Friday, January 28, 2011

Do It (Fail) With a Smile

Recently my family has begun a journey towards a "whole foods" diet. More or less. Basically what it came down to was the combination of Brian and I wanting to eat healthier, reading "Double Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld from cover to cover, and a little internet research that scared the begeezies out of me (yes, I am aware that I just pulled a word out of my former middle school vocabulary, and no, I couldn't think of any other word that fit more appropriately.).

Each time I've done our grocery shopping I've picked up additional items to help me with "whole food" cooking, like whole wheat flower, sunflower seeds, honey, pine nuts, herbs, veggies for purees. Each trip has also produced another item to "label read" for. First it was food coloring, then aspartame, MSG and other chemicals. While I thought it would end there now Micah and I are on an elimination diet of all dairy to determine if he has a milk allergy.

I'm finding this to really refocus my journey and force me to think outside of my box, when Owen wanted Poptarts I found a way to make them, without food coloring, milk, and using only a fraction of the sugar. I also found a way to mix in some nutrients without him even knowing, like flax seed and wheat flower. This next grocery trip I plan on picking up extra fruit so I can make a few batches of Fruit Leather (for myself really :)), ingredients for home made pretzel bites, and granola bars.

Heart shaped "pop tart" treats by Owen

I have a mixture of emotions surrounding this new attitude and journey. First and foremost I'm incredibly proud of myself for "waking up" if you would, and making a change. I'm excited to see and note differences in our behavior and health after a significant time eating whole grains instead of all purpose, natural flavors and colors instead of artificial, and greatly reducing our intake of "chemicals".  However, I worried about how much is too much/what's the point if you don't go all out, I had some fear of getting too overwhelmed or failing miserably, and a concern about coming off as "holier than thou" or implying that this is the only way. I would never want to knowingly or unknowingly insult my friends of family by walking this new path.

I think most of these feelings are natural when you embark into a new world and embrace significant changes. Unfortunately, many of the emotions that I have been dealing with are rooted more deeply for me, rooted deeply into a fear of becoming like my biological father. That somehow my new health ideas would automatically make me "scary" in the eyes of my children or that they would mean I was more like him in a variety of other ways, none of which relate to his food preferences, hatred for aspartame, or love affair with garlic.

All of this to say that I was having an inward struggle between doing what I'd decided is right for this time in my life, or recoiling in fear and hiding behind my former shades of naivety and busyness while I continue to eat the mediocre foods I'd come accustomed to love. I've talked very minimally about these worries with a good friend, my sister and my husband, but was still searching for peace on the matter when I stumbled upon this recent post entitled  Compromising Our Whole Foods Diet over at Heavenly Homemakers.

We eat a really healthy diet about 357 days of the year.  On those other few days or moments of the year when we are traveling, eating with others, hosting parties, going to parties or attending any event that has a meal comprised of chips and candy…we go with the flow. 
But we really cannot be enslaved by healthy eating.  Being paralyzed by these fears can be unhealthy in and of itself. 

When pursuing throughout her blog, she does not come of as judgmental or negative towards other eating habits. Rather she focuses on the positive reasons for making changes, the benefits of being healthy.  I am very grateful for having stumbled upon the Heavenly Homemakers blog today because it has brought me peace and encouraged me to focus on the positive instead of worrying about and fretting over the preconceived negative emotions of the past. While our families splurge days will likely be closer to 60 than their 5 (especially this first year), the two quotes above have given me liberty and freedom to do the best I can, when I can, and when I can't, do it (fail) with a smile.

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