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Family And Food: A Fresh Approach

Posted by Patience on June 11, 2010 at 2:24 PM in EatingGood Habitshealth
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cherry pickin' love

I start to feel it every Spring. It is the excitement of growth in the air and knowing something fresh is in store for us. Our bodies perking up for the nutritional bounty about to become available and marking the end of relying on less worthy substitutes.

Every where I go people seem to be talking about it. It's all about local, organic, green , sustainable farms and healthy living. The local farmers markets are buzzing, old CSA friends are popping up, home gardeners are scrubbing dirty fingernails. Moms at the playground are holding Michael Pollan church sessions in the sandbox, while the First Lady takes on childhood obesity.

I find I usually have two reactions on the subject. I'm either totally inspired or feel completely guilty. Inspired to make changes, inspired to see so many innovative ideas on how to live better and smarter, inspired to work harder or contribute. Then of course, is the guilt, guilty about how much take out and processed foods travel through my house, guilty I can't afford to buy as much organic food as I would like to, guilty my family isn't more active. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed and wish there wasn't so much I needed to work on and obstacles to overcome.

How can I afford to buy local organic produce?
How can I shift my life to exercise more?
Why is faster and cheaper usually not very good for you?

I end up trying to be radical or just giving up all together.

After a few chance meetings with friends and experts on the topic this week, I'm wondering if there might be a third option. What is the family food revelation of the week/month/year? Can I get a drum roll please?

Baby steps

I've decided maybe small changes mixed with some doses of grace, increasing over time might just be the way to healthier living. Shocking right?
So this weekend we will use the money from the skipped take out dinner to eat in and use saved money to buy a few more things off the organic list. We can head out to the farmer's market for breakfast and pick up some funky produce we wouldn't normally try. Right before the sun is getting ready to set, maybe we can bike to our favorite ice cream joint instead of drive.
Next week I might just find myself busy and a total mess, falling off the very small step I just stepped on. I don't know the magic solution but I bet trying is a good start.

Check out our Healthy Kids section to take your own baby steps.

How do you go about incorporating good nutrition and exercise in your family life? What are the biggest obstacles? What a your greatest tips for triumph? Tell us in the comments.


Amber writes...

My garden is my secret to local, organic eating. It's super-cheap, and nothing tastes better than a carrot you grew yourself.

I know the guilt well. It's not productive, of course, but I still feel it. So I try to focus on what I can do, instead. Sometimes it even works. ;)

Jess writes...

ABSOLUTELY take baby steps! I got completely overwhelmed years ago when I had a list a mile long of changes I wanted to make to our lifestyle, but no idea where to start. I picked ONE thing, did that until it felt normal/effortless, and then moved on to the next thing. When the guilt creeps back in, it's good to think about how much you already HAVE changed and then take that guilt as a sign that maybe it's time for one new thing.

Guilt is ok, it's what drives us to examine ourselves and change for the better. Just don't spend all of your time bogged down in it!

And yes, the politics of greener living is very tangled with financial resources. As more and more people make their one change at a time and the market grows for sustainable choices, prices will come down. Do what you can right now and release the rest for a while.

Kirsten writes...

Coincidence, I had just posted this comment on FB yesterday:

"It certainly has been an evolution for me. I've always liked to cook, but started consciously working toward healthier eating habits 4-5 years ago. My husband and I had the classic white collar bad habits: lots of white flour, coffee, diet soda, and snack foods. We'd eat late and eat out often. We both were bad snackers at work too. Then we just started knocking off one bad habit at a time. (Soda was HARD.) It's still a work in process, but overall our diet is WAY better than it used to be. Focusing on sustainable eating now, thus the CSA."

Some people work well with the "cold turkey" method, but I think for a lot of us, "baby steps" is the way to success.

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