Because it’s probably the most involved change your family will make, food and diet is what we should cover first in your transition to family wellness.
There aren’t many things we do in life that become as emotional or personal to us as the food we eat. “You are what you eat” truly does become a mantra for some families and switching a family’s paradigm can be somewhat of a struggle. So remember what we talked about last time?? BE PATIENT AND TAKE BABY STEPS!!
If your family hasn’t eaten very healthy at all up until now, it is SO important that mom and dad are on the same page about the direction they’re taking the family in. For instance: If mom is really concerned about the health of the kids and her spouse and sets out to really change their diet and lifestyle but the dad could care less and keeps eating and living the same as before, it’s going to be really hard to make the transition. So mom and dad need to really sit down and look at the long term effects of what the family is consuming. Pray about the future you want for your kids and for yourselves. If you are not on the same page, I would hesitate to start to change anything.
If this is your first step to an organic/healthy lifestyle, it can really be overwhelming!! I mean, “What the heck is a spaghetti squash?!? Do I really have to eat beets and asparagus???” Trust me, a few months down the road, you’ll be shocked at what you and the kids are eating that you would’ve NEVER even considered before. One thing to remember, as well, is that as you shift your diet over to the way we were created to eat, there is a certain amount of withdrawals that are going to take place.
Fake, synthetic, made in a lab, partially hydrogenated, artificially sweetened foods that you’re currently eating create major stimulation to the pleasure centers in the brain and create an actual addiction to the food (because of the way it makes you feel). So don’t be frustrated or surprised if you get some backlash from the kiddos or your other family members as they are coming down off of the “fake food high” and re-learning what real food is supposed to taste like.
The battle for your family’s health and wellness doesn’t begin at the table though, it actually begins at the grocery store. One of the statements I’ve heard from mothers in the office when I talk to them about trying to feed their kids healthier alternatives is, “Well, you don’t know my kids, they’ll ONLY eat fish sticks and mac & cheese (or insert any other fake food here). They would never eat broccoli or carrots (or insert any real food here).” What I usually respond back, “Well, you are the parent! This may sound harsh, but they will eat what you buy, so if you don’t buy all that stuff, they’ll eventually get hungry enough and eat it!”
However, in order to buy really good quality, nutritious food, you really have to know how to read a label. What you see is not exactly what you get when it comes to the labels on food at the supermarket. For example, one of the worst things you can eat is partially hydrogenated oils. These oils form free radicals- which cause damage to the body, promote cancer, and they compete with the good Omega-3 fats for function in the body. Have you ever noticed how many bags of chips along the chip aisle in Walmart say “0 Trans Fats”?? You think, “How could that be??” Well, what happened, a few years ago, the government changed the laws and said that if the serving size was less than a certain amount, the company can legally claim there are no trans-fats in the product!!
Therefore, Step 1 in your diet overhaul is to look at all of your food and get rid of anything that has trans fats. It will say “partially hydrogenated” soybean, safflower, canola, corn, or some other oil. Start buying products without this and that alone will be a huge victory for your family. Keep up with the blog and I’ll keep giving you healthy alternatives to the harmful materials you’re finding in your food.