Remember that one year we went vegan to try and control my husband’s diabetes?
It was the season where my kids lost the ability to discern real meat from meat-like substances.
I’ve never been known as a health nut.
As a matter of fact, I recently discovered that my junior high son was at the top of the, um, food chain when it came to unhealthy lunchbox snacks…as in everyone wanted to trade their veggie sticks and rice cakes for his Little Debbie’s and Doritos.
I told him that was embarrassing.
He said, “Yes, for you.”
[Hangs head in shame].
For a long time, I’ve felt compelled to clean up and out the pantry and feed my family less processed foods. But I didn’t know where to start. Because let’s be honest– eating bad food is cheaper and more convenient than eating good food.
But after confessing my food-related guilt to my friend Jessica, a.k.a. a real health nut, she encouraged me to start slow and small and the very next day, that’s exactly what I did. For the past month, we have radically changed our pantry and refrigerator. I thought my kids would rebel, but instead they thanked me. And instead of beating myself up over their gratitude, I said you’re welcome.
Here’s what I’m doing:
- I buy a large assortment of fresh vegetables (carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, etc)
and fruit (blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, pineapple, watermelon, etc) every weekend and then have my kids help me chop and divide them into portion-sized zip-lock bags.
- I do the same with an assortment of nuts (peanuts, cashews, almonds, etc) and dried fruit (craisens, mango, etc) and popped popcorn in olive oil and sea salt.
- I am working hard to only buy from the outside aisles of the grocery store (where the fresh, unprocessed food is sold).
- I buy plenty of avocados, granola and yogurt and we are starting to pull ripe items from our garden.
- I also boil a dozen eggs every week and leave them in the fridge for snacks or breakfast.
- Oatmeal and yogurt with fresh fruit and granola are a favorite or veggie-stuffed omelets.
- Family dinners have always been somewhat healthy for us, but I’m working harder to plan ahead. We are grilling a lot more, too. Our current favorite meal: black beans with cumin and garlic, salted brown rice with fresh cilantro and a fresh chunk of avocado.
After the first several weeks, my kids didn’t mention chips or pop tarts. But I did notice we wanted more snack choices, especially with them home for lunch this summer.
A friend sent me a $10 off coupon plus free shipping for NatureBox and I couldn’t wait to try out this fun idea. I just got my first box and I’m hooked. NatureBox is a monthly subscription club that sends healthy snacks (you can choose from more than 100 or be surprised). I love the variety! Here’s my affiliate link and if you try it, use this code for $10 off: share10off
We still have some vices like toaster waffles and sweet tea, but we are trying.
Not only do I feel better about what we are eating, I feel better about what I’m feeding my family.