Happy Friday! This post has been a few weeks in the making, it may be a little choppy as there are a lot of things I wanted to cover, so bear with me. It started as a “Mommy Rant”. You’ve probably seen a few of them circulating lately. Mainly centered around keeping up with the Pinterest Super Moms. That doesn’t bother me so much, I dabble in Pinterest and don’t feel pressure (yet!) to be super crafty mom, or at least I feel I can hold my own in that respect. My rant is more over the balance between being super coupon saving mom vs. being super healthy nutrition mom. I’ve come to realize it will be a balance. It doesn’t have to be one or the other, but it will be a compromise . I feel torn each day between trying to save the most, yet feed my family healthily. The two do not always go hand in hand, so I feel I am failing in both respects. And last week, that rut I described in my last post, was partly because of just information overload over what foods are good and bad these days and most has been bad (some very shocking). I try hard to do what is best for my kids and my family, but I just can’t keep up, feel overwhelmed, and in response just want to shut down. So I did for a few weeks. (Don’t worry – I did still feed my kids and keep everyone happy and healthy – I just had to shut off my attention to these types of articles.)
This week I have decided I need to take action. I cannot tackle everything at once, so I made a list and started my research. (My Type A personality coming out in full force!)
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phillipians 4:13
Now where does this fit into my blog and finding my calling you ask!? Here is what I’ve figured out thus far. To be my best and live up my potential, I need to feel good (see verse above). I need to feel good physically and feel good about the choices I make for my family. I know they will be far from perfect, but if I am trying with an open heart, that is a step in the right direction. We are all “healthy”, but the more I read about changing up diets, removing processed food, the more I am convinced it will be beneficial in the long run. This has not been an easy conclusion to come to. I (like a lot of Americans) are all about instant gratification. If I don’t “hurt” right away from eating X, Y, & Z, what’s the big deal? Or this is only $1, so I’d rather save the $x and eat/buy this because does it really matter? This is a really hard thing to get over, when so much of the information I get from super coupon saver moms is you need to save money! But the super healthy nutritional moms are creeping into my head saying, yes it may be cheaper, but in 5,10,20 years you’ll be feeling the effects. Or maybe even sooner, as I’m curious to see if eliminating some things from our diets will help us feel better and have more energy right now (something I could really use!)
That all being said, where do I start? One of my biggest pet peeves is people who complain, but have no solution (which was me last week!) So I have made the decision to start phasing into Clean Eating. I’ve done some research, found a few blogs, talked to a few other moms (thank you Joy!), and am going to start here. The reason I say phasing in, is that I am not going to go through my house and purge and I will have a few (maybe more) exceptions (at least at first). I’m way too conscience of the money I have already spent to throw away perfectly good (albeit maybe not healthy food). We don’t have a ton, but I’ve bought my share of Mac & Cheese and boxed food when they were on BOGO. I’ve only recently gotten to a point where my menu planning has consistently saved me 30%+ each week, so the budget side will be an adjustment, although I still plan on only buying what is in-season. I have just returned from my first (eye-opening) outing to Publix after making this decision. It is amazing how many things that I thought were healthy have many of the ingredients that Clean Eating says to avoid (or how many ingredients are in what seems to be a simple products i.e. grated cheese or bread). I think the hardest will be white flour (pastas, breads, rice…), and convenient, pre-packaged, quick foods/snacks. Also soda – I will be using my beloved SodaStream for naturally flavored carbonated water ONLY. And we enjoy eating out, so for now I may try and be more conscience of what I order but not to the extreme of asking for a list of ingredients – everyone needs a break sometime – right!?
As mentioned, I made my first list (see a portion below) and will gradually phase these in over time. I don’t expect to be perfect, or anywhere close, but if I can aim for 4-5 days a week (or maybe even just dinners to start) and allow myself room to grow, I’m hoping I can do this. Again, it’s all about balance. I can see how one could easily spend a lot of their time menu planning (doing research on what is good v. bad), clipping coupons to go with it, but then not have time for much else. My kids are my priority and if every once in awhile (or more) I break out a boxed meal in order to spend that extra hour playing outside – don’t judge me.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3
I’d love to hear your thoughts, experience, and/or any resources or blogs you have found on this topic. I’m no where near an expert and as with everything – I need help and support!
Resources: (I don’t get anything in return for any of these references – I just found them helpful!)
- The Gracious Pantry (blog that has SO many great articles on how to start and tons of recipes!)
- eMeals (I had used this meal planning service in the past to help me get into menu planning and loved it and learned so much. They now offer a Clean Eating plan – so I have purchased to help out with learning some new technique!) And there is a Groupon right now for a full year at $29 – great deal!!
- Clean Eating Magazine (not a current subscriber, but like the site and may look for a deal on it!)
- Mamas Against Drama (not all clean eating, but a variety of timely topics)
My to do list: No soda, no hot dogs, no lunchables, no box/convenience food. Start making own mac and cheese, muffins, pizza dough, quick freezer grab items. Cut down on pastas/bread. Phase in natural shampoos/soaps/lotions (no fragrance)
Green Smoothies today for lunch were a success!! (One BIG challenge will be getting these little picky people on board!)