It's no secret that I'm a yo-yo dieter. My weight has fluctuated SO much in the last 5 years or so.........from marriage to pregnancy to post-partum and on to another pregnancy. I'm not disappointed with where I am today, even if I'm not at an ideal weight. To get myself back to a comfortable weight, I've always turned to cutting calories, cutting carbs, and/or exercise. Lately, though, I've had some different convictions. I haven't felt an urgency to drop a ton of weight or run a triathlon.......what I'm wanting is to just be healthier. I've done only a very small amount of research on the foods my family typically eats, and what I've found is scary to say the least.
I know that I have lots more research to do, but as it stands, I've got plenty of lifestyle changes to make now before I worry about more. I've been making some changes over the last couple months to transform my eating habits, re-direct my tastes and cravings, and hopefully soon have an impact on the things that Elliott and Scott (and eventually Liam) eat, as well.
As of today, my typical diet looks like this: fresh vegetables, meat (not necessarily lean or organic, but no overly processed lunch meats or canned meats), eggs, full-fat dairy products (greek yogurt, sour cream, cheeses, etc. No low-fat or fat-free items or flavored yogurts), fruit, berries, nuts and oils. I've personally cut out grains, wheat, pasta, bread, rice, processed sugars, and most importantly, artificial sweeteners. It hasn't always been easy, and I feel like I've still got a long ways to go until my diet is "ideal". Perhaps I'll never get there, but I like the path I'm on. Scott and Ellie are a little slower to be convinced, so most meals start off as one, and we alter their meals by adding a starch or carbohydrate.
I'm hesitant to do any more reading or research at this point, because I'm afraid of what I will discover. I've been horrified by some of the things I've learned.........I have no trust in the FDA, Monsanto scares the bejeezus out of me, and I have no words for how angry color dyes, high fructose corn syrup, and GMOs make me. I wonder if I continue this search, how will I possibly feed my family? I certainly don't want to poison us any longer, but it's a scary, expensive, slippery slope.
I will continue with the progress we've made, though. I've already learned that I cannot give myself "cheat days", and really even just a "cheat meal" can ruin my entire outlook and set me back more steps than you can imagine.
My goal is to eat real food, and soon I hope that my whole family will be eating real food. On this blog, I will occasionally share what I've been cooking (and eating, duh) to serve as an inspiration for myself. I'm not the best cook to begin with, so expanding beyond boxes of pasta and microwave meals has been a challenge. But this challenge has also been so rewarding! It's fun so far, and the food just tastes good!
Some of my favorite meals so far:
See, I told you my "cooking" skills aren't much to brag about. But I'm proud of myself for branching out, trying new things, and just making it all work. I've had some really terrible days, and I've had other days that I stick to my guns even if I want so badly to give in..........I want this to be a real, lasting, lifestyle change, and I know that this won't happen overnight. Stick around and see what else we feed ourselves! What are some of your favorite healthy meals?
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Thursday, April 25, 2013
I know, I know. Every mom (new or seasoned) will tell you that time really is unfair. How can a matter of months go by so incredibly fast?? And how can a sweet tiny baby feel as if they've been a part of your life for all eternity, but still be so fresh and new and innocent? That's where I'm at right now. Okay, so I've been there for a while! I want to stop time and keep Liam this little........but then I can't help but think about what he will be like when he's Ellie's age. Gosh, it's so bittersweet being a part of this precious dude's life!
In his first five months of life, Liam has grown and changed so much! This last month in particular seems to have brought so many milestones and cool new things. Liam is so very interactive these days. I can actually have Elliott sit and "play" with him to keep him happy at times. He's pretty easy to please as long as someone is paying attention to him.
He's also becoming so very attached to his momma. I really don't mind at all, but Ellie was so independent that it feels totally weird to be the one and only person that can console and comfort him sometimes. There's really nothing like it!
Liam has also become a lot more "active" in the past few weeks. Moving toys to his mouth, reaching for things, rolling over and sitting up! The last couple days he's been pulling his knees up under himself when he's on his tummy.......ummmmm let's slow down now dude, alright?
We've given food a chance, but I think Liam needs a little more time to learn to love it. His appetite has always been very up and down, fluctuating with what I assume are growth spurts. I think with his next growth spurt, he'll probably start eating more solids. For now, we've tried pureed squash and green beans, as well as some large pieces of banana and avocado to sort of play with. He didn't really consume much of anything, but we will keep at it little by little.
Liam is, I think, a more "needy" baby than Elliott was, but at the same time much happier. He giggles and smiles all the time, he now "talks" often, and is just all around very passionate. I cherish our quiet time when he just needs his momma to rock him to sleep, and I also love watching him be passed around an entire room of people, bringing a smile to everyone's faces. If these last five months are any indication of how awesome Liam is going to be, I can't wait to see what next month brings!
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
This last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending an event at the Seattle Science Center hosted by PBS Kids. The idea behind this event was to promote some of PBS Kids' newest apps, but PBS Kids also had some important and exciting information to share about things they're doing in our local communities. I was floored at the amount of help they have provided to a community in need, so close the place that I call home!
PBS Kids was already one of Elliott's favorite apps (she loves to watch almost every show/episode on that app.......over and over and over again), but after hearing about some new games, features, and local charity work by PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, I couldn't wait to sit down and really check all of it out with Ellie. That's kind of the big picture behind their efforts.........getting parents involved in early learning. I love that they tout parents as a child's first and best teacher, and I'm eager to dig into some new online games and start learning with Ellie!
Check out the PBS Kids Lab, where you can explore games and activities based on certain criteria such as child's age, subject area, skill level, etc.
The event itself was super fun and very relaxed. Kids were free to play, explore, and later test-drive many of the new games. Parents got to eat, chit-chat, listen to a few speakers, and then explore the new games and apps with their kids. The best part of our day? Meeting Cat in the Hat. Obviously.
A big thanks to PBS Kids for this event, and also for the hard work in our communities. I've never felt so connected to a "big" corporation like this! They've got my support.......and Ellie's!
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
What happens when you combine a love for photography, coffee, kids, and Instagram (or let's just say social media in general)? Well, if you're clever enough, it could result in Babe in a Mug.
Ilana of Mommy Shorts is much more clever than I. She coined Baby Mugging and I just couldn't help myself! If you want to play along, get creative and snap a picture of your babe (or toddler or preschooler or hamster) in a mug. On Instagram, tag @mommyshorts and #babeinamug.
Cause it's fun!
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Monday, April 15, 2013
We have a roller-overer.
Just in the last few days, Liam has started rolling over. He rolls from front to back, and back to front. He's definitely enjoying tummy time a little bit more now that he's got more control of his movements.
I'm amazed that during tummy time Liam can now grab toys and bring them to his mouth. Of course everything goes in the mouth now! I've realized that this little guy just loves to play and be entertained, and rolling just adds to some activities that can keep him occupied throughout the day!
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
It's no secret that I've been pre-occupied with all things baby for the past year (or three). I love babies, I feel like my truest calling in life is to be a mom, and I think having children is one of the greatest experiences in life. Ever. To put it lightly, I am incredibly blessed and forever grateful for the two beautiful children that God has given me.
This past year has been one of growth and change for our family. I love every minute of being a mom, and adding a second baby to love and to raise has been amazing. This year, however, I have also seen far too much heartache. Friends and loved ones have come up against difficulties having children of their own, or carrying their babies to full term. Sometimes the result is stress, anxiety, and eventually a healthy baby, but sadly, other times the result is loss, medical bills, and heart-breaking sadness. These are not my stories to tell. But, they still weigh heavily on my heart.
So, while I've never experienced this type of loss or struggle, I have many good reasons for participating in raising funds for The March of Dimes. I've been involved in the March for Babies before, and I love supporting this worthy cause. With my two healthy children, I will raise money and march for those babies whose lives were all too short or those whose beginnings were rough and scary. We will march to raise awareness of premature birth and to support efforts in research and new treatments. We march to keep pregnant women healthy and to give every baby a fighting chance.
I'm not usually one to ask for money, but I think it's important to share what's on my heart, to tell others why I do the things I do, and to live passionately for the things I believe in. If you are passionate as well, you are more than welcome to join in! There are walks all over the country, and giving is easy. Here's a link where you can donate money, find out more about the March of Dimes, or find a walk in your area: