Yesterday was a new high for exercise. I jogged on the treadmill for 18/30 minutes, up 2 minutes from my last attempt. I warmed up to 6.5 km/hr over 2 minutes, and then for the duration jogged 8 km/hr for 2 minutes, walked 6.5 km/hr for 1, etc. My neck started to spasm after that but some hot water in the shower and a bit of self-massage and I was good.
Yesterday I was a bit over in the carbs – on a home visit I was offered a roti, and haven’t having had one for years I decided to go for it. It only put me over by about 1/2 a carb, though, because I skipped carbs totally for supper and just went for a chicken taco salad minus the taco.
Today, I’m fairly on track. Focusing on a whole protein at breakfast seems to help me not feel so hungry over the morning. This morning it was an egg and scrambled veggies with toast (below, top) which I found much more satisfying in the long run than the previous day’s breakfast of brown rice, yogurt and apple sauce (below, bottom). Today’s lunch was a leftover turkey pasta dish, carrots and celery and applesauce.
I had to drive out of town for a home visit and really felt like stopping for something first. Something delectable, like frozen yogurt or a pastry. This was very shortly after lunch, btw. When I really thought it through, I realized I wasn’t hungry. I was bored, a little despondent. I told myself I could wait until supper and then did. Hubby made a great chicken and vegetable curry over rice, so the wait was totally worth it.
I know I’ve written other posts about going my own way as opposed to what the rest of my family is eating. Sometimes I need to do this, and sometimes I don’t. I found myself thinking about families and food today, and I think I may do a few posts on the subject. It’s a touchy one for me. In part, I’m choosing a healthy lifestyle for my kids. I didn’t have anyone to model healthy eating for me, nor did anyone try to structure my eating in a healthy way. I would come home from school, pretty much depressed most of the time, and eat. I remember boxes of Old Dutch Chips gone quickly. I remember making entire meals of pizza buns and soups, before comsuming another supper meal. I remember being able to scarf down half a pizza by myself. Easily. Food was comfort and entertainment.
I want better for my kids. On the plus side, they ended up with parents probably a tad more emotionally healthy and aware than I had. On the negative, they are bombarded all the more with non-food masquerading as food and coming at them with marketing techniques perfected by millions of research dollars put forth by Big Food. We are in a culture saturated with unhealthy, and our soaring obesity rates show this. I don’t want my kids in those statistics.
So I eat healthy for me, and I try to also encourage (nag? enforce?) it for them, too. Generally, this is unappreciated. “Mom is trying to make us eat ‘healthy’ again,” is often said in the tone that would normally be used if someone was trying to get you to buy Amway. Once in awhile, I’ll get a breakthrough, like my middle one telling me the other day, “Mommy, you were right, the mini-Blizzard was the right size for me,” or when they admit that too much candy feels yucky (Yes, I do allow my kids treats). At their deeper moments, they can say that they do want what is healthy, but peer and popular pressures are a lot for developing minds. It feel like it’s up to me to stand in the gap and say to McDonald’s “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” (That was a Lord of the Rings reference, btw)
So in general, I still find it challenging to guide my children’s eating. I think eating healthier as a family helps me, too.
However, I’ve come up with helpful tools that seem to move us in the right direction:
1. Put out the healthiest food when they are the hungriest. Right after school is a great time for fruit and veggie plates.
2. Don’t worry about variety. We all descend from people groups with very limited diets – whatever was local. I believe it was through Michael Pollan’s writing that I became aware that people can live successfully on all kinds of diets, as long as it’s not the modern processed North American diet. That’s one’s deadly. Youngest child will pretty much eat 2 vegetables: raw carrots and cooked peas. Middle child loves caesar salad. Both eldest and middle like cucumbers and carrots with dip. So those few things get a lot of play in our meals and snacks. It does not bother me at all to serve carrots and cucumbers every day for a week.
3. Puree away. There is a soup I make with sweet potato, a few other vegetables and peanut butter that I know my kids would never touch with chunks. I puree it with a hand blender, call it peanut butter soup and the middle and youngest love it. They also go for smoothies (fruit, yogurt and often carrot and zucchini, too) almost every day (see #2), and popsicles made only of pureed fruit are very popular.
4. Some things are easy. Whole wheat pasta is a simple switch to make. So is dropping to the next lowest milk fat amount (3% to 2%, 1% to skim). I used to only drink 2% and slowly moved down. I learned to like skim. So did hubby, who once swore it tasted like water.
5. Recipes with all purpose flour can be substituted out 1/4 whole wheat with little change to the end result.