As I mentioned in my last post, my father-in-law had an emergency double bypass last week. Thankfully, he is doing VERY well, better than expected and is heading home as I type this. The riskiest part is over, but the hard part is just starting. The recovery. It will be especially tough this next month as he and my mother-in-law get used to a whole new normal. Adam spent time clearing out their cupboards and fridge to make way for their new and improved lifestyle. They were given strict instructions on how he MUST eat or he’ll be right back in the hospital in a year.
This was the motivation I needed to make some much-needed changes in our kitchen as well. We’ve always been fairly healthy, but definitely had a lot of room to improve. We’ve been eating healthier lately since getting our NutriBullet and this was the kick in the pants to make the lifestyle change and get rid of any foods in our own pantry or fridge that weren’t fueling us well (except for Adam’s white pasta and tortillas, I can’t touch those). They were both fairly bare, so I didn’t have to get rid of much, thankfully. Once I realized I needed to go shopping, I spent a good day studying clean-eating shopping lists*, taking notes, questioning if I would really use that kind of flour or that ingredient much and then dove in and headed off to, oh, five grocery stores in the course of a weekend? One was Target, so that hardly counts. Four, four grocery stores.
To save money, I was careful not to go crazy. I have done this before and bought tons of items that ended never getting used. I had a budget in my mind and managed to stay under it (haaaalelujah). I wanted to buy SO many things at Whole Foods, but managed to keep it under $50, which is a miracle in and of itself. I decided to only buy certain things as I needed them for recipes instead of feeling like I needed to get everything at once. I told Adam he could buy me raw almond butter over flowers any day. Or both, both would be nice.
I have honeslty been having the best time cooking new, healthy meals and discovering new recipes. I spent Friday night cooking up a few things, like a fresh quinoa salad with a cilantro-lime vinaigrette and these no-bake lemon coconut macaroons. With a glass of red wine by my side, I really had fun trying a few new things. (P.S. Those macaroons taste like dessert and are good for you, recipe here.)
It takes some adjusting, planning and work and I see how I’ve been easing into this over the last month or two, which has made it so much easier. Also, please note, I’m not saying I will always eat clean 100% of the time, I am not going to be perfect (it’s just not possible), and it’s a continual learning process, but I’m shooting for mostly clean.
Really, the biggest motivating factor is being able to share recipes with my mother-in-law and finding foods that my father-in-law would like to eat as well. The more I learn, the more I can pass on to my loved ones, the easier getting acquainted with this whole new lifestyle becomes.
Considering I talked Adam’s ear off for about three hours on how excited I was about this healthy change, I’m planning on incorporating some posts about our journey to clean eating here and on Instagram. I figure that the more I write about it here, the less Adam has to listen to me and my extreme enthusiasm for Whole Foods.
*I used this site to fill our pantry and fridge from some of our favorite stores. It is a WEALTH of knowledge and I highly recommend checking it out for lists based on specific stores. I used it for Target, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.