Thursday, January 13, 2011

the proof is in the pudding

Actually, the proof is in the Supersized Fries, but that title isn't as catchy, is it? 

Last week I asked us all to become more aware of what/how we are eating--the good and the bad. If you're just joining us, see Part One here.

The point of this post, (if there actually ends up being a point more than just making myself look gross), 
is that people can change. 
People that have no desire to change. 
People like me. thank I always ate my own grown garden veggies?


We're fast forwarding from 6th grade me, to high school me. 

Enter hair.

I was always very active in high school--I played softball for two years, and basketball for four. Basketball practices were like natzi training camps--there were practices where I thought I actually might die--so intense I would ask myself several times why I was doing this……wait, why was I doing that? 
(And the funny thing is I would actually pay for a workout like that today)

I was scrawny and boney, and with weight gain not a possibility if I tried, I ate. 

And ate. 


My favorite was a toss up between the McDonalds #2 (two cheeseburgers, fries and a drink (root beer or that terrible fake lemonade)), and yep, sometimes I supersized it; and I also loved the Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger at Wendy's, with a Biggie fry and a frosty. 
And why not eat these at 10:00pm when you're in town with your friends 
(note: the phrase "in town" refers to being a small town kid who had nowhere in their own small town to go (bar anyone?), so we had to go to "Town" to do actual "things".)

Living in a small area, we traveled a few hours for some of our basketball games, and after the game was over, before our big bus rolled out of town we would stop at a gas station to get "dinner". Sometimes I would reach for my trusty dusty #2, or if McDonalds wasn't available, I'd grab my other favorite. 

Brace yourself. 

1 Bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos. 
1 package Little Debbie Swiss Rolls. 
1 package Grandmas Chocolate Cookies. 
1 Ruby Red grapefruit juice.

For dinner.

Nutritional content aside, what kind of weird combination is that?? I pride myself today on combining different flavors, but really? nacho cheese, fake chocolate, and GRAPEFRUIT? gross. 

Now back to  nutritional content--keep in mind this was after I'd just ran my little heart out in a basketball game--probably not the best choice of food to refuel.

But I know what you are thinking....

What high schooler doesn't eat bad?

Most do, I am aware of that.  

But my point here is that the habit can be broken.
Over the years (it took years) I completely lost any desire to eat those things- I have come a long way.
You don't have to start out all green and earthy and hippie and weird.
Anyone can change.
 I think people convince themselves that they actually NEED to eat this way, and I promise you, you don't. 
I was once a lover, and have been off the stuff for years (uh, junkie?)

Please don't think I'm telling you not to eat at your favorite burger/taco/chicken/popcorn shrimp place.
Eat what you want, when you want it, I am no burger Hitler.

But if you are STILL reading this, I'm betting it's something that has been on your mind. 
The road to better eating isn't lined with drive thru windows every quarter mile. 
If you are thinking you want to cut back, here are just  few simple ideas.

I'm traveling across the country:
If you have read this blog at all, you know that every month or so we are on the road somewhere. We have family 100s of miles above and below us, and it seems as though we are always packing or unpacking from a trip somewhere (note: hey family, come see us!)

We don't stop for fast food, which yes, takes a bit of  planning ahead. 

-we pack food. lots. sandwiches. crackers. cheese. trailmix. water. and m&ms. because they are perfect roadtrip food.
-we google. If we need to stop for one real meal,  wherever we are going, we google the restaurants first. We've eaten at small town diners (some good, some bad), or find the Olive Gardens and Applebees of the favorite? no. Better options than a drive-thru window? yes.
-and if that's not available (Nevada could really use some more restaurants, ahem), we go to a grocery store and buy, fruit, yogurt,  more crackers, more's basically a free for all.

I live in my car:
I have two super crazy days a week where I leave the house before 8am and don't get home until around 2pm. We are here and there and in between--and at some point, we have to eat. This is where you might think that a drive through would be so convenient--it would be! But with a few extra minutes of planning in the morning, we have pb sandwiches, apples or cheese and a water bottle ready to go in the car. 
Easy. Cheap. Healthy.
note: healthy eating will always take a bit of planning in advance....but really, we are talking minutes!

I'm tired/I don't want to cook/I need something fast:
This is where people start to over think. There are so many things that you have in your fridge just begging to be eaten. 

-Do you know how fast spaghetti cooks....the whole wheat spaghetti I buy takes 8 minutes. 8 minutes!
-grilled cheese sandwich. one of our favorites (if you're feeling fancy use swiss)
-egg and cheese sandwich
-turkey sandwich
-don't get me started on how many awesome sandwiches you can make in just a few minutes
-black bean burritos
(I'll be posting some more quick dinner ideas in a post down the road)

I really just want my #2
Then eat it! Just don't eat it all the time. 
A couple times a year I indulge in In-N-Out, or Five Guys, because let's not lie, that is some good stuff. 

In moderation.

I also highly recommend that you--all of you--watch Supersize Me--whether you love fast food or hate it, it's very and informative and quite entertaining (in a completely disgusting way of course).

Last week I talked about how breaking habits and getting into the groove of better eating can be overwhelming and seem impossible, and I believe it IS impossible to do it all at once. 
But if you look at it in little tiny pieces, and take it slowly, it will seem much more doable.

So this week I challenge you, to make a sandwich. 
Really--that's it. 
Make your kids a sandwich for the car, or swap out your drive thru for grilled cheese at home.

And if you feel overwhelmed, or think it's too much....just picture big haired me shoving my face with cheeseburgers, milkshakes, and grandmas cookies, because if's really funny.

I'd love to hear your ideas on how you avoid the drive thru window, and even more I'd love to hear about your binges of yester year.

*disclaimer: this post was written at midnight. My eyes were crossing as I proof read.

*disclaimer: I'm really nervous about what kind of google hits I'm going to get after using "nazi" and "hitler" in the same post

*disclaimer: see meg and liz, it's me. 

edited to add:

I should point out that we ate really well at home--we had family dinner every night, and my mom packed our lunches for school each day. So my terrible eating was only an extra curricular activity.....but still....


theappletea said...

so lovely post! I really like your blog! Kisses!!!

banananutmeg said...

There you are!
I am SO excited to have in n out in just 2 weeks!!! It's been 6 months and I will CRY if it is not as good as I remember it.

Also, if you're gonna do Little Debbi-you really opted for the swiss rolls over the tiny fudge brownies with the walnuts on top? Yum.
I just remembered the purpose of this post. I do eat healthy food, too.
And I run, so at least now I have an excuse to eat some of the crap that I do, and I'm more aware. Especially durring the holidays, it seems like there were a lot of treats that come in my house that aren't even worth eating.

Jackie Norris said...

My eating habits have changed A LOT since I got married... and the original reason was cost. We were poor and didn't have money to eat out very often. As I started making things from scratch we both realized "hey, this tastes better!" and have made adjustments from there.

A guideline I try to follow is to keep things as natural as possible. No crackers with 35 ingredients, no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial flavor. It seems if you try to keep things natural, other things fall into place. I DO NOT (and will never!) count calories, or deny myself a chocolate chip cookie if I want one. But it's so much more satisfying to make the chocolate chip cookie in your own kitchen with ingredients you recognize rather than grabbing something at the store...

Wow. Pretty sure that's the longest comment I've ever written. Loving the series, keep it up!

Katie said...

Every Sunday I make a big pot of soup to pack for lunches through the week with me. I sometimes try a new recipe or stick with ones I love, this week was chicken tortilla from cooking light. I look forward to my lunches rather then trying to think of an excuse to go through the drive thru cause I don't want to eat what I threw together last minute this morning while searching for my other shoe.
Thank you for a great post you have me thinking more about changes I can make and I love it!

summer said...

i know i say this every time, but,

thank you, sheena! i've been dying to formspring you about how you guys like to eat on your road trips and kept forgetting! i'm so happy you talked about it here:)

for anyone who wants to break a bad fast food habit, i'd recommend moving to a town of 2,000 people. your drive-thru options will instantly be zero. and you will have to fend for yourself. i did it, and i'm a better girl for it. :)

Angharad said...

I love this! My high school break time snack (note, this was an hour and a half before lunch):
- 1 packet of wine gums (gummy, chewy sweets)
- 1 packet salt+vinegar crisps (chips)
- 1 chocolate bar
Sweets, chocolate and crisps before lunch. The only lucky part is that my mum packed me a healthy lunch. Phew.
Oh and p.s. I totally changed :)

melissa said...

ha, sometimes we could talk the small-town diners into staying open for us after games, but usually we'd hit the mcd's too.

we avoid the drive through by never going further than 4 hours away. ha. but when we do, we stop at grocery stores. or target. since we'd probably stop there anyway.

i'm always surprised that people think it's too hard to eat at home. (like people who go out for fast food for lunch every single day.) way cheaper, easier and tastier.

kami said...

We went on a long road trip this summer and packed every snack and lunch for the drive. My son has allergies to gluten and corn so we are pretty much forced to avoid most restaurants and fast food (and, we would avoid them anyways). It took more planning in advance, but we did it and we didn't end our road trip feeling sick and disgusted by how we ate. When we ran out of food during one leg of the trip, we simply stopped at a grocery store and loaded up on some healthy crackers, fruit, and cheese. It was far more simple than I expected it to be! Now, whenever we're leaving the house around lunch time, I always pack something and it takes about 3 minutes. Super easy, really!

Ang said...

"You don't have to start out all green and earthy and hippie and weird." -haha!
(random, I know, but it made me laugh because that's how my fam sees me because I don't eat the BK whoppers + milkshakes, pepperoni pizzas & slurpees that fueled my high-school self)

I love this series, Sheena. It reminds me of how far I've come and how simple it is to make progress. Baby steps - thats what my husband always tells me when I feel like any of my goals (not just food ones) is too big. "You'll never get anywhere by taking one giant step - all you have to do is take one baby step after another" And that doesn't seem so big and scary does it? :)

Nellie and Jason said...

here high school lunch was usually a "hunk-a-bread" (like a 3 inch thick slice of white bread) with cheese sauce (gag)...or I'd drive over to the taco time down the street and get a crisp pinto bean burrito...(which i still love in all it's fried greasy goodness to this day...but maybe only once or twice a year!
And of course, Wendy's #1 (Classic single 1/4 pound with cheese, no pickle, fries and drink...)
I still have to refuse the urge to go grab that on my lazy days. But proud to say it's been almost 2 years since I've had it! Not that long, but I'm sloooowwwly changing!
Loving these posts! You are keeping me inspired to keep up my healthy-er habits!

Courtney said...

I don't want to leave a comment, I want to call you up and chat for an hour about how I'm the neighborhood food "nazi." I'm so misunderstood. Yes we eat quinoa, ground flaxseed, and plain yogurt (oh, the horror!) But, we have M & Ms, Kisses, and Quik in our pantry.

A kid with food allergies makes fast food tricky for us (just had a respiratory event before Christmas :(. So I make "lunchables" for the car. Turkey or ham, cheese, crackers, apple slices, pretzels. You are brave on the M & Ms. Not only do they melt in your mouth. The melt on your upholstery.

With all of this, I've come along way. My high school lunch de jour was a giant pink cookie, Cherry Nibs, and Mountain Dew. I shutter to think how much sugar that was in my 90 pound body (don't worry it's not 90 pounds anymore!) When I was first married, I thought the people who developed prepackaged stirfry and Michealina's (sp?) frozen food were shear genius!

I'm in the middle of reading "The China Study." Although I'm not RAW, or vegan, or even vegetarian, but I find the book FASCINATING and hope to use some of the recommendations to make my family healthier.

Nellie and Jason said...

oh...and i have the most awesome easy chili/honey/lime chicken enchilada recipe. Oh my gosh, you will's my absolute fave:

1T chili pwd.
1/4 c. lime juice
1/3 cup honey (i put just a tiny bit more)
1/2 tsp. garlic pwd.
1 rotisserie chicken-(shredded)

Mix above ingredients with chicken in a large bowl and let sit 15 mins.

pour half a 10 oz can of green enchilada sauce into 9x9 or 9x13..(I can't remember which I used last time) baking dish, roll chicken mix into flour tortillas ( i like the wheat ones) pour remaining green sauce over top of enchiladas and top with cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 mins!
Super easy and fast and delicious!!!!
We serve it up with lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, guacamole, whatever floats your enchilada boat.

Anna said...

i grew up never eating fast food. my parents packed coolers of cheese and crackers and fruit for road trips. we ate healthy. but then, in high school, i discovered taco bell. i am embarassed to share this but after school, my friends and i would go there and eat and THEN go home later and have dinner. and remember those huge sodas called "big slams"- we drank those everyday. every. day. dr.pepper. gross. how it is possible that we consumed this much unhealthy food and were not overweight? my body simply could not handle that kind of food now.

Moments and Impressions said...

I love this series!

In high school my lunch was a bag of chili cheese fritos, skittles and a sunkist. Ouch! McDonalds was on the only fast food with in 20 minutes... I always had 2 supersized fries. That is it and I would pile them with massive amounts of ketchup and more salt. I am glad to have changed my ways.

My tip: make double of a meal that freezes well.
I also can chili and soup - that is a little tougher but worth it. Nothing is easier than popping the lid off and warming up homemade, slow cooked goodness.

For noodles - cook a couple one or two minutes shy of done - take out 1/2 for the freezer. That way when you are in a rush, pop them on the stove in hot water and by the time it boils they are ready.

Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

What a great post! Thank you.

rachel june* said...

ding dongs. waxy, fake ding dongs. the #2, i've been there too. wondering how i ever loved that. or maybe, eating a half carton of Healthy Choice ice cream because hey it was Healthy Choice and no sugar. Awe, high school days!

It always seems like when I get on a path of making healthy choices or say "No thanks" to fast food or dessert with people, they almost criticize or try to sabitoze you for it. Making fun and saying things like, "its not going to kill you" or "seriously, you aren't going to have any, come on". Its funny too because you rarely hear anyone say, "you aren't going to have green beans? come on they are healthy". Anyway sort of a tanget, but has that kind of stuff ever happened to you? Or what is your take on it?

Samantha said...

First off, I'm glad I'm not the only person who uses the terms "Hitler" and "nazi" in those circumstances, my mom gets mad at me every time I do it but hey that's life.

At the age of 20 (last year) I decided that eating out simply wasn't worth it. I stopped eating beef/pork eight years ago so that limits a lot of the restaurants that I could eat fast food at. Gave up turkey and chicken two Thanksgivings ago (on the actual day, ironic I know).

To me it was easy to give up fast food because I knew bringing a lunch to work or eating home cooked meals, yes they may take more time, but they are kinder to your wallet, waste line, and state of mind (you don't regret having shrimp fried rice at home where you do at a restaurant because you know EXACTLY what is going in it). To me that's what allowed me to stop eating fast food (if I ever eat a restaurant, its for either sushi or a salad, nothing else), but, it was the simple knowledge of knowing what was going into my food.

I've been making lots of homemade bread/sandwiches lately. My latest one was for an avocado/kiwi one check it out here

PS. I love your blog, and I love these little things you are posting!

- Samantha

Unknown said...

seriously these posts are my very fav! since new years has come along i found a blog post from a girl that talks about having 50% of every meal be raw veggies see here:
anyway my mom was suprisingly healthy growing up so i didnt have too many bad habits to kick but i did love jack in the box tacos! I think now, grosssss! these posts keep me motivated, thats for sure :) looking forward to the quick meal ideas :)))

Ashlee Gadd said...

This is SO funny because I can totally relate! In high school, my favorite fast food of choice was a toss up between McDonalds #2 (we were meant to be friends), and a #3 at Taco Bell, which used to be 3 taco supremes. THREE TACO SUPREMES. I was a cheerleader and weighed 100 pounds and ate ice cream every.single.night. Then I went to college, took a nutrition 101 class, and was literally appalled at what I was putting into my body. Did a total 180, and take MUCH better care of myself now, with the exception of an occasional in&out burger, and of course, m&ms.

Kasey said...

I think eating total crap in high school is a rite of passage. I usually ate nachos or a personal pizza from the a la carte lunch line. Gross.

Sometimes you can even change your eating habits subconciously. About 1 1/2 years ago I started running and it wasn't even because I wanted to lose weight. I'd committed to run a charity 10K and didn't want to die doing it. The longest I'd ever run was 5K. So I started running and noticed that I was losing weight. The more I ran, the better I felt, so I kept running.

Naturally, I started craving protein, raw veggies and protein shakes. One day I realized it had been like a year since I'd gone through a drive-thru on my lunch hour. How did that happen by accident? I didn't want to ruin the results of my running, so I was making better decisions about what I was eating and then it just stuck. Now I just default to a protein shake, greek yogurt, steamed veggies, a salad, crackers and cheese, etc. And can I tell you how much less money I'm spending on lunch?!

Don't get me wrong. I still eat my share of crap. My downfall is candy, but I feel less guilty eating it after I burn 500-1,000 calories on a run! :D

Love these posts and all of your ideas on quick on-the-go foods.

Lula. said...

You are such a good writer. So witty and entertaining. I can't wait until you get to your college years... those are always the best. I'm not trying to one-up you, but I would be willing to bet that my binges and bad habits were WAAAAY worse than yours before I hit "rock bottom" (I really do feel like this kind of eating is an addiction).

And how the heck did you stay so skinny through all of this?! Life isn't fair.

Rachael said...

Love your post. You look exactly the same as in high school! Not that I know you personally, but still!!
I think it's awesome, that you plan ahead with your meals, pack healthy options for road trips, so fast food doesn't even cross your mind. Even if there happens to be one right across the street....
Fast food...does Panera Bread count? No, really. I like the food there! I want to know!
Keep posting about this stuff! It's great to hear, and it's inspiring me to be more informative about what I eat!
But yes, in fact I made myself a sandwich this week! Two of them! Turkey, with lettuce and cheese. And it was good!
And OH! I avoid the drive-through by not going! I just don't want to spend the money. Plus, yes, drive-though food, although quick, is usually not that good. Taste-wise.

summer said...

i had to come back. WOW.
these comments are amazing!! i've been sitting here racking my brain trying to remember all the crap i used to eat. like frozen, microwaveable glazed donuts. how could those have been good?!! and i forgot to say how much i loved that you mentioned making sandwiches, sheena! amen. i can't really imagine life without them.

Liz said...

Sheena, Thank you so much for this post. I am 6 months married and am really starting to realize that making healthy meals is just SO easy. Your right! It just takes planning. It amazes me that people don't have 5 minutes to sit down and plan a meal for their family. Man how times have changed.

I know the thing that changed my mind about fast food, was seeing an article on the yahoo homepage. It was about a lady who photographed a cheeseburger, for 6 months, from mcdonalds. Through out that whole time NOTHING changed in the appearance of the burger. The only thing that happened was the bun hardened. I think it is gross to think that there are that many preservatives. EWWW! Never will I touch the stuff again.

Keep the series going! I love these posts!

Anonymous said...

i'm already loving these posts! oh, it's hard to get over eating that crap. i went off diet soda and i know i can do it, but it's been hard. and i'm so ready for the day that it doesn't even sounds good.

yay for eating healthy, and having a husband that likes it too!

i have a small request. maybe it's just me but i CANNOT read your teeny-tiny print!

A Beautiful Life said...

i loooooove burts bees stuff. i need to get that body butter. mcd's #2, supersized...ahh, i remember a time as well. haha! i honestly don't eat that badly and i try to eat healthy, i just snack...alot. and have a sugar downfall. your tips to take a few min and plan in the mornings was a great idea! sandwiches in the car it is, i love sammies! here's to a year of positive, healthy change!!

kassidi bridge said...

Wow, how much do I LOVE that picture? Way too much. Brings back a lot of b-ball memories. Becca!!! Where are you? Also remembering the gas station stops on the way home. I really love these posts. GREAT tips on road trips. Brandon is still obsessed with Mc D's, so he loves having an excuse like a road trip to hit the drive through...but that doesn't mean the kids and I have to? Right? These posts are awesome. Thanks!

Emily Voigtlander said...

Fabulous post! I really appreciate your honesty!

My High School/Early college meal ...
Hot Cheetos with cream cheese, a bag of Haribo gummy bears, and a chocolate milk. Nice.

Fortunately, I don't think I can even really stomach those anymore. Except for chocolate milk! ;)

vanessa porter said...

I love this new series of posts you're doing, missy! I must confess that when I was younger, a whole box of macaroni and cheese would often be my "after school" snack. Ha,ha the whole entire box. And then years later I was 18, poor and didn't know any better, so I lived off of ramen and grilled cheese. Needless to say I look back at that time as my chubbier days! But now we eat out like...4 times a year. So those chubby days are long gone,haha.

summer said...

hi again, sheena! (annnnd this is my 3rd comment on the same post. wow.) just wanted to ask about what kind of crackers you guys like to bring with you on trips? i love good crackers!! i'm going to disney in a few days and would like to sneak some into my suitcase:)

Anonymous said...

I love this post! I have recently noticed me eating habits and have been focusing on eating whole foods. I feel so much better now. I can't believe I used to tell people Golden Corral was my favorite restaurant (mac n cheese, anyone?) now that stuff just looks sickening. I've also started to exercise and I feel amazing. I've always been thin, though. It's just a matter of making healthy choices.