A few years ago, our family made a huge change in the way we eat. I read a few books (The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle to start) that really opened my eyes to the realities of the food industry in the United States. Once I’d read these books, I couldn’t NOT make changes.
I can’t lie, at first it was a pain. I had to read every food label as I grocery shopped, which took way longer than just throwing stuff in the cart. I had to stop buying a lot of the foods we were used to eating, and I had to try to find substitutes (honestly, I still haven’t found suitable, store-bought substitutes for a lot of snack items). I began baking all our cakes, cookies, and treats from scratch.
I started buying all organic fruits, veggies, and dairy. I researched farms in our area and found one where we could buy organic, grass-fed, humanely-raised (and slaughtered) meat. We stopped eating fast food entirely, and actually we rarely go out to eat at all anymore (which, with four kids, isn’t that much fun anyway).
It was a lot of work up front to make these changes.
But. BUT. Fast-forward to now and it has become so second-nature, it takes no effort at all. Our whole family eats better. I don’t spend any more at the grocery store than I used to, I just buy different things.
I have literally changed my own and my family’s taste buds too–when one of us does eat processed food for some reason, we often comment that it tastes bad or weird and I am reminded WHY we eat the way we eat.
And we are SO much healthier now. I’m not kidding you–I can count on one hand the number of times my kids have been to the doctor in the last two or three years. (Not counting well-child checks. For some of my kids, those well-child checks have been the ONLY doctor visits in the last few years.) It has been an amazing, life-altering, completely-worth-it, change.
It seems hard, I know. But it gets easy pretty quickly and the benefits certainly outweigh the initial annoyance.
Eat real food. It’s worth every bite.