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From Fast/Convenient Food to Whole Food

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

As the weekend comes to a close, I have found myself reflecting on where I was and where I am today. We all live such incredibly busy lives, and along the way, I think we forget about ourselves. We forget to take time for ourselves to decompress after a long day; we forget to take a lunch break @ work because we have ample deadlines to meet; and we forget how important it is to fuel our bodies with food that can keep us energized and feeling like we can take on anything!

If you were to have asked me three months ago what were my standard eating habits, you would find that my answers then are drastically different than they are now. My boyfriend and I would live off of ordering pizzas 1-2 times a week, and not just pizza, but adding on the garlic sticks, chicken wings and sometimes even a pasta dish. When we weren't ordering pizza, we were ordering chinese food, making quick pasta dishes, or eating appetizers/entrees/and desserts all in one sitting at restaurants.

There was a moment shortly after my 30th birthday when we finished eating an insurmountable amount of food and all I could do was stare at the empty boxes and containers and wonder a) how disgusting I felt and b) how at the same time I felt as though I could have some more. That was a defining moment for me, because all I could think about was that this is not the quality of life I want for myself, for my relationship, or for my future family. If I continued down this path, I would only be making it more difficult for myself in the future to attain what I've been envisioning my entire life - a fit and healthy version of me.

After that moment, my life and mentality changed - for the better. Luckily, my boyfriend was completely on board for a new beginning and new way of life that would benefit us both. We went through all of our cupboards and got rid of all of the chips, cookies and chocolate for a fresh start. We made our grocery list filled with whole grains, veggies, fruit and protein and began our journey on a road to better eating.

Since we were going to the extreme, we wanted to manage the fact that we were still busy and exhausted after work but not wanting to be tempted to turn to fast food. To tackle this we wrote on our calendar in the kitchen the dinners we would have for each day of the week and we started out with all quick easy meals from tuna mixed with veggies, salsa and brown rice, omelettes and toast to pre-cooked chicken with salad, tuna wraps, etc. We ordered only one pizza every 2 weeks to give us our fix. I would pack my lunches for work the night before so I would prevent myself from running to Subway or other nearby fast food places. This change allowed me to lose 20 pounds before the holidays.

After researching and through great feedback from my sister, my boyfriend and I have decided to take it to an even greater level. My sister introduced us to Lisa Leake's blog who is a promoter and educator of eating whole foods.

In looking at all of the resources, and after watching the documentary Food Inc., I have become even more passionate about ensuring I know what is going into my food. We now eat only whole foods and no longer buy anything processed from the grocery store. We make our own bread, tortillas, cereal/granola, salad dressing, etc. At first I questioned whether I would be able to do this - especially considering how I ate the vast majority of my life, but once I was armed with the knowledge and after paying more attention to the labels on our food - I became more and more motivated to follow this.

It has actually become quite enjoyable! It has changed my experience with food - everything tastes fresher and more vibrant. I feel like for the first time, I am eating REAL FOOD. I have even been able to stop tracking food because I've learned my portions and know that I'm not taking in anything highly processed. I do all of my prep on Sunday and live by the crockpot during the week, so that I don't feel overwhelmed.

It may not be for everyone, but for me it has reinvigorated my way of life. I look forward to getting up on Sunday mornings to bake and prepare everything instead of my former self who enjoyed laying on the couch all day watching TV shows or movies. This change has brought more enjoyment and bonding with my boyfriend as we make a weekend of it - going together to the farmers market every Saturday and prepping together Sunday. I may only be entering week 2 of eating only whole foods, but can honestly say that I don't foresee myself turning back - not after tasting how delicious everything is and how easy it has already become to follow!

Although this is working for me, I'm really hoping that you could share what works for you, as I know I could learn a lot from others routines and tips! I hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend and that you all have a great week ahead! Stay the course :)

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