Thursday, January 6, 2011

the big change

I'm excited. 

For the past few months I've been trying to figure out a way to talk to people. YOU people. About eating yummy things that are good for your bodies, and eliminating the things that aren't so good for your bodies. But it's a BIG process (one I'm still working on myself), and I have been having a hard time figuring out a way to break it all down--so it seems more doable, and not so giant-in-your-face-bring-you-to-tears impossible.

Teeny tiny changes that will help us all to live healthier lives.

It was the end of yoga class, lying in savasana (trying not to fall asleep), and it just jumped into my head--I knew what I would do

Each week, I'll write one post about steps in my relationships (good and bad) with food throughout the years, and how I got to where I am today (aiming for as many real and whole foods as possible, no fast food, balance, etc)
and how I want to continue to improve.

a-a-a-ahem.  so.

Today, we're going to start out in Middle School. 
Does having a post title called "The Big Change" and seeing a photo of (adorable) junior high-me make you nervous about what change I will be talking about? No worries, if you have ever met me, you have probably noticed I never really participated in that  big change, so we won't be discussing that today.


It was the sixth grade when I realized food was something that some people actually worried about. 
I thought food was food. I ate what my mom packed in my lunch and didn't think twice about it.

give yourself a minute to take it all in.
6th grademe

It was at lunch one day when a few of the girls at my table started talking about things like "diets", "getting fat" and "wanting to be skinny".


I didn't really get it, and I didn't really care.

But it did do one thing--it made me aware. Not so much about what was eating, but that food affected different people in different ways. Girls who ate normal, and girls who were trying not to eat so much.
Food could be bad?  what?

Can we take a quick break and all admit that middle school girls are terrible?? that's all.

So today's step for us all--the very first step--
is to 
become aware of what, and how we are eating. 
No changes necessary yet--just take a little inventory of all the good, bad, delicious and nutritious habits that we have when it comes to our food.

The thing is, we all know what is healthy and what is not, but sometimes we fall into a habit of unhealthy choices, and don't like to admit to ourselves that it's not the best option for us.

Maybe you don't have enough whole grains in your diet.
Maybe you would like to eat more vegetables.
Maybe you eat fast food more often than you'd like to admit.
Maybe you want to learn how to cook simple meals for your family.
Maybe you are working on adding more organic items into your kitchen.
Maybe you are trying to buy more locally.
Maybe you want to eat less meat so you can afford to buy the better stuff.
Maybe you are moving to a farm to live off the land the rest of your life.....anyone?

Everyone is starting at a different place. 
But as long as we're all making teeny tiny changes, then I say it's a party!

Will you play along with me??
 Remember, this first step is the easy one--you don't have to make any changes yet! Just think about what small things that maybe you would like to change. 

More hot topics to come!
-downing a #2 at McDonalds like no one's business (can I supersize that?)
-freshman 15 (ok, 12)
-fears of fats, calories, blah blah blah
-weight loss, including muffin top and sucking it in
and much much more!

Aaaaaallllll the skeletons are coming out of my closet--er--pantry. The unhealthy, embarrassing skeletons--but hopefully they will help you believe me when I say anyone can make changes.

Feel free to add your ideas, changes, downfalls, and triumphs in the comments so we can learn from you as well! Or post it on your own blog so your friends can help give you a push--whatever you need to do.

so.....who's in?

*disclaimer. I'm not a doctor (in case you thought I was). I took a few health and nutrition classes in college, 
but I am by no means an expert. 
I have a sweet tooth and a weakness for baked goods, and refuse to make a cake with wheat flour, 
flax seeds, or some crazy weird "healthy" version of a chocolate chip. 
I'm not that far in. 
But I do strive to feed my family real foods--foods that have been processed as little as possible or not at all. I love cook simple, healthy meals for my family, with good ingredients. Last year I made yogurt--I know, it's weird, but it was awesome.  I'm learning to garden. I love the famers market. I love to learn about eating and living well (please read Animal Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.....I think you will like it).Everything I know comes from my experiences with my own little family, I have a long way to go, and I strive every day to learn something new......thanks for reading:)

edited to add:

*second disclaimer, for meg and liz: first off, ahahahaha girls. My hair didn't get curly until around 8th grade, and then I spent my entire freshman year straightening it for hours on end, and praying it wouldn't rain. My sophomore year, my mom bought me some mousse and we decided to embrace it. I promise that is me.


Daniel & Mindy said...

i love that you will be blogging about this. my husband & i have been moving that direction the past year, too.
its such a sensitive subject for so many people, but i think you can do it in a tasteful way :)

can't wait!

birdhouse productions said...

I absolutely love this. Eating less processed foods and cooking more of my meals has been a goal of mine for some time now. I'm always looking for help and ideas for how to cut back on the things I know are guilty pleasures and not healthy decisions - but I, too, love food like you! So it's definitely a long process of personal growth and change. This is really inspiring and already, makes me feel as though it's possible to be a foodie with food smarts. Can't wait to read more :)

Carolyn said...

i love this. i'm excited to read what you have to say.

Anonymous said...

Hi, just love this new posts that are coming!!!
So good someone talking about food... yummy!
We take care of house house and food in it, our little one goes to a waldorf school that helps a lot.
So we also could had sometimes, a recipe, or a tip or someting. Like breakfast, or lunch etc... I think that would inpire people to try to cook it. I think sometimes the problem is people want to change, but they are so use to cooking meet and regular food that they don't know how to do it diferently.

thanks I will stop by to see what's on.


Melissa@IselaMariaPhotography said...

It is so awesome that you are talking about this. My husband and I have recently made big changes to our diet, we now eat only organic foods. If you are serious about eating less processed foods you should read the book "Nourishing Traditions". Its pretty much amazing and filled with great recipes, like making your own cream cheese.

A Beautiful Life said...

yippee! so glad you're doing this! i've just always been a big eater, at least 2 or 3 helpings and i never really had to worry about my weight until i started having kids. so now it's portion control, sweets, and even if it's a whole grain chip, i shouldn't EAT HALF THE BAG!! ;)

Unknown said...

This is so great, I have been tentatively exploring this when I discovered your blog, I have lost about 30 lbs and have 30-40 more to go. The way you approach food is refreshing and not at all preachy or pretentious and I am excited about what comes up next!

banananutmeg said...

hahahhaha I love the "disclaimer" ar the bottom. So awesome.

Great post.

Also, are you sure that is you? Where are the curls? Did the not appear until after the big change? Did you spend an hour flattening your hair. Is that actually a twin sister that you keep hidden in your closet like the closet organizer guy on SNL? Is is a wig?
So many questions, sheena.

I like the post, btw.

banananutmeg said...

wow. that's full of typos. Sorry.

but seriously...who's hair is that on middle school sheena's head, and where is your hair?

{lizzythebotanist} said...

clearly you did go through a big change because how did you hair go from brown/straight to blonde/curly?!?! i never would have recognized you in there. crazy!

i will still be your friend ;)

Alex said...

Looking forward to this!! You always have such yummy looking and healthy recipes on here, so I feel like you know what you're talking about :)

sheena said...

Meg and Liz--I am laughing so hard!! there is now a second disclaimer, just for you:)

melissa said...

my first memory of body image was from a full house episode, when dj crash dieted for a swimming party! dude, dj, whatever.

Kimber said...

love this post! i truly do want to increase my healthy eating to what i can. have little posts like these will remind me that i CAN do it! thank you!

Becca said...

First of all, I totally had that shirt and wore it in my 4th grade school picture...unibrow and all! BAH Thank you for doing this little series. We have been striving to do a lot of those things the past few years and have made goals to do even more of them this year. I was in pretty good shape before I had my son 16 months ago which I think helped me bounce back quite well (though my belly is still has a little jello going on...any plans on addressing that?!). I do exersize 5 days a week but I guess it's very stubborn. Anyways, Before I get prego again (around the end of the year) I want to be in the best shape of my life so I can bounce back even easier next time. Needless to day, I am SO looking forward to these posts! :)

rachel june* said... are making it all sound easy and that makes me excited! as this is something i want to work harder on. we don't eat fast food, but my kids love processed food like frozen burritos, mac n'cheese....eek! my main goal this year is adding more veggies to the mix. suggestions on getting kids to try stuff?

cara lou said...

I'm so excited! Plus, I love that photo.

I just happened about this new blog :

You will like it.

kami said...

I'm so excited to follow along!! So funny because just last night, I put together a new blog where I can share my thoughts about health, natural living, nutrition, etc instead of on my private family blog. Sounds like we are on the same path! :)


Anonymous said...

i swear all my most brillant ideas come in corpse position, but then i fall asleep and forget them. DANG IT!!

I loved this post and think this is an AWESOME idea.

Jessica Kettle said...

oh yay! i'm so excited for this series. i probably answered yes to all of the maybe statements... except for the farm one.
and the pic is fabulous! my hair didn't go curly until 8th grade either. which is also incidentally when i got rid of my unibrow. =)

quietly going mad... said...

I'm so excited for the things to come!!! I am little by little trying to make changes and ones i will stick with. I have gained and lost and gained and lost so much weight over the years its time to find the thing that sticks. You are gorgeous btw and your 6th grade pic makes me smile!

jenniferhoiyin said...

I've thought about how to talk to people about this same topic. I love your approach and I'm excited to read more, and commiserate with you about those middle school girls.

can you believe i had a dance teacher tell me (at around 110 lbs + a hs senior) that I needed to lose 10lbs so the boys could lift me better?! yeah.

Hayley said...

you know i'm so on board for this :)

eric and i were talking about the freshman 15er-whatever the other night. for me it was the freshman, soph, and junior 15.

it all gradually came on and didn't come off until after i was married and forced into cooking for us. we ate super healthy and were dirt poor those first few years. proof that anyone can do it on any budget :)

glad we are back! back to blogging and back to being healthy :)

Elizabeth said...

Sheena, I love this idea! My husband and I have begun making similar changes ourselves. Sometimes it's hard and sometimes we feel like freaks, but I guess it helps that the whole foods/organic/farmer's market thing is becoming a little more mainstream. I just started making kefir (kinda like yogurt) and would recommend it to anyone - so good and good for you.

To add to the earlier comment about DJ, this whole healthy body, healthy living post reminds me of another piece of television gold: when Jessie from Saved by the Bell ODs on caffeine pills "I'm so excited ... I'm so ... scared ..." I need to go find that clip now ...

Tabitha said...

I will definitely stick around for this. Sounds interesting.

Laura_ve said...

I love that! Can't wait for the next "episode"! :) I'm 25, trying to take away those 6 kilos I put on during university, and my last attempt with yoga was with a teacher with which I could not really connect. I kept thinking about the world outside, not focusing.

I'll stay tuned!

Jessica said...

I love that you are going to be blogging about these health topics. I'm interested in reading! I coach clients at work about intuitive eating and it's amazing (and sad) at the relationship that most people have with food. It's totally messed up. Anyway, I'm excited to read more!

Amanda said...

I left you an award on my page :)

Anonymous said...

reaaaaaaaaally excited for this! thanks sheena!

summer said...

yaaaaaay! i'm so in. can't wait for more posts in this series, and hopefully more school photos. (i really want to see that hair evolve.)

ps. have i told you that every post you write is one i wish i had written myself? yes.

Jane said...

Wonderful! Thanks for sharing and starting this discussion. I am endlessly fascinated with food and perfecting a healthy and whole diet. It will be a life long journey I think. How lucky that we live in a time of such availability. We are available to good information and ideas and recipes all over the internet and world. A wholesome, well rounded, and moderate diet is my goal. I'll be excited to read your posts on the topic. Have you seen Food Matters? Great, informative documentary.
Everyone has their own ideas about eating and food and right and wrong. It makes for a fun discussion and hopefully in the end makes everyone better and more thoughtful about what they consume.

Hannah Mayo said...

I'm looking forward to this series. My relationship with food has been a wild ride over the years, and there are definitely changes I want to make now to feel better.
Middle school... ick. lol. That is when my awareness of dieting, etc started too, and the damage done then affected me for so long afterward (probably still does).

T&T Photography said...

I love everything in this post! Thanks! - Heidi

Liz said...

Ok I am totally in--well as long as you stick to the whole eating baked goods with real chocolate chips thing. Next time try dark chocolate chips in your chocolate chip cookies. It is AMAZING! :)

mummydinosaur said...

I'm in. Over the past couple of years I've been trying to eat more locally (Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle was my inspiration), eat more organic, eat less meat and more vegetables and eat more mindfully - oh and try and grow my own veggies in a garden with not much sun. Also this year, I continue with the challenge of widening the palate and tastes of my not so adventurous boy (soon to be 5). I'll be following the journey.

Unknown said...

i am so looking forward to this :)

Teachinfourth said...

I should be in, but I'm going to stick to superchunk peanut butter and cookie dough.

Yeah, I'm pretty much a slacker.

Kudos to you though!

kylie said...

you are so great! i am in! teach me all! i have already used some of your fun easy recipes. i'm all about simply healthy :)

Steph said...

Sheena, you are doing wonders. I am definitely in and think that this is such a healthy place to voice concerns, questions, hopes, etc etc re: food.... with fellow people!

Things I would like to change? Taking more time to be grateful for what goes into my mouth and acknowledging all the people that were a part of it. The cooks, the farmers, the drivers that hopefully didnt drive too far to deliver fresh veggies to the market....

Also, being aware of what I put in my mouth and sitting down to meals instead of snacking! I think this is so important to be able to fully appreciate food.

Thanks for this space sheena... again great job!

lisa said...

I looove hearing evolution stories, esp when the outcome is good :) It made me think about another post I recently read that really surprised me. Has to do with eating fats--and I found it sooo interesting. Because I always THOUGHT I knew what eating healthy was, but obviously I'm still learning. Check it out!

kassidi bridge said...

I'm so happy and excited about these weekly posts! Thankyou thankyou thankyou.

Erin Starks-Teeter said...

You are one lucky girl if that is what you looked like in 6th grade. Yes, I know the denim shirts can be embarrassing in retrospect, but you were gorgeous.