While I’m sitting here, drinking my Folgers iced coffee in whole fat milk after eating two 6″ meatball subs from frozen meatballs and canned sauce with some potato chips, I feel a bit… full… and ashamed. My family has been trying to substitute the bad for the good, but like many other American families, we’re stuck in the quick-and-easy yummy greasy salty and sweet “baby dance on my taste buds” type of food. But why? So many of the substitutes that we have been getting are so yummy. So why do we keep going to frozen pizzas and soda?
The answer is simple. It’s a habit, and an addictive habit at that. The processed foods that are being pushed into our faces every day are killing us. The nasty junk that they put in it is just… Well it tastes good, right? But how healthy are you going to be? How good are you going to feel? I know I’ve been feeling sick lately and I’m certain that’s why. I haven’t felt like exercising, and the lack of exercising makes me feel even worse. And what’s more, I have a two year old and my family is full of a bunch of people who have the same diets as we do. Fast. Cheap. Unhealthy. Disgusting. I need to make a better example for him.
So through our struggle, I will not lie to my readers. No one can do a 180 in a day and expect a good result. But it’s one day at a time. So here are a few things that we have changed that are helping us.
First thing’s first for me… I had to kick my soda habit. I just couldn’t stand the idea of water all the time. I don’t care for juice, which usually isn’t healthy anyway. I love coffee and tea, but I needed something cold. Even if it wasn’t healthy, just about anything was better than Coca-Cola (sorry Coke. I love you… but you know I’m right).
So I decided to buy canned tea, Yoo-Hoo, and Ginger Ale. This was working great, except for the Yoo-Hoo. Apparently, it’s more addictive than Coca-Cola!!! So I had to ditch it before it did more damage. Finally, I removed the canned sweet tea and Ginger Ale. I’m picking up more homemade cold coffee and tea. No, it’s not healthy. But I can control the sugar in it that way, and again… it’s not AS bad as four Cokes a day. One day at a time…Now, after a month of this, I only treat myself now and then with a Coke. We’re not buying any more cases of soda. I have my husband to bring home a single can. This is working great! If you don’t have it, you can’t drink it.
While we’re on the topic of drinks, I love International Delight. I truly believe if I had to give up my coffee with International Delight, I would just presume be 300lbs. So that being said, I will not deny myself my “precious”. But I do ration myself. Rationing is KEY! I get a quart size bottle and MAKE it last all month. If I find that it’s running low too quickly, I slack back. I do not allow myself to add any more powdered creamer or sugar. Make it work, or go without.
So at this moment, I would love to make a SHOUTOUT to Yogi tea! This is the most amazing hot tea that I have found on the market. They have quite a selection. I promise, I am not getting paid to say good things (or bad things) about any brands. These are my personal opinions. I love the bedtime Yogi, which is naturally sweetened with Stevia plant. It’s so relaxing.
Now for a look in my fridge. We always have fresh fruit and/or berries in our fridge. My two year old loves fruit, and it’s a great go-to for something sweet to replace cookies. The yogurt, cottage cheese, and Silk are for smoothies and calcium-rich snacks and drinks, as well as morning smoothies.
In our freezer, we keep frozen fruit and lots of veggies. We have been buying our produce in bulk and freezing it. One of my favorite things is to freeze a bunch of bananas. They are perfect for smoothies! I can smash it for a substitute for ice cream for the munchkin. We buy bags of already frozen berries and fruit, which we also use from smoothies and frozen snacks. Have you ever tried frozen grapes? OMG!
Of course, there’s not much that’s more important than fresh veggies! We personally buy a lot of onions, tomatoes and green peppers. We have plastic containers for leftovers, as shown in the photo. We also buy quite a bit of carrots, celery, salad mix (spinach, kale and such), cabbage and cucumbers. Now and then we also buy squash and zucchini. We prefer frozen veggies for sides, but these are great for cooking stews, soups, etc.
Finally, I would like to say that cage free, grain fed brown eggs are amazing! They remind me of the fresh farm eggs that I have bought in the past from neighbors. There is none other like these. The problem is that they can be expensive. However, I have been finding Simple Truth on sale at Kroger for 2/$5 and sometimes even 2/$4! Amazing deals!
So what do I plan to do next? Well here are our two biggest problems:
#1 Healthy snacks
#2 Quick and easy (and healthy) lunches, and a little bit for breakfast and dinner as well
Of course, Pinterest is my best friend. Here are a few things that I have on my to-do list. I have been nice enough to share links!
Sweet Potato Chips
Cheez-Its or This Recipe
Roasted Chick Peas
Frozen Yogurt-Cover Blueberries
Almond Joy Granola
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
Fruit Rollups: Apple, Mango,
Cinnamon Apple Chips
Fruit Snacks (Chews) or This Recipe or This Recipe
Strawberry Cheesecake Yogurt Frozen Pops
TOMATO BASIL CHICKEN
This is on the list because I LOVE this recipe!!! It’s super easy and delicious. I can’t rave enough about it. I wish I had made it tonight. And please, do not skimp out on the fresh basil. Buy it, grow it, love it. You cannot substitute it with dehydrated basil in this recipe. It’s essential that it’s fresh. But it’s soooo worth it!!! Heck, add some dehydrated on top as well. You can’t have enough in this recipe. You can cut the chicken up, but believe me you’ll want the chicken breast whole in this recipe. It’s just better that way. Add a little Parmesan cheese (the real stuff, not the stinky stuff in the shaker) for an extra Italian kiss. I prefer it over pasta, but you can also have it as a main dish with veggies on the side. Excuse me while I wipe the drool from my cheek.