Changing What You Eat Is Hard

I grew up having buttered toast and hot chocolate for breakfast; sandwiches for lunch; and a meat, a starch, and a vegetable for dinner. Sunday dinner was served in the afternoon, and Sunday supper was cream puffs, or caramel corn, or some other treat.
But eating that way doesn’t work for my family now. No matter how often I experiment with eating normally, eating the way I grew up, I’m reminded again that we need to eat differently, all four of us. We are healthier physically, mentally, and emotionally when we follow a way of eating that is tailored to our needs.
The problem is that I’ve not yet changed my brain. I haven’t figured out all the ins and outs of our “new normal”. Meal planning is still laborious—something I have to do in advance, while my mom could throw dinner together on the fly. I can’t, and I feel the difference.
It is not the way of eating itself that creates issues, but the mental attitude I have. First of all, I need to be grateful that we even figured this out. Then be grateful that the foods we need to be healthy are within our grasp, and that there are infinite recipes available online.
I need to recognize that this way of eating is not going to change substantially. It’s not something we’re doing for thirty days, then going back to normal. So I need to develop coping mechanisms. I need to find new favorite recipes for my family. I need to find special foods for holidays, for birthdays, for special occasions. Not necessarily replacements for specific foods—because some things are impossible, or just unpleasant when they aren’t made with “normal” ingredients—but new things we like.
I also need to find a way to simplify the cooking process. I wasn’t raised to cook from packages, boxes, and cans, but I also wasn’t raised to make multiple dishes for a meal, or to cook so many vegetables. I need to spend time after grocery shopping prepping veggies so they’re ready to be thrown into a dish. That needs to be part of the routine as much as folding the grocery bags and putting them away.
Finally, I need to be patient, because if this is how I approach food and meals now, and for the foreseeable future, there’s no hurry. I can take it one week, one day, one meal at a time. Be willing to try new recipes, be willing to repeat the successful ones, be willing to change or abandon the failures.
There’s more, I know, to this. But for today, this is where I can start. How I can keep going, to keep us healthy.