Thursday, August 23, 2012

Guest Post :: REALFood Transitioning Snacks & Drinks

The following guest post is written by Sara from Your Thriving Family.

My biggest struggle with our transition to real food has been when I get the snackies and miss my soda.  So, I have been trying to find good alternatives to sugar laden drinks, chips, cookies and all those other easy to reach for empty foods.  Here are some alternatives I have become obsessed with.

First - don't buy them! If they aren't in the house they won't be easy to reach.

- My husband and I have never been huge candy people. In fact after most holidays I end up sending a bag full of JUNK to school with him - poor high schoolers. But I have found myself wanting chocolate - I do still indulge in the occasional high quality dark chocolate, but savor every bite of that small piece!

Mostly, I've been eating Strawberries or Gala, Fuji and Honey Crisp Apple.  In fact there was one week I think I had at least two apples a day.  Don't forget to try out your kids foods - I had completely forgotten how good raisins are!  Also, the homemade lemon curd yogurt I've been making has been a good alternative when something creamy is wanted.

The great thing is after you have stopped having the overly sweet foods for a few weeks they are no longer as appealing.  Every 10 to 14 days your taste buds get new nerves.  Which means if you are diligent all those foods that used to be desserts when sugar was at a premium can once again be treats.

I spent quite a few attempts figuring out a less processed granola bar, then I realized these "cookies" I was already making have the some ingredients, plus quite a few more nutritious ones.  The reason I use quotes around cookies, is that they are not cookies to someone having store bought chocolate chip ones.  The sweetest thing about them is the dark chocolate.  Having said that, my kids love these.  And I don't feel guilty giving them these and some fruit for a light dinner.

Carbs - Sometimes I just really want to sit down with a can of pringles or some pirates booty.  After starting this post over six months ago, I actually don't crave this very often.  But when I do I've been having homemade salsa and chips with flax and chia seeds.  Once you start eating more hearty chips, crackers and breads you won't want the lightness of the tortilla chip or "100% whole wheat" bread.

I have also been making a lot of muffins and quick breads.  These are great for throwing in a 1/4 cup of sourdough starter for an amazing rise and some added digestive help.  This is not just bananas!  Apples, carrots, root veggies and squash all make some tasty muffins.

Don't discount a hand full of seeds or nuts either!  I've been loving toasted spouted bread with a little butter or a nut butter.  Sometimes a little cinnamon does the trick as well - which is a natural for tricking your taste buds into a little sweetness.

My main focus for all of us is that what we are eating is providing nutrition, not just filler.

What about family and social functions?  Let yourself cheat . . . if you want to.  I usually allow one day on the weekend to have some soda.  I am happy to say that most of the time I am disappointed with it. I've also started my Water Kefir journey - which I'll be posting about soon - and recently had my first successful batch of carbonated kefir.  I was really pleased with how well it turned out, now to repeat it!

Teas, especially some with slightly fruity flavor, are a good choice for less sugary drinks.  But good old water can be quite refreshing if you get yourself used to it!  For quite a while I was having a small glass of juice in the evening to nip the cravings.  Brushing my teeth soon after dinner also discouraged the evening munchies as well.


What real food alternatives do you enjoy?



Sara is a full-time mama to Sissy – almost 6, her brother, Singer – almost 3, and newly joined baby brother on 3-6-12. She is a wife to a her husband of almost 8 years, who has an amazing heart for working with youth. She is also a homemaker, doula, Theatre Tech and adjunct. She writes about family, food, marriage, kids, miscarriage, pregnancy and God. Pushing her family to THRIVE not just strive to survive! Visit her at Your Thriving Family.


Emily Cook said...

Great post Sara! Journeying with you... and pinning some of these tips!

Sara yourthrivingfamily said...

Thanks Emily!