It was like I was in a Movie….
The most amazing thing happened the other night at dinner my kids fought over the last brussel sprout did you read that correctly my kids fought over the last brussels sprout. Two years ago that would have never been the case. After a long road, my girls try new things every other week willingly. They look forward to baking new goodies to try and have mostly adopted a healthy lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong they’ll still welcome without hesitation a Happy Meal but from a recovering drive thru junkie family. Always driving around. Going places and never enjoying what was in front of them.
Got to make some changes….
About two and a half years ago I decided to try to change our processed food lifestyle into a “clean eats” lifestyle. I probably got it from a blog post or Social Media. At first, I tried to try it on my own, but then I was invited to a meeting. I was introduced to information about GMOs, wheat, corn and soy mayhem. I left the meeting wanting to feed my family better and putting my foot down. We didn’t go cold turkey, but there was a drastic change in our shopping and meals. I stopped using helper sides: mac and cheese, rice sides, pasta sides; Anything that came preseasoned; canned goods, baking mixes. All donated or thrown away. That left me with food that you had to prepare every meal from scratch.
Homemade meals every night without my “just add water” side was an overwhelming task. I tried a few different methods of meal prep too and then I found a system that works for me. The more I became fluent in processed free, clean eats that took less than 30 minutes it became easier.
Not keeping it 100%
Now I tell people we are about 85% clean that leaves 10% “real ingredient” processed and 5% junk. What I would define as real ingredient junk, are foods that are processed in a kitchen other than my own but has real ingredients. I buy pasta, rice, quinoa, oats, dried fruit, nuts, etc. I also buy chips, crackers and frozen pizza for my kids and husband. We’ve come a long way from our old diet and are still progressing forward.
The 5% junk those are McDonald’s Happy Meals, donuts from D&D ,birthday cake, icecream, and a Philly Pretzel is my middle diva’s weakness. We live by an 80/20 rule trying to honor our temple but living in grace. I know that eventually, we will be fully clean. My girls can’t even eat school lunch anymore because it makes their stomach hurt. Treats and desserts last longer in my house now too. When I do bake, I try to use natural sugar such as date paste and raw honey. I will also use pure cane sugar, but either way treats last longer.
So, as I watch them fight over a Brussels sprout (I’ll have to make more next time). I am so grateful that I learned how to honor my temple better and my family initially rebellious and unwilling came around and preferred a clean lifestyle too.
Four ways to get your family on board with a clean lifestyle
1. Pick 5 have them pick five processed foods they can’t live without (french fries and frozen pizza is ours) Although, once in a while I get away with homemade french fries.
2. Family favorites try to make family favorites healthy and from scratch. Your rendition probably tastes a lot better than Stouffers.
3.Meal Prep & Plan You don’t have to precook all your meals. I don’t! I make a list for the week compare it to our schedules. I like to preseason and label the meats and freeze. That way it’s defrosted, bake, grill, whatever and mostly prepped. Vegetables cleans and bag in advance. I don’t cut mine, but they are washed, dried and stored, or you can make everything in advance, freeze and have ready to thrown in the oven. Whatever is going to prevent you from stopping at the drive-thru on the way home or grabbing a precooked processed meal.
4.Slow down so you can speed up. Going cold turkey will cause your family to revolt and not adopt. Ease them into it and give them grace. They didn’t decide to change their lifestyle mama ( or daddy) did so they may be slow to adopt. They will fight you, stay strong and just try to make fresh alternatives. The younger they are, the easier it is, but eventually everyone will feel want to continue to feel better and hopefully they’ll be fighting over Brussels sprouts too.
Are you trying to eliminate processed food from your diet? Did you already? How?