July 1. Welcome back coffee creamer. And diet soda. And poptarts (for the kids).
Did we make it the whole month...well, not 100%, but we really did eat whole foods 80% of the time, which is actually quite an accomplishment when you really look at all that we consider "food", but it's actually a highly processed food like substance (some of which I love dearly). A few thoughts I have after our experiment:
1. Store bought bread is simply a way to eat the toppings. Homemade bread is an experience all its own. Yes, I made my own bread...several times. And after a few so-so loaves I found a recipe I really liked and didn't take much time. But for now we are going back to store bought bread...mainly because we are trying to sell our house so the extra mess and equipment is a bit too much.
2. Eating healthier generally takes more time...prepping veggies, fruits, and other parts of a meal takes longer than opening a bag of chips or fruit snacks. And for the nutritional and taste benefit, the time is worth it. But I do empathize with busy families that have a hard time finding the time to prepare meals from whole foods. My best advice is to find nutritional whole food recipes and preparation techniques that are quick and tasty. Set aside an hour once a week to wash and cut fruits and veggies for quick use.
3. All or nothing thinking is my enemy. I talked about this in my last post, but it is still true. The last two days of the month were again highly processed food days due to poor planning on my part. I felt discouraged and thought I may as well throw up my hands and go stock up on fruit snacks, corn dogs, and oreos. It would be easier. But then my five year old said "mom, I want to eat mostly healthy foods so I can be healthy for kindergarten." Success. We've emphasized healthy foods while also not demonizing foods that are not nutritious. They are sometime foods. Special treats. But they are not evil. I think often when a person adopts a certain dietary plan based on nutrition, moral beliefs, or other reason they start to demonize certain foods...judging others who eat that food or associating guilt with the forbidden food. For me, forbidding certain kinds of foods only makes me want them more and furthers the distorted relationship I have with food.
So where are we going from here? I'm still going to try to keep a majority of our foods unprocessed, but I'm also not going to feel guilty when the kids eat a poptart. But highly processed foods with little nutritional value are going to be reserved for special occassions. Fruit snacks...I'm sorry to tell you that you will only be invited on long car rides and won't be available for daily consumption. Real fruit, you can stay. Cereal Sunday night...sugary cereals will be replaced with Kashi and oatmeal a majority of the time.