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Mom Guilt

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Mom guilt.  It’s a real thing!  How are we made to feel guilty when we are only trying to take care of ourselves?

Just like all things in life, this too has been a journey for me.  When I had an infant, I initially felt bad bundling the baby up to go out jogging in the cold.  Because let’s be honest, running outside was the quickest form of exercise-no drive time!  Oh, it’s okay, I’ll just take today off.  Then it was cold all week so I then took the entire week off.  I finally had to realize that 1) the baby was not cold at all bundled up in the pumpkin seat and 2) I HAD TO exercise to show her that exercise is an important part of our life!  I know, I know, she was only 3 months old but if I didn’t start then it would be even harder as she got older.  And again, let’s be honest…she slept THE ENTIRE run!  HA!  See, no excuses!

Then my exercise journey would take me to a gym and I’d feel such guilt as they would cry when I dropped them off at the childcare.  It absolutely tears at your heart.   Many times I would turn around and go home.  Later in the day I would be losing my mind bc I didn’t get that daily ‘sweat’.  Real chemical reactions take place mentally when you exercise and I NEEDED that.  I was a better mom when I had my sanity happy hour at the gym or running or whatever physical activity I chose that day.

Outside of exercise, I would feel guilt over food.  I remember one day in particular where all the kids were sitting around the island and each had a plate full of food-wraps with turkey, cheese and pickle, carrots and ranch and each had a peeled orange.  This particular season, we didn’t have cuties, but I had peeled 5 navel oranges, 1 for each child.  They inhaled the oranges first because they were amazing-so incredibly sweet and juicy.  Mind you, they children all had full plates basically in front of them and as I peeled an orange for myself, their little grubby hand started grabbing at my orange wanting more.  Whoa, whoa, whoa!!!  You should have seen their faces.  Up until that point, if they all wanted a bite of my banana, I would have allowed it.  Now after 5 bites my entire banana would disappear but I always thought to myself, ‘Well, it’s healthy so I can’t say no.”  Oh yes I could and I did that day!  No more!  I finally changed my mindset and told them that they needed to let Mommy be healthy too.  They had plenty of food left on their plates to eat and had already had an orange so it was my turn.  No more guilt!!!  After that the kids are much more conscientious when it comes to others being healthy as well as themselves.

And truth be told, I’m just not as adpt to share anymore bc like I said before, 5 bites or 5 drinks of whatever you have essentially leaves you with nothing at all!

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Inspiration

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No offense, but I created this page for me.  🙂  I’m always coming across inspirational readings or quotes and I needed a place to document them.  Not to mention, everybody has off days so it is nice to return to this post to read through all the things that I find inspirational…because, let’s be honest, sometimes it is really easy to forget.

A Real Mom:

Emotional, yet the rock.  Tired, but keeps going.  Worried, but full of hope.  Impatient, yet patient.  Overwhelmed, but never quits.  Amazing, even though doubted.  Wonderful, even in the chaos.  Life changer, every single day!

“When a woman decides to change, everything changes around her.”  -Mexico of the day

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Food Prep

It can be as easy as cutting the blue plastic ribbon off your bananas.  You and the kids will be more likely to grab a banana if there is one less step to the process.  Doesn’t that sound ridiculous?  It’s true!  As hard as it is, I try to build time into my ‘grocery shopping’ to include the food prep once I get home.  It doesn’t always happen bc life just doesn’t work like that but you can guarantee if it doesn’t happen, I am throwing away produce.  Wash the berries, cut the carrots, skin the cucumber!  Once everything is in containers in your fridge, you can devour!  And you will be more likely to go to this than the pantry if it is ready to go!

Nuts are a snack we always have available.  In fact, you don’t ever have to search for them because they are sitting on the counter.  Our mixture contains raw almonds, walnuts and cashews and a few raisins.  It is a great snack for the kids in their lunch or when they get home from school and it is especially good for me when I am in the process of cooking dinner but famished!!!  Eat a handful of the mixture and I then don’t overeat.

Other great food preps we do that making eating healthy more convenient (because let’s face it-that is the world we live in-if it is not convenient, we don’t do it) include cooking sweet potatoes once or twice a week so that they are ready to be heated up easily in the morning.  Our youngest wakes up every morning saying ‘Tatoes and Eggs?!’ and we love to have sweet potatoes with our eggs and sausage every morning.  If it wasn’t prepared and waiting for me in the fridge, we wouldn’t eat them.  It has just become part of our routine to peel, cut and steam 3 sweet potatoes every Sunday and then again throughout the week if we run out.

Buying a couple pounds of chicken breasts and grilling them or cooking them in the crockpot is always a great food prep for the week.  They are so incredibly versatile when it comes to using for meals-fajitas, chicken on a salad, chicken salad, in a chili, just chicken and veggies.  If I don’t cook chicken breasts for the week you can guarantee there is an already cooked rotisserie chicken in the fridge!

I don’t go too crazy on food prep because I’m all about doing the small things that I can maintain over a long period of time…like forever.  I could absolutely cook and put together already made lunches for my husband and I for the week but that takes a ton of effort and I don’t want to eat the same thing day after day.  In fact, if it is sitting there waiting for me to eat it, the rebellious side of me wants nothing to do with it.  I want what I can’t have.  It is very important to find healthy alternatives that you LOVE and that work in your life.

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Green Shakes

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Green shakes are a staple in our house.  I hear people talk about ‘Smoothies’ all the time but when I ask them what their recipe contains, they very rarely mention ‘greens’.  It is very easy to add too much fruit, aka sugar, to your shakes.  I don’t know about you, but I do not struggle to get fruit in my kids.  I do however wonder if they are getting enough vegetables.  We always have veggies at lunch, dinner and occasionally at snack time, but getting enough ‘greens’ in them is something I worry about.  Have no fear…your kids will love this shake!  Well, you may have to get them to first close their eyes, but their tastebuds will love it!  My kids beg me to make the green shakes.  I say beg bc our Vitamix used to be a pain to get out.  We finally rearranged the kitchen so getting the vitamix out of the cabinet is not quite the ordeal it used to be.  Crazy how organization can really make a difference in so many areas of your life (we’ll leave that for another blog post)!

Aside from the kids loving this shake, I love having a meal every day that I don’t have to think much about.  I always make sure to have the ingredients on hand and it is so fast.  It doesn’t take long to make and drinking your meal tends to speed things along.  Don’t get me wrong, I tell the kids to slow down their eating all the time bc I’m a firm believer in giving your belly and brain a chance to communicate before you go onto bite number 2.  But let’s be honest, if 1 of our 5 meals are fast, I’m okay with it.  I already feel like 1/2 my day is spent in the kitchen.  Getting lunch over quick gives me more time to spend playing with the kids!

Okay, on with the recipe:

1 cup of unsweetened almond milk

1 frozen banana

1 tablespoon almond butter

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 serving of vanilla plant protein

2-3 heaping handfuls of spinach

I used to be good about keeping frozen bananas in the freezer but lately it has been crazy hard.  I buy 5 bunches of bananas at the store, hoping to freeze possibly 2 bunches (will last us 2 weeks maybe of shakes) but those darn kids just keep eating them!  Finding over-ripe bananas at the store to freeze right away is harder than you think bc our stores go through so many.  Anyway, I accidently realized recently that freezing your spinach works just as well.  We were going camping and I wanted to have my green shakes but we ran out of room in our camper refrigerator.  I told my husband to just toss the entire container of spinach in the freezer then.  It worked perfect w/fresh bananas!

Feel free to change up the recipe and add in other fruits for different flavor.  Even using chocolate protein instead of vanilla will give you that chocolate fix you may want.  We use bananas for the creaminess and sweetness it adds.  The chia seeds are a great source of fiber, added protein, ect (https://draxe.com/chia-seeds-benefits-side-effects/).  Almond butter adds a great fat and protein.  Plant protein is a no brainer as far as I’m concerned.  As a mom of 5, I am in desperate need of a quick meal.  If I’m not at home and can not make the shake ahead of time, I am still traveling with my almond milk and protein.  The spinach addition is great bc you really don’t taste it!  Adding the spinach is the huge bonus here bc I KNOW we are not getting the ‘greens’ we need on a daily basis.  Life is just not like it used to be (gardens and farmers markets, but rather packaged and processed).

I hope this recipe helps you and your family get those much needed ‘greens’ into your diet and finally a bit of peace of mind that you need!

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Why did I decide to start sharing my life?

My husband has been telling me for years to start a blog.  Who has time for that?  Why would I want to do that?  Who wants to read about what I do?  I recently had a friend who I adore and respect tell me the same.  Sorry babe, she somehow got through to me.  I just figured you were biased.  So back to my friend-she told me that I really needed to share all that we do with health and nutrition and how we incorporate that into our kids’ lives.  It is already my mission in life to help others on their journey to better health and wellness so why not create this page as another reference for those wanting to know what we do and recipes we use?  Not to mention, I love to sew and paint, so why not record the processes from start to finish for others to learn?  So anyway, here I am…still wondering if anyone will really care but atleast I know my children will enjoy looking back at all I have captured from their childhood!

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Pasta Journey

It’s always a journey.  I feel like I’m always learning more and growing.  You don’t know what you don’t know so stay open-minded.  Here’s a quick summary of our journey through the phases of becoming healthier w/pasta.

 

15 years ago we were eating white pasta and we’d even have garlic bread w/our spaghetti

10 years ago we switched to whole grain and dropped the garlic bread

2 years ago I learned more what ‘enriched’ meant and paid closer attention to the ingredients-even researched what gluten was and how it was affecting us.

A year ago we started experimenting w/spaghetti squash.  It hasn’t replaced our pasta but we now enjoy other meals with it.

Currently I have purchased my first spiralizer and I’m excited with what all we will create.

 

We have slowly made more and more improvements to the food that we eat.  Spaghetti used to be a weekly meal (with garlic bread).  Now the kids eat edamame beans w/their spaghetti and it might be an every 3 week meal.

 

Skyline is a local favorite in our city.  It is a meat based chili over pasta covered in cheddar cheese.  The kids love it.  However, we rarely (Maybe 1x a year) eat it at the restaurant but instead make it at home w/our own ingredients.  We know the meat that is in it.  We shred our own cheese and cook multi-grain pasta.  We can’t be perfect.  We can only do our best.

 

Our future hopefully will involve growing our own garden and making our own sauce.  In the meantime…we do our best.

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