I am home from my mini-vacation. I didn’t think it was possible, but I now understand how some of these “Reality TV” shows do what they do. I am talking about the ones where the celebrity/host shows up at the target’s home and gives them a week to change their life. Whether it is how much stuff they have, their diet and exercise program, the spending/hoarding issues, or the horrible decorating, these professionals can create change in one week. In my naiveté, I assumed that the unseen production crew and army of assistants did most of the heavy lifting in these situations, and the hapless family just stood by and watched their lives being completely rearranged to the extent that, when they are finally returned to their homes, they have no option but to accept the changes that have been wrought on their behalf. I know now that the changes are not that drastic – it just takes the proper approach and presentation.
Specifically, I am talking about my own personal diet, and the eating habits of my family. For too long, we have been in a rut of greasy burgers and fries and pizza and fat and calories. While I know I may not be able to change my family overnight, or even in a week, I am slowly going to shift their consciousness toward eating a healthier diet. I came to this place after spending only a few days away from home, but the important part was where I spent it. I was in a place where no less that three organic grocery stores were competing with no less than three traditional grocery stores for the healthy food dollar of the local consumer. And all of this was in a town of only 55,000 people. Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s were literally one block apart, and yet both stores were doing brisk business while I was there. Fruits and vegetables were plentiful and tasty. My diet for the weekend included almost no beef or pork, just a little chicken, and the rest was a composite of grains and produce, with some pasta for variety. Lots of water (love the water!) and juice and tea. When I had dessert, it seemed almost too much, rather than the satisfaction of the chocolate cravings I have been so familiar with in the past. In short, spending just a few days in a “healthy-eating” environment changed how I think about my own eating habits.
Now that I am home, I am determined to keep up with these changes. I have been paying more attention to what I am putting into my mouth and what I am serving my family. The boys were resistant, but my husband willingly tried the rice-quinoa pilaf I served with dinner the other night. Big salads are becoming common, whether they are fruit or vegetable. Yogurt is a must. And I am finding that the better I am eating, the less I am craving those desserts. The other night, I had a slice of triple chocolate cheesecake after dinner, and just felt terrible afterward. Talk about a sign of the times! One co-worker told me she was giving me a week before I revert to my old habits. My husband said two. But I am going to prove them wrong. And if I happen to loose a few pounds along the way, I will accept that as one of those happy fringe benefits. Look out summer, here I come!