03 Sep Healthy Pantry Overhaul // How We Did It
Now that you’ve read a bit about our middle daughter’s past diagnosis and our lifestyle, I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “how the heck did they do that with a family?” I get that a lot actually. Here’s the deal, I’m a tough-loving mama. I knew something had to change and that in order for it to happen and to be successful, we needed to do it as a family. Not just dabble in it, but go ALL in, 100%.
So I’m sharing with you the plan we used to overhaul our pantry, our fridge, and our lives, together as a family.
- Commit Together – Make it a Family Experience
This requires buy-in from everyone. For many families, this may be the hardest part, but for us, we committed to help a member of our family’s health improve by going on the adventure together. It created instant accountability and a team mentality. Talk about it with everyone in the family, have a sit down planning meeting, and create a team-like atmosphere.
- Empty the Fridge and the Pantry – Start from Scratch
A couple days before we began our journey, the girls participated in us gutting out our fridge, freezer, and pantry. I mean it, we literally gutted them. If it didn’t fit within our rules and guidelines, it was donated to someone we knew that was in need or it went in the garbage. Everyone took part, because we were doing this together!
I also took this time as a teaching moment for our girls. I taught them how to read labels appropriately, to recognize what real food is and isn’t. They learned some of the many names that are used for sugar (UGH, darn you, food marketing industry trying to trick everyone)! It wasn’t a super simple process, but we all knew that this would be for the better. Regardless, nothing was going to stay in our fridge, freezer, and pantry if it wasn’t allowed.
We also had a discussion about bringing non-approved food into our home and how it wasn’t allowed. If something was brought in, it would end up in the garbage. We weren’t messing around. Nothing and I mean nothing was staying in our home if it wasn’t approved.
- Go on a Grocery Run Together – and Stick to the Perimeter
After we cleaned our pantry out, we went on a grocery run, which also included everyone. We stocked up on the things that were approved and, since then, we have learned what the favorites are, what the staple items are, and what we don’t love so much. While the initial run can be more expensive, overall, I’ve cut my grocery bill by more than half because we eat real, healthy food. We rarely shop in the aisles, because that’s where most of the processed, fake, junk food is. We also harvest a lot of our own fruits and veggies with our summer garden, as God created us to do (if we are able). And, if that wasn’t enough, we also have chickens and ducks that give us oodles of eggs.
- Never Say Never – There’s Nothing You Can’t Accomplish When You Give it Your All
I realize that some of you are probably thinking, “wow, she’s tough…” or “how could she do that to (or with) her kids?!” Here’s the deal friends, I was trying to save our daughter and I think any good parent would do whatever it would take to do the same. We want our girls to know that food is fuel…PERIOD. It doesn’t need to be an emotional crutch and we shouldn’t be gorging ourselves with absolute junk. My kids are far from neglected. They eat amazing, delicious, real food AND here’s the shocker, THEY LOVE IT!!! They frequently ask for ribeye steaks with veggies. They know how to look for the perfect ribeye with just the right amount of marbling. These girls eat better than most and I’m so proud of them.
*If our family could do it, so can yours! In those moments, where it is hard to stick to, ask God to intervene. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13