Thursday, January 3, 2013

Healthy Home-Eating Clean

I'm sure that many people are already ready to give up on their resolutions to eat better, but in efforts to encourage you, I thought this month's Healthy Home post was appropriate. 
This month, I bring you my super cool cousin, Ronnie.  She is a mama of 2 sweet little girls.  She and her husband have transformed the way they eat (which is pretty awesome, if you ask me).  Take a read!

Hey, my name is Ronnie and I am so excited to share with you about eating clean. Eating clean is cutting out all white sugar, white flour (sugar) and processed foods. Basically you aim to eat foods in its most natural state possible. If you have to purchase a pre packaged item you try and aim for 6 ingredients or less. The best way to look at it is, if you can’t pronounce an ingredient or if you don’t know what the ingredient is, you shouldn’t be putting it in your body!

My family and I started eating clean about four months ago. I never really understood what people meant when they said “You are what you eat” until this year. I have always felt that the abundance of disease and cancer and obesity we have in our lives now are due to what we eat, but I never really connected the fact that we don’t have to eat those foods. You don’t have to eat fast food! You don’t have to eat pre packaged dinners! Is it convenient, YES! Is it fast and easy and helps us maintain our go-go-go life styles, most definitely! But I believe it is poisoning us. What food manufacturers are allowed to put in our food is scary! So with this theory I went to my husband and explained what I wanted us to do. He was surprisingly agreeable. I started google-ing clean eating and found all these websites that tried to explain it to me. Then I found this amazing website. that actually explained it in English! Step by step, how to transition slowly and how to win over picky eating kids. Since our entire kitchen was full of things we weren’t supposed to be eating, coffee creamer, sugar, white rice and flours, and every form of pre packaged, processed food available we decided to take one-step at a time. As we finished the last of our white rice, the next time we went shopping we bought brown rice, we stopped buying sugar, fruit snacks for our daughter, juice etc. It was a slow and interesting transition!
When we first started this my extent of cooking knowledge consisted of opening a box of hamburger helper and adding water! Or, if I got home late from work we just ran through McDonalds like everyone else. I didn’t really realize how bad we were really eating considering I felt we already ate “healthy”. Really, everything we ate was manufactured, hardly any real nutrition at all. Now, my nails grow like I’m taking prenatal vitamins and really I do not take any vitamins at all. I have learned to cook, I mean really cook! I chop vegetables and have my daughter eating spinach or kale on a regular basis (have I mentioned she’s 3?). I never feel bloated or like my body can’t digest what I’ve eaten. And I can proudly say that in 4 months I have not only lost all my baby weight (I have a 6 month old daughter as well!) but I weigh less than I have in a really long time. I have not had an anxiety attack in 3 months, which is something I was struggling with after having my daughter and actually found can be a result of diet. Most importantly, I know my daughters are actually getting the nutrition they need to grow and develop into young women. I feel great knowing my husband and I are instilling these healthy eating habits in them now with hopes that they continue to make good food choice as adults.
Eating clean is not a quick weight loss tool. You will not see the pounds dropping off over night. However, you will feel the difference immediately! I feel clean inside, I feel healthy! We continue to try new things and it gets easier and easier as time goes on. You’ll try recipes you don’t like, you’ll try recipes you do like and best of all you’ll try recipes even the kids like (those you make as frequently as possible!) But guess what, we still go out and get pizza; we just get whole wheat crust and make sure there are veggies on there! We even still go out every once in a while and get ice-cream. I do not want my children to completely be deprived of all the goodness of life. I just want them to see ice cream as an “every once in a while treat” instead of an “each night after dinner treat” which was the case before clean eating.
Even if you change a few things in your way of eating it would make a difference! Do you have to throw everything in your pantry out and start over, absolutely not. But maybe when you go out to eat tonight you’ll choose grilled chicken and steamed vegetables instead of the fried chicken and macaroni and cheese! The smallest changes can make the biggest difference. There are so many web sites that show you how to make things on your own so you know what ingredients are in your food. Did you know that 1/3 of ketchup is sugar? I now know how to make my own, sugar free!
I hope you take some time and check out and maybe even take one of their mini challenges. See for yourself the difference it can make in your life. Thank you for the opportunity to share our new life style with you. I hope you found this informational and maybe even motivating!

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