Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

I'm sitting here, drinking a canned Creme Soda, which is my all-time fave soda. I know I shouldn't, but...I am. I'm sleepy. They're there. They normally aren't there, because I had stopped buying them as a baby step in trying to be healthier family. We had actually gotten pretty good about it. I had maybe a caffeinated drink or two on the weekends, and Isaac was really cutting back on his coffee, sometimes even going days without it! But, I sorta fell off the wagon a little. So it got me thinking as a I sit here, getting ready to make my meal plan for June. (I know, this is a big detour, but I've gotten much quicker at meal planning!) How far have we come? Have I really made changes? Or am I still eating just as badly as before?

Now, I have tried to take it one day at a time, and not let myself get so discouraged by little failures that I just throw in the proverbial towel. I think I've done pretty good about that. And, in all honesty, I think that attitude has made all the difference. I'm allowing myself this small failure of soda at the moment (no justification!) yet I am still planning healthy meals simultaneously. I'm forging ahead, continually choosing whole, real foods to our ever-maturing diet. I decided to do an encouraging assessment of progress.

We no longer buy processed snacks - even if they're on sale.
We buy only organic milk and eggs.
We buy only whole grain pastas and breads.
I cook with lots of beans.
I try to make our meal 2/3 veggies - and our taste buds are following quite nicely!
We buy more locally, when possible.
We buy grass-fed local beef.
We buy organic when possible. (Now, organic=expensive, but there are certain foods where it's important, and others where it's not as important, so I cut corners for now.)
I make a monthly menu plan and cook every night we're home.
We drink lots of water.
We started recycling.

Now, these represent a lot of big changes to me. We used to eat convenience foods, and we hardly ever cooked. If we did, it was nothing great. I disliked most veggies, but have come to crave them! Your taste buds really do change (thank goodness!). We love the flavor difference in organic dairy, and have fallen in love with rye bread. There are still so many things I'm striving towards, but I know it will be a process. This is not an overnight change, and it will require many small steps.

I'm about to embark on baking my own breads. We have a large veggie garden that I plan on canning/preserving from the harvest. I want to start a real compost bin. I want to find a local farmer to provide us with chicken. I want to begin making our own cheese, yogurt and kefir. I want to soak more of our foods to aid digestion. In the distant future, I'd love to have our own chickens and maybe even a dairy cow. (Raw milk!)

I am enjoying this part of our self-sustaining journey very much, even with its ups and downs. It's so satisfying to know I'm changing my family's health for the better. Plus, I love that I'm becoming a better cook! It's also been interesting to see what God has shown me in this process. I began to be overwhelmed initially because I felt like I had so far to go, and that we'd never make it there. But then I realized the baby step process I needed to follow, and that, if I allowed it, eating healthy could become an idol. I decided immediately I would not allow myself to be overwhelmed, burdened or stressed by this process. I would enjoy it, learn and probably fail along the way. But as long as I pick myself up, and keep going, I think my effort is worthwhile. Now, it's time to finish my meal plan, but first, I'll go put this soda can in the newly used recycle bin.


Lauren said...

Way to go! We too, are 2 steps forward, 1 step back. Sometimes 2 steps back. You're so right - one small step at a time. I've been cutting out caffeine (except for chocolate, lol) and feel SO much better and more alert in general without it. I still crave soft drinks, but I know that will pass in time. Like you said, your taste buds change. :)

By processed snacks, are you talking about crackers too? When I saw the Passionate Homemaking post last week about homemade crackers I started thinking about it. I feel like I rely on goldfish, pretzels, and cheezits to kind of "fill in the holes" in the kids' lunches and snacks, and I know there's not much benefit to them. :( That's my next big project - finding more nutritive stuff to round out our mid-day meals and snacks. I figure that even homemade crackers would probably be better, you know? Not as good as other stuff of course, but you know what I mean.

Rambling...mushy brain, sorry. :)

LeeBeeP said...

Yeah...sooo not cutting out the dark chocolate... :D

As for the crackers - yes. I haven't bought them in a very long time. BUT, I have missed them a bit, and I was super excited to see her blog on homemade crackers too! I had immediately printed the recipe and it is hanging on my fridge waiting for me to have the time - lol!

To round out our snacks, I use cheese, raisins and other dry fruits, boiled eggs, almonds (for me anyway), fruit and granola. I still use some cereals too, like cheerios and special K for a snack mix. I think homemade crackers, in moderation, will be a great addition and I'm looking forward to it.

grace said...

I'm proud of how far you and Isaac have come over the past three years! You guys have taken some great steps, and I'm loving all our
conversations on natural/green living! I'm learning right along side you! :)

Love you!