Guest post from Sophie of Real Foodie Family:
Most people would agree that eating healthy is important, but it’s hard to make a priority. If you’re like me, you’ve found yourself following a roller coaster of a couple weeks of intensely clean eating followed by a dramatic fall off the bandwagon.
Another big challenge is that the definition of “healthy” is different for everyone based on personal lifestyles and what fuels your body best.
Whether it’s paleo, gluten-free, grain free, whole foods, or something else, eating healthy takes time, planning, and commitment. I have highlighted some of the main pitfalls that happen when you overhaul your diet and shared some practical solutions to these problems.
Eating healthy can be tough because:
- It’s expensive.
- It’s time-consuming.
- There’s a learning curve.
- Your kitchen is always a mess. (When you stop buying processed foods, you have a lot more preparation and clean up.)
- When you make an unhealthy choice, it is easy to feel like you should just throw the towel in and revert back to eating the way you used to. (For me that’s lots of sweets!)
Tips for Sticking to Your Healthy Eating Goal:
- Learn to embrace simple meals. Don’t go for an elaborate stuffed chicken breast with zucchini noodles. Grill a chicken breast with zucchini on the side.
- Learn to cook one dish meals. Not only is there less clean up, but these dishes tend to be less involved to cook.
- Shop at Aldi! I’ve included 5 dinners for $35.43 total.
- Repeat family favorites frequently. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel every week.
- Make healthy freezer meals to pull out of the freezer when you are tempted to order a pizza.
- Don’t make it all or nothing. If you have something delicious that isn’t part of your healthy eating plan, give yourself grace! Enjoy it and keep moving forward. Personally the 80/20 plan works for me. About 80% of the time I eat very healthy (sugar free, gluten-free, and limited grains). But… if I go out with friends, I’ll totally enjoy a gluten-free cupcake or ice cream!
After trying to figure out how to feel my best on diets like paleo, whole foods, and gluten-free, I have learned that it takes time. You have to listen to your body and figure out what gives you energy. There’s no one-size-fits-all plan, and you can’t overhaul everything at once (especially if you have a hectic schedule and little mouths to feed).
I have included a meal plan that fed my family of two adults and two small kids as an example of how healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive or really involved. It covers five delicious meals that cost only $35.43 total at Aldi.
You’ll also find some printable recipe cards and an easy to use shopping list!
I hope you can use this meal plan as a springboard to create your own ideas and recipes and move your family’s health in the direction you want.
Sophie’s path of navigating an autoimmune disease and challenging food allergies have driven her to lead her family of four through incremental change toward greater health. Her blog, Real Foodie Family, shares practical recipes, meals plans, and resources for moms who value clean eating, real life, and no food-shaming!