Keeping it real…

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Up until a few years ago, our family ate what a typical Western diet. Though we were generally “healthy” eaters. We didn’t eat much fast food, we made sure to incorporate veggies at meals, and ate our whole grains.
 
I have always have been a label reader when I shop – are you? Its amazing what you can find when you look at the products and compare them. About 1.5 years ago I read the book Master Your Metabolism book by Jillian Michaels. After reading this book, I realized how much I’d been missing when I read those labels!
 
There is so much more to nutrition than calories, fat, and fiber. Despite my best efforts to keep MSG and high fructose corn syrup out of our food, I found these ingredients in things I never thought to check!
 
Since then we’ve been on a new journey of converting to more whole foods. As I weeded through our fridge and pantry, I found so many things that went against even the basic “rules” I had at the time.
 
I know some of you are thinking: “If its HFCS/MSG/hydrogenated oils in one thing you eat, its such a tiny amount, why worry about it?”. That is a valid point, and you’ll find as I blog that I am not 100% strict on things. However if I allow a little bit here and a little bit there and then a little bit in this and that, it starts adding up. A better approach we’ve found is to keep the food out of our normal, everyday diet, and not to stress it when we’re at a party or dinner at someone else’s home.
 

Besides, why do we even need all these things in our food to start with?

 I wanted to get back to WHOLE foods for us.

 
Obviously there are a lot of levels you can take this. I’m not one for huge extremes (in either direction). And it’s also a matter of personal conviction; what you think is right for you/your family, your finances, and your time. But always remember that the rewards of it are so great! By eating this way I’ve been able to shed a few extra pounds without stressing over calories or points. I didn’t have to eat any sugar substitutes, or any “diet” foods. I am fuller for longer after meals. I feel healthier.
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And you know what? My kids have taken to it as well. They didn’t say a peep when last November I switched to exclusively making our own bread products. They went from processed white bread to a healthier homemade bread. They are always excited to try my new kitchen creations. I love that they are eating food that is going to help them be healthy and strong and learn good eating habits.

I will admit that making changes is hard. You give up your old “standy-bys” (I said farewell to my canned creamy soups) and you have to learn a few new tricks. But its worth the effort. My hope is that by sharing what we do, it will help others incorporate healthy options into their homes.

I’d love to hear what you have done in your home to make changes! I learn something new everyday.
 

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