Getting the whole family to make health changes… yes it seems impossible. In a time where most of our kids’ dietary education comes form the TV commercials, who obviously are selling something, we are against the stream already. Add to that, a busy schedule, stress high-carb foods and high-sugar drinks — and you have the perfect formula for an addiction. And yes… sugar is very addictive. By its nature, it makes us want more and more, leading to insulin sensitivity, weight gain, cardiovascular disease and stress… and we are back to the beginning of a never-ending cycle.
Yes though, you can change the health of a family. It takes education and commitment. The first step is to realize that if you “take something away”, it will get a negative response. Instead, we can start by replacing favorites with healthier choices. Here are a few quick tips to help you on your way to a healthier home!
1. Instead of high-sugar sodas or drinks with artificial sweeteners, you can get a clear water dispenser that can sit out on the counter. Fill it with water and ice if you wish, then add in some beautiful floating fruit! One day perhaps lemons and limes, another day could display an assortment of berries. Little paper cups at the bottom keep things clean! THEN… the sodas can quietly disappear.
2. Bread… oh gees. Yes I know, how could you get rid of that!! Well, let’s start with choosing healthier versions of bread, then take it from there. Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley and oats(by exposure). It is highly inflammatory and implicated in challenges throughout the body — the symptoms are too long to list!! (Another article to come.) SO at least start replacing bread with gluten-free brands. THEN, please realize that those high-carbs that bread deliver so efficiently, turn quicly into sugars that help your body do a great job of storing fat. If you must have some bread, make sure to use a nice organic butter, protein, cheese or avocado to slow down the sugar conversion! And if you are serious… you can use a nice sleeve of Romaine lettuce as a perfect sandwich wrap or taco shell.
3. Desserts! Oh No! Yes cake mixes and such are also available gluten free but you can do more! This one goes out to the baking parents of the world. By replacing ingredients with things like almond flour, organic ingredients and Xylitol instead of sugar… you are well on your way.
The main focus is to read labels and begint to remove sugar from your world. As you do so, you will find the weight going down, the energy going up, sleep getting better, cravings going down…and an easier time getting buy-in to a healthier lifestyle!