Posted by: cmittermeier | October 31, 2016

A weekend away is still as sweet, with less of the sweets

You know how in many recipes we can use only a small portion the sugar and not even notice a difference?  Well, I just had a weekend at a homeschool conference and guess what? The same principle applied.  

Our old selves would have started the trip with a number of donuts, which I will leave to your imagination.  We would have then followed it up with a bag of chips to nibble on in the car till we reached the lunch stop.  What do you think we would have had for lunch?  Fast-food combo of course!  Pop, fries, and a grilled chicken burger to be “healthy”.  More car snacks till … well, are you getting the picture? And yes, dinner had to have dessert, right?

Now, every journey of a thousand steps begins with a single step and above I did list my first “healthy” step.  Along the way, we have encorporated many others, but not all at once.  We changed out the car chips for cut up veggies, fruit and pre-measured nuts, cheese and crackers during longer trips.  Lunches were next, it was easy to pack our regular healthy lunch and take it with us.  I had cut out pop years ago, but that took longer for my husband.  We did not feel deprived because we were still having dinner out and the starting donut run.  I have been able to forgo the starting donuts, my husband is quite content with a single donut to go with his coffee.  My dinners have become healthier, but, honestly I’m still working on the evening hotel night snack.  

This weekend was not perfect. Most of our food was provided by the conference and the home made goodies were tasty, but they were well proportioned and very reasonable.  Only one decadent dessert on Saturday and for all the sweets the quantities were small (but reasonable).  Their meals were excellent!  Healthy, well proportioned, and surprisingly easy for me to stay totally on track.  Our bed and breakfast had large amounts of food, but it was easy to pick just the right amount and stay within program.  Now, I did enjoy a second decadent dessert on Sunday when I got home, and the evenings did have some munchies (popcorn on Friday and two granola bars on Saturday).  So, while not the ideal, knowing where we were ten years ago, the progress is amazing.  Even the one roadside lunch I had to buy was fine – chicken soup and a small chili (no bun or crackers).    

Do we still have changes to make?  Yes, my hubby still enjoyed his fast food a bit on that last lunch, but there were no fries or pop, so slowly even his changes are adding up (or should I say, subtracting down).  I need to work more on those hotel nights, and going down to one decadent dessert, not two in a week.  All things will come.  

What is important to focus on was that the enjoyment of the moments was not compromised by a lack of food treats.  What made it special was never just about the food I injested, but the people we shared it with, the lessons learned, and the inspiration it provided.  This is not to say the food was unimportant.  No matter what the event is, we can change the food to be healthy and special.  Food is part of events for a reason, a shared meal is a great thing and there are ways to make a meal a feast without making it bad for us.  The organizers did this beautifully, with colourful meals full of variety.  You felt as if you’d stepped back in to Grandma’s kitchen, just without the pressure to “eat! Eat!”.

So as you look ahead to the last half of fall and the onslaught of events, I hope this has inspired you to plan your eating a little differently.

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