Saturday, June 30, 2012

A New Season of Life- FOOD

First and foremost- I apologize that this post is late. I had an issue with my laptop, and couldn't blog until it was resolved. This post has been saved in my laptop for almost two weeks as a result. I will update the changes over the next week, I promise! J
Well, today I started the second part of my family's healthier lifestyle changes. It's probably the greatest, because it deals with something dear to my heart. I could go on and on about how much I love this part, but I'll spare you the sappy details.
You know what I'm talking about- FOOD. You know that old joke, "I love you like a fat kid loves cakes..." I'm sure we've all wondered who the fat kid is that loves cakes that much. Well, I'm not trying to brag or anything, but…I'm that fat kid. Err, person. I love food. I'm slowly working up the courage to ask food if it loves me back. But that's another blog entry. *wink*wink*

Anyways, I wanted to find a way of eating healthier without saying or implementing the gosh-forsaken "D" word. Fat girls cry when hearing that word. Or at least this one does. It brings back images of eliminating parts (or worse- all) of our favorite food groups, rumbling stomachs, stinky breath. Viewing foods in categories-good, bad, and don't-even-dream-of-this-or-else-you-will-gain-any-weight-you-lost-plus-ten-extra-pounds. Consuming products that dogs wouldn't even touch, and consuming a lot of it. Images of smashing scales because we did everything right, and yet they have the nerve to tell us it's not doing a gosh darn thing.
Are your eyes misting, too??? I know mines are. It might be allergies, though…in case yours weren't, I mean.
So, just for the record, healthy does NOT equal diet. I don't care what your girlfriend at the salon told you. It rarely ever adds up.
This is what I had to keep in mind as I searched for a new way of eating. I also didn't want anything to do with counting calories. This may work for some, but counting calories does several things to me. First of all, adding or subtracting means math. And I'm an emotional eater. There are four things that make me stress eat- money, school, men, and math. I see math figures and my hands cannot grab chocolate fast enough. You don't believe me? Show me a statistics paper, tell me to do it, and see what happens. Yes, it's like THAT. Second, counting calories makes me feel like I'm missing something. I'll load up on foods low in calories, and then I'll think, "Darn, I could have had (a piece of dark chocolate, an extra cup of coffee loaded with cream and sugar, a piece of cheese, etc.) instead of this." Then I start to hate food, and then I starve. Hell hath no fury like a mama on an empty stomach. Third, I already have enough on my (time) plate to worry about. I don't exactly leap for joy debating on if the way I made my chicken for dinner counts as an entire day's worth of calories. Lastly, you have to debate on each food as being part of the "good" calories or the "bad" calories. Because whoever makes those sort of list clearly has them mixed up, anyways.
I don't want diet, and I don't enjoy counting calories. So, what do I do? I search the internet, of course! I tried looking for something that was healthy but doesn't omit anything I love. Something that doesn't leave me starving, and at the same time, doesn't leave me any chances to overeat.
Then I thought back to my teen and young adult days. I remember reading books and watching documentaries on the scary stuff that's in most of our processed foods. I remember banning fast food restaurants. I remember going vegan. I remember hating being vegan (I love bacon too much).

Should you eat bacon? All signs point to "YES!!"
  I looked back into those books, those documentaries. They always said something at the end of them. It wasn't count calories; it had nothing to do with going on a diet. It had everything to do with being more conscious of where our food comes from. And not supporting places that treat animals inhumanely, or produce their fruits and vegetables with a ton of junk. Will it make you lose weight? Possibly. Will it make you healthier? Absolutely. This is the approach I wanted to use.

This is the approach I hope to use
But, how to implement it? While I pride myself on eating more fruits and vegetables in a day than I did in a week as a child, I'm still eating the same types of fruits, vegetables and meats. I haven't expanded my palate much. Again, I searched the internet. But, surprisingly, the answer to my problem came from a site I practically live on. That site is Facebook.
Yes, Facebook. You see, I have many friends and like many pages. Some of the friends and pages I read about are homesteaders, some are organics-everything. After hearing about this wonderful little blog about a mom trying to rid herself and her family of processed foods on several of these sorts of pages, I figured, I'd better see what this woman is all about. This woman, although not trying to lose weight, looks healthy and vibrant. She talks about trying to win her kids and husband over on the changes. She shares her struggles, her triumphs, and her investigating fast food places she used to love. She has meal plans and recipes already complied. Over the past two or three weeks, I have probably visited her site more than I have Facebook. I have written down recipes, downloaded meal plans. And if I couldn't use a meal on her plan, I managed to find another website that implements the same idea. So, between the two, I have found exactly what I was looking for.

I am only making some small changes of my own, in order to reduce money spent and start using up some canned/frozen items I have managed to stockpile over the past year or so. My goal is, over the next year or two to get rid of all the canned/frozen items I accumulated and slowly replace them with more organic/local, less processed items. I would also like to start a small garden. Since I don't think my landlord will approve me gardening in their precious dirt (*rolls eyes*), I thought I would do the garden in several hanging pots. But, that, too, is another blog entry reserved for another day.
If you are trying to implement better foods in your diet, or if you just want to know a little bit more about what is in some of the foods you eat, I suggest you check out the blog and website below.
Here is the blog I mentioned-
And here is the alternative website I mentioned that implements the same idea. Even if you don't want to do the "real foods" changes, this is still a great website to check out for meal ideas to save money and find a definition of healthy that fits you best-
I hope you make time to look at both. They are very informative and offer many yummy recipes that I can't wait to try out. If you're joining me in trying to implement a healthier lifestyle/ trying to lose weight, please feel free to post any websites, books articles or videos that have helped you in your journey. Let's help each other out! J
Within the next week, I'll post another update on my family's progress towards healthy living and list the weekly menu I'm using; with the changes I've made to fit our family. If you're joining me in trying to implement a healthier lifestyle and/or trying to lose weight, please feel free to post any websites, blogs, books, articles or videos that have helped you with changes in eating and food. Let's help each other out! J

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