The journey begins...education is key.
I am beginning this new lifestyle. I am trying to be careful in the food that I prepare and that I (and my family) consume.
The first thing that has been severely cut back is processed sugar intake. I do not generally consume much in the way of soda. Usually I will take only a few sips from the bottle before I replace the cap and walk away. My drink of choice is coffee but I'm learning to like water. Simple, cold, calorie free, well water. I use a reusable container that I fill at home to drink from and carry extra water in a larger container that remains in my personal cooler. (Saves money and space in the landfills) I don't like many of those little packets as so many of them contain sugar or sugar substitutes. The many fake sugars created from chemicals plain taste bad to me and I've yet to read much of anything positive about them. I do plan on finding the best ways to add real fruit flavoring to water for those days when I want something more. Not only will it be a refreshing change but with certain fruits it will be beneficial to my health.
Water itself has many healthful benefits in that it prevents dehydration (caffeinated drinks do not prevent it and in some cases actually may lead to dehydration.) It keeps the body flushed out of the many toxins with in and helps regulate hunger and body temperatures.
I'm also educating myself on the many ways that sugar is listed on food labels. Sugar has a lot of aliases and is not ashamed to use them. Here is a link to one listing: http://www.dietriffic.com/2009/03/26/names-for-sugar/
Another link to sugar information: http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/whattoeat/a/sugars.htm
Prevention.com has this: http://www.prevention.com/health/diabetes/hidden-sugar-food-labels
One thing I have found is that many of the pages have links to good foods, substitutes for sugar, meal plans and more. Some of the things I read are well known, some are new to me. I have to remind myself not to think that just because I know the first items on the list I know them all.
One thing about my educating myself, once I get started on these online searches I get caught up in the information and quickly lose all track of time. There is an amazing wealth of information out there waiting for us to happen along and utilize it. One thing that I do have to watch out for is losing too much time that could be used in getting the exercise that I need or pursuing hobbies that is also a part of this new lifestyle. Another thing about educating one self, I've read that as long as you keep learning new things, you are exercising your brain and helping to prevent or slow any age related dementia.