Sunday, January 30, 2011

Eating better

I have always thought our family were healthy eaters. We eat mostly vegetarian, we don't eat many sweet things, and we do not drink soda or juice excessively. However, some not-so-good eating habits had creeped into our eating habits. At the beginning of January, my husband did a 10-day Master Cleanse fast. In the process, he lost 10 lbs. but gained some insight into his own diet habits. One of the main things he noticed was that he ate too many carbs. He is a vegetarian and has been for 20 years. Sometimes as a vegetarian, you can fall into eating too much pasta, bread, and potatoes. This we had done. Because my husband requested bread with most of our meals, I made bread with most of our meals. Always, always, there was bread with pasta, bread with soup. I had gotten lazy and out of the habit of making a fresh salad with our dinners.

My good friend Eve's husband recently found out that he had diabetes. I enjoyed seeing her lovingly and carefully change her family's eating habits and it got me inspired to really look into how I was feeding my family. I absolutely love this post of hers!!! So combined with my husband's fast, and talking with Eve, it has given me the push to slowly and deliberately change some ways that we eat.

I purchased the book Feeding the Whole Family to help inspire me to cook more whole foods in my kitchen. I also was hoping this book would give me inspiration to make more nutritious home made snacks. We had fallen into the trap of eating Go-Gurts and store bought granola bars too much. I also purchased the book Carb-Conscious Vegetarian to help make more vegetarian meals without so many grains and carbs.

I am just beginning, but here are some things I am currently doing to feed my family and myself better:

1. Cutting out sugar. No late night sour patch kids, no granola bar snacks for the kids. I am going to be conscious of the kind of sugar we eat, trying to focus more on unrefined sugars if we choose to have a treat.
2. Cutting out bread with our meals. No more pasta and bread dinners or potato soup and bread dinners or black beans and rice with cornbread dinners. From now on, instead of bread I will serve a salad or fresh vegetable with our meals. Occasionally we might splurge and have a yummy french bread with our pasta, but that will not be the norm.
3. I cannot cut out pasta. As a vegetarian, this is a huge staple in our meals. But I am going to try to serve less of it (only 2 times a week) and also incorporate whole-wheat noodles more into my dishes. I also plan to puree vegetables in my homemade pasta sauce to get those extra nutrients in.
4. Eating more green smoothies. When I drink green smoothies I have so much more energy and just feel better. My goal is to make more of these, for myself and my family, hopefully every morning.

I am sure I will incorporate more healthier eating habits into our family's diet as I continue on this journey.
Have you made any changes in your eating habits lately?
What has worked/hasn't worked?
I would love to hear!

Other great resources:


Sheila @ Dodging Raindrops said...

I'm curious what you put in your green smoothies? Thanks!

Terry @ Breathing Grace said...

I found this book for $1 at my local library and couldn't resist snapping it up:

The Gluten-Free Vegetarian Kitchen

We are not gluten free or vegetarian (my husband does eat fish), but there are some great recipes and twists on traditional dishes that taste really good. We eat meatless meals about 3-4 days a week, and this has been an excellent addition to my cookbook collection.

You might find it helpful as you tweak your cooking further, especially as you attempt to cut down on bread and pasta. Cutting down on the fresh baked bread is something my husband won't hear of at this point!

Famaddict said...

We have turned into total carbies, too. I have been praying for the time and energy to revamp our diets as well. It seems that ever since summertime, when those crazy 60-hour weeks began, followed by my head injury, I have just given up on any semblance of a healthy lifestyle. I also loved reading Eve's post, and I loved this one. I feel inspired; I just need to find the time to DO it, amid playing catch up on months of piles of everything else. :-) Pray for me? ~L

tonia said...

love it!

i am carb-crazy too, so going gluten-free has been a blessing, actually. i am forced to think outside the flour-box.

you are going to feel fabulous with all these greens you are eating! good for you!

emily said...

i feel like this is such a journey for me, this learning and incorporating and growing and changing how we view food, what real food is, what i prepare for my family, etc.

i keep coming back to the foundation of real food - what is it, and how can it comprise most of our menu? i heard an amazing speaker yesterday on this subject (at our church, very cool!); he was able to incorporate a biblical worldview beautifully with our call to eat healthily. his point: GOD created all that we needed, and we have polluted and perverted our "food" (gmo, toxins, fake foods, etc). so, back to the basics i am reminded again ..

i LOVE "feeding the whole family" cookbook - it's a staple!! i just fixed her lentil/potato soup and blogged about it. DELISH. =)

Anonymous said...

Wave "Hello" Andrea! I love being reminded and encouraged in this way; food for a family of 7 is a non-stop part of life. I make green smoothies *alot*. All mine are is spinach thrown in with organic good things (yogurt, fruit). There are so many times I just say "this is what I can do".
warmly from Mary Brooke

Duane and Carin said...

I too would love to know what your green smoothies consist of!

Anonymous said...

I am a big fan of the Feeding the Whole family book. Such good recipes.

Did you and your husband become vegetarians together? Or did one change after the other?

I struggle with this in my marriage. My husband is a meat eater and relishes hamburgers, fast food, chicken wings, steak, and highly processed meats. For the longest time, he didn't think a meal was a meal without meat.

He grew up with a mother who basically made everything from a can or a box. So, his taste buds and expectations are a bit different than mine.

I grew up eating a lot of things from a home garden, and I have been vegetarian for over 20 years. And after reading Michael Pollan's books and seeing Food Inc, I'm even more passionate about food choices.

It is hard for me to watch as my husband buys our 4 year old fast food, chicken nuggets from McDonalds and lots of French fries. It's made getting my 4 year old to sit and eat a meal of vegetables extra challenging.

So I applaud you.

Sara said...

Good stuff. :) I have Feeding The Whole Family on hold at the library right now. I also just ordered "Crazy Sexy Diet" which has received RAVE reviews from pretty much every single person I know. You might want to check it's by Kris Carr. Tons of great info and a 21 day cleanse section.


laurel said...

I got Feeding the Whole Family for Christmas and am LOVING it. And I love this post! It is so fun to see how other families treat food. I admit, I have been super bummed these last few weeks. It seems that no matter how clean my diet has become, when I get pregnant (and subsequently nauseous), all I want is junk. Why does my body want things that are bad for me when I am queasy?! I bought pringles for the first time in almost 10 years! PRINGLES!!! *sigh*
I would love to hear more on this as you continue to tweak your diet. I am going to try to do a little better to stay the course, despite how I feel...

Sara said...

Laurel: I like Pringles. Yum. ;-)