No Substitutes for Real

No Substitutes for RealWaiting for the New Year to begin anything would be such a nice justification, but if I want to make meaningful changes in my life I have to start when it matters most…now.

My husband and I have been talking about our family, how we live, and what we want for our children, as well as ourselves. It seems that we’ve been seeing shifts and changes that indicate to us that our collective eating habits are in need of adjusting. Gradually we’ve been eating out less, and watching our children’s eating habits vacillate between picky and finicky. Not to mention all the things we’ve been choosing to cut down on or cut out all together.

There was a moment we looked at each other and said, “Oh my God! We are turning into those people! Those healthy nut people!”

To be honest, I’m not sure we’d ever really be that dedicated, but to our friends we may seem that way. We try not to make too big a deal about it, though. When we visit friends and family it isn’t like we are harping over the hospitality offered. We accept graciously, but if you come to our house there are just some things you won’t be offered anymore, like soda. We gave that up, my husband being the last hold out. Now soda is just something we have at birthday parties or restaurants, maybe.

Today, however, I made a decision that will be the most radical for our family to date. I told my husband that I was no longer going to buy artificial substitutes for real things. For some reason I was in this unhealthy mind set that if it was a substitute that it was some how less harmful, which translated into a git of gluttony on my part. I’ve decided to stop that.

No more margarine. From now on it’s real butter or olive oil. That’s just one example. I have always used real sugar or honey. I hate artificial sweeteners. I’d rather cut down on real sugar than delude myself with the belief that artificial sweeteners make it alright.

For the most part these kinds of decisions I use only to govern myself. It will affect my family when I buy groceries, but I’m not going to be shopping at some all organic, expensive grocery store. I don’t have that kind of budget. I’ll just be preparing more meals and buying less ready made stuff. That’s my choice.

I don’t see myself getting on this “I’m doing it and everyone else should too” kick, unless you are living in my house. All it means is that when I can have real, as provided by nature, that’s the choice I’m going to make. As a mother I have influence over my kids so I’ll be using that on them to encourage them to make healthy choices. Fortunately, my husband is on the same page with me.

What are you starting now? Any suggestions for recipes?

*Photo: fork in butter by Steve A Johnson, obtained through Flickr.

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One Response to No Substitutes for Real

  1. Sarah April 11, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    I swear sometimes that we live on the same brain wave!

    When I went back to writing full time, my husband and I discussed some of the same things–we needed to eat fewer ready made stuff, cut down on eating out, etc. So far, it’s worked when we actually follow through(some weeks are still harder than others).

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