The guest post was titled "Steps I Have Taken To Bring A More Healthful Approach Into My Home."
As the beginning of summer approaches, I am already feeling the pull of unhealthy choices when it comes to food. BBQ's, quick dinners at grandpa's pool, lemonade full of HFCS, the ice cream truck...I don't know about you, but for us summer brings a bunch more opportunities for healthful eating to go right out the window. I do and will lighten up a bit during the summer when it comes to eating healthy, but I also want to keep in mind the good habits we have established and continue to pursue them. Rereading the post I wrote for The Mother Huddle will help me do just that!
Steps I have taken to bring a more wholesome approach into my home:
We Follow These Rules:
- Try to eat like our grandparents did, before convenience foods came about.
- No high fructose corn syrup! Studies show that this stuff causes confusion in the area of the brain that tells your body that you are full. It makes you crave more sweets! This is just one of many reasons to avoid it. Also, we found that it was triggering my youngest daughter’s asthma. Since changing our eating habits, she is off all inhalers! Yippee!!
- No hydrogenated oils/trans fats and use only healthful oils (olive oil, coconut oil)
- Think brown, not white (whole wheat flour, whole grain pasta, brown rice, 100% whole wheat breads, etc)
- Stay away from foods if the ingredient list is long and full of words we can’t pronounce.
- No more buying white sugar! We replaced it with natural sweeteners like maple syrup, honey, sucanat (rapadura), & stevia.
We Make Snacks Count By:
- Making homemade treats containing ingredients that are beneficial to the body (we loveMudballs)
- Having veggie fun! I cut up bright colored veggies into bite-sized pieces, fill a 6 cup muffin tin with a different vegetable in each cup, serve with toothpicks. If I only have 4 types of vegetables, I’ll fill the 2 remaining cups with dip and toothpicks.
- Eating fruit as our dessert. I see my 3 girls (age 10, 9 and 7) eye the beautiful bowl of blueberries thawing on the table during dinner, excited to eat ‘em for dessert! They also love frozen cherries, grapes, peaches, mangoes, melons, and pineapple. We eat them all just slightly thawed.
- Making homemade popcorn in the microwave using a brown paper lunch bag. My girls love this and do it themselves. Big money saver!
- Adding veggies to our fruit smoothies. A large handful of fresh spinach disappears when blended into our sweet fruit smoothies.
- Using leftover smoothies to make popsicles. These are delish, and yes, they are the same smoothies that have spinach in them! These type of real fruit/yogurt popsicles are so costly at the store. Its amazing how inexpensive and easy it is to make your own! If you don’t have molds, use paper cups and wooden craft sticks.
- Staying away from empty calories–even treats can be beneficial to the body (dark chocolate, desserts with fruit/oats in them, ice cream topped with fresh fruit, whole wheat brownies)
We Are Going Greener:
- We got rid of harsh chemical cleaners. I use a vinegar and water spray for just about everything, and have simple recipes to make my own laundry detergent, dish washing detergent and liquid hand/body soap. (this saves us a TON of money, and I believe some of those chemicals contributed to my daughters past issues with asthma, so we are saving money on medical bills, too!)
- We drink from reusable water bottles, keeping them in the refrigerator so they are cold and ready to drink.
- We got rid of most plastic storage containers and use different sized mason jars instead. I love how they look in my pantry, freezer and refrigerator. They make it easy to see what is inside, and they look orderly.
- If it comes in a package, I ask myself “Can I make this homemade?” It is almost always more healthful and saves on the packaging (pancake mix, granola bars) I buy many ingredients from bulk bins and put them in mason jars when I get home.
Taking steps for more wholesome homes can be overwhelming, so be encouraged that these changes did not come overnight for us, nor do we do it all perfectly. We eat our share of junk food and sugar outside our 4 walls, (and even inside them on the weekends), so it ends up being about 80/20,
which I am comfortable with. It has been a step by step journey,
one I will never regret starting as I see such huge changes in the health of my family.
This post is linked to:
The Finer Things Friday @ The Finer Things
Home And Family Friday @ Home Is Where My Story Begins
Its A Hodgepodge Friday @ Its A Hodgepodge Life
Tips Me Tuesday @ The Tip Junkie
30 Minute Blog Challenge @ Steady Mom
Motivate Me Monday @ Keeping It Simple