Incremental Changes Toward Better Health

Organic Veggies

Because my eating habits are so different from the Standard American Diet, it is common for me to hear comments from people about my food choices:

“How can you eat all those vegetables? I could never get those down!”

“Doesn’t that kind of food taste gross?”

“That’s great that you are eating so healthy, but I couldn’t eat that way!”

“Aren’t you hungry all the time? Vegetables never fill me up.”

The truth is that I completely understand why people think this way… because I had similar thoughts before I started learning about healthy eating. Many times people assume that I was just born with a natural ability to enjoy eating healthy foods, but I grew up eating the Standard American Diet just like everyone else!

10 years ago I would have laughed at the idea that I would be eating whole foods every day. My diet at the time consisted of lots of processed foods, white flour, sugar, lots of dairy, and meat with almost every meal. I didn’t eat the “recommended” daily servings of 3-5 fruits and vegetables, and when I did eat fruits and veggies it usually consisted of canned goods or maybe a banana or an apple occasionally.

Once I started learning about nutrition and healthy living I knew that I needed to change my daily habits, but there was no way that I was going to drastically change my eating and start chomping on only vegetables all day long. I didn’t even like the taste of vegetables at the time!

I knew that changes in my eating habits could improve my overall health, so I started making small changes and incrementally I was able to completely overhaul my entire eating habits.

Remember, these changes happened over the course of a few YEARS! I started experimenting with my food choices, learning more and more about how foods affect health, and making small changes here and there. These are some of the small, incremental changes that I made:

  • Cutting out milk, decreasing the amount of dairy products we ate (my husband’s year-long chronic cough went away once we stopped drinking milk on a daily basis)
  • Drinking a quart of green smoothie every day
  • Adding fresh vegetables to lunch and dinner everyday
  • Switching out refined grains for whole grains: white rice for brown rice, white bread for whole wheat bread, and the white pasta for whole wheat pasta
  • Planning a few meat-less meals each week, it started with 1 or 2 meals a week and then progressed to 3 or 4, etc. Eventually we were eating meat only 1-2 times a week, and then we stopped eating meat at home (unless guests were over for dinner)
  • Getting rid of all of the junk food in the house (sugar, MSG, highly processed foods) and choosing healthier snack alternatives instead

If I would have tried to make all of these changes at once, I would have failed at changing my eating habits! But, because I took it 1 baby-step at a time I was able to help myself adjust to the new way of eating, and now these new habits are just a normal part of my everyday living.

Don’t get stuck in the thinking that you can never change, because it is absolutely possible to change IF you choose to make those choices in your life!

All of us are born with the innate sense of healthy eating, the problem lies in the fact that those instincts get lost amid the eating habits of our modern society. Sugar, salt, chemicals, preservatives, artificial flavors, and other additives make processed foods taste so good. These strong tasting foods overpower our taste buds and cause us to crave more unhealthy foods and turn our noses up at the healthier options.

You have the power and ability to make changes in your everyday eating habits. As you decrease the amount of junk food that you are eating and increase the amount of healthy, whole foods you will find that you will feel great, your health will improve, and you will actually enjoy eating healthy!

Set some small, achievable goals and start working on them 1 at a time. Don’t expect your taste buds to change overnight, because it will take some time to make the adjustments. Instead of focusing on how “miserable” you are when you skip the potato chips, choose to focus your thinking on how great you feel when you are eating fresh foods.

Did you enjoy this blog post? Be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed in order to get updates when more blog posts are added!

Photo credit: Jason Verwey

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

No related posts.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.