I can't say I've ever been a particularly healthy eater. Throughout my life, if I had a desire to diet or change eating habits, it was more about loss than anything else. You know the feeling: instead of looking up good ways to improve your eating, you look at what all needs to be cut out of your daily life.
Sugar-laden delicacies that made up my entire list of favorite foods.
Creamy mac and cheese, with more cheese in one bite than you normally have all day.
Chicken and dumplings.
Chicken pot-pie with a warm buttery biscuit perched on top.
(Are you noticing that all the tastiest treats start with a 'c'? Weird.)
Anyway, over the past several months, a few things happened that have slowly started to overhaul, not just my diet, but the whole way I look at food.
First. In the last two years, I've had two babies and I'm still a big ol' girl. I'm actually as big now as when I delivered my first daughter. That's embarrassing to think, much less to admit out loud or in text. I wouldn't say I've ever had just stellar self-esteem, but my weight issues are putting it squarely in the toilet. I need a change. For me. To feel good, both physically and emotionally.
Second. My youngest daughter is one and is already weighing in far more than they would like. With the family histories all the way around, the doctor wants us to keep a close eye on what she eats. Now, I've always been fairly careful with what I feed the girls. Less so with what I feed Matt and I. And, now, the girls are old enough to see the difference. We can't continue eating junk and then trying to convince them that veggies are the new Twix bars. We, as a family, needed a change.
At first, I tried an overhaul the way I had in the past--no carbs! No sugar! No ANYTHING THAT MAKES LIFE TASTE GOOD. Nothing! Forget it!!
And, ya know what? That sucked. Thoroughly. So, like the addict that I am, I hit up Pinterest. All of a sudden, I had a wealth of recipes at my fingertips that...well, they actually looked pretty good! Fruits, veggies, healthy cooking...that could be...good? I could eat something and not feel deprived if I didn't follow it up with a cold soda and warm, gooey cookie? (Cutting out soda has still been my least favorite part of this whole thing, not gonna lie.)
And, yet...it's true! I've found my journey to discovering how to eat and cook healthier liberating! To not automatically discount a recipe because I didn't think I liked the ingredients frees up A LOT of recipes for me. And, my husband is a saint who doesn't care at all what weird things I want to try. His general response is, "Yeah, I'll give it a shot." I don't think he's said no to a single thing so far. (Even though I may have tested him this morning by sending him a Pin to a hot pink beet soup.)
And, if I intentionally "forget" that I don't like something--take peppers, for example--then when I cook it, it's like trying it for the first time. Some recipes still don't work for us. I can think of a couple that have fallen totally flat. (I find that many of those have been because they've been touted to be similar to some sweet treat that I love. I like spinach a lot. But, you can't have it be the base of a smoothie and call it a thin mint and swear it tastes just like a girl scout cookie. That's blasphemy.)
But, some recipes have been an absolute delight! The whole family has enjoyed them, and we'll definitely be adding them to our monthly cooking rotation.
I've actively enjoyed sitting down and reading up on various ingredients, and what they can do for your body. How nutrition affects our bodies and even our mental state is absolutely fascinating! Lilah is far more receptive to trying to new things than Mads is. I read an article on the words "You don't have to eat it" that changed my life, though. (The gist is that you can say, "You don't have to eat it", and without the pressure, they usually are more willing to give it a shot. Thus far, it's proven true. Of course, that's followed up by the I'm-not-making-you-a-separate-dinner statement.) And, with the understanding that it's what everyone is having and there isn't another choice, she usually comes around fairly quickly.
Plus, knowing more about what we're putting in makes me more excited to try new things--especially when I've had some successes throughout the week. This morning's WONDERFUL success was a Vanilla Chai Quinoa Bowl. (See how it sort of starts with a 'C', too?? You know it's bound to be good!)
For those interested, the original recipe was obtained from Flavor the Moments, found here:
Oh. My. Gravy.
The thing was delicious.
Admittedly, I made a few small changes. For one thing, I didn't choose apples for my topper. We had some blueberries and strawberries that were going to need to be frozen or eaten in the very near future, so I went that route.
I also didn't have any yogurt that wasn't already promised to other recipes, so I didn't use it. It was still filling to the extreme--I doubt very much if I could have eaten yogurt if I wanted to! I didn't even finish my whole bowl, and, here I sit, hours later, still full as a tick. Nor did I have maple syrup, as I really don't care for maple as a taste in general--so I used raw organic honey. It was wonderful!
Doesn't it look AMAZING? (Even prettier picture is the one Marcie at Flavor the Moments posted on the recipe. I never thought of food as gorgeous before.)
Seriously. Go to her page. Look at it. You'll be running to the kitchen to try it out.
Couple of notes about this: 1.) It takes nearly a half hour to make. Be prepared for that. I didn't read far enough ahead and ended up being VERY ready to eat by the time I got it finished.) 2.) My blueberries were frozen, but after about fifteen seconds in the hot quinoa, they were the perfect addition to each bite!
All in all, I loved this recipe--I can't wait to try it out on the husband!
That being said, I wanted to start posting more on my blog again anyway--and since the food aspect is such a part of our life as a family right now, I figured I'd include it! (Especially since I can't actually keep blowing up Facebook with recipes you all NEED to try.) This way, if you want the recipe, I'll link to it in the blog--give credit where it's due and all that--and note any modifications we made.
Try this, though--enjoy it--and, if you liked it, let me know in the comments below!! (Especially if you modified in any way, I'd love to give your way a shot!)
Thanks for walking through this whole "baby steps to a healthier us" post, lol!