Tuesday, November 10, 2009

S.A.D. and Happiness

Often times when I reveal that my family does not fit the mold, so to speak, of the standard American diet (SAD), I hear back "I could never do that," "It must be so hard," "It's so restrictive," or perhaps best of all "You are denying The Boy a normal childhood!"

Yes, that last one really gets me like someone scratching a record.

To start, our journey towards a truly healthy diet is just that-- a journey. For us that includes considerably less meat, more raw fruits and vegetables, and less processed foods than the SAD. Actually, if you look at the list on Dr. Sears' sight above, and change all the highs to lows and lows to highs, that is how we try to eat. However, I do not feel like it is restricting our life at all. Below are a list of things we do to help make this work for us.

1. Food and eating is enjoyable. We enjoy the taste of raw food. At first it was different, very different, but the further we get away from processed foods, the more we enjoy foods closer to their natural state. The taste is vibrant, and the colors are stunning. We've said goodbye to brown and welcomed the rainbow in to our lives!

2. Food is fun. We try to keep our food fun by being creative in our preparation. We make a lot of whole food smoothies, and we are open to experimenting like a child. No combination is off-limits, and we share our "food is fun" mentality by inviting guests over fairly regularly.

3. When we are guests in someone's home, we do not force our diet choices on them. In other words, if we go to someone's house, we eat what they serve irregardless if it is something we'd serve in our own home.

4. When we invite guests to our home, we make healthy meals that conform to our ideals that are tasty and satisfying. Generally, we receive very positive feedback from this! I usually try to keep the meals simple(r), so when the guest asks, I can share the recipe and not scare them from trying it on his/her own.

5. The "rules" are guidelines (i.e. we're not rigid). We don't eat fast food. Well, except when... You get my point. Generally we do and don't do a variety of things, but that does not mean we never eat differently. I go on "Friday Dive" with my office-mates, which generally includes meat, fat, and S.A.D. My son does like his occasional trip to Sonic when I am sick or we are rushed and ill-prepared.

6. Don't keep food in the house that unnecessarily tempts us! For us, this means we generally do not have candy, chips, etc in our home.

7. If I am not hungry enough to eat an apple (insert any vegetable/fruit), I am not hungry. Sad, but true.

8. Drink a lot of water. Often times people misinterpret their thirst for hunger. I try to drink a lot of water. We purchased a reverse osmosis filter, and I am reminded at how much I love the taste of fresh, clean water!

9. Dining out is for pleasure and relaxation, not to rush. Europe has taught us to enjoy our dining out. Certainly with The Boy, at times, we eat quicker than we might otherwise, but it is not unheard of for Kevin and I to take 2 hours or more enjoying our meal away from home.

I know there are areas that we continue to improve on-- fighting the rush of American life and resisting fast food is top of the list. For a while, every Wednesday when The Boy has his gymnastics class, we would go to Sonic. Now, I like Sonic and make decent food choices there, however, no matter how I spin it, Sonic is not healthy! However, now that I am back in the swing of Tulsa (yes, two months later), I have meals frozen, and Sonic has taken a back seat again.

I love the way fresh local organic food tastes, and I love sharing that with others.

What works for you and your family?

3 comments:

Maria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bethany said...

While we don't eat a totally typical American diet, we eat much more typically than you guys. We don't eat fast food all the time, we don't go out to eat everything. Most nights I cook dinner...which I don't think is all that typical. But be forewarned, book club night is ALL bad...well there will be some veggies!

Maria said...

LOL! See #3 and #5 Bethany. ;-)

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