Tag Archives: healthy food

You Are What You Eat

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Last week I was sort of sick, sort of not.  I think I was actually fighting a bug, and it left me exhausted and unable to focus.  It was all I could do to get the normal, necessary daily things done, and it left me with no ability to do anything “extra”, like write.  Or fold laundry. Ahem.

In the few days that I was under the weather, I could feel that my body was struggling far beyond a normal I’m-coming-down-with-something feeling.  I realized that in the past few months since we moved, I really, really fell off the bandwagon of healthy eating.  And I really, really think that’s why I had so much trouble fending off fatigue.

For our family, healthy eating means lots of fruit, lots of veggies, all organic everything including meat and seafood, and as little processed food as possible.  But it’s hard when you move to stay on track because eating real food is more time-consuming.  When you have a bunch of ingredients rather than pre-made meals, you have to take the time to plan, prep, and cook before you can eat.  That process definitely fell by the wayside in the weeks after we moved to England.  Initially we were eating almost entirely at restaurants, which meant that although we had the option to get healthy items, we also had the constant temptation to get not-so-healthy meals and follow them up with dessert.  Even when we got in to our house, I was so busy with unpacking and setting up furniture and getting kids ready to start a new school and all the other million things you need to do when you move that cooking was NOT a priority. 

And now, three months after the move, my body is basically yelling at me to get my butt in gear, stop eating crap, and feed myself healthy and nourishing foods.  Otherwise, not feeling very good will become the new normal.  And we’ll get sick more and stay sick longer.

This week is an organization week — planning our meals, making grocery lists, and probably buying a blender because green smoothies are one of my favorite healthy snacks, but they’re pretty hard to make without a blender.

And then we dive back in — tons of fruit, veggies, lean meat, free range eggs, less pasta, fewer (no) pre-made meals, just good, healthy, REAL food.

It’s a simple thing, but going to take a few days to get the momentum back behind us to make that the norm.  I know that once we get back on track we’ll all feel better, which makes it worth it even if it were hard. (Which it’s not.  Really.  You should try it too!)


Also, here’s how we feed our family of six an all-organic diet for about $8 per person per day, and here’s my soapbox rant telling you why you should REALLY, SERIOUSLY stop eating processed food.


 

Eat Real Food

 

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.

Real food

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