Most of us have at least one throw down meal we make. You know, what you cook when you just don’t have time to cook a “real” meal. For us it’s usually eggs. But eggs twice a day can get boring, so we keep a couple of packs of frozen raviolis on hand.
Yes, contrary to popular belief, we don’t always eat the healthiest. But, that’s ok. One thing I do with our throw down meal is make sure there’s at least some farm raised additions. After putting up about 200 square bales the other night and preparing dinner at 9:30pm, Fred said, “make eggs”. Instead, I made frozen raviolis topped with bacon ends, sautéed mushrooms, corn, sweet potato greens, tomatoes, and parmesan. Sooooo much better than scrambled eggs and it took the same amount of time to make it.
So how do you go from eating a quick bowl of cereal or making a drive-thru run to a healthy meal?
When you’re changing your eating habits, I find these two things make it a bit easier:
1-find a baby step and start there.
2-don’t beat yourself up when you misstep.
When people ask me how to eat better, the first thing I tell them is to determine what’s most important to them and take that baby step.
Is it eating organic? Non-GMO? Humanely raised meats? Free range eggs? Pasture raised meat?
Eating more greens? Eating fruit and veg when it’s in season? Buying locally grown produce?
Eliminating certain canned or processed foods?
Pick one thing and work on that. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. That’s how we end up not making any real or lasting changes–trying to do too much at once.
That’s where number two comes in–don’t beat yourself up when you don’t stick to the baby step. If you are going out to dinner or eating at someone else’s house, you don’t have to stick to it. And you don’t have to feel bad about it. Giving yourself the freedom to be okay with slacking a bit will actually help you stay more on track.
When we first started changing our eating habits, we started simple…no canned foods. We are both BIG Rotel fans, so that was the hardest until I started canning my own. We go through about 2 gallons of Rotel a year, so I make sure I can that every summer now. Then we went to only sugary treats that we made were allowed (chocolate chips were the exception). We went a bit crazy at first, then slowly we started to taper off the cakes, cookies, and brownies. Mainly because it was a lot of work.
After logging everything we bought at the grocery store for 1 year, we started to wean off the chocolate chips. Because seriously, buying 56 bags of chocolate chips a year just seems a bit much. We went to 2 bags a month for a while, and now
we I don’t buy them.
We try to eat less flour based products and I’ve switched to sprouted grain breads. We cut out the pretzels at lunch, but do have crackers on hand for snacks.
What I have found with all these small changes is my taste for certain things has changed. Sweets are sooooooo much sweeter to me. And too many corn tortillas do not sit well in my belly. And when I eat sweets at a family dinner or can’t resist my popcorn craving, the one thing I don’t do is beat myself up for it. I know what my baby steps are, and even years into it, I still consider them baby steps. Beating myself up for backsliding only makes it easier to say forget it all; and I don’t want to do that.
Before you start on the latest fad diet, think about what you really want to accomplish with your eating habits. The fad diet won’t stick around long, but what you make a habit will.