Eating Healthy – Progress not Perfection

photo credit: zirconicusso / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This is the time of year people start making new year resolutions. Even if you’re the type of person who cringes at the idea of new year resolutions, you still probably entertain some similar line of thought. It’s a new year, a new start, a blank slate. New goals are only natural.

Planning to eat healthier in the year to come is a great goal, and a common one. Sometimes, though, we can go about our goals all wrong. If our goals are not broken down into clearly identifiable, measureable, manageable goals, we have nothing specific to aim at, or means of knowing if we’ve succeeded.

On the other hand, sometimes the problem isn’t a lack of specificity, but rather unrealistic timeframes for meeting our goals. We know what needs to be done, but we think it all has to be done TODAY. With this mindset, you might find yourself

  1. Tossing into the trash everything currently in your refrigerator, freezer, kitchen cupboards, and pantries because the ingredients, or process by which the food is made, are not healthy.
  2. In a single afternoon, purchasing from Craigslist a pair of goats, a dairy cow, dozen hens, a few pigs, and a plowing ox.
  3. Renting a cattle trailer, and picking up all the new farm animals from the 5 surrounding counties.
  4. Tying the animals to your garage, until your husband is done constructing the farm fence, small barn, and hen house.
  5. While the new heard of animals graze on their leashes, grabbing the ox, tying him to your waist, and plowing the soon-to-be strictly organic garden.
  6. Teaching your children the nutritional value of your chemical-free front lawn, while waiting to harvest the organic crops.

Whew!! Now … don’t get me wrong. You can do that. However, living a healthier, more organic, sustainable life should not equate to an unnecessary increase in stress. If it does, what’s the point?! So now you’re eating a “perfect” diet, but your family is falling apart, and your stomach lining is being slowly eaten away by ulcers. Way to go! ;)

© Marcio Goldzweig | Dreamstime.com

I’m using exaggeration to make a simple point – be realistic.

I’m on a more relaxed, slow-paced [maybe a little too slow], enjoyable journey of healthier eating choices. I plan to pick it up a notch this year, but here’s what I’ve done.

12 years ago – switched from margarine to butter. I’ve never looked back. It’s healthier, and the taste is so much better, in my opinion.

9 years ago – started incorporating more fresh and frozen vegetables into our dinners, in lieu of [metal] canned vegetables. (We often have a fresh salad with our dinner.)

I didn’t think a lot more about healthy eating until about two years ago. Even at that, I’ve not had a strong “drive” to eradicate my kitchen of unhealthy food. It’s been, and continues to be, a gradual change for me.

2 years ago – switched from regular milk to organic milk, vegetable oil to olive oil, regular eggs to cage-free eggs (for the sake of the hens), and started drinking a lot of water. (The water might have started earlier.)

Recently – reducing the amount of processed white sugar in my diet, but trying to [gradually] eliminate artificial sweeteners. I’m now using organic sugar.

As you can see from this post, I don’t have a diet of perfection, but I’m on the path of progress.

If you want to make some manageable, healthy changes in your diet, here’s what I recommend:

Pick two or three things to change about your diet, and focus on them for the next 3 – 6 months. While you incorporate these bite-sized lifestyle eating changes into your life, plan what your next two or three changes will be for the following 3 – 6 months.

What are your thoughts on this subject? How have you made healthy changes in your diet? What healthy changes do you have planned for this year?

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

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6 comments to Eating Healthy – Progress not Perfection

  • Amber

    First off, I love the imagery you paint. Tying up the farm animals to the garage – ha!!

    I know what you’re saying is the right things to do, but it helps to read it in print. Thanks for the inspiration!! :)

  • Chris Goff

    You have a really great site and it looks very professional,too!

  • Hpuletz

    Great! So what do I do with all these animals I have locked in my bathroom :)

    I, too, switched to butter years ago. I leave it out on the counter in a covered dish to keep it soft and haven’t had a problem with molding. I don’t really drink soda or use artificial sweeteners. Sometimes I wonder if it really matters, though because I still see weight put on. But I know it’s due to my overindulgence in sweets/desserts. I always remind myself “just think about how much you’d weigh if you ate these desserts AND drank soda and stuff.

    My husband and I just added fresh fruit and veggie juices (from a juicer). Otherwise, I know I won’t get the nutrients I need. And I’m trying to focus on adding water and walking (on a treadmill). Good reminder to take baby steps and make them habits before moving on.

    • Holly

      A woman who shares my sense of humor! :D What a sight that would be – a cow standing in the shower, with a rooster on it’s back; a goat climbing the toilet mountain… I can hear the accoustical sound of a bathroom full of moo’s, bah’s, and cocka-doodle-doo’s.

      It sounds like you’re making a lot of excellent choices with the fresh fruit and veggie juices, and the water. Way to go!!

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