As I talk with friends and acquaintances about health, I often hear discouragement and a sense of defeat. There is so much information! So much to know! While there are some big, important steps that require commitment and even lifestyle-change, I'd like to share a few that are more simple. If you make enough simple changes, they will add up to better health.
It is my intention to make "Simple Changes" a frequent topic. For those of you who already practise these things, keep up your effort! For those of you who are newly embarking on your health journey, commit to these small efforts. In time, you will be able to amazedly look back on how far you have come... and how far you have brought your family as well.
I have dozens of these simple changes in my head right now, but I am going to limit myself to sharing just three today. If I shared them all at once, it wouldn't seem very simple, would it?
The first simple change that comes to mind is to buy Natural Peanut Butter. Skip the Skippy. Pass on the added sugar and hydrogenated oils. Read the labels and select a peanut butter that is as basic as peanuts and salt. Some brands add extra peanut oil. We use the Kroger brand. Since we know we eat it frequently, we buy A LOT when it goes on sale. The sale prices are actually better than any bulk prices I have found. If you have the means, you could even go for Organic... but make sure to read the label because several organic brands add in organic sugar!
As you make the commitment never to bring home unhealthy peanut butter, decide to bring home healthy jam as well. There are several brands of jams and jellies that contain only fruit and fruit juice concentrates. When we eat jam, or when I use marmalade in cooking, we use brands that do not add extra sugar or preservatives. Really, fruit is plenty sweet as it is! Most often, we eat our peanut butter with honey since it is more cost effective. (A growing family has to be frugal!) But, we really enjoy fruit spreads as well. Again, if you have the means, organic is even better.
Third, and last for today, find a healthy substitute for white pasta. There are several whole grain pastas available in markets these days. You could opt for whole wheat pasta, but I would recommend eating it in moderation since unsoaked whole wheat can cause digestive trouble. There are also rice, kamut and other grain blend choices. If your children are still getting used to whole foods, you might want to select a half white, half wheat variety for a time. I find that organic pastas are often on sale for as cheap or cheaper than other brands. If you know you will be buying it, you can stock up while you can save money. Or, if you prefer to limit carbs, we often bake a spaghetti squash and use the strands in place of pasta. This is one of the very few ways my children enjoy squash!
I look forward to posting some more "Simple Changes." I like simple. There is so much else going on in our lives... healthy needs to be as simple as possible! Do you have simple change ideas? Please comment to share them with us all!