1 family - 30 days - 0 junk food. Can it be done?????

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Yay School Lunches (not)

So my elder kids have returned to that minefield knwon as the school lunch room.  This will be the toughest part of the challenge for them I think.  Seeing friends with cookies and fruit gummies and whatnot is going to be tough.

I've always been a bit, shall we say uptight, about my kids lunches.  I have one who hasn't been able to eat chocolate until recently and another who cannot have any "sticky" foods due to dental work.  Therefore we've had to be both restrictive and creative.

I'm also a teacher in my other life so I've seen what other children come to school with.  There are times when those lunch bags are so full they are bursting at the seams.  Even if every choice in there is a good one, for most kids that is way to much food.  Personally I hate food coming home again so I pack a somewhat minimalist lunch.

Their lunches generally consist of a sandwhich or leftovers for their main meal, a piece of fruit, a dairy of some sort (cheese or yoghurt) and a granola bar.  That's it.  Notice no juice.  They each take a re-useable water bottle.  And still some of it comes home.  My kids are both talkers so they often run out of time to finish their lunch lol.

I try my best to keep it healthy and balanced but, yes, the occasional "treat" does make its way in, especially in the post-Hallowe'en weeks.  They would eat about that much if they were home, so why would I give them more to go to school?

Kale Chips Fiasco

I have recently discovered Kale Chips and I LOVE THEM!!!!!

I have read Angie All The Way for quite a while now and it was through her that I first heard of them. Kale is considered a "superfood", packed with nutrition, but it tastes like broccoli and can be a bit bitter.  My kids are no fans of broccoli.

The recipe is simple.  Remove the stems and veins from the kale leaves.  Rip leaves into "chip" sized pieces.  Drizzle with oil (EVOO is probably best, but whatever you have works).  Sprinkle with a bit of salt and/or seasonings, place on a cookie sheet in a single layer and bake for 10-12 minutes at 350.  The crispier you let the chips get, the better, but don't let them burn.

They are deeee-vine!  The bitterness is gone and they just melt in your mouth.

The fiasco bit comes in when I made them on the evening of day 5.  I thought I would try and go a little light on the oil.  Less is more right????  WRONG!  They were so dry it was like eating the Sahara desert.  We were all gasping and choking and reaching for the water.

So lesson learned.  Oil is important.  They don't have to drown in it, but they do need some.

An awesome alternative to potato chips!

Bedtime Snack Yea or Nay???

So I'm way behind, obviously, on my blog posts.  I have a few written and I'm going to post as many as I can tonight but as separate posts as they are on different topics.

I still give my kids bedtime snack.  Or at least I give the 8 year old snack and the baby still gets a bottle before bed.  We cut the 12 year old off on her birthday this year.

At 12, I'm thinking that she no longer requires the extra calories to get her through the night.  Eating after supper is a terrible habit to get into in the first place, and one of my own arch-nemisis'.  In cutting out the bedtime snack, I'm trying to encourage a healthy relationship with food.

My concern is this: am I sending the wrong message??  If she is really and truly hungry, shouldn't she eat?  It's so hard to tell how much is simply habit and how much is genuine need.  She is also coming up on the age where she is going to be doing a lot of growing.  Does she need that extra fuel for that growth?

Agggh....so confused????

Now bedtime snack at our house has always been a bit of a challenge.  I prefer they eat something healthy, like fruit, whole grain bread with pea-butter, or maybe veggies and dip.  My kids however are carb-aholics.  They want crackers or POPCORN.  I don't mind those for after-school snack, when they still need that energy for homework, after-school activities etc.  I can and do say NO, which is sometimes followed by the "Fine, I just won't have anything".  I think they are hoping to wither away in front of my eyes, so that I'll feel so bad that I'll give them whatever they want.  Good luck with that kids!

Its all about wanting them to make good choices, really think about why they are eating and what is going to best fuel them for the next task.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Old habits are hard to break

I went to play cards tonight with my Mom and some other members of my extended family.  Always a fun time, but always full of junk food.  Chips, cheesies, chocolate, candies, you name it, it's on the table.  Sometimes it gets tough to deal the cards, navigating around all of the dishes!  I was anticipating a real challenge for my will power.
I was pleasantly surprised to find only 2 small dishes of chocolates and one apple pie.  This would be easy!  Ummmmmm....not so much.  When I sat down, the dish of chocolate was right beside me.  I could smell that heavenly aroma.  It was screaming "You know you want to.  Go on, no one will know.  Just one teensy bite".  It took a lot of effort but I picked up that dish and moved it over to the next person around the table.  Problem solved.  Now it would be really obvious if I took one.

I get mixed reactions from people when I say my family is doing this challenge.  Some are skeptical "That's going to be too hard.  You guys will never be able to avoid EVERYTHING".  Some are dismissive "What on earth would you want to do that for???!!".  The best responses are from those who want to do it with us.  So far I have my Mom and a friend of my eldest on board.  It's amazing.

I hope to be able to have my two elder children help contribute to this blog.  This is their challenge to and I would like to give them the opportunity to express the hurdles they've faced and how they've overcome them.

2 down, 28 to go!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

No one said this would be easy....

No they certainly didn't.

Day 1 of the challenge is in the books and so far so good.  One minor slip up on hubby's part (someone offered him a bite of cinnamon bun and he took it without thinking) but all in all it was great.

We had a small crisis at supper time.  We had been busy painting the bathroom all day and suddenly it was 4:30 without a hint of supper.  I had 3 very hungry children on my hands and very little in the way of options in the fridge/freezer. 

I really need to start planning ahead.

I had some frozen pre-cooked ground beef and all the ingredients to make a pot of chili.  So what if it would have been so much better if I had let it cook all day.  It was still great and was a hit with 2/3 of the children (I have one who refuses to eat anything tomato based).  We didn't eat until 6pm but there were no phone calls to the pizza place, no trips to the fast food joint and no "quick fixes" from the freezer like chicken fingers or fries.

Oh, and I took the chicken out of the freezer so it would be defrosted and ready for the slow cooker in the morning.

The other major hurdle today was one I forgot I would have to deal with this soon.  Every winter, my DH works for a local Junior A hockey team as their public address announcer.  He gets paid $25 a game.  After each game he'll text me with "U want?", to which I, of course, always respond "sure".  He comes home bearing gifts of chips or chocolate and pop.  Tonight he merely texted "game over I'M STARVING", to which I responded "supper is ready and waiting"

Yay us!!!!

29 to go!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Our last gasp!

 "It's our last day of junk.  Puhleeeeeeeeeeeze Mom"

Pizza....that siren of easy meals when your exhausted.

I heeded her call today.

To start the day, I was beat.  Bushed, knackered, très fatigué.  Sleep has been my elusive friend for the last week or so.  Stress is the culprit I'm sure.  When is a mom of 3 not stressed?

I wasn't going to go to my run "date" with my girls but they shamed me into it.  Long and short of it is I didn't get home until 6pm.  My darling hubby pulled in right behind me.  And no I did not have a healthy meal pre-prepared in my handy dandy slow cooker.

So the phone call went in and we had the most delicious, greasy, cheesy pizza imaginable.  The pizza that is made here is legend.  It's its own sub-species of pizza.  There is a facebook group devoted to it.  It was soooooo good.  It is currently resembling a ten pound weight that has taken up residence in my gut.  Blech!!

I'm glad I've had this little reminder of exactly WHY we are giving up junk food.  While it tastes wonderful going in, it almost never feels good afterward.  Be it physically or emotionally, there are always consequences. 

I can't wait to start seeing the positive consequences of our challenge!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The challenge!

I'm going to say this and pray I don't get sued.......junk food is a menace. 

It's easy, it's convenient and it's slowly destroying my family. 

OK maybe that's a bit extreme, but it certainly isn't helping!

To give you some background,  I'm a married mom of 3 wonderful kids, ages 12, 8 and 16 months.  I have been overweight the majority of my adult life.  My husband of 14 years was a skinny guy before he met me.  He has started to have some weight issues in the last 8 years or so.  My children are all well within the healthy weight category and, damn it, I want it to stay that way!

Maybe junk food isn't the "enemy" but it's one thing that I can have some control over. 

So we've come to a decision....30 days....no junk food.  We are starting Sept 1st. 

We sat down with the kids and came up with some rules for this challenge:

  1. junk food is defined as the following: Chocolate, chips, ice cream, basically anything that can be bought at a convenience store
  2. No processed meats or fast food
  3. When Daddy is away for a meal due to work, he must make the best choice possible
  4. When a child is away for a meal, he/she must make the best choice possible.  If no good choice is available and there is the option to come home, then the child should come home for said meal
  5. Coffee should be sweetened with something other than sugar and preferably natural (honey or stevia)
 I'm sure the children will come up with more rules as we go along LOL!

The prize the children have chosen is a trip to the science center in a nearby city.  It is a place that they love and since they chose it I'm sure it's important to them.

So the gauntlet has been thrown and the challenge accepted.

Let's hope the only casualty is our waistlines! :D