March 16, 2013

Sharing Saturday - Our Food Journey

About 6-7 weeks ago we completely changed our diet.  I mentioned it HERE, but I wanted to give you a full report on what we've done.  I'm really excited about how it's gone and the way it's working for all of us.

I thought it might be easiest to break it down into questions.   

What did we change?

We threw out all our processed food and focused on a diet of veggies, fruit, and whole grains.  There are no more crackers, cereals, or cookies in the house.  I'm not using refined sugar or white flour either.  We have a little bit of candy in the house for our kids (because I don't want to restrict them too much and have it come back to bite me in the end).

We are still eating meat, dairy, and wheat flour.  However, we use very little meat and we've cut down our dairy foods a LOT.  We use minimal cheese, but we aren't eliminating that entirely either.  We drink soy or coconut milk.   I don't plan to cut out wheat flour or whole grains.  

What are the GOOD things that have happened since then?

- In the past 7 weeks I have NEVER had that gross feeling of "I can't believe I ate that" or "I feel a little sick now."  I think I used to overeat more and it's harder to do that with real wholesome food.

- I don't feel as controlled by food.  I see it more as eating to live rather than living to eat.  It's less of an indulgence for me now.

- After 2-3 weeks I stopped craving sugar so much.  The first couple of weeks were hard that way, but now things that didn't taste very sweet to me taste super sweet.  I think I've retrained my tastebuds or something.  I can't say a giant piece of chocolate cake isn't tempting, but I can say no to it.

- The boys have eaten a lot more veggies than ever before.  (It hasn't been totally easy with them, but they are branching out a lot more now.)

- I've lost weight.  I waffled on whether or not to share that info with you.  I am pregnant and it's not a time you think of loosing weight or wanting to, but because it's been a matter of becoming healthy I have not been concerned about it nor has my doctor.  My belly is still growing, but the rest of my body has slimmed down a lot.  That wasn't my reason for changing our diet, but it's a nice side effect.  I started this pregnancy a lot heavier than my other two.

- My husband and I are seriously enjoying a new hobby together.  We don't have a ton of common interests naturally, but we've been been very engaged with these changes and it's been so fun to cook and research together.

- I feel awesome mentally.  I think that when you make good choices, you feel so much happier in your mind.  I feel really good about truly taking care of my body.

- I'm learning to use creativity in the kitchen.  I have never considered myself to be a good cook/baker, etc.  It's never been something I've even enjoyed.  That has changed a lot.  I'm making homemade salsa, trying new recipes, and dedicating way more time to the kitchen than ever before.  I feel like I'm learning a new language.

- We have way less garbage.  We buy a lot of grains in bulk and nothing with lots of packaging.  Our garbage can is almost empty even after a week.

- We are also wasting a lot less.  Even if our fruit or veggies start to get a little older, we will juice them and drink it.  I've also found that healthy leftovers keep well.  It's the unhealthy stuff like mac and cheese that you have to throw out because it's nasty on round two.

What have been the struggles to make this happen?

I can't say it's all been easy.  Here are some of the struggles we've faced.

- We are spending a little more money on groceries.  It's not a LOT different, but it is more.

- There have been frustrating moments with the boys not liking what we make.  However, it's getting better.

- I'm spending more time in the kitchen.  I also listed that as a plus, but it's hard to fit in another thing in life.  This healthy stuff does take time.

- I'm running the dishwasher about 4 times a day and I used to run it 1.5 times a day.  We just use way  more pots and pans.

- I'm still trying to find winning recipes that we all like and sometimes I feel like a hit a wall.  It's tricky to find things on the internet because you're looking for someone at the same healthy level as you.  Sometimes I find things pinned as healthy that aren't healthy at all and sometimes I find things that are so complicated and healthy that it's just too much for me.

Do you have more energy?

There are a few things that I wanted to have happen that I don't feel like I can really gauge right now.  I have been more tired during this pregnancy than ever in my life, so it's hard to judge whether or not I have "more energy."  I figure I will be able to tell more clearly after the baby.

What do you and your kids eat for breakfast?

We used to eat cereal 6 out of 7 days.  We don't ever now, which was kind of tricky at first.  We do a lot of homemade oatmeal.  (My husband has a recipe for that he loves.)  We might do some hearty wheat toast with fruit.  We do smoothies.  My husband might juice for us and we might have eggs with that.  If I've baked something recently that's really helpful.  Then I can just pull out that banana bread or those muffins.  We might have fruit and cottage cheese.  The boys love yogurt, so we do plain Greek yogurt with some agave nectar on it and I sprinkle chia seeds on it.  We call them "Batman sprinkles" and the boys like them.


So what's to come?

I still feel like I have a lot to learn.  I want to make good choices, but I don't always know what's best.  We have a neighbor who's an expert who is going to come over and help us out a little next week.  I'm excited to learn from her.  I also just need to keep trying recipes out until I feel like we have a huge sea of recipes to choose from.  I purchased a binder that I'm trying to use to copy our "approved" recipes into it so they can all be easy to reach.

And that's the report for now.  If you have questions or want to link recipes you'd recommend both are more than welcome in the comment section.  Thanks for reading.


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