I guess I have learned one of many lessons in parenthood: sometimes you aim for the stars with your parenting goals and probably more often than not you don’t quite get there.

My quest to finish my pregnancy with ‘100 Days of Real Food‘ – for my health, for baby’s health and hopefully to create a new lifestyle for my family – has not been as simple as I expected. But that’s okay. Even though I have not been perfect, the goal has put some new healthier habits into motion. My thought is that ‘baby’ steps will lead to major change in the long run. Here are some things that my journey on the 100 Day Challenge has helped me accomplish thus far:

  • No more fast food. I have not eaten fast food since I set out on the challenge.
  • I read food labels. For packaged items, I aim to only eat food with only three to five ingredients with no preservatives and chemicals I cannot pronounce. For example, I have switched from the regular grocery store peanut butter brand to the Trader Joe’s peanut butter that lists two ingredients: peanuts, sea salt.
  • Limit on the refined sugars and sweets. During the holidays, I did indulge in some cookies. But all the cookies were homemade (thanks to my mom) and I knew exactly what was in them, even if that list included sugar. We all know cookies and sweets are not the best but if you are going to eat them, better they don’t have preservatives. I even found a great recipe for 5-ingredient Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies.
  • Lots more fruits and veggies. I have been snacking on fruits and veggies more so than I did before, I throw more veggies in my eggs in the morning and for a midday pick me up, I make all-fruit smoothies.
  • Avoiding unhealthy ‘healthy’ food like whole grain bread, granola, granola bars, etc. It’s one thing to eat a cookie and know that it is not terribly nutritious. When you are having whole grain bread or a granola bar you assume you are doing the right thing for your body. Sometimes you aren’t. Now I make sure my whole grain bread is from a local bakery with five ingredients or less. I’ve replaced cereal with whole oats, and I plan to start making my own granola bars and wheat tortillas.
  • Adhere to the 80:20 rule. When I slip up, I don’t give up. If 80 perecent of what I eat follows the “Real Food” guidelines and only 20 percent does not, I am still in a better place than I was before.

With 11 weeks left in my pregnancy (roughly 77 days), I am going to keep forging ahead trying to do better and better each week.  Maybe by the time baby arrives, ‘Real Food’ won’t be a challenge but will be a part of my lifestyle.

-emilie

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