Thursday, November 18, 2010

Start Small to see Big Changes

You might look at what I’m eating right now and think that it’s pretty weird stuff.
I admit my tastes have changed.  But you don’t have to eat quinoa or black bean burgers or go vegetarian to see some big changes in your weight and especially changes in how you feel.
(Speaking of quinoa: I made quinoa for the first time a couple weeks ago and loved it.  Recipe coming soon.)
You don’t have to totally overhaul your (or your family’s) way of eating right away.  Start small.
Are you eating at least 5 different fruits and vegetables every day? 
Here's how I gradually changed how we eat:
I still made the meals my kids  liked, but I tripled the amount of fruits and vegetables at each meal.  My kids still got their chicken pasta alfredo, but they got a lot more veggies to choose from.  My plate would have a small amount of pasta, but at least half of it was LOADED with veggies.  I’d chop up a bunch of cauliflower, carrots, brussel sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, whatever I could find and steam them. 
It’s a lot easier to eat a cup each of 3 different veggies than 3 cups of the same vegetable.  This is also a good plan for dinner because my picky eaters can always find at least one vegetable that they like in the mix and they’ll eat at least that one.  You could also add a bowl of cut fruit or just add half an apple to their plates.

Here's what I ate in a typical day when I thought I was eating healthy.  And then in Blue, a change I'd make now to make it healthier.
Breakfast-Before:  2 shredded wheat biscuits, toast, juice  CHANGE: replace 1 shredded wheat w/ a banana. Make sure your juice is 100% juice.
Lunch- Before:  BLT  and 1/3 cup broccoli  CHANGE: Replace BLT w/Meltshroom sandwich (see healthy recipes page) and eat 2 cups steamed mixed broccoli, cauliflower and carrots.  Add a bunch of red grapes
Snack- Before: coke, 1 bag lite microwave popcorn and a few M&M’s.  CHANGEreplace w/ some air popped popcorn and add a bowl of fresh berries topped w/ 1/3 cup vanilla yogurt and sprinkled w/ grapenuts. No coke!
Dinner- Before:  1 ½ cups Taco Casserole w/ sour cream ½ cup corn, milk  CHANGE:  only do ½ cup taco casserole skip the sour cream, add 1/2 cup Cowboy Caviar, 1 Green Smoothie (has 1 cup fruit, 1 cup packed spinach- see Healthy Recipes page for recipe.
I figure I added about 8 more servings of fruits and vegetables to my day but still made basically the same meals for my family. 
So, what do you think?  Is it realistic?  Would it work for your family?  I know if you try it, you'll feel better and see the scale start going down.


  1. I love your changes. Do you find this problem? I never seem to buy enough fruit, and as a consequence I go without so my kids can eat it. Some days I'll realize i hadn't eaten any fruit, but then I won't if there is like 3 apples left, cause i want my kids to take them in their lunch the next day.
    Is it just me?

  2. Yes! With 7 people in the house eating 5 servings or more a day I run out of things fast. Usually fruit. I'll buy 10 lbs of apples and they might last a week, but only if we have other fruit too. I keep frozen peaches, strawberries and blueberries for my smoothies though, so I still get my servings in. Those are easier to keep up on since I don't have to worry about buying too many and having them go bad.

  3. I love reading exactly what changes you made. This makes it seem do-able. :)

  4. Very do-able! Seems so simple to just double or even triple your fruits and vegetables and cut back just a little on your "normal" food.
    Just a side note, I've found that as I start buying more healthy food and less junk food and snacks my refrigerator and pantry are cleaner and more organized. There are less chip bags and fruit snack boxes shoved in corners. In my opinion eating healthy is just another way to simplify one area of life. I've got a lot of room for improvement, but I've noticed little changes.
    I'll stop rambling. Keep the posts coming. Now that I have internet again I can check back in on a regular basis!
    P.S. When are you going to mention that you bought a size 2 pair of jeans on our Old Navy shopping spree!!!???

  5. You make it seem so easy but I really have a hard time buying and cooking vegetables. It seems like we always have the same selection. Asparagus and zucchini. A size 2????