FAMILY/ HEALTH/ Healthy Eating/ How-Tos/ Natural Products/ RECIPES

Steps To Healthy Living

A few months ago I had the honor of doing a guest post on “The Mother Huddle.”  It was such an honor and I had great fun sharing my thoughts over at Destri’s blog.   Destri is a pretty special lady, one I consider a friend despite the fact that we have never met in person.

The guest post was titled “Steps I Have Taken To Bring A More Healthful Approach Into My Home.”

As the beginning of summer approaches, I am already feeling the pull of unhealthy choices when it comes to food.  BBQ’s, quick dinners at grandpa’s pool, lemonade full of HFCS, the ice cream truck…I don’t know about you, but for us summer brings a bunch more opportunities for healthful eating to go right out the window.  I do and will lighten up a bit during the summer when it comes to eating healthy, but I also want to keep in mind the good habits we have established and continue to pursue them.  Rereading the post I wrote for The Mother Huddle will help me do just that!

Steps I have taken to bring a more wholesome approach into my home:

We Follow These Rules:

  • Try to eat like our grandparents did, before convenience foods came about.
  • No high fructose corn syrup!  Studies show that this stuff causes confusion in the area of the brain that tells your body that you are full. It makes you crave more sweets! This is just one of many reasons to avoid it. Also, we found that it was triggering my youngest daughter’s asthma.  Since changing our eating habits, she is off all inhalers!  Yippee!!
  • No hydrogenated oils/trans fats and use only healthful oils (olive oil, coconut oil)
  • Think brown, not white (whole wheat flour, whole grain pasta, brown rice, 100% whole wheat breads, etc)
  • Stay away from foods if the ingredient list is long and full of words we can’t pronounce.
  • No more buying white sugar! We replaced it with natural sweeteners like maple syrup, honey, sucanat (rapadura), & stevia.

We Make Snacks Count By:

  • Making homemade treats containing ingredients that are beneficial to the body (we loveMudballs)
  • Having veggie fun! I cut up bright colored veggies into bite-sized pieces, fill a 6 cup muffin tin with a different vegetable in each cup, serve with toothpicks.  If I only have 4 types of vegetables, I’ll fill the 2 remaining cups with dip and toothpicks.
  • Eating fruit as our dessert.  I see my 3 girls (age 10, 9 and 7) eye the beautiful bowl of blueberries thawing on the table during dinner, excited to eat ‘em for dessert!  They also love frozen cherries, grapes, peaches, mangoes, melons, and pineapple.  We eat them all just slightly thawed.
  • Making homemade popcorn in the microwave using a brown paper lunch bag. My girls love this and do it themselves.  Big money saver!
  • Adding veggies to our fruit smoothies.  A large handful of fresh spinach disappears when blended into our sweet fruit smoothies.
  • Using leftover smoothies to make popsicles.  These are delish, and yes, they are the same smoothies that have spinach in them!  These type of real fruit/yogurt popsicles are so costly at the store.  Its amazing how inexpensive and easy it is to make your own!  If you don’t have molds, use paper cups and wooden craft sticks.
  • Staying away from empty calories–even treats can be beneficial to the body (dark chocolate, desserts with fruit/oats in them, ice cream topped with fresh fruit, whole wheat brownies)

We Are Going Greener:

  • We got rid of harsh chemical cleaners.  I use a vinegar and water spray for just about everything, and have simple recipes to make my own laundry detergent, dish washing detergent and liquid hand/body soap. (this saves us a TON of money, and I believe some of those chemicals contributed to my daughters past issues with asthma, so we are saving money on medical bills, too!)
  • We drink from reusable water bottles, keeping them in the refrigerator so they are cold and ready to drink.
  • We got rid of most plastic storage containers and use different sized mason jars instead.  I love how they look in my pantry, freezer and refrigerator.  They make it easy to see what is inside, and they look orderly.
  • If it comes in a package, I ask myself “Can I make this homemade?” It is almost always more healthful and saves on the packaging (pancake mix, granola bars)  I buy many ingredients from bulk bins and put them in mason jars when I get home.
Taking steps for more wholesome homes can be overwhelming, so be encouraged that these changes did not come overnight for us, nor do we do it all perfectly. We eat our share of junk food and sugar outside our 4 walls, (and even inside them on the weekends), so it ends up being about 80/20,
which I am comfortable with. It has been a step by step journey,
one I will never regret starting as I see such huge changes in the health of my family.

This post is linked to:
The Finer Things Friday @ The Finer Things
Home And Family Friday @ Home Is Where My Story Begins
Its A Hodgepodge Friday @ Its A Hodgepodge Life
Tips Me Tuesday @ The Tip Junkie
30 Minute Blog Challenge @ Steady Mom
Motivate Me Monday @ Keeping It Simple

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  • Kindra
    August 9, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Love this post. Thanks for all the healthy tips!

  • Beth
    August 9, 2010 at 4:05 am

    These are great tips, thank-you! Found you at Keeping it Simple, I’m your newest follower!

  • Issa
    June 1, 2010 at 5:17 am

    Thank you for your tips! I’ve been using organic personal care products for years now but my diet needs more discipline. Am workin’ on it though. 😛

  • The Tanners
    May 30, 2010 at 11:09 am

    I just love your site. This has been our eating style for decades. You will be helping so many people learn so much stuff that will be beneficial to them and their families. My mother-in-law taught me so much, lived to be 98 and I never knew her to have a prescription in her life. She was a queen of a healthy lifestyle. Every season has it’s advantages in the healthy fresh foods available at that time.

  • Gay Vaughan
    May 29, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Another wonderful post! Thanks for linking and sharing all these great ideas.

  • ~Bry~
    May 29, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    new follower from Friday Follow!

  • Amy @ Finer Things
    May 29, 2010 at 2:42 am

    Great ideas for healthy living! Our summers are crazy, too, but I do find it easier to fit more fresh fruits and veggies in. That’s something…

  • Cottage Sisters
    May 28, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    I too have gotten rid of our plastic storage containers. It is really bad to microwave your food in plastic. When you microwave your food in them the chemicals from the plastic get into your food. Yuk! I use mason jars for storing flour but never thought to store things for the fridge or freezer in them. I will try it…thanks! Denise

  • Self Sagacity
    May 28, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    I have the same thought on my blog for this Friday, well actually for most every Friday. blueberries are one of our fav fruits.

  • Beth
    May 28, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    New follower from New Friend Friday- please follow me back at a

    Happy Friday!!

  • Fern Valley Farm
    May 28, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Hi Amy,
    I am so excited that I just discovered your blog! It’s full of things near and dear to my heart, and I can’t wait to read more of your posts. So much wonderful info on simplifying and living a healthy life!
    Have a great weekend!

  • Amy Bowman
    May 28, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Its so fun to wake up and find all these comments, so glad you are all inspired!
    @ anonymous – I googled coconut oil and diabetes and almost everything that popped up said that coconut oil is actually GOOD for those with diabetes, helping even out blood sugars. I know you can find all kinds of things online and do not have time to read further right now, but I still feel very comfortable using it. Coconut oil has gotten a bad wrap because of the high saturated fat content, but saturated fatty acids in this oil are different than the ones found in, say, red meat or cheese, and therefore it’s not as bad as we think. There are all kinds of differing opinions, but I have found it to be very beneficial to our family and feel very confident using it.
    **My husband was diagnosed with pre-diabetes 3 yrs ago, he no longer has that diagnosis since we changed our eating habits. 🙂 Whoop!

  • Anonymous
    May 28, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    I love everything you wrote…how great your list is.
    I wanted to add one thing (I just found out two days ago) if you are pre-diabetic or have diabeties 1 or 2 stay away from coconut oil…very bad. Not sure why but thought I would let you know.

  • Brianna!
    May 28, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    I love LOVE
    being HEALTHY!

    it makes me smile

  • Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet
    May 28, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Great tips! We’ve been trying to get healthier, too. I’m going to be checking out your blog more now that I found it!

    Have a great weekend!

  • Jessica @ This Blessed Life
    May 28, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Hi Amy, I found you on NFF and I’m so glad I did! We are on a whole foods journey too (although way behind your family!) and I am so excited about all of the information you have to share! I’ll be back to read more! 🙂

  • Theresa @ 612Riverside
    May 28, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Great post! I am just writing my grocery list and will keep all of this in mind while I am shopping today. Now I need to go back and find your pancake, mudball and other recipes to try! So many great ideas to try, thanks! Theresa

  • Casey
    May 28, 2010 at 10:00 am

    I can’t tell you how inspired I am by this post! Thank you for your tips, I can’t wait to try some of them out 🙂

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