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8 Weeks to REAL FOOD Week 1: Drinks

We start at the beginning and with the basics. By starting with the basics we will hopefully clear up some of your grocery budget for more nourishing items. Drinks take up a large chunk of the average American's diet. Filled with unbalanced sugars, additives, artificial flavors, sweeteners and more, these drinks are anything but nourishing.

DRINKS TO AVOID:

  • juices
  • pop
  • milk
  • kids drinks
  • sports drinks

DRINKS TO DRINK:

  • herbal or black tea (unsweetened)
  • coffee- low on dairy and sugar
  • red wine

GAIN:

  • savings on grocery bill
  • better hydration
  • reduced intake of sugar/sweeteners

Now, dropping or kicking any kind of soda or other drink habit is hard. The best way to do this is in steps, especially if you are going to have caffeine with drawl.

1. first goal is to drink half your body weight in oz each day. So, if you weigh 120lb, then you want to drink 60oz of water a day. That would be 7.5 glasses of 8oz glasses. Now, this seemed daunting to me. So here's what I did..... I went out and found the biggest stainless steel water bottle I could and bought it. I found one that was 32oz. No now, instead of drinking 8 glasses, I only had to drink 2 water bottles....seemed more doable in my mind. Shoot for all the water and then your extra drink. I would make sure I downed one water bottle (or half my required amount) and then have a "fun" drink. I even broke down my goal more, to pace myself. I required myself to drink one full water bottle before lunch and then one full one before bed.

2. As you get that handled, start reducing the amount of pop or "fun" drink by half. So the next few days, when you drink your first water bottle, only have half a cup of pop.

3. then reduce pop or "fun" drink down to a quarter of a cup.

4. Finally, eliminate.

If you are having a hard time with this, try one of the alternative drinks in the recipe section.

TIP: You don't have to be wasteful over these next 8 weeks. Don't feel that you have to throw things out, just don't replace them when you run out. I know, I needed the gradual elimination for this to work for me. I'm not a chuck and run type of gal.  I don't want you to crash and burn by going cold turkey.

RECIPES AND TOOLS

Eliminating these drinks doesn't mean they are untouchable. We just want to eliminate them on a regular basis. I know for me, once I eliminated them, I didn't want them. I think you will see, as you travel on a path to REAL FOODS and ditch the processed food, you will not crave them, or even want them. They won't taste the same anymore because your body is not deficient in basic minerals and vitamins and knows you don't need it. In my home, I try to follow an 80/20 rule with how we eat. My goal is to eat 80% whole REAL FOOD and let go of the other 20%. The other 20% is for eating out, eating at family's house, and celebrations.

FIZZY DRINK ALTERNATIVE:

If soda is going to be tough, try an alternative that mimics soda: fizziness.

1 can frozen (thawed) organic juice concentrate

1 liter carbonated water

or any amount of organic juice and combine with carbonated water

combine and drink.

NATURAL SPORTS DRINK:

•1/4 cup sugar
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1/4 cup hot water
•1/4 cup orange juice (not concentrate)
•2 tablespoons lemon juice
•3 1/2 cups cold water

I know, even now, there are days I get tired of drinking water. I    JUST     CAN'T      TAKE     ONE     MORE    SIP........ I will switch to carbonated water, or add lemon, or lime, or a splash of grapefruit...anything...
 

WHAT DOES ELIMATING PROCESSED DRINKS DO?

  • reduce obesity, fatigue, skin problems
  • reduce chance of heart attack
  • help children grow (one study showed that children who drank more than 12 oz of
    juice a day were more likely to be overweight and short. experts believe this is because the sugar calories reduced the intake of good calories from fat, which helps in development.

START AT THE BEGINING AND START WITH SMALL STEPS

This process, this change, this journey is going to take time. It may even take more time if you are trying to change the habits of your family as well. As you proceed on your journey to REAL FOOD and you start to read labels, you may start to feel overwhelmed. You have the desire for change, but your eating habits, cooking habits, shopping habits and taste buds need to catch up. That is why I liked going through this process. It  takes a look at one piece of the puzzle at the time and once you have that under control, you can move on to the next step, then the next step. One foot in front of the other.

And, being honest, sometimes there are backwards steps. I know there have, are and will be for me. Life, stress, health, can all get in the way of where you want to go. When you hit these road blocks, remember to simplify. I may be farther than you in my journey, however, there are days and even weeks when I'm tired. Just tired. And I remind myself to simplify. REAL FOOD doesn't have to be 35 ingredients, or a 20 step process for one meal. I can make a REAL FOOD grilled cheese, or spaghetti.

Make sure you are setting attainable goals for you and your family. Also, make the goals flexible. Life happens. Happen with it. If you don't hit your goal this week, set it for next week. For me, some of the goals were easier to attain than others. This first week was easy for me, because I didn't drink pop or other drinks regularly. However, it was harder, for me, to stop buying items with high fructose corn syrup in it. It took me probably closer to a month to attain that goal. But I worked on other goals in the mean time. Go at your pace, be the turtle; slow and steady.

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