It makes no difference whether you are a child, teenager or adult. The association with nutrition is often the same or similar in my opinion. The struggle is real. But does it have to be a struggle? I think not.
Ben Coomber’s podcast #186 with Jennifer Bulcock was powerful and it made me think, take notes and type like a mad woman. It struck so many chords with me regarding my own health & fitness journey as a child, teenager and adult.
Yes, health & nutrition are my passion and my journey. Hence the reason I’ve been studying and researching & continue with my courses, podcasts, discussions and learning daily. And I’ve learned quite a bit and know most of what to do. Yet at times I find myself indulging in my weakness for caramel . . . and not in moderation. It’s the pleasure of instant gratification I seek. Why do I seek it in food? I can only guess because I can control it and partly because I like the rush of rebelling against the norm. In life we have wants and we have needs. We tend to go after the pleasure versus what we see as pain/healthy eating.
But what is the norm? Society tends to define it now with how great products are marketed by using words on packages such as: fiber, sugar-free, essential vitamins, healthy heart, all natural, fat free, etc.
Telling anyone what’s right, healthy and what to do often times makes us rebel because we want to be as society shows us is the norm. It is culturally acceptable to eat:
- Sugary breakfasts
- Fast food for breakfast, lunch or dinner
- High fat / high calorie dinner meals out
- Coffee made in a variety of fattening ways. Some drinks being 400+ calories
- Snacks during the day & every night. Not just a little snack but a huge bowl of ice cream / or quart perhaps. Oodles of chips, candy, soda, etc.
We hear over and over again that eating healthy is too expensive or too difficult to plan so we grab for the quickest easiest choices. Below are some alternatives:
- Making food in bulk and eating the next day or freezing for another day; whole chicken is a good one to roast up, shred the leftovers and have soup or chicken with Zoodles the next day.
- Preparing in advance (maybe on a Sunday afternoon/evening).
- Carry some raw almonds or mixed nuts or apple or orange. Just in case things happen and you need some food to tied you or your children over until you get home.
- Research the local grocery stores for bargains or better pricing on healthy foods. Check the labels to see if the store’s brand is just as good as a BIG brand name.
- When you walk the grocery store, note that most of the healthy, real food is located on the outer perimeter. Or at least that’s the way it used to be. Now in one of my local grocery stores, the healthy, whole food is on the right side & back of store. While the left perimeter is ice cream & frozen.
- I’m sure you have noticed, grocery stores like to move items around every once in awhile so you can’t find them in their normal spot. You have to walk through the store to find your regular staples and often end up with more than you wanted. Or you get to the checkout and there’s a very colorful rack of candy. And now it’s not just small snack size you have the King or Super snack sizes. HHHHHmmmmmm more is always better especially if you are getting more for your money. The tricks they play. They are smart and clever in displaying & marketing. That’s how they make their money.
- Eggs . . . can be made in different ways. Boiled, cooked in a little olive oil with spinach, a little low fat mozzarella, mushrooms; over easy; scrambled, & adding Sriracha, salsa, pepper, red pepper, or tabasco to spice them up.
No one is saying to completely change your diet. We are all trying to do the best we can with the knowledge we have for our children and ourselves. Just change one thing at a time until you get to a point of balance with moderating the sugars & fat.
How can we survive the social habits and normally accepted:
- Substitute one sugary drink with water. Add a lemon, lime, or cucumber for taste.
- Add a new veggie once a week. You don’t like veggies . . . neither did I. I was the kid who spit their veggies into a napkin until my parents said I didn’t have to eat any more. Then threw the napkin away. Now I eat & try veggies. Don’t like them all but one of my favorite now (as of a few months ago . . . that I would have ever eaten before) is brussel sprouts.
- Try different foods, meats, fruits, slowly once a week or every other week.
- Try cooking a different way. Grilled is my favorite way to eat (kickin’) chicken or fish flavored with Potlatch spice from William Sonoma. And spicier the better. But also love baked chicken. My favorite recipes are on my website. Here
- Apple for morning snack or with lunch. I like mine with almond butter. Delish!
Small steps . . . we all have busy schedules and pressure with work, studying, children, homework, after school activities, time constraints, last minute surprises and home life.
Here are some subtle ways to approach healthy eating until our children or we enjoy eating healthy. But that can only be done in a positive way:
- Force feeding children healthy foods can be extreme. Most common is with veggies. Force it and they will rebel. Make sure it’s available and set a good example. In time hopefully they will try a bite and find they like some type of veggies.
- Don’t reward eating the healthy food by bribing with an unhealthy food. We always want what we cannot have and that may make the unhealthy food more desirable/pleasurable. I know that’s what has happened many times for me.
- Having said that some times we need to cover those veggies in sauces, or cheese, etc. And then slowly decrease the unhealthy sauces, etc.
- I remember as a child mi Abuela would scoop out a watermelon, blend it, strain out the seeds, put in ice trays and freeze. That was one of our favorite snacks in the summer. Smart woman she was.
- Or my mom would buy watermelon, slice it up, send us outside to eat and have watermelon seed spitting contest. Mostly at each other but some times we’d compete and measure the distance. Lol
To sum it up . . . and repeat a little.
- Just try different things. Small steps.
- Find out what your children and you enjoy.
- Moderation & balance that’s sustainable for you & your family’s lifestyle.
- No one said to give up all the sugar and fat. Well unless you have chosen a no sugar no grain diet which I don’t have a comment on.
- Or an individualized food plan by ProCoach powered by PN to get an illness or issue under control. Then you should always talk to one of them before making any changes.
Take care and stay peachy my friends!