I wasn’t always big on eating healthy foods to do your body and life good, but in the past couple of years, I’ve done a lot of growing (thankfully not in the wrong way) and I’ve learned a lot of new things. Not that these things were really new, but they were definitely new to me.
Reading about food and learning about what is in our food and what it does to the body in a more scientific way was mind blowing. And life changing. Now, I’m not saying that I don’t still indulge in some bad eating, but when I do I definitely pay for it. I always feel like crap. You are what you eat. Eat crap. Feel like crap. What can I say, I’m a glutton for punishment.
I’m still working on making myself more disciplined, but when I eat good food I actually enjoy it. I don’t just do it to be on some kind of diet or to lose weight. I used to think that I couldn’t eat healthy food because there wasn’t much to choose from. But it isn’t just celery sticks and salad. There’s way more to it than that. You have options beyond what people think eating healthy is. It’s satisfying. Not just for your body, but for your mind. For your soul. It just feels good. Eat good, feel good.
I tend to say that everything is fine in moderation, but I would be lying if I said that I actually moderate the bad stuff. Guilty. I love bad food sometimes. But the thing is, I know it’s bad. There are just times when I’m craving those salty fries or some chocolate candy. And right after that good feeling comes the bad. There was that moment when I just knew I had to do something differently. I had some sort of food epiphany. It was during all of my research with Carter’s Autism and trying to get him on a specific food plan. That’s when everything started to snowball. It wasn’t just a diet, it was a lifestyle change. Everything had to be different. We started with no gluten, then no red dye, and then less dairy. Of course the rules weren’t set in stone. It was all very difficult to keep up with, but the more important thing was that we were getting smarter about food and health. We’ve made a lot of changes over the last few years and the more I read and researched, the more interested and creative I got.
The first book I read that really changed my life and perspective was The Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberly Snyder. I was just amazed at the obvious information. My mind was officially blown. Kimberly Snyder is a nutritionist for the mind, body, and soul. She has been all over the world, studying food, health, wellness, beauty, and yoga. She has done extensive research and reading her book made me trust her. It made me want to be better. I was just giddy with all of this information. Other people, however, didn’t really feel the same way. I mean, who wants to drink green juices and raw veggies, and take meat out of their diet? Quang definitely didn’t share my enthusiasm. I admit, I came on a bit strong originally. I was just so hyped up on this whole clean eating lifestyle.
My suggestion of Meatless Monday to kick off clean eating was met with a bit of hesitation.
“We can have a salad and a baked potato for dinner,” I told Quang. He looked at me like I was trying to starve him.
“Well what’s going to be in the salad?” he asked.
“Greens and other veggies.” I answered.
“But what about the meat? No chicken? I’m going to still be hungry. And that just means I’ll eat more snacks.” He was not feeling it. It wasn’t going to be easy.
I was met with a lot of criticism and sarcasm, but eventually I got Quang kind of on board. Like one foot on board. Every conversation I started with Quang was like….”did you know….” followed by some information about healthy eating. Poor Quang. He had to sit there and listen to me. Or at least pretend to. He had to be the guinea pig in my new lifestyle. But I know what he was doing when I wasn’t around. Stuffing his face with cookies and chips and ice cream. No judgments. I was doing some of the same. Guilty. Once again. I’m not perfect. I don’t want to miss out on what I’ve grown to love. I know there’s other alternatives, but sometimes I don’t care as much.
Needless to say, as much as I’m into a healthy lifestyle and eating the best that I can, there are many times when we’re eating food that in my mind I don’t approve of. I try my best and sometimes I’m too exhausted to try. The other day I thought to myself that since I hadn’t had fast food in so long, I wanted to eat some. I thought about those salty fries and that cheesy burger and before I knew it I was in the McDonald’s drive thru line having a major fight with myself. I knew I shouldn’t be there, but the evil me won. And then as usual, the good me paid the price.
For those of us who find it hard to commit to a full blown healthy lifestyle, I think the next best thing is to really keep a balance. Try eating more healthy foods or more home cooked meals and you’ll feel much better. You really are what you eat. Eat good, well balanced, clean, nourishing foods and moderate the bad stuff.
I’m going to try to work on weekly menu plans. Now, I have a very eclectic group of people who depend on me to feed them. I have myself, who pretty much eats anything, I have Quang who isn’t really too interested in trying most things I would offer up unless it was fried, some form of seafood or meat, or something Vietnamese. Quinoa? Forget about it. Then I have Vanessa, my Vegan. No meat, no dairy. No animal products whatsoever. Fun. And of course there’s Carter. The pickiest kid ever. What does he like? Chicken Nuggets? Most of the time. Pizza? Depending on the level of sauce and cheese. French fries? As long as they aren’t steak fries. I mean, he’s pretty basic. He doesn’t like trying new things. He doesn’t like to be tricked into eating things he doesn’t like. He’s tough. And then there’s the baby. She eats everything. And that’s why she’s my favorite. Wink wink. With all this variety, it gets pretty tough to try to cook meals that kind of flow
together. Back when I was a kid if we didn’t eat what my mom made then we didn’t eat at all. If I did that today with my family there would be some pretty hungry people. Scratch that. There would be some pretty hangry people in this house.
I have to try to maintain a budget, feed everyone, stay healthy most of the time, try not to waste too much or cook completely different things every night and keep my sanity while I’m at it.
It sounds like a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it. No one else in my house is going to take care of it. They’ll just wait for the short order cook to serve them. I’m up for the challenge. Lord help me.