“You are what you eat!”
Pretty scary phrase right?
We all want to eat healthy food, but there are so many stumbling blocks.
Time, money, knowledge, and will power probably top the lists.
When our family started our natural living journey a couple years back, I knew food would be the toughest category to tackle and the slowest process.
I’m no poster child for healthy eating, but I have changed and learned A LOT so hopefully some of these tips will give you the courage to start or keep going on this crazy journey called “eating clean”.
Pick One Area for Big Impact on Health and Budget
When you’re ready to clean up your act in the food department, don’t do it all in one fell swoop. That’s a recipe for disaster. You’re taste buds will rebel and your budget will implode. Instead, pick one small vice to get rid of, especially if it will positively effect your budget. Big soda drinker? Switch out for water. Have a bad fast food addiction? Stock up on healthy snacks that can stay in the car. Your body and wallet will thank you. Come up with ONE thing that will save you money and medical bills. This one will challenge your will power. Don’t move on to another area until you’ve made it a habit for a whole month.
One easy change we’ve made is adding this delicious chocolate smoothie supplement from Detox Organics my boys are wild about it and it has all the good things (We’re talking acai berry, goji berry, spinach, kale, turmeric, beets, carrots, pineapple, broccoli, spirulina, ginger, fennel, lemon balm and the list goes on! ) and none of the no-nos like artificial junk, dairy, soy and sugar!
Start Making One or Two Things from Scratch that You Used to Purchase Pre-Made
What’s a food you buy all the time for convenience that you could make more cheaply and healthy at home? For us, it’s baked goods. I found these amazing mix recipes for things like pancakes, biscuits and brownies as well as this great “Cream of Whatever Soup Mix“. I keep these dry mixes ready to go in super pretty glass jars (just $7 on Amazon!). That way I’m ready to make all-natural goodies whenever the mood strikes me! This one takes a bit of a time sacrifice, but again, once it’s a habit, it won’t seem so bad. Especially when you don’t have to run to the store all that often because you can whip something up yourself.
Slowly Start Switching to Organic Foods
Now that you have a little extra money in the budget, switch out one area of processed food, for its organic counterpart. Are you making more food at home? Buy organic flour and sugar with the money you’ve saved. Kids go through a bottle of ketchup a week (oh that’s only my kids?), splurge on the organic variety. The key is to go slowly. The more junk you cut out and the more you make at home, the more money you’ll have to buy organic ingredients. We still haven’t fully switch to organic meat, but by cutting down on how much meat we eat, we’re close to being able to afford the switch.
Know Your Priorities
This will look different for every family. For us, the biggest no-no is artificial food dyes. My son has SPD and those dyes that are banned in most civilized countries really mess with him. Our next bare bones requirement is all-natural food, meaning no chemical preservatives and ingredients. (Want to get rid of aluminum in your baking powder? See how to make it yourself in seconds!) I’d love to say we ONLY eat organic or we don’t consume sugar, but those are lofty goals, not something to beat myself up over when we just can’t swing it at this stage.
If I’m going to stick to this all-natural journey, I’ve gotta change things in small chunks. Once a practice has become a habit and not a chore, I can move on to my next goal.
Give up something unhealthy with a big impact, try a simple, delicious but power-packed supplement, start making a couple simple things from scratch, switch out what you purchase for a better option, and give yourself the grace to just do the bare minimum when life gets crazy.