I've been Gluten Free for over 7 years now and it's been quite a journey. But before that I definitely had an unhealthy diet. I was raised on sugary, fried, high fat, high calorie foods. Greens? Hah! Veggies?? HAH HAH! I come from the land of "if it moves, kill it and fry it.". My mother showered me with sugary snacks and treats rather than deal with me. (When she went into the hospital before she died her blood sugar was over 600....it was obviously an addiction for her.)
I too have a rampant sweet tooth. Now, my diet is LIGHTYEARS ahead of where it was as a kid. Now I WILL eat fruits and veggies, in a variety of forms. But I live with three very very picky eaters, one big and two little.
We've had a major food battle here for years. Our oldest is slightly better than the younger, but the youngest, E, eats very little. Nothing much healthy and we can use his Autism excuse all day long, but in the end, it's been that I don't want to deal with the epic battle that will ensue when I cut off his normal snacking and force healthy food. It's going to be uuuuuuuuuuuuugly.
What I'm thinking is, the only way for me to do this is to drastically change what is IN the house for us to eat. Now I'm not one who thinks you can't ever have dessert, sodas, etc. Even the great "health gurus" say if you want to lose weight to not cut out your faves ENTIRELY. Then you will feel extremely deprived and gorge.
But if the unhealthy food is IN the house, you will eat it. Therefore I am vowing to cut out some things from our diet. I'm sure this will be a process. I am not throwing out food we already have, because I don't have the funds to just toss food. But I made a small victory today when I refused to buy the kids the fruit chewy gummy treats they suck up like crazy. Yes they were 1.99 on sale, but NO, I walked away!
I found this site and it seems much more manageable. 100Days of Real Food. I want to look at food as God intended. If it has 8 thousand ingredients, put it back. If I cannot pronounce or explain where the ingredient comes from, put it back. Check out her Meal Plans here: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/our-free-meal-plans/
So here's the foods I'd like to change out:
NO MORE: INSTEAD EAT:
"fruit" gummy treats Natural, organic gummies, in less amount
Candy at home Fruit, Organic Gummies
Soda at home Soda only bought while "out" (church, out to dinner, special
Daily Must Eats: (adapted from site linked above)
- 2 Different Fruits/Veggies with EVERY meal (this will be hard and vary depending on how often I go to the store)
- Only coffee, water, and 1 serving of juice allowed for me. Water may be sweetened with Crystal Light Pure to make it easier on me. Coffee is stevia and light creamer.
- For kids: Limit 2 milks per day, for E slowly cutting back the amount of Nesquik until A) we run out B) he's off it completely, whatever comes first. 1 Juice per day for each boy, water the rest of day.***NOTE, since I wrote this blog post, E now drinks WHITE milk with NO Nesquik!***
- As much as I'd love to only buy locally raised, organic meats...it's just not available or in the budget. So I will instead: Make 2 red meat meals, 3 chicken/poultry meals, and the rest meatless or fish.
- No fried foods. This is fairly easy for us as the only thing I ever deep fry is sometimes chicken nuggets, so we'll limit that to a monthly meal. Being gluten free, makes this one easier.
- Fast food once per week. (Soda can be consumed this night.)
- No low fat, reduced fat versions of food. We already do that, I found most of the "light" versions of foods are full of chemicals. I'd rather reduce the amount of the full fat item than eat a subpar substitution. Don't get me started on margarine...
- 100% Whole Grain, this is a harder goal for us, being Gluten Free. I will say this, whenever possible, if there is a high fiber/high grain gluten free version of a GF Item (i.e. bagels), I will choose that one when possible.
- Stop eating when full, very doable. I hate that "oh my God, I ate way too much" feeling. Blech. For my husband, not so easy.
- Limit refined sugars. I'm not saying "no refined sugars" as this blog does. I just think that's too much to ask. I think stevia, agave, honey, and even good ol' sugar are fine in small amounts.
- Limited food dyes. Just by cutting the fruit gummies this will help alot. I have KoolAid mixes on hand for emergencies but mostly they are used for my yarn dyeing, so no worries there! LOL
I think if I can implement these suggestions, we will all feel a lot better. Will we slip up? I'm sure. Will we have days where we still feel bad? Of course. But I know that for example, both my boys have digestive issues on top of our need for the Gluten Free diet. How much better would that be if they ate better? I can't blame it on them, I am the one putting food on the table. I am the one stocking the fridge and pantry. So if I DO NOT stock certain items, then they will have no choice but to eat what's there.
My new motto...."Eat it or starve."
Here's to better health! I'll let you know how I do!