Oops. I got a bit distracted on my tyrannical rant about corn. I had meant to post a blog on the shopping trip, but ran off on a wild tangent somewhere….
Anyway, the most common things I’ve heard people say when the topic of eating HEALTHIER (not dieting! not vegan! not vegetarian! not macrobiotic! just… healthy.) are:
- 1) It’s too expensive.
- 2) It’s not convenient.
- 3) It tastes bad.
- 4) I like my Twinkies/McDonald’s/fake food.
- 5 )My kids/mother/husband won’t eat THAT.
- 6) Why bother?
Sigh. As if the scale and the size on the clothes isn’t enough….
1) Eating healthy should be a priority. ESPECIALLY if you have children! If you can afford to drop $10/day at Starbucks, you can afford an extra $100 for groceries. If you can afford to buy Hamburger Helper, canned soup, and frozen pizza, you can afford locally made pasta. Homemade soup is cheaper. And frozen pizza is disgusting. (Just sayin!) Cut your magazine subscription obsession. There are ways to afford it for most people. Also worth mentioning here is SERVING SIZE. Yeah, you can eat TEN bowls full of TopRamen for the cost of whole grain pasta. But guess what– when the MSG wears off, and the weak proteins and carbs in the TopRaman are digested in 12 minutes, you’ll be hungry again. Yep. Sucks, huh? Shoulda went with the whole grain.
2) Multiple studies have proven that it takes MORE time to prepare fake food than real food. Seriously. Google it. Use a CrockPot- how easy is THAT?! Cut up some veggies, toss in a roast, walk away for 4 hours. Get a programmable one to set it before you leave for work. Eat the leftovers for lunch. When you get home from grocery shopping, prep all your produce before you shove it in the fridge. Veggie sticks & apple slices will be a whole lot more appealing when they’re already prepared. (Don’t buy the precut stuff!! They’re bathed with bleach solution and other chemicals. Yuuum. But if you MUST, rinse them well before you eat them!! ) Cook double of what you need for a meal, and freeze half. It can be convenient, you just have to prep a little.
3) It only tastes “bad” because there aren’t 43 different additives and artificial flavorings. Fresh strawberries are not BAD. Homemade ice cream is not BAD. A baked potato with real butter is not BAD. High cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes are BAD. Trust me, this is coming from a woman who was once obsessed with all things Hostess. You get used to natural food quickly, and *surprise!* you feel better as well, so you don’t need that 3rd candy bar to get through your boring afternoon.
4) So. Did. I. But I like my kids more. I like not having to take medication daily to stay alive. I like not getting kidney infections constantly. I like that my eczema is clearing up! I like to be able to taste different flavors in my food (other than grease and oil). I like variety. I like that my kids are eating things other than soy vegetable protein and deep fried potato starch. (Fast food- Google it.)
5) Well…. you can’t force an adult to eat something. You can’t really force a kid, either. BUT you CAN keep offering it. You CAN let them go hungry occasionally if they refuse to try a new food. You CAN make the same foods, only healthier. You CAN slowly phase in healthier eating. I’m not advocating locking your husband in a closet until he eats all his tofu, but I will advocate buying sustainable, healthy food in place of your usual fake food.
6) If everything you have heard, read, seen, tasted, and been through hasn’t been enough, well, I don’t think that my little blog can convince you either. I can only speak for myself, and I know that EVERY TIME I go grocery shopping, EVERY TIME I put something on the checkout counter, it casts a vote for the products that are available. If I continuously buy cheap chips and ignore the 100% whole grain ones that cost twice as much, the store will stop carrying them. The manufacturer will stop making them, and then me (and thousands of others) will be stuck eating the bottom-of-the-barrel food. There is power in numbers, people. Use your votes and your time on Earth wisely.
On my shopping trip, I made it my goal to check the ingredient list of EVERYTHING before I put it in the cart. I weeded out products that were essentially disguised sugar. I (tried) to weed out products that were literally disguised corn. I bought locally made products. I bought small-company made products. I checked to make sure I wasn’t purchasing “health food” from a huge corporate conglomerate that owns 43 companies. (How can your organic stuff be truly healthier and organic if you also are pushing the fake counterpart that is 80% cheaper?!)
It certainly wasn’t perfect. I bought soda. The meat probably wasn’t free-range or grass fed. But our milk was hormone & antibiotic free. The veggie drawers are stocked, and we have a stock of locally made pastas.
Most importantly, I shopped with my eyes opened beyond the pretty colors on the labels, and THAT is what counts.
KNOW what you are PUTTING in your BODY!