A favorite dinner for my kids. Quick and easy! Jam packed with goodness!(protein, fiber, and all sorts of vitamins in the kale!)
Chop KALE as big or small as you want.
Place in the bottom of a bowl (mine is glass)
Place HOT quinoa or any fresh cooked grain on top of the kale and let it sit for 5 or so minutes to slightly steam the kale. (steaming the kale helps activate nutrients and helps your body digest the fiber!!)
I add a can of black beans drained and rinsed to cilantro lime quinoa and kale.
My KIDS LOVE LOVE this for dinner!
OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am in shock of my own behavior over the last 24 hours! I am about to confess something that, quite frankly, makes me feel embarrassed. Something I have NEVER experienced before and hope to never go through again.
Let me give the back story: My sweet husband was in India for just over a week (gone on my bday I might add). So being the sweetie that he is, he brought home gifts for my girls and me. He pulled out books and bracelets, a beautiful necklace for me, and then the BIG whammy.... EUROPEAN CHOCOLATE!! If you have never tasted it, then you are lucky because you have no idea what you are missing!! I do not have a prob with chocolate living here in the US. It doesn't tempt me, I don't really even have a prob passing up brownies or any sweet treat for that matter. I am more of a salty girl.
SO back to the story, my sweet husband pulls out THREE GIANT Milka bars!! One with caramel and hazelnuts, one with wafers in it, and the grand finale plain solid Milk chocolate!! I looked at him like he was crazy, there is no way I would eat any of these. I was grateful he thought of me, he knows I LOVE European chocolate.
I had been at a yoga retreat and been eating so clean that even these did not tempt me.
Two days pass and we open one and have a few little squares, no big deal.. don't get me wrong it was as amazing as I remember it to be. Melting in my mouth with gooey caramel. YUM. I stopped there.
Later that night I had a couple more squares... these bars were 4x10 or 12 squares, I am talking huge bars. I had my steamed kale and vowed to stay away from the chocolate. The milk alone in them was enough for me to logically not touch them. Let alone the sugar and other processed ingredients.
Next morning went to the gym, came home and planned to make a smoothie but instead grabbed a couple more squares!! I didn't realize the trap I was falling in to. By the end of that day between my husband and I alone we ate the whole thing! So I vowed not to open the other one..... that didn't last long! I still hadn't caught on until the end of the day today. When it took me only one day to eat most of the second bar myself, sharing a few rows with my husband and kids (because I don't give that crap to my kids.. I guess I just eat it??) Then it was onto the third bar.. by this time I was talking myself out of eating it, but my hands grabbed it and it went into my mouth..I even promised myself I wouldn't take another piece and hid it from myself. I threw it as high as I could in my pantry... We have stools.....Yikes! Three rows into it, I confessed to my hubby and he said throw it away. I felt like an addict! I WAS ADDICTED!?! I was sneaking into it, hiding it from my kids and husband.. whoa! How did this happen so fast?? I have never in my life felt this way!
SUGAR IS A DRUG!!! ITS JUST AS ADDICTING AND TOOK OVER MY THOUGHTS!
So my dearest friend maintenance mommy, I finally understand what you mean read her article here.
I actually had to pull the bar out of the package and make sure I threw it away in a gross garbage so that I wouldn't go back for it. I even grabbed one last bite before throwing it out! It had control over me in just a matter 24 -36 hours! I could not believe it!! I threw it out feeling sick to my stomach and thoroughly disappointed in myself!
I grabbed my gym gear and headed out the door! Exercise is truly my drug of choice, I don't know how I let that chocolate take me over, but now I know why European chocolate always tasted so much better.... I was addicted! CRAZY for me to even think.
My empathy goes out to anyone struggling with this. My purpose in writing this blog is to open your eyes a little, if you have to sneak around or hide treats from yourself to stop you from eating them, take a step back and TAKE CONTROL! Go for a walk, go to the gym THROW IT OUT and make sure its a yucky garbage and take it out of the package mush it, squish it, step on it whatever it takes. DO NOT LET FOOD CONTROL YOU!
Here is a great link to article on how to rid yourself from these types of food addictions from PCRM (one of our favorite sites!!): http://www.nutritionmd.org/nutrition_tips/nutrition_tips_lose_weight/foodaddictions.html
After talking with someone about my food beliefs I get this question:
So then, what do you eat?
This is a question I get asked so often I should always be ready to answer, but I usually stumble over it. I say something like, uhh veggies and beans.... some quinoa. I know that answer doesn't help people. So I finally decided to have my camera by my side for 48 hours to take a picture of what I ate and fed my kids! (warning my pics are real and NOT fancy!)
My husband is out of town so most of these meals are quick and easy and super kid friendly!
Breakfast: Well I didn't take a pic because I make the same thing everyday. A smoothie. My kids will have theirs with some Cheerios or toast.
Lunch: Refried beans with fresh pico and avocados for the kids. Served with chips and some fresh broccoli. My salad; spinach, kale, mushrooms, red pepper, carrots, and broccoli, topped with some balsamic vinegar. Quick and easy! Total prep/cook time= 10 minutes
Dinner: PIZZAS! Always a thrill at my house! I used Whole wheat tortillas, Newmans Own sauce, diaya cheese, and topped them kale, green onions, black beans, and a little garlic Gomasio (found at Whole Foods). YUM! My pizza had quite a bit more kale than the kids, but its a great way to sneak some in for them!
I baked them at 425 for 10 minutes or less. Served with steamed veggies. Total prep/cooktime = 20 minutes!
Breakfast: I am easy, a SMOOTHIE. the kids: smoothies and toast!
Lunch: Tofurkey sanwiches if your kids are use to regular turkey go half and half to start making the switch! We had left over seasoned unfries, served with strawberries and cucumbers! EASY! Total prep time= 5-6 minutes!
Dinner: CHILI, there are several options for chili, we have some great recipes. Also Nalley Chili makes a great simple vegetarian chili and Amy's makes one that my kids don't love, but my husband likes a lot! I chopped some fresh cilantro and avocados. Served with steamed veggies (usually broccoli). My husband is out of town so we had Nalley Chili (just remember the canned ones are a lot higher in sodium so don't over do it) Total prep/cook time= 10 minutes!!
I really hope this information helps someone understand how simple it really is. These meals are NOT perfect and I know I always have room to improve, but my kids are getting the fats and protein their little bodies need. With a smoothie I get to give them a lot greens without them knowing it. They also get a multi-vitamin most days!
They snack on fresh fruit for the most part but there are days where goldfish and cheerios become a handy snack!
I am a mom just like you, striving everyday for something better. Take baby steps!
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DEAR WALMART, I heart you once again!
I have a very close friend who works for Walmart corporate in Arkansas and I am always leery of talking with her about how I eat. For several reasons, but mainly because I don't and always felt like I can't shop at Walmart and get what I need. Well paint me wrong!! I spent a week with said friend and the topic came up. She proceeded to inform me of all the great things going on and how much Walmart is changing. She told that they like to buy local produce as often as they can and will be advertising that better in the future. They try to follow the trends and the trends right now are HEALTHY eating. I can even buy kale there!!! HUGE!
This leads me to another conversation I had with my step-sister just yesterday. She stopped by unexpected and we got talking about food..... a subject you don't want to get me started on unless you want to hear how I feel about EVERYTHING!! I started pulling things out of my fridge and cupboards for her to taste. It was fun. Then she said something along the lines of, " yeah I like the idea and I totally agree, but isn't eating this way expensive?". I realized I hear that a lot. There are many rebuttals like' compare lifetime health care costs, or what value is good health", but I remember feeling that way when I first switched my diet. Our grocery bill definitely went up. I would go to the grocery store (costco usually) and buy a whole bunch of foods that are good for you, then bring them home without a plan of how to eat them, then they would go bad too quickly. After about 6-9 months I figured out what my family will and won't eat before it goes bad and how much I really needed. It does take time to change your lifestyle and some adjusting to grocery shopping. The only thing I could say to her was, it takes time and its been well worth the journey for me. I also suggested just trying out two or three new recipes and veggies, work your way slowly over.
Back to my Walmart SHOUT OUT......
Two nights ago, I decided to make the two mile trek over to my local Walmart..... boy was I surprised. Its been quite a while since I have been there for grocery shopping (a year or two). I was so excited about the small vegan food section and the produce looked so fresh and delicious! I filled up my cart and was pleased to spend nearly half at the register as normal!! I am excited that Walmart has jumped on the train and I know that more good things are to come. I will be keeping my eye out. (I asked my dear friend is she could pull any strings and get me some diaya cheese in Walmart, now that would steal my heart forever!)
So budget friendly, delicious fruits and veggies, and not a far drive from my house. Can't get much better.... Walmart look out, I am back! :)
"Whatever you think about Walmart, it looks to be using its clout to help people who don't have the time, money, or opportunity to eat better." You can't blame them for that. I don't really have a stand on political issues with Walmart, but they are doing a good thing and if it helps people to change their diets then I am all for it!
READ MORE ABOUT WALMART HERE:http://www.theatlantic.com/life/archive/2011/01/the-meaning-of-walmarts-healthy-foods-announcement/69963/
So I guess you could say I am on a "create your own" kick with my kids. They are loving it so I am loving it. We will see how many ideas I can come up with to keep this rolling. Tonight was create your own PIZZA! Hooray for the new Diaya cheese. NO CASEIN!!!
I drove all the way across town (to Whole Foods Market, the only local carrier for us) to grab a couple of bags. It says on the package that it freezes well so I am trying that out to see how the texture is after its been frozen.
We also got to pick some fresh items from our beautiful garden (super hubby gets all the credit, he is awesome). We picked cilantro, chives, rosemary, basil, and kale to top our cheese pizzas. YUM!!
While I was at Whole Foods I picked up some whole wheat Naan bread to use for the pizza crust and some Newman's Own tomato basil spaghetti sauce for the pizza sauce.
I set the oven to Broil and put a spoonful of sauce on each piece of bread and let the kids pick what they wanted. It turned out great: One, of course was just plain cheese, then we had half cilantro half cheese, and a couple of tomato, basil, mushroom, chives, kale pizzas for mom and dad! What a fun night. I served our pizzas with some fresh hummus and pita chips!
**Set oven to Broil and cook until the cheese is melted and starts to bubble. It took about 10 minutes.
DINNER WAS A SUCCESS!