Do you make New Year’s Resolutions, or set goals for the upcoming year? For many people these goals include losing weight, getting into shape, and/or changing their diet. Some change their diet to try and lose weight, some change their diet to start eating healthier, real foods, some change their diet because of autoimmune diseases, some change their diet because of food allergies or sensitivities.
I’ve talked about different ways of eating that we have tried at our house in the past. I’ve done THM through 2 pregnancies, with varying levels of complete adherence, it worked great for me. Following Trim Healthy Mama I was able to get my yeast issues under control, gain less weight during pregnancies with Cameron and Andrew than I did with Seth, and I learned a lot about how food works in my body, and how I can take control of my sugar and sweetness cravings while still eating yummy desserts and baked goods. But I haven’t really been following it too strictly since early spring because of biking and running, I felt like my body just needed more than the straight single fuel meals, since then I’ve been doing almost all crossovers, but they aren’t really on THM plan. I’ve been eating white potatoes and sugar- both in small amounts.
I’ve also done a round of the GAPS diet, my oldest did it a few years prior, to try and help both of us with food sensitivities, but that ended when I found out I was pregnant with our third, and broth- a mainstay on GAPS- made me sick.
Both lifestyle changes require major changes in the kitchen. There are a few things that I have learned that may help you as you make a dietary change in the New Year, whether you are changing your diet to lose weight, because of food allergies, or just for health reasons.
Prepare your kitchen, and yourself, for your new diet.
- Get rid of the things you can’t, or don’t want, to eat anymore.
If you have food allergies you are going to want to get rid of everything in the house that you aren’t supposed to be eating. If you feel bad throwing food away, then take the unused and unopened items to a local food bank. They will love your donation! If you are on a tight budget and don’t have allergies you may want to just eat up what you have in the house and replace them with healthier choices as you need to buy more.
- Have a plan.
Give yourself a start date for your new eating style. Most people feel like they need to set January 1st as their start date, but if you know that you are going to be out of town until the 4th of January then set your start date for the 6th so that you have time to get groceries after you get back.
Have a meal plan that includes snacks. I’m personally not a strict menu planner. We have a list of meals that we like and I get ingredients for those meals, then we can pick and choose as we go throughout the month. If I find a really yummy recipe on Pinterest I will get the needed items and we can have it whenever we want. By planning snacks as well as meals you will never be caught in a hunger crazed search through the cupboards and find only potato chips to eat. Plan simple, simple meals.
Stock your fridge and your cupboards. Make sure that you are starting your new eating style with a stocked fridge and cupboards. That plus your meal plan or menu ideas will eliminate any excuses that you may have. Make sure that snack bags and portable snacks are available to. Carry a couple of things with you in case you get stuck on a trip or get hungry while out.
- Decide what things are most important to you.
For some people making a big diet change can be overwhelming and frustrating. Decide what is most important about the diet change that you are making and then stick to those points. For some people, it is eating only organic vegetables, for others it can be eating three servings of vegetables in a day, and for still others it can be eating only 1800 calories per day. Decide what is most important to you and then don’t stress about the rest.
When you have your top three things, or two things, or ten things listed, get a cute chalkboard and list those things. Then hang it in a prominent spot in your kitchen.
- Implement small changes over the course of one or two months.
Taking things a little slower with your diet change can be beneficial to you and to the others in your house. Rather than a major shock to the system you can help each other slowly get accustomed to a new lifestyle. If you want to cut out processed and refined sugars using stevia instead than slowly cut down the amount of sugar that you are eating. Cut out pop for the first week, during the second week start adding stevia to your coffee instead of sugar, the third week eat stevia sweetened chocolate rather than your normal candy bar, etc. Small changes over a couple of months add up to HUGE changes in your year, your body, and your life.
Have your changes marked on your calendar so that know what you are doing when. You could also put your changes on the chalkboard that has your food priorities
- Get any kitchen items that you may need.
If you are going gluten free because of a food allergy you are going to need to get replacements for some of your kitchen basics. You may want to get a new toaster or new frying pans. If you are going to be drinking a lot of smoothies, you will probably want to get a high-powered blender. Take stock of your kitchen appliances, sell the ones that you won’t need anymore and then make a list that you can use as you get the money for the items.
These tips have helped us immensely when we have needed to make changes to our diet, I hope they help you as well!!