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Overwhelmed - Where Do I Start?

eatinghealthy grandchildren makingprogress organized overwhelmed plantbased May 21, 2024

My 12-year-old granddaughter, Sonya, has a problem keeping her room clean. My kids had the same problem when they were her age. It’s tough for parents. You really want to just clean it for them and get it done, but you want them to take responsibility for their own space. At the same time, they don’t know exactly how to be organized at that age. It’s a predicament.

I was watching Sonya and her little brother, Sawyer, recently while their parents went on a date. I was SO compelled to help her get her room clean while her parents were gone. I tried to initiate her help. She wasn’t interested. I must admit, it was VERY messy, and it was hard to determine where to start. I started without her hoping to guide her with my strategy.

She stayed “busy” on an electronic device while I started picking up dirty clothes first and putting them in a laundry basket. When I finished that, I started picking up Legos and putting them in the Lego bucket. There were SO many Legos. Next, it was baby doll clothes and accessories. Soon I started piles of books. The more orderly her room became, the more engage she became with my project. Finally, she started helping me. She kept saying, “thank you, Grandmama, for helping me with my room”.  She seemed so appreciative (after she saw progress).

Later, I gave thought to why she didn’t want to help me until I started making progress in her room. I think it was because it was so overwhelming. Even as an adult, I feel very overwhelmed with housework and I don’t want to start, because I don’t even know where to start. I know we should all just put things away regularly and clean a little every day and we wouldn’t feel this overwhelming pressure. But real life here……….I don’t always do that, do you?

This story is a good analogy for when we want to eat plant-based for a lifetime, but it seems so overwhelming. Sometimes, we don’t know where to start because there are so many challenges in the way. What do I eat for breakfast? What do I do when I wake up late and I’m running out the door? Help. What do I do when no one else in my family wants to eat healthy but me? What if I’m trying to get dinner made quickly because I got home later than planned? Now what do I eat? What do I pack for traveling?

Just like I put Sonya’s clothes and toys and books into designated buckets, put your challenges into categories on paper. Write your challenges on paper and underline them. I need fast breakfasts for when I oversleep. I need healthy meals for me that are similar to my family’s meal. I need quick meals that can be thrown together on evenings I get home later than planned. I need healthy traveling food ideas. Keep writing the challenges and underline each one.

Now go back under each challenge and write some solutions. Under fast breakfast, make a list of fast breakfasts you can grab going out the door. Rice cakes, peanut butter, and an apple. Make several overnight oats and have them ready in the frig for days like this. Grab a wrap, hummus, shredded carrots and lettuce and throw it in a cooler to make a veggie wrap for breakfast later in the morning at work. You get the picture, make a list of SOLUTIONS to your challenge. If you need help, google it and write down the ideas.

Once you make that list, go to the next challenge and the next challenge and come up with SOLUTIONS. Before you know it, your challenges will feel less overwhelming and eating plant-based will feel more doable. You must start somewhere. Start with the first challenge and tackle it. Move to the next. You can do this. A little at a time. Before you know it you will see the RESULTS of your efforts and you will be on your way to a lifetime of healthy eating.