I honestly enjoy the shopping part of grocery shopping. I adore Wegmans with my whole healthy heart. The gorgeous produce, the seemingly endless supply of organic and tastey options, the calm shoppers (there are certain superstores I am frightened to venture into). I get excited to choose healthy meals and snacks for my family…and I cringe every time I come face to face with our total bill. I’ve gotta admit, sometimes the produce does not look so gorgeous when I see its price tag.
But – I am also aware that eating this way will curb other costs. We are happier when we eat well; we feel better when we eat well. Less doctor’s visits, less OTC medications, less restaurant tabs (and that is a biggie for a family of six). I nearly choked when I first saw the price of Shakeology. Then I realized, that’s a meal a day for 30 days. Four bucks a day. Cut out Starbucks, cut out snacks filled with preservatives and unpronouncable ingredients…there’s your four bucks. Now, add in the value of increased energy, improved bodily function, and controlled cravings…I don’t feel sticker shock now. I feel like I made a wise and healthful choice for my body. (And tastey!!! Refer to my earlier post…)
So, once my spending is vindicated, I need menus! I need recipes! I need children to eat what I make! The first two are easy…
I consider myself a hunter and gatherer of recipes, pulling from Making The Cut by Jillian Michaels, magazines (Fitness, Shape, and Runner’s World are great resources), Push by Chalene Johnson, and Thin Kitchen Beachbody. Sometimes, I’ll just take an entire week’s menu straight from a diet plan; sometimes I mix and match. Starting tomorrow, I am following Shaun T’s six-day slimdown in order to get myself geared up for his class next Saturday. I will modify meals somewhat for the rest of the family…but they’re still getting mostly organic and fully fit meals, whether they like it or not.
Which brings me to my third “need.” Kids learn from us, whether we like it or not. The choices we provide them now are the habits they’ll use later. So while they would love for me to shove platefuls of processed chicken parts in front of them every night, they are also learning to get excited about fish, fresh veggies, and seasonal fruits. Everyone must try at least one bite of everything, every meal, every day. I was surprised to find that even our finickiest eater can appreciate most of what we serve.
And for those in-between times, we keep a “snack basket” as a go-to in the kitchen. As soon as I get home from shopping, I separate all snacks into single-serving bags. The same goes for anything I make (I actually MAKE STUFF now! In an oven and everything! Who knew?!) When they require a little nosh, they can grab whatever they like from the basket, and I know they’re getting something nourishing for their little bodies. I’ve also started (finally!) keeping a bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen table. Right where we can see it. And guess what? No more rotten fruit in drawers in the fridge. It all gets eaten.
What are your sneaky tricks? SHARE! And if you’ve found a great farmer’s market or cheaper brand that tastes just like a brand name, SHARE! Our M&M Clan has come a long way in the food department, but I like knowing that things are just getting started…