If you asked me about my family's eating habits I would tell you how good they are: lots of fruits and vegetables, pretty limited processed foods, plenty of whole grains, rare traces of candy, no juice . . . All in all, we eat well. I truly believed that to be the truth.
And then my husband and I decided to do a one week detox program. We overindulged during the holidays and found ourselves feeling blah. So, we found a mild detox and limited our intake to fruits and vegetables for one week. We had the occasional cup of black coffee, but really stuck to it. SEVEN DAYS hard core fruit and veggies.
Some days were good. Some days were hard. At the end we both felt really great and dropped some unwanted water weight. Sure, that was all good stuff. However, the best part of the cleanse? We now have a much better understanding of our eating habits.
Our FAMILY was not eating well. Our KIDS were. Too often we would not eat the fruit and veggies in our house in order to save them for the kids. If we were eating dinner and the kids liked the broccoli we would fork it over. Our kids can burn through fruit, so apples and strawberries were saved for them and even thinking of eating the raspberries and mangoes in the house would make us feel guilty.
There's no time to go to the grocery store multiple times a week, produce is expensive and if the kids saw me bite into anything resembling a fruit they would insist on me handing it over. All the same excuses millions of parents make for themselves.
When we sat down and stripped everything else from our diet we realized how much more processed foods we were eating. It was terrible. For a mom whose focus has been on healthy, mostly homemade food for my kids, it was embarrassing. In realizing how poorly we were eating, so much more made sense . . . Bad moods, tiredness, bloating, not feeling great . . . Diet, duh.
It's obvious, but it's not. You can look in your fridge and look at your kids' plates and feel OK, but that's not the full picture. Be sure to take a look at your own -- and then pass yourself the broccoli.
Lisa Hanneman is a mother of three, which makes her an expert on everything and nothing. She writes about her family’s daily nonsense and overbooked life at Hannemaniacs.
See more of Lisa's stories here.