Monday, February 2, 2015

Snow Days and Healthy Diets

It is our third snow day in a week. We had last Tuesday and Wednesday off and now this Monday. It is exciting, but it will be sad when June hits.  So many things to talk about

Healthy  Eating-What does that really mean?

Trying to eat clean and slowly include everyone in the plan. This is something I always come back to again and again. Trying to combine this with not spending too much on food is always a challenge as well. We did quite well in the first half of the month with no take-out, but the second half of the month included take-out. Last week I had my final wake up and lose weight call. It was not a " I really want to wear a bikini for the first time ever" call. It was more of "I would like to live a long time and set a healthy example for my kids, be there as long as possible" call.  When I look at my extended family (that I love a lot) I see a lot of medical problems, many of them connected to being overweight. If  avoiding those medical conditions is my goal, the time to start is now.

Gluten free? Dairy Free? Vegetarian? Vegan? Plant Based? Organic?What the heck is healthy?

I love avocados, nuts, beans, raw vegetables, humus and fruit. I like enough of those things to be a vegan. It may challenging to live that life style, but those foods are quite enjoyable to me and if forced to join a vegan commune I would survive.  My other half, as sweet and perfect as he is, is not a veggie guy. He does eat a few vegetables and fruit, but there is no humus or avocado for him. We will never eat kale salad for dinner, and he would not last a day in that vegan commune. Neither would my kids.

In trying to create a healthy  menu plan I constantly ask myself, "What is healthy?". I know that the wheat bread sans high fructose corn syrup is still not that great. All that wheat is why we all look so thick around the middle. Right? I tend to think so, but it is so confusing.

Dairy? Yikes! I have a lot of thoughts about dairy and am currently (once again) trying to make some personal dairy free choices and analyze the results. This does not mean replace all real cheese for fake cheese. It means create recipes that don't include cheese.

Processed foods? No brainer here. The optimal goal is to eat minimal processed foods.

Whew. I did not even cover half of what I mentioned, and I am hungry and overwhelmed. There are millions of ideas on what is healthy and what is not healthy. What's a girl that wants her kids to grow up without weight issues to do?

1. Offer fruits and vegetables at each and every meal and snack. Lots of times their snacks our crackers or pretzels with peanut butter. I can back down on the number of processed carbs and throw in a sliced apple.

2. Lower sugar content. We don't typically drink juice so that is one bonus. I usually make hot chocolate so I control the sugar. They do drink chocolate milk when they buy lunch at school, which is usually twice a week. School lunches is an entire blog post that makes me crazy.

3. Minimize milk consumption. I have already done this. When pouring them milk, I usually pour them a  quarter of a cup at a time. They do drink a lot of water. There will be no milk guzzling teenagers here.

Those are my February goals for eating better. We will continue our frugal shopping goal as well.