when we were young…

writing with passion, living with vision and acting with intention

Sticking to it


Changing your lifestyle is no easy task. There is no shortage of articles that promise a new and healthy you if you follow just 5 easy steps. How many times have we all given some diet or activity a whirl only to get back to our former habits within the month? Why do we struggle to make the change stick?

Change has been a gradual thing for me. I wanted to eat less sugar so I went on a crash “no sugar” diet for six whole days last year. The plan was to make it a month. It wasn’t all in vain though. It gave my body a chance to sort of reset and lose some of its intense craving of sweet things. But it wasn’t until I started changing what I allowed myself to bring into my house and to bake with that the real change started happening.

For example, I am a cookie fiend and always will be. I stopped buying white sugar and started looking for recipes that used either very little sugar or substitutes like stevia, apple sauce or honey. After doing this for several months, I one day whipped up a batch of my old style cookies and to my surprise, I didn’t really enjoy them. They were too sweet for my sensitive taste buds. The nerves in my teeth spasmed as did my stomach after the second one.

And so began the process of phasing out things that I knew were not helping me with my health, energy and even my emotions.

Foods I have or am phasing out:

  • white granulated sugar
  • processed meats like hot dogs and sandwich meat
  • most flavoured yogurts (I make exceptions for honey flavoured Greek Gods from time to time)
  • all-purpose white flour for use in baking
  • prepared foods (Kraft Dinner, cookies, granola bars, frozen pizza [my husband isn’t a part of phasing out that one but we don’t eat a lot of it anymore])
  • cow’s mik

These days, I typically have an abundant source of energy despite running around after two little ones. Colds don’t drag on as long and my perspective is a lot more clear. Food is far more enjoyable and fulfilling too.

To “phase out” successfully, you need a replacement for whatever it is you’re trying to go without because naturally you will probably still want to eat it from time to time. I make our own granola bars; I use recipes that require little or no white flour and buy plain yogurt and top it with honey, seeds and fruit. There’s more labour involved to be sure but it’s something I have become passionate about. That’s really what this is all about. Ultimately, whatever it is that you want, you have to get passionate about it. Passion is the motor that turns the wheels of change.

Be the change you want to see and you may surprise yourself with what you are capable of doing!

climbing a wall, reaching the top, making change, making progress. happier




Author: whenwewereyoung...

A stay at home mom of two boys under two, love TED talks, swing dancing and of course, writing. When we were young is my sharing of motherhood, the beautiful, the ugly, the happy, the sad and the world my boys are growing up in.

9 thoughts on “Sticking to it

  1. I loved the Greek God’s yogurt when I could eat it!! What is the hardest thing you have found to replace? It is non dairy ice cream for me.

    • Cheese. I just can’t seem to cut it out completely. I can get away with having a bit though but I have to really moderate. Oh and coffee cream…either I limit my coffee intake to every other day or two or learn to drink it black.

  2. That’s so great that you are doing that. I always make big plans for change and then something happens and it all falls to the wayside, especially my will power.

    • Thanks Salma! It’s a constant check and balance thing isn’t it? I think that is why I find being passionate about it goes a long way. But we moms have a lot going on as it is so there is a time to push forward and a time to step back I think. Thanks for your thoughts!

  3. A few months back I had to cut out cows milk for a while. It was such a struggle for me. I do still try to cut it back though. Have you found some replacements you like? Coconut milk worked best for me as a liquid replacement but I never found a good cheese replacement. Do you have a favourite?

    • It’s hard! I like almond milk for most things but nothing tastes as good as cow’s cream in my coffee…coconut milk and soy milk as my runner ups although my son whom I am nursing seems to have some issues with soy…I’ve just been avoiding cheese at this point…you?

      • I’m allergic to almonds and I was told to minimize my soy intake as well (though as a veggie-kind of tricky) so it meant that my options were limited. My friend who is vegan told me there was life after cheese but for me, it was such a struggle. I am veggie but I am not vegan. She says she feels better having cut out cheese however this only reinforces my belief that different bodies need different things. I have friends who don’t feel good if they cut out red meat but for me it has been great (and 24 years strong). Personally, cutting out dairy didn’t make me feel better. I was hungry all the time and I couldn’t make my fave recipes, but others have different experiences. I believe we need to listen to what our bodies tell us. Mine says dairy cheese is good. I’m happy (and thankful) to go with that.

  4. That’s awesome! Dietary changes at home have been surprisingly easy, but my struggle is with eating out. I’m on the go all the time for work and with kids and haven’t been as disciplined as I need to be with stopping for little nibbles or coffees. My next mission to conquer!!

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