Often when I sit and think of the many ways that our family could make changes to become healthier I get really stressed out! Just based on the little I have learned (and I know there is much more out their to learn) there is so much room for improvement. It is at these moments that I must remember that we didn't get to where we are at overnight. Since the beginning of my marriage I have been making changes to our family's lifestyle and diet in a desire to be healthier (see our food story). In order to go forward, I have to be content with taking small baby steps in the direction I want to go.
Maybe you too are desiring a greater level of health for yourself and/or your family. Change can sure be overwhelming for many reasons. First of all, any change is usually hard. Once we are accustomed to living/eating a certain way for a long time, it isn't easy to do things differently. Also many of the changes required for healthy living, though thankfully not all :), involve more time and money, both of which are precious commodities. Going slow and making even just one change at a time can make the journey much easier. If you are someone who does better jumping on a new plan 100% and you are able to...awesome! Go for it! But if that is too daunting for you as it was for me, don't sweat it. Make simple small goals and take one baby step at a time. Here are some ideas for small changes you can start with:
1) Switch the dirty dozen produce to organic
2) If you can eat gluten, switch to a whole grain bread or better yet, a sprouted bread , or aim to take out one or two servings of grains each week from your family's diet
3) Make a point to include more veggies in each meal (smoothies are a great way to do this)
4) Replace a processed food that you typically eat in a given week with a whole food alternative (e.g. replacing boxed crackers with some nuts for a snack)
5) If you need to get dairy or wheat out of your diet, make a list of meals you already make that are dairy or gluten-free or can be easily changed to be allergen-free. Focus on those while you learn to make new ones. You might be eating a lot of the same thing for a while, but remember this will change with time. I promise! (I will post one of our gluten and dairy free pasta dishes tomorrow).
If you get discouraged or overwhelmed take a deep breath and keep pressing forward. There is always more that could be done to get healthy, but remember than any step forward, not matter how small, is better than no steps forward!