Is anyone else a fan of Alton Brown’s Good Eats? We sure are. What ever happened to that show? Now every time I turn on the Food Network channel it seems the only show they run is Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.
Anyway, if you read my About page (or check out my Pinterest Food Board for more evidence) then you know that I’m a fan of good eats (good as in rich, buttery and delicious), but now I’m trying to be better about enjoying good-for-you eats (as in the ones that don’t make my clothes shrink). I’ve never been good at diets, so I’m hoping to make some changes to our eating habits that will have beneficial results for both weight loss and overall health. A good friend gave me a copy of The Sneaky Chef cookbook and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to supplement normal food with healthy alternatives and the taste is still great. I also learned a lot about healthy eating from a great blog called The E-Wife Blogs Again; I recommend you check out this series if you are interested.
Here is the progress that I’ve made so far, and then I’ll post some of my favorite recipes.
1. Switch to organic produce. The first step I took was to sign up for organic produce to be delivered from Farm Fresh to You, and I cannot say enough about this. Let’s just say it is definitely one of the highlights of my week! Not only is it very convenient, but the fruit and veggies are fresh and delicious. Furthermore, it has brought me out of my veggie comfort zone and I’ve come to really enjoy new things like radicchio, leeks, chard, bok choy, and next on the list is rhubarb! Having new and exciting produce helps me work toward the goal of the ideal dinner plate filled with half fruits and veggies, one quarter lean protein, and one quarter healthy carbs.
We get their Regular box delivered every other week and have no trouble eating everything. I would love to bump it up to every week if the husband lets me.
I didn’t think vegetables could look so yummy! PS. If you are interested and want to sign up, you get $5 off and I get a credit if I refer you. See here for more info.
2. Shop for more organic meat and consume less of it. This has been a tough one because of the price difference, but I will admit the difference in quality is noticeable. Whenever I think about how our meat is raised and sold I have a yucky feeling in my stomach that is getting hard to ignore (did anyone else watch Food, Inc.?). I’m accustomed to thinking that every meal should include meat, so I am now trying to not eat so much of it and fill up instead with fruit and veggies.
3. Cook more beans from scratch (i.e. dried). This not only helps me with number 2 above, but it is very inexpensive, easy, healthy, and so delicious.
3. Lay off all the sugar. Let me just say that I would be more likely to give up my left arm than swear off desserts entirely, but I realize that I need to drastically reduce the amount of sugar I consume. There are some great cookie recipes from The Sneaky Chef that I’ve been enjoying this week, and this helps me not go completely crazy while I try to wean myself off of Oreos, ice cream, and cupcakes (which will now only be allowed on special occasions). One very simple step I’ve made is to use stevia with my morning coffee (always decaf) instead of sugar or syrups; I’ve used honey before and it works well too. I avoid soda for the most part and stick with water (let’s face it, I’d rather eat my sugar than drink it).
4. Cut out white carbs and refined flour where I won’t miss them. Has anyone ever asked you what you would eat if you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life? Well, mine would be sourdough bread with butter. I could literally eat it every day without tiring. However, I know I can do better about the carbs I do choose to eat and limit the unhealthy ones so that they are not everyday staples. I’ve been substituting wheat germ, wheat flour, and almond flour in my baking lately and everything still tastes great (a bit granola-y, but still delicious).
5. Switch to organic dairy. We’ve been a huge fan of Straus Family Creamery for a long time and love that the milk comes in actual milk bottles (adorable to use as vases when empty). We buy this at Whole Foods and then can return the bottles to get $1.50 back.
So that is the start to our new healthy lifestyle, and I’m sure there will be more discoveries ahead that I will share. I’m a pretty thrifty gal and I didn’t expect to turn into someone who buys all organic, but the more I learn about it the more I can see that you can’t put a price on your health. My father actually has been working as a consultant to organic farmers for years, so its time that I jump on the bandwagon and follow the advice that he has given me since I was little.
I would love to hear from any of you any recommendations for resources or recipes. I’m sure I will constantly try to reconcile my love for all kinds of food (especially desserts) with what is best for the overall health of our family.