* We sometimes use affiliate links, so we may receive a commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Check our disclosure for more info.
Part of this journey towards a healthier lifestyle involves being honest with yourself. You have to be accountable for the things you are doing wrong before you can fix them. I am ashamed to admit that this was my reality before we started eating clean. Take a look at the day I cleaned out my Processed Food Pantry.
- Our Real food Story (the Ugly Truth)
- 5 Things we Found Really tough when we started Eating Real Food as a Family
- 5 Healthy Eating Tricks to Cut The Crap by 80%
We were that family. The family you saw in the 5.15pm drive through lineup outside Kentucky waiting for our family sized deep, fried chicken and mash.
And would we like a side of 2 liter orange soda with that?
It comes free with the meal? Hell Yeah we would!
Watching my kids motor their way through bucket load of greasy chicken, and wash it down with orange flavoured gunk bugged me a bit, but I told myself that it wasn’t that bad. I mean, hey, it’s just chicken and potato. Right? Ha! I would love to say that this was a once in a while treat, but family meals often consisted of ‘homemade’ [insert any boxed meal from supermarket freezer here] – ‘Fresh’ from the frozen box, into the oven, onto my kids plates and into their little mouths.
My Pre Clean Grocery Shopping Agenda
My requirements for what went into my shopping basket were simple:
The food I bought had to be:
- Cheap to buy (no regard for ingredients at all)
- Quick to make (on the table in 15 minutes as a guideline)
- Happily eaten by everyone (never rock the boat and introduce stuff kids may not like – my grandmother would turn in her grave, I’m sure).
Getting Started Resources
- 10 Shopping Tips and Tricks for Busy Clean Eating Moms
- FREE PRINTABLE Meal Plan Template
- Clean Eating Meal Plans
My ‘Aha’ Moment
It started with me going on a ‘bit of a diet’. I hadn’t been able to lose the last few kilograms after baby #4, so turned to Clean Eating to get it sorted. For the first few days, I felt like I was the one being deprived, having to eat fresh, healthy food whilst my family enjoyed [fill in the blank here] processed junk.
One evening, I was tucking into my free range chicken salad with crispy salad leaves; homemade balsamic dressing and I looked over to my childrens’ plates – dry chicken nuggets, oven chips, bbq sauce, cheese and apple. There wasn’t one vegetable. Not one. This was their evening dinner, this was my opportunity to make up for the processed choco pop cereal they had eaten that morning and the white bread and ‘plastic’ cheese sandwiches they had eaten at lunch. Most days, the apple I packed for school returned uneaten. I couldn’t pretend it didn’t matter.
The day I decided that I was going to take back my power and be in control of what my family was eating, was one big ‘Aha’ Moment (I think Oprah coined this one). But even then, it took me a bit of time to actually get my butt in action and make some changes.
The Excuses begin….
I knew that changing our eating habits wasn’t going to be easy for me. To be honest, I didn’t even know if I could follow through on it.
Excuses began making their way into my mind immediately:
“Our diet isn’t as bad as everyone else’s”;
“My kids are healthy”;
“I’m too busy to cook from scratch every day”;
“My friends will think I’m being extreme”;
“I don’t feel like the fighting at the dinner table”
“We can’t afford it”
…. the list goes on.
My Tipping Point
We didn’t just wake up one morning and become the perfect Real Food Family. We had a LOT of bad habits to change. Read this post on the 5 Things we Found Really tough when we started Eating Real Food as a Family and Our Real Food Story (The Ugly Truth).
I put off making changes for so long because I just didn’t know where to start. And to be honest, I didn’t think I could even get my kids to eat healthy food. Then I watched a movie called Fed Up. I have embedded the movie below. You can click on it to watch. It highlights our addiction to processed foods and to be honest, it scared me. I could do better when it came to feeding my family. My Grandmother did it, so could I.
The Day of the Pantry Overhaul
On the Big Pantry Clean Out Day. I dropped the kids at school and came home. My goal was to take out the processed foods and just leave Real Food Ingredients in the Pantry. Sounds simple, doesn’t it. One thing at a time came out that pantry. And I just kept going. My floor and bench top was overflowing with junk. I look at this picture now (two years later) and I can’t believe how many crappy foods I had actually bought home for my family to eat.
Take a look the little pile of canned goods (top left of the picture). That is all that ended up going back into the pantry. 13 Canned items. Kind of scary because I actually thought we were eating a pretty healthy diet to begin with.
The only way to get started with Clean Eating is to simply decide. And start where you are.I don’t know where you are on your journey of feeding your family real food. Whether you are already live a clean, healthy lifestyle or whether you are starting from where I did- from the beginning.
Either way – Well Done for recognizing what needs to change. You are not alone. The community of parents who are choosing to be in control of what goes on their families plates is growing every day.
I was a bit apprehensive about sharing this post with you. I hope that by ‘fessing up to how bad our eating habits were, it will let you know that if can get my family eating real, clean food then I’m pretty certain you can.