Changing eating habits and portion sizes that are questionable to healthy eating habits with decent portion sizes is hard. But I'm learning that once you learn how to do it, it's as easy as maintaining the awful eating habits of before. They key is to not be insane about it. Like, Chili is not going to go away. Stroganoff will no longer be a staple meal, but it will occasionally make an appearance once every few weeks. We won't ever have a box of cupcakes in this house (my ass can't take it) but there will be the occasional cookie. We may never buy chocolate bars (I can't take children after candy) but we will have granola bars and fruit bars and the occasional CHOCOLATE granola bars :).
I've successfully managed to find three 'healthy staple' dinner meals. Bye bye stroganoff, hello salmon and rice. Bye-bye generic boxed meal of processed foods and really fatty meat, hello steak salad. Our third is Mexican Skillet Chicken, which is good for you AND a long time staple in this house. Everyone just loves it.
I need four more, and I'm pretty sure that my 'Northern Bean Italian Salad' is not going to be one of them.... but you can't blame me for trying! I do a chili everyone loves, and that's once a week in the fall, but only once every two weeks here so it's not really a summer staple. I also have a Beef Burgundy Stew which is delightfully healthy and is a fall/winter staple, but again, it's summer. Cooking Light is my favorite (and only) cooking mag that I get seasonally. Betty Crocker's healthy lifestyle cook book is good, too. If anyone has any other suggestions...
The Goal to Eliminate Soda in the Household is going very well. The boys only drink it when someone foolishly leaves a can of, say, Cherry Coke, say, on the table and it's found by a toddler who then drinks half the can before announcing that, hey Daddy, I found your soda.... seeing as the child never has caffeine and is limited in sugar intake, you can imagine the scene that followed about five minutes later until two hours later when he finally collapsed.... We have the last cans of soda to be bought and once those are gone, finito. Nobody really cares. Drama Girl rarely had anything besides Sprite, and even more rarely a coke or diet coke. I'm the Diet Coke addict, but I've stocked up on Lemons and Fizzy Water (it's all about the bubbly for me) and only have three cans left. They are my 'aaaah I NEEEED one...' cans to help. By tomorrow night there will be no more diet coke.
Cereal has never been a problem. They eat whatever is in stock, and again, rarely get Lucky Charms. It's not that I have anything personal against those wonderfully sugary confections, it's just I don't have it in me to handle the insane chaotic beasts that come out of my children when they eat the stuff.
I've also banned M and Ms... from myself. Really, they are too small, and I can not stop myself.... in fact, M and Ms were last week's downfall. I love chocolate, and can usually go with a small bit, but for some reason, M and Ms BEG, INSIST, DEMAND they be eaten...
And for those who are afraid my children will never get to eat yummy, relax. I've got a lazy susan filled with cookie making fixin's.
I just think that MOSTLY we should all eat healthy, with a few indulgences.
Though I think McDonalds is a thing of the past. I used to justify it by saying that children should not be denied those French Fries, but they are horrible now. I know they changed how they cooked them, but now, they taste icky. Wendy's has turkey sandwich club meals now, so that's probably where we will go, especially since I'm no longer eating cheeseburgers (sigh, the sacrifices one makes, do you know how much I love McDonalds cheeseburgers?).
Oh, and yes, margerine is gone, with the diet coke. We use regular butter now, which is fattening but overall healthier than margerine. Plus, since we don't use a lot of butter in recipes, and use mainly canola oil or olive oil (lots of olive oil) it's a better trade off.
Now here is where those who think, BRILLIANT, if Lahdeeda with her cluelessness about organics vs inorganics, and health vs unhealth, and penchant for diet coke and cheeseburgers can do it, with her family who loves all things meat, if she can do it, so can we, well you can, but here is an important trick.
You have to stop shopping once a month.
I shop now once a week. This lets me get all that fresh produce, and just the stuff I need. I actually save money in the long run. I do buy frozen veggies, because I haven't managed to make that trade off yet, and frozen veggies are just as good for you (I think I read that somewhere, so don't quote me, I could be wrong) and cheaper. But only once a week.
This sounds excessive, but if you shop once a month, you can't make salads for dinner past two weeks. You can't use fresh herbs which makes a difference, and all the fruit is gone, too. So you eat healthy the first week or two, and then eat all the other stuff that is bad for you because you have no fresh produce. That was my experience, anyhow. This is why Cotsco is great for meats and frozen things, but not really fresh stuff.
My favorite thing right now is my 'eat veggie and produce' reminder plate.
I have this big plate that is always out, with a few fruits and some produce, and they have to be eaten before they go bad. So, I always throw in a pepper or find something to do with fruit, or something, and ouila, health. ha ha ha.
So, now if I can just get Hubby McRed to actually WALK in the evenings, we'll be good....
.... and I can't wait to see if Yoga ABC from silly to calm actually works on my three year olds... if it is the real deal, I will let you know, and you'll know I'm not lying because frankly, I have no idea if yoga actually works despite all the studies that insist it does.... but if my high energy kids benefit from this, i'll be ecstatic.