Posted: Feb 27, 2013 12:00 PM
 
My husband recently went grocery shopping and let's just say he's not as label-obsessed as I am. As I sat there unpacking the grocery bags — cursing my husband for not buying nitrate-free turkey dogs, or corn-syrup-free bread for the kids — I was smacked by my own hypocrisy. There I was, shoveling half a doughnut in my mouth because I had skipped breakfast, while I freaked out that my kids' food wasn't healthy enough. I realized then that my diet also needed some TLC!

How many times have you been too busy making your family breakfast to squeeze a meal in for yourself? Or found yourself scanning juice labels while you sip on artificially-flavored coffee? It's never too late to make your diet matter, too!

Plan

What almost always stands between me and healthier food choices is time. While making time for my kids to eat healthier is always a priority, I rarely give myself that much time and attention. I'd find myself explaining to my son why McDonald's isn't the best choice for dinner, when earlier that week I had eaten there myself because I blew through a busy day without breakfast or lunch and I was desperate to eat anything I could get my hands on. Here are some tips if you also feel too pressed for time to eat right:

  • Plan your meals for the week.
  • Prep whatever you can the day before.
  • Have readily-available healthy snack options, like apples, bananas or almonds that can tide you over if you're running behind on your next meal.

If all you need to do is grab your lunch and go, or you have healthy snacks that will keep you full until you have time to eat, fast food will be a less tempting option.

Practice what you preach

Reality checkIt makes no sense to tell my son he can't have a sip of my soda, because I don't want aspartame and artificial food coloring running through his body, while I suck down a Diet Coke like it's liquid gold. Just because I am free to make adult choices about my food doesn't mean that they're good ones! The do as I say, not as I do approach to food and my kids was not working out for me. I deserve the same healthy options that my kids do and my body deserves the same care and attention I give to my family when it comes to keeping bad ingredients at bay.

  • Read labels. Just as you would with your kids, be more aware of what you're feeding your body.
  • Would you feed it to your kids? Ask yourself: If it's not good enough for your family, do you really need it?
  • Stop sneaking. Just because you can stash that diet soda can or fast food bag before you get home, doesn't mean it never happened.

I'm not suggesting you deprive yourself of the adult choices you've earned or dumb your menu down to things that are only PG-13. If I want a glass of wine, or occasionally take down a snack pack of Oreos, the world will not end. It's the daily choices that make up habits that I'm working on changing.

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