April Week 3: Food

Bonus Goal for Week 3: Shop with re-usable bags!

Our body has to process everything we put on it and into it. This includes all of the food we eat, everything that food is made of, and everything on that food. Awareness is the first step to helping detox our bodies.

Drink More Water

Flush out those toxins! Give your body a fighting chance. Water isn’t just about hydration, it’s about giving your body what it needs to function properly.

Choose an idea or two from the list below to help you and your family drink more water:

  • Aim for a higher water intake all day long
  • Have a glass of water by your bed to drink first thing in the morning
  • Pack larger water bottles for your kids to encourage drinking more
  • Encourage your kids to drink more water by having it available
  • Set a timer on your phone to drink water &/or offer it to your kids every hour
  • Ditch single use plastic water bottles in favor of refillable ones
  • Know your water source & what your water contains
  • Filter your water (our favorite is the Berkey)
  • Use reusable water bottles made of silicone and/or metal (avoid plastic)
  • Consider adding trace minerals to your water
  • Look up “detox water” recipes for some delicious ways to drink more water
  • Or choose your own! Just get more water! Your body will thank you

Decrease Sugar

If you didn’t detox sugar during last month’s Guided Journal (Food Month), here it is again…because it’s THAT important.

I believe our entire country is overdue for a sugar detox. Our sugar consumption is out of control. It’s presented to us at literally every turn. It’s so prevalent that you have to TRY REALLY HARD to avoid it in foods. I have to read a dozen labels (on items like spaghetti sauce and jarred salsa) before I can find one that doesn’t contain sugar.

Give sugar your attention today. How much are you consuming? How much are your kids consuming? Do you feel like you “need” sugar or a sweet treat every day? Do your kids ask for sugar more than any other food? How comfortable are you with your answers? Write about your observations and your reaction to them.

Take a look at the list below and choose one or two ideas to help you and your kids begin to kick the sugar habit:

  • Talk openly with your kids about sugar. Let them know what the foods they are eating do for their bodies, especially sugar heavy items. It can help them logically understand why it is we need to say no to most requests for sugar
  • Make your own homemade sugarless versions of foods that typically contain sugar
  • Read more labels. Make a conscious effort to choose products that do not contain even small amounts of sugar. (Those small amounts add up and change our family’s palate)
  • Brainstorm: Look at your own habits—do you have a sugar habit? Do you consume it regularly? Has it worked its way into your daily routine? Spend some time looking at ways sugar has snuck into your life and stayed, then brainstorm how to reduce your intake
  • Brainstorm: Same with your kids. Do they have a sugar habit? Has it snuck in and stayed? How can you shift this for your children?
  • Avoid sugar substitutes (including foods that claim to be “diet” foods)
  • Get better/more sleep. We often reach for sugar as a boost when we are feeling low energy. Getting more rest can help us avoid the need to reach for a quick fix
  • Ditch sugary drinks. Just don’t buy them. Don’t keep them in the house. Don’t order them when out. Go so far as to make it a family rule: “Our family doesn’t drink soda”
  • Or come up with your own! Find what works for you and start chipping away at the sugar mountain that has crept into our daily diet

Get Fresh

We all know by now that fresh foods are better for us than processed foods. Let’s spend today looking at our fresh food intake vs. packaged/processed food intake.

The bottom line: we need to put more “real” food in our body. We need to cook more whole foods and get back to basics, which will help lessen the burden we put on our bodies. Think about it in terms of “you are what you eat.” If you consume a lot of junk, your body will turn that into fuel or fat. That junk can get stuck in our bodies in negative ways. We need to keep things moving and in working order.

Think of food in terms of what it does for you and your kids. Imagine if we ate a typical American kid diet of cereal, cheese pizza, cheese quesadilla, fried chicken nuggets, juice boxes, cookies, noodles with butter, sugar laden pb&j…we’d feel like crap. Our bodies would be begging for a salad or carrot stick after a while. Kids aren’t sure how to ask for those things, so the request for better nutrition comes out in things like behaviors and/or back to back illnesses. We need to be giving our children what their bodies actually need and not what commercials try to convince them they need.

Choose one or more ideas from the list below to help get more fresh, whole foods into your family’s diet this week:

  • Be sure to include one raw food with each meal (i.e. nuts, carrots, fruits, etc.)
  • Do your research: look up articles about how to clean up your eating
  • Commit to buying more fresh foods
  • Commit to making more of your own foods (i.e. soup in a crock pot made from fresh ingredients rather than a can)
  • Make fresh chicken for sandwiches rather than just processed deli meats
  • Subscribe to a local fruit & veggie delivery service
  • Try new fruits and vegetables on a weekly basis. Let your kids be involved in the picking and preparation
  • Talk openly with your kids about why they need to eat fresh foods
  • Commit to serving fruits and vegetables on your kids’ plates at every meal, even if they believe they “don’t like it.”
  • It takes multiple introductions to a food for kids to try it on their own
  • Research the benefits of specific fruits and vegetables and share your findings with your family
  • Or come up with your own! Whatever helps you include more fresh, whole foods

Less Packaged Foods

Our society relies very heavily on prepackaged foods. As a result, our preservative, sugar, sodium, and genetically modified ingredient intake is high. Today’s journal prompt piggybacks on yesterday’s goals of increasing fresh food intake. Spend a few moments today looking at how much of your daily food intake includes prepackaged foods. How do you feel about the fresh vs. processed balance in your own life? Write about it. What could you do differently?

Choose one or more ideas from the list below to start decreasing your processed food intake today:

  • Commit to buying less prepackaged foods
  • Commit to buying more fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, etc.
  • Commit to buying more “whole food” snacks like nuts, veggies, fresh fruits, etc.
  • Make your own homemade version of packaged foods (pasta sauce, salsa, guacamole, soup, etc.)
  • Figure out what a balanced diet looks like for your family when it comes to fresh vs. packaged foods
  • Buy more frozen whole foods to pull out when needed
  • Replace boxed breakfasts with quick protein packed ones (like eggs or protein smoothies made with whole frozen fruits)
  • Commit to cooking at least one or two homemade meals per week that don’t include packaged food
  • Or choose your own!

Liver Detox

Our liver is our body’s detoxifier, so it makes sense that we need to give it some care and attention. You must check with your health care provider before doing a cleanse or detox. Formal detoxing is not suitable for everyone and you must take responsibility for your own health and well being by talking with your provider about your specific needs.

Spend some time today researching the whys & hows of a liver detox. Write down what you find out and if you believe you’re a good candidate for one.

Gut Health

Spend some time today researching how foods, additives, and pesticides affect our gut health. Choose one or more of the ideas below to help guide your search if this is a new topic for you:

  • Get rid of all vegetable and seed oils and don’t look back. Become a “no vegetable oil” house & stick to it
  • Commit to buying healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, ghee, and grass-fed butter
  • Increase your bone broth intake
  • Swap out chicken and beef stocks for bone broths
  • Check out food bloggers such as The Food Babe, Lil Sipper, and Be Well By Kelly LeVeque
  • Or come up with your own gut health research topics!

Artificial Colors

Time to take a look at artificial colors. How many products in your pantry and fridge contain artificial colors? And how can we lower that number extremely or eliminate it altogether?

Research artificial coloring today and how it affects the body. Be sure to include a search for common names given to artificial colors as they appear on ingredient labels. Write down what you find and if you feel you or your children might be affected by them.