Thursday, June 14, 2012

Changing Our Diet One Step at a Time

Munching on fruit and sugar snap peas

It all started last fall when Hubby decided to give up artificial sweeteners.  He stopped using artificial sweeteners in his coffee and started drinking it black.  He gave up his Diet Pepsi habit cold turkey.  He never said that I needed to stop my two cans of Diet Pepsi a day habit, but since I didn't want to be a stumbling block to my husband, I gave it up.

The first week was literally painful.  My legs ached, my head hurt, my energy level was nil.  When Hubby quit drinking pop, he also experienced the achy legs.  Rather disturbing all things considered.  After a month, I was able to go a whole day without craving a pop.  After two months, I was doing fine.  It has been six months now and I have only fallen off the bandwagon in the last two weeks--I was extremely tired and craved the caffeine so I gave into temptation.  But I am back to normal and no more pop.

Next came the fruit push.  I started buying lots of apples, oranges, bananas and grapes (our winter fruit staples) and all but shoving them down my kids' throats.  "Oh, you want a snack?  Have fruit first."  Fruit, fruit, lots of fruit.

Then we got rid of the white flour (except for pasta because the rest of the family thinks whole wheat pasta is gross).  This has been the hardest change for my kids.  At lunch time the kids whine about only having whole wheat bread (the real stuff, not the pretend wheat bread), begging for fluffy white bread.  It's been two months and they're getting used to it, for the most part.  I stopped buying all crackers except triscuits and wheat thins--these two being the healthier of the bunch.  Higher fiber, low sugar.  I stopped buying pretzels and chex mix--oh the agony for my kids!

Preparing red peppers for freezing--I always stock up when they go on sale for $1/lb

The last two months I have been working on upping our fruits and veggies intake even further.  I used to buy fruit and forget about it, resulting in having to throw it away.  Now, the first thing I do when I get home from the store is to wash the fruit and put it in containers.  Every meal I pull the containers out and set them on the table.  We have gone through a TON of fruit this way.  Strawberries, grapes, cherries, blackberries, watermelon.  We're all anxiously awaiting the start of blueberry season to add to our assortment.  I've also increased the portion sizes of the vegetables that I serve the kids for meals.  They're now up to eating a full serving rather than a small serving.

This will last us about a day--if I'm lucky.  Cherries always go first.

This month I am working on dinners.  Dinner used to be a meat, vegetable and a starch.  I have changed that to be a meat, a green vegetable, another vegetable, and sometimes a starch.  For example, tonight we are having hamburgers on whole wheat buns, salad and green beans.  Last night was chicken stirfry with lots of red pepper and zucchini over rice.  The night before was grilled chicken, salad, and corn.  I always set out a variety of fruit for dessert--both fresh and frozen.

Dinner of chicken, salad, corn and frozen berries (the steak tasted "off" so we didn't eat it)

We've tried doing more extreme diets where we go through an induction phase and have to change everything all at once, but they're hard to maintain over the long haul.  Taking it one step at a time is working much better for us.

1 comment:

  1. The gradual changes are definitely easier to maintain, and then it becomes a normal part of every day life!