Thank you all for your responses, I really appreciate them. I have been in denial about this issue for a while now and I'm overwhelmed with how to conquer it.
Originally Posted by Rani
We also cut down meat to a few times a week rather than daily. Tofu, seitan are yummy protein sources.
This is something I really want to do, but I'm not really familiar or comfortable cooking vegetarian. In my house growing up, we had the 1/3 split: meat, starch, veggies for each dinner, all 1/3 of the meal. Cooking outside of that is really unfamiliar. I need to find some good recipes and just jump in. It's so much easier to hop into our old habits. Honestly, after my mini meltdown the other day, here's what I've figured out: I cook healthy, but I eat too many carbs/meats with the dinners. During the day, I'm really carb heavy in meals. I snack too much. And when the kids go to bed at night, my husband and I are guilty of - several times a week - one of us driving the one mile to SprawlMart and getting a snack and movie to bring home for a mini date. It's fun, but it's killing us. It's usually ice cream or chips. Lately, our family has eaten out waaaaaay too much. Even when it's not fast food, our portions are too big and too rich. We love fruits and veggies, all of us, so that's not a problem. And when I *shop* I don't buy a lot of processed foods; I buy more whole foods. But I'm killing myself when I eat too many carbs, we make too many extra trips and fun trips to the ice cream shop or to stop for a treat elsewhere. And eating late at night. And not exercising. :(
Originally Posted by chicasmama
What I would suggest if your feeling overwhelmed by what to buy and how to make it is to maybe subscribe to a menu mailer that breaks it all down for you. I really love this one and found it worth every penny. http://www.cookingtf.com/
I am really interested in checking this website out. Lately I've gotten really overwhelmed and lazy about meal-planning, so I tend to not have a plan at all, which means we wing it, which often means eating out or grabbing something fast. I'm bored by the usual stuff we cook and overwhelmed. Bad mix.
Originally Posted by amma_mama
Start phasing out the processed and empty calorie foods, exchanging them for healthier alternatives. For example, there are "healthier" chip options. Mix your own mashed fruit, or even a spoonful of jam, into plain yogurt rather than buying flavored yogurts with lots of sugar added. In other words, start by making better versions of what you already eat, provided that it is not too complicated to make. If it is too complicated, use it as an occasional "treat" or just ditch it. Choose carefully what your prepare yourself versus buy already prepared - with limited time and resources, I would prefer to buy canned beans and boxed broth and use my time to assemble a healthy soup.
This is good advice. Even just commiting to eliminate one certain food would help, then maybe add another one in a couple of weeks.
Originally Posted by newcastlemama
It sounds like you just really need some structure and simplifying in your life....Maybe writing out some clear goals and working from there could be a good start to getting on track.
This is a really good idea. I bought a notebook last night, and I'm hoping to start doing just that: mapping out a plan, an overview, some goals.
Originally Posted by june'smom
My husband had great luck with picking a few things to cut out and a few things to add. He ate lots and lots of processed food. He chose to quit drinking soda (he has the occasional can now) and eat less fast food. He lost 15 lbs within a few months.
He also didn't really like veggies, so he picked the ones he could swallow (broccoli, green beans, peas). Eventually, he was able to cut out more and more of the unhealthy stuff he was eating. He even quit smoking!
We usually do pretty simple meals. I also had lots of weight to lose after baby 3. We would marinate a big package of chicken breasts and grill them. I would eat it for dinner with a big pile of veggies and a small pile of noodles, rice, potatoes, bread. The next day, I would make a huge salad with grilled chicken, carrots, lettuce, ect... I really like Newman's Own low-fat dressings. And up your water intake by a lot.
Both dh and I started by walking. We have dogs, so that made it easier and gave us a reason to move. Do your kids have bikes? A park near-by? Can you try to incorporate some outside time into your homeschooling? There is lots to learn at the park or hiking trail! I think a lot of us hold ourselves to very high standards, especially where our kids are involved. Teaching our kids about healthy eating and how to cook are very important life skills. You could incorporate the geography of the food into your cooking lesson. Also some science experiments.
You can do this! It seems so hard at the beginning, but it is unbelievably rewarding when you see the weight start to come off. Good luck!!
Lots of good advice in here, too! My kids do have bikes, and they do spend time out riding them quite often. When I wrote my mini-meltdown here, we were in the midst of a chunk of many nasty rainy, cold days. When the weather is nice - like it finally was today! - we tend to get out more. My kids love riding their bikes and we do have some good parks nearby. That's an awesome idea to incorporate the parks in our schooling. And congrats to you and your husband for becoming healthier!
Originally Posted by imogenlily
I don't know if this is really not what you're looking for, or even viable where you live, but what about joining a community garden as a family? It's good exercise, educational, and you'll get healthy food. In my area, there's lots of competition for plots in community gardens, and so it would be a little late in the year to join, but there are still garden projects or cooperative gardens to volunteer at that send you home with fresh produce.
We do! We have a community garden about a mile and a half from home, and we *just* got the paperwork in the mail for it yesterday. We got our plot number and the date of the opening, and we're anxious to dig back into the dirt again! We love growing our own produce and living off of it throughout the summer.
Originally Posted by mommajb
I think the incremental chnages are a good way to start. One meal or one habit at a time. When you have that change handled, make another. For instance figure out one good breakfast meal. Once you have one you like, find a lunch for your family. Gradually build new meals. Or replace poor drink choices with better ones. Them improve again or in another area.
Our habits are far from perfect but I find we only need a couple of choices during the day or else too much time is spent decision making before school or at lunch time, ditto for snacks. Choices change over time but are stable for a while.
I really like the idea of focusing on one meal at a time. Much smaller changes are much easier to handle, and conquering one area would be good. Perhaps limiting no food after dinner would be a good place to start for us! Or at least for my husband and I.
Once again, thank you all for your responses. I was particularly overwhelmed when I wrote this and desperate to make changes. I know I am sabotaging myself by our extra habits. As a whole, we do eat reasonably healthy at meals. We just eat too much and we snack poorly. But I end up letting myself think we're eating healthy because our meals are okay (albeit too big), but really it's a fallacy because we're sabotaging ourselves with snacks. I really do appreciate all the ideas. I am going to explore each of them.