I have a little secret for you.
In the over nine years my husband and I have been married, we haven’t really eaten food that was good for us. Ok, if you know us, this might be less of a secret We both had a serious soda addiction. And when I say serious, I mean serious - not a paltry one or two soda a day thing, either. We both like carbs. A lot. We like sugar. A lot.
For a few years now, I’ve recognized that this was no way to live. I’ve made brief attempts to try to eat better, but mostly I’ve failed. My husband has had seasons of wanting to eat healthier too, and eventually he’s fallen back into his old eating patterns.
Thankfully, we are finally both on the same page. We are tired of eating food that is hurting us instead of helping us. We are tired of the numbers on the scales being unhealthily high. We’ve kicked the soda to the curb, and I think like most addictions, it is something we will always have to avoid, or we risk being pulled back in. The struggle now is our actual diet. We want to eat “better”, but figuring out what that should look like on a daily basis is hard.
I’m not really interested in doing any fad “diets”. I’m much more interested in making lifestyle changes that we can stick with – I want us to learn to eat real foods. Mostly meats, veggies, and fruits, avoiding processed stuff as much as possible.
We’ve been at this for about a month now, and I can honestly say that I feel so much better. Even when I was sick as a dog with bronchitis, I overall felt like I had more energy and was less achy than I used to be on a non-sick day. Not only that, but I get an immense amount of satisfaction out of feeding my family healthy foods. It’s great to go grocery shopping (with a list!) and see my cart fill up with fruits, veggies, and meat. I spend almost no time in that dreaded “middle” of the store, except for an occasional trip to the cereal aisle for old fashioned rolled oats, or to the baking aisle for some whole wheat flour.
I don’t really feel deprived either. I just finished eating a piping hot piece of fresh, homemade banana bread, made with whole wheat flour, honey, and applesauce. It was good – kind of hard to feel deprived eating that!
It hit me again today how much things have changed, when I spent 20 minutes scouring one store to try to find sausage that didn’t contain monosodium gluatamate (aka, MSG). I finally found it at my second grocery store of the day, and I was ridiculously excited.
I really believe the food we put in our bodies matters, and I am determined to do the best I can with the budget I have. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that we are eating 100% organic, or buying all grass-fed local beef and pastured chickens. But I have to believe eating lots of fruits, vegetables, and meat, organic or not, is better for us than eating our previous diet of sugary drinks, sugary treats, processed snacks, and carb-heavy meals.