If this series has bored you to death, my bad.
A lot of this is just me working through my thoughts for the first time- despite the fact that we've been "living it" for a little while now.
Here's the big secret though, we're not perfect and we absolutely never intend to be, because I would go insane without balance. As I've mentioned several times, we come nowhere close to tracking daily percentages of calories, carbs, cholesterol, etc. and instead just aim for a general healthy balance. When we go out to eat, all bets are off and I'm eating fries a lot of the time.. but as long as we're good at home, we allow ourselves the splurge when we're out.
Here's another secret, some of the meals we eat at home absolutely do NOT qualify as "healthy" in the traditional sense of the word: Pasta with meat sauce, burgers, "home-fries" (notice a theme with french fries? I SERIOUSLY CAN'T STOP). I think there's a misconception that health has to mean eating lettuce salad with no dressing and radishes and raw turnips. Health has a LOT to do with your goals and our goals are simply to eat naturally, not necessarily low carb or low calorie. [I do personally believe that eating naturally is the best place to start and that a lot of modern diseases and health issues can be traced to packaged foods and artificial ingredients.] I'm aware there are probably people reading this who don't consider any of the things I eat healthy.
Again, a lot of this has to do with the fact that we're not eating in a way designed to lose weight. We want to maintain our weights, and definitely have a healthy balance of meals that reflect that. For example, our meals* last week:
1. Braised pheasant (M went hunting) with asparagus and risotto w/caramelized fennel and leeks
2. Jess's Italian turkey burgers
3. Paprika chicken and spinach with a white wine butter thyme sauce and brown rice
4. Flatbread pizza on naan bread: caramelized onions and garlic with goat cheese
5. Spicy sausage, potato, and kale soup
It's no secret I consider myself a foodie (that meal list above may hint to that as well). I love trying new food and exploring new restaurants and am so grateful that the metro area in Minnesota has an unbelievable wealth of restaurants that boast a locally sourced, organic, natural kitchen. It definitely makes me feel better about eating out. That being said, lacking those qualities won't stop me from trying a restaurant. There are simply too many things I want to eat and cook to have too restrictive of a diet. This is why the philosophy we've developed in our house works for us.
Food, for Matt and I, is SO much more than fuel.. food is community. There's nothing I love more than hosting company for dinner, talking about great meals, scouting restaurant menus, researching new recipes, or trying to make something in a new way. I think it's important to note that because a lot of the way I view things stems from that belief system.
I hope this series didn't come off as preachy, and in fact, that fear is what kept me from writing about it for so long. I want to be an inclusive voice in the food conversation. A large part of why I resisted change for so long had to do with the tone of the conversation. I'm sensitive to try to not come off as judgmental or authoritative and instead just share our family's story. Now, more than ever, I am aware that making these changes involves a total shift in a person's frame of mind: The same can be said about any change- quitting smoking, kicking a bad habit, etc. I may share things along this topic as I find them, I may not ever again, but I hope this series was helpful to at least one person.
*A huge aspect of this conversation I'm overlooking in these posts is the fact that 80% of the time I truly ENJOY cooking. I have my moments where looking in the fridge fills me with rage and I want to go out to eat, but for the most part I find chopping, dicing, and sauteing therapeutic. [I am convinced there is NO BETTER SCENT than fresh minced garlic and onions sauteing in butter.] So yes, this is a different conversation if you aren't the type who enjoys cooking.