Eating on Purpose

My attempt to eat less and pay more.

Let’s Just Lay Our Cards on the Table

with 12 comments

Lest anyone starts to think that,

1. I’m a health nut, or

2. I’m a hypocrite

I thought I should get something out in the open. None of this will come as a surprise to those who know me.

I love junk food. I drink a Coke Zero pretty much every day. I take the kids to McDonald’s once a week for lunch (and even if I didn’t have kids, I’d take myself there once a week). Occasionally, I send my husband to Dairy Queen to pick me up a Cappuccino Skor Blizzard. And if there is junk food (eg. chips) in the house, I will eat them. All of them.

I’ve been known to make something, oh, like the most amazing caramel corn in the world (of which none of the ingredients, by the way, are local), and polish it off, by myself, in 2 days. The first day I try to control myself, but by the second day, I give up, rationalizing that it’s better to just eat it all at once than to obsess all day about eating it.

So, I guess that makes me a hypocrite. But I’m OK with that.

It’s all about balance. If I think about giving up everything, and changing everything in our diet all at once, I feel completely overwhelmed and want to give up. If I can make small changes, one at a time, it feels much more manageable.

So, here are the things I’ve done so far. I try to:

  1. Not buy anything in boxes. This includes packaged cookies & cakes, prepared side dishes, and snacks for the kids.
  2. Buy foods that have been processed as little as possible. This means largely meats, fruits, veggies, grains, and local dairy.
  3. Use as little processed, pre-salted ingredients as possible in my cooking. This means I try not to use pre-made salad dressings, bottled marinades or seasoning mixes (except for Epicure).
  4. Cook food in a way that brings out the taste of the food, not cover it up (i.e. not frying it in tons of oil, or drowning it in creamy sauces).
  5. Not buy ready-made meals (I do keep these sauces on hand, made in Surrey, BC, which are delicious).
  6. Buy foods where I recognize all the ingredients as food.
  7. Buy local whenever possible, and at the very least, know where my food comes from.
  8. Buy meats that are raised ethically, and grass-fed.
  9. Avoid soy wherever possible. Partly because producers use it as fillers for more expensive, nutritious ingredients, and partly because of the possible dangers of it). Avoiding packaged foods pretty much takes care of this.

This is just a start. There are lots of ways I could be better at local, ethical eating. And hopefully in a few years I’ll have added more items to my list.

How do you try to eat healthier at home?


Written by hollyck1

August 12, 2010 at 1:02 am

12 Responses

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  1. First of all, I just want to say that your admissions do NOT make you a hypocrite. You’re just being honest here & very few people avoid all the stuff that you admitted you have. Even the most “health-nuttiest” of people I know – & I know some who’re pretty rigid – indulge in their unhealthy favourites from time-to-time. 🙂

    Second of all, my healthy eating is something I’ve tried to do throughout the years, but it’s only recently that I’ve really made an honest-to-goodness change in my life.

    The main things I’m doing are increasing my intake of fruits & veggies, keeping my indulgence of junk food to a weekly instead of daily thing (eventually I want it down to once a month or less, but, well, a girl’s gotta start somewhere, eh? :D), & drinking at least 10 glasses of water a day, or other stuff that’ll keep me hydrated like water (I.e., lemonade, & I have a good recipe for homemade stuff, as well as iced tea, that you can freeze & then add the equivalent amount of water to once thawed. Yummers!). I’m working on retraining my sweet tooth so that it craves more natural & healthy sweets, & I’m switching over to honey as opposed to sugar for sweetening as much as possible.


    August 12, 2010 at 1:15 am

    • Wow, great changes Michelle! I just wished I liked honey more…would love to use it in place of sugar but I can’t stand the taste!!

      I like your idea of making junk food a weekly treat instead of an every day occurrence. What I’ve tried to do is not have any junk food in the house (and only bake occasionally now), and then if I really want it, I let myself. But because I have to drive somewhere to get it (or send my husband haha), I’m much less likely to actually get it. It’s just too easy if it’s in the cupboard!


      August 12, 2010 at 3:11 am

  2. Yes, it is too easy. With honey, it’s been an acquired taste with me, too, & I’ve found that different kinds really do have different tastes. I can’t say that I have a particular flavour yet, but my taste buds are starting to adjust. It’s like any change worth making – it just takes time, of course. Way to go on the ones you’re making. 😀


    August 12, 2010 at 3:18 am

  3. My next step is to figure out a substitute for our family favourite granola bars – Nature Valley Sweet & Salty. They’re good, but so much sugar and sodium! The convenience factor is just so hard to resist. I’m with you on just being more conscious of it. And I so know what a dirty rotten eater you really are deep down inside. 🙂

    Michelle – I drink a lot of iced tea too, but is it really a good hydrator? I’ve been making home-made too and really like it. A lot. I still need to drink more plain old water.

    rachel joy

    August 12, 2010 at 6:58 am

    • mmmm, sweet and salty bars. We used to get those too. The hardest thing I’ve found isn’t meals, it’s snacks. Finding foods that are quick and FILLING. Sometimes an apple just doesn’t cut it!

      haha, love it Rach ‘dirty rotten eater’…


      August 12, 2010 at 3:29 pm

      • and I meant to add that since I know what a dirty rotten eater you were, I’m very proud of you for making these changes, and you are (yet again) an inspiration to me. ❤ (did that make a little heart sign?)

        rachel joy

        August 12, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    • Ha ha! I’ve been thinking the same thing….What a long way you’ve come, Holly, since the days of Wendy’s fries with cheese sauce, jelly tots, and Lipton’s Sidekicks! 🙂

      Heidi McMaster

      August 14, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    • I know what you mean, Rachel – Russell loves those. I agree that the hardest is finding snacks, especially for our lunches. Our whole family takes lunches every day for 10 months of the year, and that can get pretty exhausting thinking up new things! I’m pretty good with not sending anything processed with Isaac, but not so good for myself or Russell.

      Heidi McMaster

      August 14, 2010 at 8:54 pm

      • Ya, I haven’t given any thought to lunches yet. Aliya’s pretty easy to feed…she loves sandwiches, so I think she’ll be Ok with those most days, with some fruit or veggies on the side. Most days the kids have a sandwich and cut up banana. I don’t know what the rules are for older kids – in Kindergarten they were only allowed to bring healthy foods along, so it was easy enough to say, ‘sorry I can’t send cookies/cake/pudding, since you can only have healthy food’. Hope it’s the same rule this year!


        August 16, 2010 at 3:25 am

  4. I don’t drink the iced tea – I just have a good recipe for it, an old fashioned kind that lets you freeze it ’til you want it & then just add an equivalent amount of water, just like the lemonade I have the recipe for. I do drink lemonade, though. 🙂 I was just using them as examples of alternatives to water if someone needs fluids but isn’t huge on water. Mind you, I do drink a lot of water, & anything on top of the amount I drink’s a bonus. 😀

    Thanks for your ideas, too, Rachel. 😀


    August 12, 2010 at 7:47 pm

  5. […] a comment » You may remember a few posts ago that I spoke of McDonald’s chicken burgers being one of my guilty pleasures.  I read an article yesterday about how processed chicken is […]

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