In Part 1 of My Unhealthy Relationship, I shared a bit about the nutritional changes my family has made in the past few months. Today, I’ll share a few of the challenges and surprises we’ve experienced during our transition to more real food and less processed food.
- My personal challenge is soda, soda, soda. Specifically, I’m addicted to Diet Pepsi. I’m not a coffee drinker, so for years I’ve gotten my caffeine from soda. While I’m no longer keeping it in the house as a daily drink, I still crave it (especially in the evening, with a little bit of spiced rum). I still order it when we go out to eat, but at least it’s not a daily indulgence. I’ve struggled to figure out what to replace it with. Mostly, I drink water and an occasional cup of tea.
- This is time consuming. I’m spending significantly more time planning meals, grocery shopping, and cooking. I have to keep reminding myself that this is important for my health and the health of my family.
- My children are picky eaters and have not adjusted well to this change at all. I get discouraged when they both refuse to eat what I cooked. When the little one starts to cry because her macaroni and cheese is homemade with whole wheat pasta, instead of from a box with orange powdery cheese, I sometimes just feel like giving up.
- Eating out. I don’t know that I would say this is a challenge. It’s probably more appropriate to say that right now we’re focusing on making changes at home, and we don’t worry about it much when we go out to eat. The only change so far in this area is that we’re eating less fast food.
- As someone who has traditionally avoided cooking as much as possible, I feel pride in some of the ‘firsts’ I’m now experiencing. For the first time ever, I made meatballs from scratch instead of simply pouring them out of a bag. For the first time ever, I modified a recipe to include whole wheat flour and honey instead of white flour and sugar. For the first time ever, I bought fresh ginger, grated it, and used it in a recipe. My list of ‘firsts’ continues to grow.
- We stick to a budget around here. We save receipts, total them at the end of the month, and see where our money has gone. I fully expected our grocery bill to increase significantly, but it has actually stayed about the same. We’re spending more money on fruit, vegetables, and meats, but we’re also spending much less on expensive processed foods like cereals and soda.
- I’m actually adding kitchen appliances and utensils to my Christmas list. Specifically, I would like a food processor. Pay attention husband.
- I’m eating meat, cheese, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and some delicious homemade meals. If I’m being honest, I’ve also eaten some not-so-delicious homemade meals. However, the point is that I’m not dieting and not starving myself. Yet, I have lost 16 pounds.
- Today is our first delivery of fresh milk and eggs from Morning Fresh Dairy and we have planned a taste test this evening to compare with our store bought milk. I find it amusing that the entire family is so excited about milk delivery.
- I’m exercising more. When you start to change some habits and focus more on healthy living, exercise naturally becomes a higher priority.
- My carpal tunnel syndrome has improved. Perhaps it’s a coincidence and there are other factors at play. Perhaps not. Personally, I like to think that my nutritional changes are already resulting in health benefits.
As this journey continues, I’m certain we’ll experience additional challenges and celebrate even more successes. For now, I think I’ll focus on my most immediate goal: discovering a homemade macaroni and cheese that my children love!
- As a parent, what are your mealtime challenges and surprises?
- What strategies have you used individually or as a family to make better food choices?
- What local stores, classes, services, and resources have helped you and your family to develop or maintain a healthy eating lifestyle?