I have a confession.
At the beginning of this year, I decided I was done with “real food.” Just done.
Done reading labels. Done feeling like I needed to make everything from scratch. Done worrying over every little thing that passed through our kitchen or ended up in our stomachs.
I was tired of the pressure, stress and guilt.
So I decided to give up real food.
Not the actual food itself, but the goal of a perfectly real food diet.
I honestly think I had my mom and more than one friend worried when I declared my intentions, but a funny thing happened: Without the pressure of a perfect diet (or even tying to maintain a magical 80/20 ratio), we’ve actually been eating better, but without the guilt.
There are a few decidedly non-real food staples in my kitchen these days — among them lunch meat, crescent roll dough, and frozen French fries. But knowing I have these shortcuts available makes it easier for me to come up with a meal without worrying about making every little part from scratch.
Knowing there are French fries means I can focus on a main dish without trying to make time to prepare a side dish as well (my hubby isn’t a fan of fresh veggies, which we also have with almost every meal).
I can add taco meat or healthy sloppy joe filling to crescent rolls to make a quick, filling meal.
And lunch meat gives us a quick on-the-go meal option so we’re not resorting to fast food.
Is our diet perfect? No, not by a long stretch.
But it’s turns out that we’re actually eating much better than we were when I was trying to do it “perfectly”.
And that’s a win!
Are unrealistic standards actually hurting your family’s eating habits?