty big change.  I changed grocery stores, started following vegetarian blogs and my sister even bought me a *gasp* VEGAN cookbook.

My husband, may be divorcing me soon.

Let me be clear, we are not giving up the meat...but we have cut way back.  I've been finding other things like sweet potatoes and quinoa and beans to replace the chicken and ground beef.  So, where our menu used to look like this...

Monday: Chicken
Tuesday: Ground Beef
Wednesday: Chicken
Thursday: Chicken
Friday: Ground Beef
Saturday: Eat Out
Sunday: Pork

It now looks like this...

Monday: Fish
Tuesday: Veggie
Wednesday: Chicken
Thursday: Veggie
Friday: Ground Beef
Saturday: Grill
Sunday: Crock Pot

I'm not going to say we always stick to it, because with our crazy lives it's just not possible.  Sometimes I forget to defrost the fish so that means grilled cheese and tomato soup (and it was heavenly).  Sometimes we are travelling and a drive through burger is the best we can do.

But I want my kids to have healthy options.  I want them to grow up knowing how to feed their body well.  I don't want them to have every McDonald's toy and know the Chick-Fil-A Cow by name.  I felt like we were getting dangerously close to that line.

And guess what?  I haven't lost a pound.  But I feel better.  I think my skin looks better.  My body fits in my clothes a little better. When I do indulge in something (like pizza for lunch yesterday), I enjoy it so much more.  And if I over indulge?  I feel it.  I feel horrible and sluggish and cranky.  And every time I feel that way, I'm more motivated to stay the course.

My family is not always digging this change.  There are nights that I'm the only one eating a vegan meal because no one else likes it.  But I've gotta give Clif props...he always tries it and always tries to finish it.  He always says "You make it, I eat it." 

So even though there are nights that I am frustrated and at my wits end about no one liking dinner, I know that I'm doing the right thing and I know in the long run it will pay off.
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