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  • Writer's pictureKate Cleveland

Stepping away from perfection

Updated: Jan 12, 2021

**Please note, this post was transferred over from the previous version of It has been slightly modified to reflect changes in the new design, etc. but most of my thoughts from back then are still very relevant!

The best tip I can give for successfully adding in healthy foods and getting rid of not-so-healthy foods is: Don't buy the junk.

Let's not get carried away now. Remember to focus on taking small steps that create big changes. Keep it Simple and it will become Sustainable. There's no need to do a huge purge of your cupboards, (unless, of course, you want to) but simply stop buying the boxed processed foods. Replace them with quick, easy recipes (link coming soon!) that contain real food. A great quote that I try to keep in my mind is by Dr. Mark Hyman. His advice - "If nature made it eat it, if man made it leave it. Pretty simple, right?" Sounds too good to be true, but it is actually a simple change that can go a long way on your journey to wellness.

One thing that has helped my husband and I take small steps to stop buying the junk food is to re-think our idea of what a homemade dinner "should be". Our lives are inundated with images of perfection, and meals are no exception. Once I put my perfectionism away, I was able to stop and realize something very important. A home cooked meal doesn't have to be made entirely from scratch.

Man cuts loaf of bread on kitchen counter
My favorite chef . . . my Pop!

As the daughter of a chef, this was pretty hard to overcome because I was lucky enough to grow up watching him and learning from him. He was an Executive Chef at a fancy resort and then worked for a production catering company - feeding the actors and crews of movies and commercials. His capacity to make magic in the kitchen is something I will always admire. Take stir fry for example . . . My father makes an incredible stir fry, all from scratch. He carefully picks out his various vegetables, cuts them all into uniform

sizes, creates the sauce with seemingly little effort, and in no time at all, it ends up incredible. Every time. Now, don't get me wrong . . . when I have the time and the energy, I LOVE this style of cooking. I love to peel, chop, dice, stir, taste, add, taste again, add more, etc. but it takes me a lot longer than it does a professional. In this season of my life, it just isn't feasible. For a long time, I simply didn't make stir fry because I thought I didn't have time.

A few years ago I had a miniature epiphany. I don't need to go all out on every meal and have special training just to feed my family healthy food. Going back to the example of making stir fry . . . frozen pre-chopped stir fry mix and this quick healthy teriyaki sauce can sub for the precision and speed of a professional chef . . . and it's still much healthier, and cheaper, than take-out!

Stepping away from the expectations of professional-looking photos we see online and changing our mindset about what "home cooked meals" should look like has enabled our family to really dig into some fun kitchen adventures. When meal planning, searching for recipes, and cooking, the key is to take the pressure off so you don't get overwhelmed.

Keep it simple, and remember, you are trying to feed your family . . . not competing on Iron Chef.

Thanks for reading,

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