Tuesday, January 1, 2013

This is possible: One habit a month.

My sister-in-law and I share an interest in whole foods, and healthy living, and sneaking vegetables into certain foods.

We also share an interest in sugar, and how crazy it is that we can't seem to eat just a little without turning into monsters.

Why is it so hard to take care of a body?

We commiserated this, and about food related mommy-guilt.

I sit down to lunch with children, me with my nice plate of salmon and brown rice, or my salad, and the children, with their macaroni and cheese and hot dogs. Why? Because healthy stuff is expensive, and they probably won't like it, and I don't feel like picking the battle (until I have won it in my own head, first.)

I have heard myself saying, "No, you may not be done with breakfast until you finish your Fruit Loops!" and then, I saw the circles of artificially colored, chemically filled sugar staring back and me, and the situation seemed so ridiculous. Why make them finish that? I sigh. "Nevermind. Go play."

Is it just me?

It's hard to take care of a body, and VERY hard to take care of little bodies at the same time.

Maybe this will be the year we finally go all out. 

We'll abstain from sugar for a whole month, and we will discover that we like the taste of naturally-sweetened food. I'll figure out how to afford organic food for eight people, and I'll buy our own chickens and cow, and start making home made laundry soap, and plant a huge garden, and I'll clean everything with vinegar, and we will all drink delicious kale smoothies by the side of the pool. 

Nah.
more likely.

I don't actually say this out loud, but I have been operating under an assumption when it comes to living healthy: 

If you can't do it right, don't even bother.

Perfectionism.
It can paralyze a person. 
It can make a person give up.

And eat whatever she wants, whenever she wants, as much as she wants, and workout never, or only if she feels like it.  And this is nice, for awhile..for a long while, especially if you share your calories with another child for 9 consecutive years.  

But it's catching up with me.

And I'm asking the question, in public even, because I am more than half serious this time:

Could I, by changing one habit a month, 
help myself and my family become healthier in 2013?

Well, that's how I got my house in order. Thanks to flylady, her baby steps, one habit a month, and constant reminders to ditch the all-or- nothing, crash-and-burn mindset.

I want a better relationship with food. I want to learn more about healthy living, so that I can think about it less, and just live. I want to take advantage of the abundance of this place, and learn to use it for my own good, and the good of my family.

If I make myself write about healthy living, I will make myself think about it, and learn about it.
If I learn about it, and teach my children what I learn, maybe things will stick.

So I'm making myself write.  And think. And I'm inviting you to read.  And I'm hoping we will end up smarter and healthier, but I don't want any of us to turn into the girl at the party who brings her own special food and makes everyone feel guilty while they eat their nachos, got it?

I am starting with the easiest habit I could think of.

Drink more water.


This is my reminder:
Water before coffee.


Learn with me! How much?
Why?
What if I don't want to?
Click here to learn.


Do you have food-related mommy guilt?
Why do you think it is so hard to take care of our bodies?

Will you take this baby step with me?
Come back Thursday to see how I introduced this idea to my children.
(mild gag warning)

4 comments:

  1. We decided to tackle artificial ingredients BEFORE we eliminate (who am I kidding? decrease!) sugar... We have seen huge improvement in emotional balance for our children (tantrums are rare now... well except the 3yo!)... This year we will work on decreasing sugar in our diets.
    We are a family of 7 right now and just can not do organic either... we just do the best we can :)

    *artificial additives: ALL #'d food colors, all artificial flavors(including vanillin), and preservatives (BHT, TBHQ, BHA)

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  2. i so need to do this. But tell me, how do you handle SNACKS? that's the hardest thing for me right now.

    give me snack ideas, please!

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    Replies
    1. Snacks were probably the biggest challenge :D
      FRUIT! Veggie sticks, cheese & crackers, yogurt & homemade granola (much cheaper & actually easy to make), peanut butter toast, and occasionally a baked treat like muffins or cookies. Muffins are a great choice if you can find a recipe that cuts back on the sugars but not the taste. When I have time, I try to bake up extra pancakes, waffles, muffins, etc... it makes breakfast and snack time easier... if you can keep the kiddos from eating them all on baking day!! :D My children love to help bake (my oldest does it completely on her own now!), so that creates bonding & 3 lessons if you work it right (Math & science & Home Ec) For me, finding the energy to do it is the bigger challenge :D

      If you Pinterest, they are a tresure trove of snack ideas! And really, You only need a good handful of 'go-to snack' ideas... I know my kids thrive on routine & keeping choices to a minimum help promote a bit more peace in our home :)

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  3. You would not believe how fast my crew can clear out a veggie plate at snack time! Occassionally, one tries to beg for something different, but I stand firm... 'If you are hungry, our snack today if carrot sticks. Would you like some ranch dip with that?'

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