8 Tips On The Quest For Eating Healthy

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How To Eat HealthyYou’ve decided to eat healthy and now you need to break the news to the kids, or your spouse, significant other, cat. You get the idea. You sit them down, put on your most enthusiastic voice and say “Guess what! We’re going to eat healthy!!!!” At best, you hear what resembles spectators at a golf tournament clapping with joy. Most likely you are staring at horrified faces that just heard “We’re headed to the doctor for our annual exam!”

I cannot stress enough that healthy eating is NOT a punishment to be endured temporarily until you get where you want to be weight-wise. Have you ever heard a smoker say that they’re quitting for 12 weeks until they no longer want to smoke, and then they’re going back to smoking again? This is similar. Healthy eating is what humans are designed to do. It gives us energy and the ability to live longer and do the things we really want to do in life.

I spent 40 years eating crap on a daily basis, multiple times a day. If I can now willingly get excited over wheat berries and butternut squash, it can’t be impossible. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy my Krispy Kremes, ice cream, burgers, and other stuff. I honestly am at a point where I don’t want them at every meal anymore. From where I came from, that’s saying a lot. Trust me.

Here are some tips based on my own experience in eating healthy:

  1. For Pete’s sake, don’t announce it! You wouldn’t put chicken nuggets with a side of mac and cheese down and announce you’re eating fun stuff so why feel the need to announce healthy eating. You’ll just call attention to your plan. Shhhhhh!
  2. You aren’t a short order cook and you don’t live in a diner. Don’t make separate meals for the kids (or your spouse). If the kids see Mom and Dad eating healthy, they’ll think “Gah! You get old and all the fun leaves.” There’s plenty that sucks about being a grown up, but healthy eating isn’t one of them. If everyone eats the same, it’s just how your family eats. You can add sides to meals based on nutritional needs but the main parts should be the same. For example, everyone eats chicken and veggies, but the kids get a side of mashed potatoes or corn.
  3. Start slowly if you have to. If you go all out cold turkey from the beginning, you could have a revolution on your hands. Try replacing one or two meals a week at first and slowly work into full time. Again, refer to Tip 1 and don’t tell them. Just do it.
  4. Make healthy versions of kid friendly meals. Think IHOP at home – pancakes, eggs, bacon. Try one or two smaller whole grain pancakes, a mix of scrambled eggs and egg whites, and heat up some sliced deli ham instead of bacon. Slurp. I’d so eat that right now. 😉 Make plain oatmeal and top it with cinnamon and a little honey. Open faced sandwiches are a big kid pleaser.
  5. Create a game of it. I’ve taken The Kid to the grocery store and told her to pick out the weirdest looking fruit or veggie she could find. We’d buy it and go home to google what it was and find a recipe for it. It was fun wondering what it was going to taste like and what we were going to do with it. Don’t forget to look at the sign so you know what to google when you get home! Without this trick, I’d never have tried a chayote squash.
  6. Don’t forget to eat the fun stuff too. Life is meant to be lived. You don’t have to eat healthy 100% of the time forever. Enjoy ice cream, cake, pasta, or whatever it is that you love. Just have a normal portion once or twice a week, not every day. It wasn’t until I stopped eating junk food all the time that I realized just how freaking awesome a Fuddrucker’s burger was. I liked them before, but it was just what I ate and nothing special. Most times I didn’t even pay attention to how it tasted. Now that I only eat them ever few months… holy moly… all those years of eating them and not realizing how wonderful they are! It can go the other way too. There are many things that I used to eat that I now think “Blurgh, what did I see in that.”
  7. Stock your fridge and cabinets with good choices and the kids just might eat it. That’s what sparked the wheat berry incident at our house. I made a batch of wheat berries for me one night and left them in the fridge. I got a text from The Kid the next day asking if she could have the rest of the “rice”. She ate them all and it was afterwards that I told her it wasn’t rice. She texted the next day and asked me to buy more. I’m betting if I’d plopped them down on her dinner plate and said “Eat your wheat berries!” that wouldn’t have happened.
  8. When all else fails, they won’t starve. If the kids are hungry, they will eat. If they won’t eat what you’ve made, they aren’t that hungry. If you don’t have a back up junk meal at the ready or cabinets full of chips and cookies, they’ll eventually eat. Don’t make a big deal out of it and have arguments and yelling matches about eating. Just put their meal away and jump for joy that you’ve got another meal already prepared for yourself the next day. Just reheat and eat it yourself. Their loss is your time saver. 😉

These are some of the tricks that worked for me. I need to put together a post of additional ideas that I have but I didn’t want to create the longest post ever. Hopefully some will work for you but definitely add to the list and come up with your own rules. The more you can teach your family now, the better prepared they’ll be when they venture out on their own. I could have saved myself years of high cholesterol and bad health had I known how and what to eat.

Now get out there and secretly start eating healthy!

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