Let’s start at the very beginning….a very good place to start…(bonus points if you can name that movie reference!)…
Growing up, we ate well, mostly. Vegetables from my grandparents’ garden, southern staples like cornbread, meat…not at every meal, but lots.
My mom cooked from scratch, I don’t remember many boxed, processed foods as a child. Some Chef Boyardee thrown in for convenience, sure, but not everyday.
Then Bryan and I get married.
He had two small sons and I might have fed them mostly Hamburger Helper and canned green beans. YIKES!
I didn’t know better and MAN were those Hamburger Helpers EASY!!!
We went out to eat fast food a lot…McDonald’s was a staple as well as other fast food joints. The kids loved eating out at kid friendly places and it felt like we were good parents when we regularly treated them to a fun meal out.
Then along came Ellie.
My first born.
Dare I say, the foods that crossed her sweet little lips suddenly mattered to me more than I could have ever imagined.
Did we do a complete 180?
No, but my eyes became a bit more critical of food labels, I made her baby food myself and breastfeed for fourteen months. We bought her milk from a local dairy and thought we were doing pretty well.
Add in babies number 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.
With each little one’s arrival, I began to realize that we thought we were doing well but we were fooling ourselves.
This week, I wanted to share with you a bit about our process and some resources we used along the way.
My first goal was to cut back and eliminate, as much as possible, processed foods.
While I was doing well with the kids and at mealtime, I was still a glutton for treats from the snack machine at ballet, trips to Starbucks and “healthy” fast-food. Who can resist Chick-Fil-A, am I right?!?!?
I continued to pack on the pounds. Many from pregnancy and many from the foods we were eating.
In August of 2014, I ran across Lisa Leake’s website…100 Days of Real Food.
This book was such a great place for us to start! It wasn’t TOO crazy radical! HA! It was easy to make these very simple changes. EAT.REAL.FOOD. She suggests that if you DO buy something processed, then choose something with real food ingredients and no more than FIVE ingredients on the label.
This one book started us on a journey of intense label reading and we have never looked back. Even my kids will pick up an item in the grocery store, read the label and say “YUCK, we don’t eat that”!
Maybe the thing I loved most about this book, was that Lisa was just a mom like me. She didn’t have a “title” that made her new food choices possible. She just wanted to do better for her girls. She did the research, made changes and saw results. For her, this isn’t about a diet or losing weight. It was just about making better choices for life.
Check out Lisa’s Facebook community HERE.
Join me right back here tomorrow for the NEXT step in our food journey!
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