As I sit here snacking on my veggie sticks (crunch, crunch), I can only think of one thing:
I made it!
7 days worth of eating real food done and over with. No chemical ingredients, nothing on a label that I couldn't read. And it wasn't terribly difficult! Sure, it took a little bit more time to eat only real food, but I think that the past week has been really great for me, and I will definitely take a few things away from this experience.
#1- I can make conscious choices for the betterment of my health.
I have long been on a journey of learning how to eat right, and I'm not there yet. But, I'm getting closer. This week, I didn't just try to feed my child healthy, real, organic foods, I actually fed myself and my husband the same things. Which makes a lot of sense, because if I'm going to want to be around for his babies and their babies, I need to make some choices that put me as a priority too.
#2- There are a lot of things that taste REALLY good that I take for granted.
When is the last time you ate a piece of fruit and really tasted it? I found myself looking for sweets in places where I wouldn't have before. Like a banana. Who knew a banana could placate a sweet tooth? But there I sat earlier today, sharing a banana with little man and I don't know who was happier to be eating it, me or him! When I took away a lot of those artificial sweets and actually ate the real stuff, everything started tasting better.
#3- An extra few minutes at the store and an extra few dollars from my budget are worth it, to me.
The time and energy I spent deciding which food to purchase were very much offset by the time and energy I obtained just by feeling a little better by eating a LOT better. And yes, my grocery bill was a little bit higher this week, but I haven't actually gone through and itemized to see if it was because of the food items I purchased or because I found a few super cute wet bags at Meijer ;)
The question now, I think, is where do I go next?
Do I continue to eat only real foods and try to maintain the diet I've already started as much as possible, or do I return to my old ways of feeding my child organic, minimally processed, real foods, but feed myself with whatever junk I can find at the end of the day?
I think that, for me, it has to be a little bit of a mixture. I am definitely going to incorporate more real, fresh foods into our diets, and continue to scour labels to find the best products of what is available. But I think I have to temper that with a little bit of reality. No one can eat perfect 100% of the time, and I don't think life is meant to be that way, because there are certainly foods that are not great for you that SHOULD be enjoyed every so often. However, prior to completing the challenge, I will unabashedly admit that I was enjoying some of those foods WAY too often, and wasn't really and truly enjoying them because of it.
So, tonight, as a little gift to myself for doing so well, and in an attempt to not be completely manic about everything, I will allow myself to sneak a bit of candy out of my secret stash (sorry DH!). I will have one, only one, mini Reese's egg. And I will enjoy every last second of it, instead of shoving it down the hatch while I'm busy opening another. And after that one piece of candy, I'll be happy, and I'll start again tomorrow putting myself as a priority.
Head on over to the other challenge ladies' sites to see how they did!