While eating dinner the other night my Mr. and I had the episode of Big Bang Theory on where they all buy the time machine. Randomly I said "If I had a time machine, I would go back 10 years just to tell you that not only would you eventually be married to someone this hot, but you would be eating a vegetables every night by choice. I bet you wouldn't believe me". He agreed. We discussed for quite a bit how different our eating habits are now from when we first got married. It really is unbelievable how far we have come in 7 years! And the most impressive part about all of them is that we keep it up. We enjoy the changes and look forward to making more.
What kind of changes have we made? Okay, well…to begin with we eat vegetables every night with dinner. Without fail. My vegetable-hating husband always picks. 5 years ago, if we ate veggies it was corn. Maybe green beans. And that’s it. I've always loved veggies but I never cooked them because Mr. didn't eat them. But when it became important to my lifestyle to have them, I started cooking them for myself, he would try them and most of the time he actually liked them! Now we eat broccoli, bell peppers, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, spinach, kale, and asparagus pretty regularly and barely eat corn any more. Green beans will always be a family favorite though. And we buy fresh local, or frozen (preferably organic) veggies. I can't even remember the last time we bought canned veggies. Which is what we used to always eat. Just the idea of eating a canned vegetable grosses me out now. (I keep a few on hand though. In case of the apocalypse. Just enough to tide us over until we can plant/can our own after society collapses.)
Other things different about our diet now that have slowly changed over time:
1) Limited artificial sugars - no HFCS or aspartame. Splenda or Stevia only. (Cutting back on the Splenda where we can.)
2) No palm oil! (Save the orangutans!)
3) We eat breakfast. I started this when I got on Weight Watchers and then talked the husband into doing it too. We both really aren't morning eaters but with some trial and error we found what works. I have yogurt and fruit usually. He has a V8 and a "breakfast bar" (which is what everyone else calls a granola bar).
3) We make it from scratch instead of buying packaged if possible.
4) Buy local when possible. (And yes, we are willing to pay more for it.)
5) Fresh ground spices and spice mixes from a spice store. (They may be more $$ but they taste better and have less added crap like salt.)
6) Dropped from 2% milk to 1% milk 5 years ago when I started Weight Watchers. Last year we switched to organic milk. It tastes better and lasts longer. (Seriously, check the expiration date on organic vs. regular. It is actually a cost savings to buy organic if you don't use it quickly like us.)
7) Limited diet soda intake. I used to drink a minimum of 32oz a day. Now I have like 1 a week and never caffeinated. I have an addiction to sparkling water though. It's all about the bubbles! The Mr. is down to 1 can a day from 2 years ago when he was up to 4 a day. He wants to be 100% off it by the end of the year so we are currently looking for alternative caffeinated beverages for him. (He hates coffee and most teas).
8) We don't eat McDonald's. We used to go weekly. I would order 2 double cheeseburgers, a large frie, 9 piece chicken nuggets and a side of tartar sauce. For myself. Then when I started Weight Watchers I had to quit eating like that because of the Points. I only splurged on it maybe once a month for years. Then 2 years ago I found a left over double cheeseburger in the back of my fridge that had been there for so long I didn't even remember putting it in there. It did not rot or mold. It still looked like a double cheeseburger. But just hard as a rock. Haven't eaten there since. I find food that doesn't rot or mold to be revolting. (We still eat Taco Bell. I can't quit that shit. I know it's terrible. But tacos are life's blood. Shut up.)
9) We read labels. If it is full of chemicals we don't buy it. The shorter the ingredient list the better. (Also, the information on labels is also surprising! Did you know that the first ingredient in most coffee creamers is oil? Gross. Who wants oil in their coffee? Not me!)
But how did we do that? And how have we kept it going for so long?
We did it slowly over time. And we didn't do it all at once. One little change let to another. And those little changes really add up over time!
I honestly don't think that had we just said "Okay it is January 1st so no we no longer eat fast food and drink soda, and we only eat all organic diets from now on" we would have failed pretty quickly. Like probably 2 weeks due to Taco Bell.
Because these aren't "rules" but choices we make it's easier to keep making them. If we chose to buy or eat something that doesn’t fit our "norm" that's okay too. And we keep making adjustments and new changes too. I think in 5 more years our diet will be drastically different from what it is now too. Hopefully for the better!
I don't really know what my point is here, but I think it is this: Small changes really add up! Do one thing different and when that feels natural, do another thing. And so on!