The Burke family health journey began over a year ago when they decided to get on track for a healthier lifestyle.
Tricia Burke didn’t want a quick fix- she knew she needed help making a long term plan for better health for herself and her family. She got with a dietitian at Monument Health to get set up with knowledge and a plan. They set goals to inch their way to better health.
Burke says, “We are eating better, we are exercising more — together, just doing it all around just making it better for us, making it better for us, for a lifestyle change, so this will be long term.”
Some of their goals include drinking more water, get moving more, make better food choices, more mindful eating — using food as fuel and not an emotional crutch. And when everyone is on board it’s easier to follow through.
Cindy Gates, Dietitian at Monument Health, says, “You know sometimes when you get home you really aren’t that motivated, but if somebody else asks you, it’s all about accountability. And you know getting out there and getting some activity.”
The Burke family prepares meals together- they look through recipes, set up a weekly menu and buy groceries as a part of their sustainable objective. They have made accountability a big part of the plan.
Burke says, “We have really changed the way we shop. We are avoiding certain isles at the grocery store. We are looking at labels on the boxes now, you know if we put a portion size on our plate, the other person is like ‘OK you are kind of going overboard there, pass the vegetables over — you need more of that on your plate than the rice.”
Being prepared is key. As Gates puts it if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Gates says, “Doing more meal prep. It’s really hard when you get home at the end of the day and you don’t have anything healthy to eat in the house, so that is when you are going to stop by fast food. 75% of Americans at 4 p.m. have no idea what they are going to eat at the end of the day.”
Burke also tracks her food with an app so she can count portion size and the types of food she is eating- to help hinder any mindless eating habits.
It’s always a good idea to pack some healthy snacks with you if you are in your car or on the go, that way when those hunger pains strike you can have some healthy choices and won’t be reaching for those fast food breaks.
Over year later, Burke says she has lost weight and overall feeling better. The family is keeping each other on track.
“And getting your family on board too and just taking it one day at a time, you can’t expect to do it all in that first week. It’s a gradual change,” says Burke.
Burke says that it can be more of a challenge to eat fresher and healthier it is well worth the trade of feeling better and having more energy.