Friday, January 3, 2014

Goals for 2014: Clean Eating

Happy New Year, friends!

Each year around Christmas time Thad and I review the previous year and make two lists.  The first is our "Top Ten" list which includes significant events that happened that year (good or bad).  The second is a list of goals for the next year.  My goals for this year are:

1. Eat cleaner (see below)
2. Lose pregnancy weight
3. Exercise at least 1x week
4. Simplify (pare down possessions, wants vs needs, give generously)
5. Read one book a month (12/year)

I'd like to dissect my first goal with you all. What does 'eating clean' mean? It's cutting out processed foods - eating more raw, natural, whole foods like fruits, veggies, etc.

Now let's get real - I want to be realistic about this goal.  My husband and my three young children - who seem to love all things processed - make up my family of five.  I am also working with a VERY tight budget.  Sound like excuses? I'll be honest, that's exactly what they are haha but I need to find what works for me - and let's not forget, I'm not the most disciplined individual you'll ever meet...

That being said, my goal looks something like this:
1. Cut out many processed foods, but not all.  If I can't pronounce an ingredient or know what the heck it is, I'm not eating it!
2. Replace unhealthy options with healthier choices. For example, use coconut oil instead of butter, greek yogurt in place of sour cream, and EVOO & balsamic vinegar in place of salad dressing.
3. Cut out cereal as a breakfast option, thanks to a nasty little sugar/chemical conglomerate found in a box of fruity cereal seen below (looks appetizing, right?!):

4. No longer purchase potato chips or candy (which I'm pretty good about doing anyway)
5. Have a full glass of water before having my morning coffee
6. Educate my children about what healthy snacks/foods look like
7. No more fast food - ever!

Also, as part of The 7 Experiment by Jen Hatmaker (a book we are reading in our church's life group) we have started one full week of eating non-processed dinners. I will be sharing each meal in posts to follow! :)

What are my motivations? Well, many of you know my mom died of cancer just two short years ago. Unfortunately, her mother, father, and sister all died of cancer as well... do you see the trend? I have three little kids and I want to be around well into their adulthood! And let's face it, my hubby couldn't live without me *winky face*.  I also saw some documentaries last year (Food Matters, Hungry for Change, and one other I can't remember the title of) that, quite frankly, scared the hell out of me.  I never really paid much attention to what was in our food... or 'food-like products' *shudder* To help me stay on track, I posted inspirational quotes on my pantry door, as well as have a weekly menu posted on the fridge - and I shop according to that menu without deviating from my list.

In all seriousness, I simply want to be a healthier version of me and as one woman wisely said, 
"A clean bill of health is sweeter than any cupcake!"
"Food is my fuel, not my friend."

So tell me... what are your goals this year? :)


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