Most of us probably agree that healthy eating is important. We know we should do it. We really want to do it. But when it comes to changing our habits and switching over to real, whole foods, it’s so easy to become overwhelmed and give up. Change is always hard, and change that involved something we do multiple times every sing day of our lives is even harder!
Making this change to healthy eating doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t happen in a week, or in a month, and probably not even in a year. It’s all about baby steps and giving ourselves grace to learn and change slowly so that we don’t get overwhelmed and throw in the kitchen towel.
Take Your Baby Steps
Maybe the first thing that you want to do is to research one area of whole foods that has you stumped. Maybe you realize that you really need to kick the soda habit. Maybe you’ve decided to get rid of the vegetable oils, shortening, and margarine to switch to butter, lard, olive oil, and coconut oil.
Whatever you’re first step is, go for it, learn about it, and master it. Then, move on to something else. If you try to do it all at once, you’ll probably spend a lot of money, overwhelm yourself, and annoy your family. Don’t go there. Little by little, your eating habits and health will improve, and you’ll avoid the unnecessary stress of changing too much at once.
You Can’t Do It All
One of the hardest parts of researching natural, healthy living is feeling like you simply can’t win. It’s the same with our diets. There are so many toxins like herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, fungicides, and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives invading our food supply. Is it possible to avoid it all?
Truthfully, I don’t think it is unless you have an unlimited amount of time, money, and energy to devote to it. And while I don’t celebrate the contamination of our food, I do accept it as a part of our modern lives and move on. There is no use worrying about all of the things in our food that aren’t ideal. Stress is not your friend.
Here’s what you do, mama friend. Do what you can, and ask God to bless your efforts. Your food packages may not all boast a green and white USDA organic seal, but you make the best choices possible with the resources God has given your family, and you pray.
And You Can’t Do It All At Once
About six years ago, our family started out on a mission to start eating more organic whole foods. We weren’t quite sure what we were doing until we got some great advice from our chiropractors. After talking with them, I picked up a copy of Nourishing Traditions and realized that I had more to learn than I ever imagined!
I knew I had to focus on one area of our eating at a time if I was ever going to figure out this whole nutrient-dense, nourishing foods thing. Traditional fats, soaking grains, culturing foods… my head was spinning. I decided to invest my time into one general food group by reading about it and making changes there while ignoring the rest, and for us, it worked out well.
Don’t panic if you’re working on better dairy choices and you don’t know what to do about produce. You’ll get to the produce eventually.
Give Yourself Grace to Learn
Depending on what your diet looks like now, you may have a lot or a lot more to learn about good nutrition and healthy eating habits. It might seem like there is too much to take in or that you just can’t understand it all.
There’s not and you can. If you’re reading this blog, you are smart enough to understand whole foods and healthy nutrition. It doesn’t take genius. It’s generally not that complicated. A little bit of experimentation, reading, and trial and error will go a long way.
And Keep Learning
As in every area of life, we should always be learning and growing. You may try things in your family’s diet that just end up not working. After devoting time and energy into making certain changes, you may find that you need to try something else. That’s okay. Keep learning!
I highly recommend Nourishing Traditions as a place to start. The Guide to Real Food from Vintage Remedies might also be helpful. Follow me on Pinterest, especially the Healthy Eating Made Simple board that I’m filling up with great getting-started posts from my favorite bloggers.
Be proud of yourself and the steps you take. You are doing a wonderful thing for your health and your future when you take baby steps toward healthy eating!