This past Saturday I did my weekly grocery shopping, and as I was checking out the cashier made a comment about all the healthy items I was purchasing: whole grain bread, Ezekiel bread, three different kinds of yogurt, non-sweet breakfast cereals, skim milk, vegetables (bok choy, napa cabbage, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, lettuce), fresh spices (basil, ginger, parsley), fruit (apples, bananas, strawberries, lemons, pears), meat (chicken, turkey breast), Quinoa pasta, olive oil, raisins, cheese (mozzarella, laughing cow), and nuts (cashews and almonds).
Lately I have been very, very conscious about our healthy eating habits. We are not a junk food family; we rarely eat out and prefer, instead, to cook with fresh ingredients. And I have learned that healthy eating is not just what to avoid (something we have no problem with), but also what to include in an overall healthy diet.
So, I have made a conscious effort to serve more more protein and a healthy balance of complex carbohydrates at each meal. Fruits and vegetables are the main source of our vitamins, nutrients and enzymes. And for optimal health we also include healthy fats such as fish, nuts, seeds, and healthy oils.
We've also discovered wonderful new foods and ingredients: fresh ginger, toasted sesame oil, flax seed (for nutty flavor and fiber), and Greek yogurt.
Then, there is nothing like eating fresh foods. I make our own hummus (store versions contain preservatives), trail mix, granola, chicken nuggets, and Chinese food (a new family favorite: Asian noodle bowls). I don't get bagged lettuce (I wash my own), pre-cut fruit (too much handling), or even pre-cut meats. And I prefer to chop/press my own garlic instead of using minced garlic from a jar.
Of course, there are moments. As the cashier was finishing up, she triumphantly rang up a bag of BBQ potato chips and some chocolate chip cookies. I smiled.
Hey, nobody's perfect.