Part of my identity crisis comes from the desire to balance and add layers to my life. At the core, I know who I am. Now it’s just a matter of adding new facets. Today I will address one of the biggest issues in my family’s life:
I will admit perhaps my greatest shame first: my family has terrible eating habits. We exist on take out and junk food. My husband has eating related health issues (thyroid, IBS) and my three-year old eats crap or not at all. I’ve struggled to eat healthy all my life, but it has mostly been a long list of failed diets. My husband works so much and we are both so drained, that our eating is just an after thought.
I do believe I can take control of this situation. My daughter is at the age where she can still learn good habits. I don’t really want to put my family on any sort of trendy eating program. I would like to eat more fresh ingredients, more whole grains, more lean proteins while cutting out the processed, fast food crap we subsist on.
We live in the middle of the West Texas desert, so fresh ingredients are hard to come by and costly. We have a health food store, but their fruits always look like they’ve gone ten rounds. Luckily, we are entering the season when our local farmers market opens. I have never been and I am dragging my mom this weekend to check it out.
I will proudly say that I did feed my family a homemade meal earlier this week and I have been doing better with the meals I eat on my own.
My daughter helped me make a wonderful salad the other night. Yes, she’s only three, but I think it’s important to let her help. We did spinach and halved grape tomatoes, coated it with a Dash dressing, and topped it with some cheese crumbles we had on hand (gargonzola).
By Dash dressing, I mean something I threw together from stuff we had in the house. Here’s the basics for it and you can use what you have on hand.
1 1/2 T olive oil
1 T Balsamic Vinegar (we used Apple Cider because we were out of Balsamic–use whatever flavored vinegar you have)
1 T Dijon or other flavored mustard (we used Cranberry because it’s what we had)
Whisk together with a fork and toss with the salad.
What I loved about this salad was that aside from cutting up the tomatoes, my toddler did it herself. She has a blast tossing everything together and using our salad utensils to serve everyone. The next day she couldn’t wait to tell her grandparents that she made salad. (It tasted really good, too!)
My other favorite meal discovery this week is my throw together chicken salad. Normally I love tuna, but being preggers, I have to avoid it, especially the canned stuff. Instead, I just took a can of chicken, added 1 T of unflavored Greek Yogurt, and flavored with dried dill. It was so good I would have licked my bowl had I not been at work. The Greek yogurt not only adds some texture, it’s a healthy diary. Next time I’m going to use half a whole grain pita for a little sandwich.
I think the problem so many families have with eating well is that it seems time consuming and expensive. I don’t have the time, funding, or energy to make from scratch macrobiotic meals every night. So my goal is to begin using recipes like those above that are healthier, fresher, inexpensive, and easy to make. Cause isn’t that what every mom wants?
Until next time, try to use some whole wheat flour when you make your cake and eat it, too.