Fit Friday...A lifestyle change

As I have mentioned several times before, I tend to be an all or nothing type person. I feel like that is one reason I have such a hard time eating healthy. I either go crazy and have ONLY natural, organic, lean foods or I go to the opposite end of the spectrum and eat a bunch of processed, sugary crap :) It is so hard for me to find a healthy balance so I thought I would share today some things I am trying to do to not only eat healthy to lose weight, but changes I have made that I am going to try and stick with as I work on mainting as well. And again, its not just about weight! It's about teaching our kids what real food tastes like, that it can be delicious even if it doesn't come in a package....and yes, that occasionally those yummy treats are just fine too!

* For myself and my kids, I had to make a concious realization about the difference between snacks and treats. Treats are fine in moderation, but at our house treats had become snacks. Kids have snacks several times a day, and I was not liking the road we were going down. Now when I tell my kids (and myself) its snack time they know that means something like apple slices with all natural peanut butter, hummus with homemade baked pita chips, mandarin oranges and cottage cheese, or greek yogurt with some homemade granola on top. When I say its time for a treat, they know it may be a cookie, fruit snacks, a scoop of ice cream or something like that.

* This next one is a really popular option these days and I LOVE the way it has changed how my family eats. Many of you have probably heard of Bountiful Baskets or other kinds of produce co-ops....these are fantastic!! I do a neighborhood co-op and every other week we pay our alloted amount, and then get to go pick up a huge box full of fresh fruits and vegetables. I cannot tell you how much more produce we have been eating since we started doing this. If I have paid for something...I am going to do my darndest to use it! :) It has also made me so much more creative in how I use vegetables and has given my kids opportunities to try new things I would not have bought at the store otherwise. Just as an example, I got my co-op yesterday and it had bananas, pears, mushrooms, cantaloupe, tomatoes, pineapple, lettuce and carrots. I always let my kids pick one thing out of the box to eat on the way home. How great to see them so excited about fruit and vegetables!

* Eating healthy is expensive...lets be honest! It has always been difficult for me to spend so much money on food. But as we have discussed what we want for our family and whats important to us we have had to change the way we think. I now view our grocery budget as an investment of the greatest kind. It's an investment in my families health...and one that I believe will pay off in the long run. Of course, its different for every person and every budget, but we have chosen to take money out of our entertaiment fund and add it to our groceries.

* Let yourself have a good old-fashioned SUPER unhealthy treat once in a while! Just 2 days ago we had prepackaged frozen rolls, fried in oil, and then coated in powdered sugar for breakfast :) Healthy....NO. Fun to celebrate a little girls bday...YES!! I am aiming for moderation, and with that comes some great treats. The upside to this is that it makes those foods fun and exciting, where if you have them all the time...not so much. We went to Park City a few weeks back and if you ask my daughter her favorite part of the trip she will tell you "I got to pick out my own sugary cereal!!" A year or so ago that would have meant nothing because thats what she was eating for breakfast every day! :)

So please tell me: What are some healthy lifestyle changes YOU have incorporated into the way your family eats?? I am always looking for new things to try or new ways to get my kids excited about good healthy food. And lets be honest...some days I really need to get excited about it too! Since I have been trying to get Fit do you know what has tempted me the most? Kraft Macaroni and Cheese! Wierd...right?! Hope you all have a wonderful wonderful weekend and thanks so much for stopping by!! :)


Cara and Mike

Hey Tonii!Awesome post!I think the biggest thing that you mentioned was realizing that snacks and treats are different :)In our lifestyle change quest, i just stopped buying treats like that. if we are going to have a treat, it's homemade and I know what's in it. :) - It's in the little things - buying whole grain pasta and rice instead of enriched, using less butter on your toast, or less meat in your recipes. Of course we eat unhealthy foods here and there, but over all, the food we consume every day is really helping our bodies instead of hurting them. We have so much control over what we eat, being the designated grocery shopper and all :) - snacks can be so simple.. just wash a few grapes and slice some cheese, yes, it does take a little longer then opening up fruit snacks (and let's face it EVERY second counts) - but it helps so much in the long run :). When we cut the availability of those things and we have to MAKE a treat if we want one, it really help! :)Keeping a tray or baggies of portioned fruits, vegetables, and cheese ready on hand can make life So much easier!