Don't know where to start living healthier? Try this!
I've been thinking back to where I started my health journey. Was it something instilled in me as a child from my upbringing? Did it start when I was an adult and noticed changes and negative symptoms in my own body?
So, I had a conversation with my mom the other day and asked her how she became interested in being healthy and when that started for her. She told me when she had two young boys at home she read an article that talked about nutrition and healthy lifestyle and how to do it. I wonder if it was in the Reader's Digest (I remember seeing those in our house when I was young). She said her own parents didn't teach her about healthful living but that when she started making changes, her own mom started making changes as well. Looking back on my childhood I remember we never had sugary cereal or treats in our house. Every Christmas we would get a sugary cereal for Christmas with our stockings (a tradition I've continued with my children) but otherwise we hardly ever ate out and we had treats on birthdays and as a special occasion. It makes me cringe to think of the 180 I've done with my own kids and what they are learning from our home. YIKES! I have some work to do there for sure. Another funny story my mom told me was that she remembers taking us to Taco Time drive thru and she got us all a soda and then got herself water. One of us kids asked why we couldn't have water and she said"well, you can!" She somehow had us thinking that getting water at restaurant was a treat! I'm so grateful that my mom had that awareness and made changes and showed the way to making little choices that could have a big impact on your life. I've never been one to love soda and all I drink is water. I think that all stems from my childhood to be honest. So, THANK YOU MOM!!!
Moving along to my adult years, in my early twenties, I started to notice symptoms happening in my body and questioning what was causing them. I started to pay closer attention to what was on those nutrition labels that are on everything we eat. I quickly learned that the less ingredients that were listed the better.
So that was my small start. Noticing and paying attention to what I was putting into my mouth. Whether or not we want to admit it, the compounding effect of ingesting these ingredients in our body over time is BIG. Big enough to shut down entire functions in our body and turn off signals that were made to help us thrive.
If you are unsure of what to look for on a nutrition label as a good or bad ingredient, the first thing I did was not eat anything I couldn't pronounce. If I wasn't sure what the ingredient was or whether it was good for my body, a quick Google search helped me to know that answer real quick. Another easy thing to implement is to stick to foods that don't have more than 5 ingredients in the list of ingredients.
If you are feeling paralyzed by all of the information and everything at once feels like too much, start with this one thing. Read the labels. Not just the calories, and fat numbers. Look at the ingredients list and become a pro at that one thing! You will be shocked at what is going into your and your families body on a daily basis and the effect it can have long term.
Let me know if you have any questions!