Early this year, my gym a six-week nutrition challenge. It did not adopt one of the trending diet programs. No Keto-intermittent fasting-Paleo-Low Carb program to follow. Instead, its goal was to eat mainly real food and avoid processed foods, junk food and sugar. It stressed the importance of meal prepping, as we all know how hard it is to eat well on the fly.
Always up for a good challenge, my husband and I signed on. There was a bit of a learning curve, of course. A lot of recipe searching, which I secretly love. Lots of label reading, where we were frustrated to find sugar listed as an ingredient in everything from tortilla chips to beef broth! We began food shopping at more than one store and spending many hours on Sundays trying to get ahead of the week with some healthy options in the fridge. Often, but not always, we made it work. We did the best we could, which seemed to be one point of the program – making it live-able.
We did not volunteer the kids to participate in the program. One of the natural by-products of parents so focused on eating well, however, is the children showing interest in the conversation. Both of them, on their own, picked a brief period of time to cut out sweets. There has been a lot of talk about good food choices. We tried out a few new recipes, with some success. So much in life, it seems, is all about those baby steps.
Mediterranean quinoa salad and cauliflower pizza. Impressed?
We learned a lot over those six weeks. Things that will keep with us, long after the program officially ended. We feel good and probably sleep better. At least one of my kids will happily eat a quinoa casserole. I make pumpkin muffins weekly. My husband mastered the egg muffin. We have new go-tos which we can now quickly put together and which make our weeks run so much more smoothly.
For the grown ups, we are giving more thought to what we use to fuel our bodies. In the process, we are walking the walk, showing our children how important it is to take care of ourselves, to help us all be healthy and strong.