Changing My Philosophy on Health

If you want the pre-show to this story, go read yesterday’s post.

Thankfully, I learned about the power of my philosophy about 5 years ago. Because of this, my “new years resolutions” are actually clear, achievable goals that I put in place near the end of each calendar year as a basis of what I plan to achieve over the next 12 months.

This past December I decided to finally listen to all the health guru’s I’ve met in this industry and actually make an effort to pay more attention to my own health.

It’s not that I was particularly un-healthy… it’s just that I never gave it much thought one way or another. I knew that I needed to be healthier, but I also knew that if I wanted to attain and MAINTAIN a healthy lifestyle, I needed to start with my philosophy and build up to my actions.

I had already worked on this a little by studying the 100 Days of Real Food blog. Rob and I had tried the 100 day challenge before (on a whim, of course), but it didn’t stick. We made it about a month and a half before we were straight back to all of our old eating habits.

This time around, I studied the types of food we should be eating and began making healthier choices with the foods we were already buying — I didn’t go crazy and try to change everything we were eating all at once… just simple things like buying fresh lunch meat and cheese from the deli instead of the processed packaged brands, buying organic when available and spending a little more time in the produce section of the grocery store.

We also started using honey to sweeten a lot of the foods we eat (especially cereal!!), as opposed to sugar. Give it a try… and if you’re anything like us you’ll be shocked at how yummy it is!

I had a nasty Dr Pepper habit, so to kick that I simply stopped buying it! Now, we buy Sprite, which I realize is still not the best option out there, but because I like it much less than Dr Pepper I am much more likely to reach for a glass of water when I’m thirsty. A 12-pack of Sprite will often last us 2-3 weeks, where I would often go through a 12-pack of Dr Pepper in just a few days.

We still eat out more than I’d like to… especially lately, being in the middle of our home renovation… but I’ve found keeping simple stuff around the house that allows me to throw together quick, simple meals keeps us from eating out as often as we used to. I LOVE mexican food, so I make sure I always have chips in the house as well as ingredients to make homemade tacos, enchiladas and fajitas. I’ve even learned how to make homemade salsa that is 10x better than just about anything you can get at a restaurant!

I also LOVE to have something sweet after dinner… so I tackled that the same way I tackled the Dr. Pepper. Just don’t buy it! Instead, I keep lots of fresh fruit on hand and make sure I wash, cut and mix it up as soon as I get home from the grocery store. Then, when that sweet tooth strikes, it’s super easy to reach for a bowl of mixed fruit! I still buy sweet things from time to time (I love me some chocolate chip cookies!!), but now when we want something sweet we usually go out for an ice cream date instead of just mindlessly eating the junk in the house just because it’s there.

By heath guru standards, I would probably still rank as a pretty unhealthy eater. I’m not on a vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free diet, I can put away a pint of ice cream like nobody’s business, and sometimes I like to just feel the burn of the carbonation as I take a big gulp of a soft drink.

But the reality is, I am eating MUCH healthier than I was a year ago! And I’m finding little things all the time that make my eating habits just a bit more healthy.

Slowly but surely I am changing my philosophy on food… which is in turn changing my philosophy on health. But that’s just part of the equation! Tune in for part 3 of this series!

“Each year one vicious habit discarded, in time might make the worst of us good.” ~ Ben Franklin

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