Hey Friends, for four weeks I am partnering with SPUD.ca to share with you how we DO food. Last week, I gave you a little bit of context when I told you about my food journey. Did you miss it? Let me sum it up for you: instant noodles – a lot of instant noodles and pop, and Slurpees, and all other things horrible for you. I explained that the reason it is so important to me to eat healthy is so that I can live every day that I have left on this earth to the absolute fullest.
This week I want to talk about how to form healthy eating habits. In North America, we have created some pretty horrible eating habits that are devastating to our health. In the past thirty years cases of Type two diabetes has more than doubled. For most people diagnosed with this life-changing disease, which signals a complete metabolic breakdown, it is the result of years of poor eating choices. That being said, the age of diagnosis is getting younger and younger. But why?
Well, it is because our diets (in North America) have become comprised primarily of meat, white flour, vegetable oils and sugar. Did you know we consume 1000% more sugar per day than we did 200 years ago? Now not all of this is the refined sugar that is white and goes in coffee and muffins. Some of this is also from white flour, which causes our bodies to get an excess carbohydrates that break down into glucose. It’s a lot to get into here, so just watch this.
The point is, we live in a backwards world. Nutritionally void white bread costs less than nutritious whole grain bread and pop costs less milk. We are told to avoid fat and yet the fat is replaced with sugar. We live in a society that thrives on what is called NUTRITIONISM, in which companies rave about all the good things they’ve added to their products, like calcium, iron or vitamins and all the bad things they have taken out, like fat. And we buy it. We buy it all.
The point is, we live in a backwards world. Nutritionally void white bread costs less than nutritious whole grain bread and pop costs less milk.
So how do we teach our kids about how to eat healthy and how do we model that ourselves?
Here are five tips to forming healthy eating habits – not only for you, but for your family.
Stock your pantry and your fridge with healthy food.
Here is the bottom line – chances are, if it is not in your house, you won’t eat it. Part of the beauty of SPUD is that since you order online you are not overcome by the shiny displays or sample tables of the big supermarkets. Seriously, I should never be allowed to go into Costco because whenever I do, I stand at the entrance shell shocked for ten minutes paralyzed by sensory overload and then I leave with something I didn’t know I even wanted. This is where SPUD’s standing order comes in handy. You can customize your standing order by adding the products that you buy regularly to a list and schedule them to come every week, every other week or once a month.
Here is what is on my weekly standing order:
Organic Harvest Box – the season’s best organic veg (local)
Rock Ridge (local dairy) Organic Milk
Rock Ridge Organic Cream
Man’s Eggs (also local)
Organic Bananas (definitely not local but delicious)
A bag of organic apples – my boy LOVES his apples (not local at the moment but will be soon)
Happy Planet Organic Orange Juice (almost local)
The other nice thing about a standing order is that if I have forgotten to add to my order during the week, I know I will always get our staples.
Some other things I keep in my pantry are:
An assortment of beans and lentils – we eat a lot of legumes in the form of curry, Brazilian beans, or chili. We buy some dry bulk and some in cans. Legumes are a great, cheap source of protein.
Oats and other grains like flax and wheat bran
Canned Fish – for protein in a pinch.
Apple Sauce – this can be a great substitute for oil or sugar
Annie’s Pasta – in a pinch or when we have a babysitter this can be a lifesaver.
Stocks of all kinds – chicken, beef and veg.
Baking goods – I’m not talking about Betty Crocker here but rather an assortment of flours, leavening agents and embellishments.
Sweeteners – honey, maple syrup and raw sugar.
Coffee and tea
Nuts and dried fruits
Avoid sugary beverages and DO NOT drink anything with Aspartame.
So much of the sugar that we consume in North America is in pop and juice and why not? It is SO cheap. But I challenge you – if you were to give up just one thing, try giving up pop. You will experience a huge difference in your health.
Just because you are given more than you need (or just because it is available), doesn’t mean you need to take it or finish it.
We are Starbucks people. I know, I know but with the old rewards program, I could buy 12 regular coffees and then get any drink or food item for free, no matter what the price normally is (I don’t drink bar drinks – they just aren’t the same without milk and the milk upsets my tummy). One sunny summer day, Ben went in to get his free drink. He likes Frappucinos and decided that he would take full advantage of his free drink. He ordered a grandé Caramel Frappucino, but then the guy says, “you know you can get a Venti?” Well, why not? It’s free…why don’t you just put extra whip on there too!” Okay friends, let me tell you something straight up – NO ONE, I repeat NO ONE should be allowed to order anything bigger than a mini Frappucino. Seriously, I believe Frappucinos are 70% to blame for obesity in North America. They are ridiculous.
Avoid Foods That You See On Advertisements
I don’t have cable so I can’t speak much to this but I just have a hunch.
Enjoy Your Food
Finally, enjoy your food. In Michael Pollan’s episode on the Passionate Eye, he talks about the French. They eat everything they say we are not supposed to – decadent, rich desserts, fatty foods, lots of wine, bread, the list goes on. But here is the difference: when they eat food, they enjoy it. They don’t call snacking, eating. Eating, is when you get together with the people you love and enjoy a meal together.We had friends over on the weekend and we were remarking how we are a full-fat family. It’s not about eating non-fat or no sugar but eating well. We have become a culture of convenience. We don’t eat to enjoy nor do we eat in community (often), we eat to satisfy what we think is an acceptable daily calorie intake. Think about it: the odd time, we eat because we’re hungry, but how often do you eat, even though you aren’t hungry? What do you eat in those times? I’d venture a guess and say, it’s probably not the healthiest of foods.
Recently, I discovered this meme on Facebook with the caption “The struggle is real”.
You might feel this way too but maybe we need to stop thinking this way.
Last night, I had to work late and didn’t get time to make a meal for supper, so instead we had some salad that was already together from the night before, bread, cheese and jam – oh wait a minute – that is a meal! Meals don’t have to be meat and starch. It doesn’t always have to be cooked and it CAN taste good.
Your turn, what are some of your pantry essentials or what are some of your go-to healthy meals or snacks.
PS- Recently, I rediscovered peanut butter on Celery…so delish!
**It’s true, SPUD does give me grocery credit for partnering with them but all thoughts and opinions are my own. I have been a SPUD customer for the better part of seven years.**