As I was walking through the grocery store (BY MYSELF) yesterday, I was thinking about some of the changes that have naturally occurred over the last 9 months since we started this transition (to a real foods lifestyle). Just thought I would share!
- In the pre-‘real food’ days, I used to walk up and down every aisle when I went grocery shopping, just to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Wow…has that one changed! I walk down so few aisles these days, it’s crazy! Here is my typical path at the grocery store now: I spend quite some time in the produce section (especially standing in front of the organic section). I buy all sorts of fruits and veggies (and even fresh herbs), with many being items I had previously never even considered buying before. I used to wonder how much of a health nut someone needed to be to buy these foods. Well, now I’m slowly becoming one of those people…slowly! I just bought beets yesterday…that’s definitely a new one. After I’m done in the produce area, I head to the bulk bins. Here I buy nuts and seeds. Then I walk down the “natural” aisle and pickup many types of foods: organic flours, natural nut butters, organic tomato & pizza sauce, tortilla chips, etc. Then I head over to the meat/fish area to get whatever I plan to eat during the week (I only stock up if something’s on sale and it will freeze well). After that I do some serious walking. I skip MANY aisles full of processed stuff: cereals, granola bars, prepackaged pasta meals, canned goods, pop, chips, and the list goes on. I head to the baking aisle next to pick up flour, chocolate chips, spices/herbs, etc. Then I head back to the dairy section and pick up the few remaining items on my list. I skip all the junk food aisles, the pop/soda/energy drinks, crackers, etc. And it feels pretty good, if I’m being honest. When I check out and I see all of the good, wholesome food that I’m purchasing and I know these are the foods we’ll be putting in our bodies (in one recipe or another), I feel pretty proud of myself and the changes we’re making as a family.
- My pantry looks totally different! Gone are the boxes of Kraft macaroni and cheese, bags of microwave popcorn, the huge box of Minute white rice, sugar-filled cereals and cans of cream of mushroom soup. (I plan to write a post about all of my new pantry staples one of these days.)
- The food in my freezer is almost all homemade goods! This one truly shocked me the other day. I opened it up and realized that it looked completely different than it used to. I used to have Eggo waffles, Tyson chicken, fettuccine alfredo frozen dinners, ice cream novelties, etc…you get the idea. This is what I saw when I opened it just a couple of days ago…
Look at all those containers and baggies!! Frozen corn, chopped pineapple (waiting to be transferred to a container), strawberries that we picked ourselves, cookies, shredded chicken (from a whole chicken that I cooked in the crock pot), granola bars, muffins…all homemade. The only thing store bought is a few bags of raspberries and some Turkey Hill All-Natural ice cream that’s hidden. The freezer in the basement is about the same as well with homemade fruit jams, a whole wheat pizza, more chopped fruit, breads/muffins, and some store bought bags of broccoli!
- I use my spices and herbs A LOT more. I rarely used them before this transition and I now find myself buying larger containers of many of them since I’m going through them more quickly. They provide so much flavor to home cooked meals and I’m s-l-o-w-l-y learning how to use all of them.
- We eat a much bigger variety of foods. Of course, this blog has been very motivational for me to try new foods and meals…much more than I ever anticipated when I first started this blog. (And I’m so thankful for that…YOU keep me motivated!) I find that when I’m cooking with only ‘real’ foods, I tend to look for more variety with the ingredients. I want to expose my family to new foods to be sure we’re getting a variety of nutrients on a daily basis. Before this transition, it was all too easy to fall back on the same old meals and snacks. I would constantly get stuck in ruts of making the same dinner menus every couple of weeks. It was boring! Variety is way more fun…not only to make, but also to eat! 🙂
- And of course, the biggest change that I see is in myself, specifically when I look at pictures of myself from just 9 months ago. I don’t want to say I wasn’t at a healthy weight before, because I know I was…but I love seeing how fit and strong I am now! And it’s not just about how I look (though, I’m not complaining….), but it’s more about how I feel. I can HONESTLY say I feel so much better. Of course, I still fluctuate and have weeks when I’m “off my game” and not eating as well as I would like. When that happens and I gain a few pounds back, I feel uncomfortable. Not only physically, but mentally as well. I then naturally WANT to eat better because I know I’ll feel so much better physically when I do. (For those of you that missed my post about my first 90 days of doing P90X workouts combined with a real food lifestyle change, you can find that here. I’m still amazed when I look at the pictures from that post.) My goal is to share an updated picture within the next couple of weeks. As I wrote in that P90X post, we were going to do the Insanity workouts next, but I didn’t like them and felt like I was going to get injured with all of the jarring movements. Our workouts now consist of a rotation of five P90X DVDs, running, and the elliptical. I haven’t taken any pictures since this last post. I’m anxious to see if I’ll notice any differences or not. The half marathon I’ve been training for is just 2 weeks away now…can’t wait! I’ve been training at a pace that I’m really proud of (between 7:59 and 8:20 per mile for my long runs). I’m really hoping I can repeat that in the actual race. Fingers crossed I have a good day. I’m starting to taper my runs now and the week prior I plan to really cut back on the P90X workouts…definitely no legs that week!!
- I also like the creative outlet that writing this blog brings. This is my ME time and it’s something I’ve really been enjoying. My food pictures aren’t anywhere near as awesome or ‘well put together’ as other food bloggers. I’m not sure where they find the time (or get all of those cute placemats, dishes, props, etc)! With three kids anxiously waiting for me to put food in front of them several times per day, it’s about all I can do to snap a quick picture while they wait! I hope you’re enjoying this blog as well. I have a LONG list of topics I want to write about, as well as an even LONGER list of recipes I want to try. I don’t get too fancy or in depth with the foods I try. I have a picky husband, a 4 year old and twin two year olds. I want them to actually eat what I serve, so I still try to make meals that are “family friendly.” If you like my blog and think others you know might like it too, I would love for you to share my website or Facebook page with them, as well as any individual recipes I post. The more people we can spread the word to about eating REAL food and why it’s so important to cut out processed food, the better!
So that’s it. Nothing mind blowing in this post. Just wanted to share some of my random thoughts about this lifestyle change with you. 🙂