My grandma is without a doubt the healthiest person I know. When I decided to eat like her for a week, I was stoked. A little background for y’all: my grandma lives on a 50 acre property in Vermont. She frequents her local co-op, grows her own veggies, and has a very active lifestyle. Basically, her lifestyle is the epitome of health. (She’s also my most loyal reader, so hey Mama!)
When I called her and told her I wanted to eat like her for a whole week, I think she was pretty excited that I was gonna be as healthy as she is for that long. She emailed me a list with a couple notes about her diet and I was ready to go.
Mainly, she tries to avoid sugar as much as possible. I have a real sweet tooth, so I was worried this would be a big issue for me. She also doesn’t eat much bread or meat. AKA my favorite things. So for the week, I cut down my meat, bread, and sugar intake.
My grandma hates sugar so much that she doesn’t even eat store bought granola because it contains too much sugar. She’s THAT healthy. Instead of having granola, her go-to breakfast is oats, nuts, pumpkin seeds, berries, and some plain yogurt. Honestly? This was a delicious breakfast. I added coconut and cinnamon to mine and I ate this for breakfast everyday for a week.
My usual breakfast is a little more hearty, like a BEC sandwich or an omelette, so I really liked that this option filled me up but left me feeling light. I was full and satisfied. 10/10 would recommend.
Lunch was a little harder for me because I’m usually working during the lunch hours. I’m too lazy to wake up early and make a good lunch and too tired the night before to make a meal for the next day. So usually I just end up eating a sandwich or skipping lunch altogether (I know, it’s bad).
To eat like my grandma I had to adjust my lunches a lot. There were a couple days of the week where I still didn’t eat lunch, sorry Grandmother I know you wouldn’t approve. But on most the days I did eat lunch, I was fortunate enough to have my mom help me out by packaging up some leftovers from dinner the previous night. On the other days, I would make a salad with whatever was in the fridge or a spinach wrap with veggies, cheese, and chicken. My grandma usually eats a salad with fresh veggies from her garden, makes soup, or has leftovers. So, yeah, I failed lunch.
This was definitely the hardest part of eating like my grandmother. My lifestyle working 2 jobs in a lake town in North Carolina is very different from her retired life in a small town in Vermont and my lunch diet suffered because of this. Of course I did have the chance to slightly adjust in that packing a sandwich was an improvement from my usual bag of Cheez-its, but regardless I wish I could have done a better job with lunch.
My grandma is one of the luckiest ladies in the world because she gets to eat my grandpa’s cooking every night. When I talk about the best meals I’ve ever had, most of them come from my Italian grandfather’s hands. That being said, he’s the controller of my grandmother’s dinnertime meals. So every night she eats whatever delicious meal he makes with a small portion of meat and a larger portion of the veggies.
Luckily for me, my mom inherited much of my grandfather’s cooking abilities. I was able to follow my grandmother’s dinner instructions to the T by just substituting my grandpa for my mom. She made things like chicken sausage stir fry with wild rice and veggies or some sort of meat/fish and veggies. All healthy, all delicious, and all grandma approved.
The Take Aways
I wish I weighed myself before this experiment, because I definitely lost weight. I felt skinnier, healthier, and happier. They say you can train your body to crave healthy things, and while I still want chips all the time, eating like my grandma showed me that I can actually enjoy things that aren’t junk.
When I told my grandma that I wanted to do this, she told me something that really resonated with me. “I sure don’t do it right all of the time…way too hard,” she said. “But we are what we eat and the sooner in your life you figure that out, the healthier you will be.” That’s the biggest lesson I learned from this, and it’s one everyone should follow!
Thanks for the week of health and the advice Mama, you rock!