About two months ago, I made a blog post about how and why my husband and I were trying to eat a little healthier, and since then, people have been insatiably curious about how it’s going. So here’s my response!
In general, things have gone both better and worse than I anticipated. In some ways, things have gone way better than I’d hoped, because we rarely buy chips anymore and we’re incorporating more fruits and veggies into our daily life. But it’s also gone a little worse than planned because we have definitely not stuck to all our healthy snacking options (I’ve bought several boxes of Pop-Tarts in the last two months), and I have been seriously slacking in the meal prep department. We’ve had a bag of sweet potatoes sitting on our fridge just waiting to be turned into homemade sweet potato chips since I wrote my last healthy eating blog post, but has it happened? Nope.
So there you go, we aren’t perfect and this healthy eating thing hasn’t radically changed our lives (yet). But that doesn’t mean we haven’t seen any changes at all. The reason I want to post consistent updates about our healthy eating is because I truly believe it works best as a slow, gradual process. I don’t believe in crash diets or sudden miraculous changes in lifestyle because they never actually stick around, and the whole point of changing our eating habits is to be healthier for life, not just for the next three months. So, even though they may be small, here are some of the changes we’re noticing so far.
1. Increased Regularity
Okay, yes, I know it’s gross to talk about bowel movements, but as someone who was CONSTANTLY constipated as a kid, increased regularity is so weird and so nice for me. I won’t wax poetic on this point, I think you all get it, but it is definitely a benefit I feel is worth noting.
2. Increased Awareness of Our Food Choices
This is a big one for both me and my husband: in the last two months, we’ve both become much more aware of what we’re actively choosing to put into our bodies. That doesn’t mean we’re only choosing the most natural, organic, vitamin-rich foods, it just means that when we decide to make brownies or go out for ice cream, we’re both aware, hey, this isn’t the healthiest choice we could be making.
I think this is honestly a great step, and even a great end-goal, really. After all, my healthy eating goals don’t include cutting out sweets entirely (I would actually die). There are other reasons to eat food besides just getting the absolute best nutrition. Sometimes you eat things for comfort or because they sound incredible or as a way to celebrate an accomplishment with someone. I think there is a time and place to choose to eat things that aren’t great for you. The biggest thing is to notice when you are making that choice.
One of my goals when it comes to healthier eating is to become more aware of my own agency in my food choices. As my husband often points out, I tend to talk about my life as if it just…happens to me, like I don’t have a choice in anything. I’m working on changing that mindset. Instead of thinking “I’m upset, I have to eat some chocolate right now, I don’t have a choice, it’s the only thing that will make me feel better,” I’m learning to think “I’m upset, and I want chocolate because it will make me feel better. I’m choosing to eat something comforting, and that’s okay.”
3. Fewer Blood Sugar Spikes
I don’t know if my husband deals with these, I actually haven’t asked, but when I eat highly processed, super sugary foods, I can physically feel my blood sugar spiking. It makes me feel jittery and sick and I do not appreciate it at all. I actually had my blood-glucose pregnancy test recently, and I got the same feeling after drinking the super sugary drink they give you. Before we started trying to eat healthier, I would get that feeling several times a month, just from the regular foods I was eating. Not a good sign. Now, it only happens when I buy Pop-Tarts and mistakenly decide it’s a good idea to eat two packages (so four Pop-Tarts) at once. I love not feeling that way as much anymore, because it’s uncomfortable and keeps me from getting my work done, so this benefit is actually a huge motivator to keep me on the healthy eating train.
4. Lots of Incredible New Recipes in Our Repertoire
We’ve tried so many great new recipes while working on eating healthier, which is awesome, because I tend to make the same four things over and over if nothing is pushing me to try something new. Lots of people have expressed interest in knowing what Pinterest recipes we’ve tried, so I’ve included links and pictures to three of our favorite new recipes below.
This dish is seriously so good. I used to hate fish, so I was really nervous about trying the tilapia, but it was amazing. The avocado salsa is really what did it for me. So much lime and cumin, some of my favorite flavors! Plus all the fresh veggies! We added some brown rice to make the meal more filling, and it was absolutely perfect.
I forgot to take a picture of the finished product, but here’s a photo of us in the process of making this seriously amazing dish. We’re obsessed with it. It’s got a ton of flavor, plus veggies, and it includes citrus, so I’m good to go.
So, I didn’t actually have any bacon for these which I figured would be okay because no bacon just means this meal is that much healthier. But in the end, I think it really needs that kick of salt to round out the flavor (or maybe I just need to salt my eggs better). Either way, this was still totally delicious. We added waffles and smoothies (with spinach and light yogurt) to complete this delicious, healthy breakfast for dinner.