Sunday, June 3, 2012

Once again, I fail at blogging...

But to be honest, it's not because I don't want to! It's because we have A. had a lot of big things happening that we have been dealing with and B. Don't have anything exciting enough to talk about! I wanted to post a few reviews on a few fun products, but just can't seem to get myself together enough to do it. But I plan to this week, because I will have a lot of sitting around free time since I injured my foot. BOO! Who knew walking could be so dangerous?

I also am hoping to post more food stuff soon like recipes, meal plans, fav products that I've discovered more recently, etc. I will get to it! Hopefully this week!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Food For The Next Generation

While trying to get all of my pictures and what not together to formulate a post this morning, I was watching a rerun of the Rachael Ray Talk Show. I love this show, normally. Not so much for the food, more of the guests she has on, the tidbits of info she gives on household care, clothing, style, etc. I find that it tends to be pretty down to earth. Why am I saying all this? Well because I want you to know that it's not just that I have a hatred toward Rachael or her show. I don't.

Anyway, back to the point, today she was taking audience questions, and someone asked about how to feed her kids healthy things. This is a pretty frequent question on this show and she often comes out with tips or tricks...but today she said something about hiding and lying are okay when it comes to feeding your kids healthy things. Let me just tell you how much that BUGS ME. She referenced Jessica Seinfeld who wrote the book "Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food". I haven't read the book, but I saw the segment on the show and just am not a fan of this idea of how to feed your children. Here's why:

The thing is, this idea of "hiding" veggies in your children's food just doesn't sit right with me. Why do you have to "deceive" them into eating something good for them? So they eat the pasta and sauce that you loaded with veggies and hid and like it, so then what happens? Do you tell them "haha you ate veggies and liked it!" and expect that suddenly they will be all about zucchini because they ate it? No! When has that ever worked? It won't change their views on healthy eating, so your choice left is to just continue to hide veggies in more and more things. So then you get a child that yes, is eating veggies, but isn't liking them, isn't learning to make healthy choices, and could have unhealthy views on eating and food and what they should be consuming.

Now, don't get me wrong, I totally think putting veggies in your pasta sauce is great! Heck, around here, I put veggies in our meatballs, hamburger patties, lasagna, enchiladas, what have you. But I don't like the "hiding" it. If they ask, tell them. And don't try to make it seem like it's a huge secret. Kids have to learn that they need to eat healthy choices like veggies and fruits. And that they aren't gross! Will this always work? NO! Kids go through stages where it won't eat anything but those 5 items they want, and then yea your hands are tied. But I think it's important to not deceive them from day 1. So here's how I think it should work:

  • Start your baby out with whole, healthy foods early. And tell them what it is. As they get a little older, let them try things, even if you don't think they will like them. Don't feel like everything has to be super bland. Don't feed them super spice, but if something has a bit of a seasoning, that's okay! Oh and make sure when you are feeding your baby something, you don't say "well you probably won't like it!" or make  a negative face. They pick up from you. You are telling them they aren't going to like it, so why would they? Be positive! Say Yum! Encourage.
  • Make veggies taste good. I mean, let's be honest, steamed Brussels Sprouts that are squishy, stinky, mushy. No thanks! But roasted? Delish and crunchy! There's this whole idea that veggies just aren't yummy, and I think that people just need to find ways to make them so they ARE yummy. 
  • Realize that you and your kids just aren't going to like certain foods, and that's okay. Think, there are at least a few food items you just don't like, no matter what. No matter how they are prepared, what they are in, etc. For my husband, it's eggplant and mushrooms. He just will not eat them.
  • Get your kids involved in the process. This is something Rachael Ray DOES talk about and support. Let your kids pick a veggie at the store, have them help you find a recipe, go to the farmer's market with them, let them try things. Kids are more likely to want to eat something if they got to help prepare it. There's a level of pride there. 
  • Don't hide veggies in things like brownies. I've seen this done and it's so counter intuitive to me. If you do that and then still only allow them 1 brownie? Okay fine, I still am not into it, but it's tolerable. But don't then let them have 6 because they aren't as bad. This is where that "deception" can lead to bigger problems.
  • Don't get in the habit of making 2 dinners. I have seen this in SO MANY FAMILIES I have worked with. The kids get one thing, parents get something else because they think or know the kids won't eat what they are eating. Don't get into that habit. It's an ugly cycle. You don't have to change your diet completely to fit your child, so get your child started early on fitting what your tastes are. Modify small things if if you want something spicy, cut it back for you child, then add more to yours. 
I'm not saying that this is the only way. I realize that there are going to be 165 people who read this and go, you are so wrong it's not even funny! But, I will say that I have seen this work, if you start early. Yea if you have fed your kid hot dogs and mac and cheese until they are 8 and then expect that tonight you will put broccoli on their plate and they will devour it, good luck. But if you start early, you can really create a healthy lifestyle and mind set early on.

 I'm sure I sound like a broken record with the "start early" but it really does make a huge difference. You want to create a mindset that healthy does not equal bad, and that moderation is a great method for the not so great for you foods. We have to show children how to make healthy choices, by eating veggies in front of them, encouraging them to try things, and getting them involved. Deception, in my opinion, isn't the way to go.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Why are you here?

I've kind of been drawing a blank lately as far as blogging goes. I feel like I have things I want to talk about, but don't for one reason or another, and then things that I could talk about, but won't be as interesting. I haven't tried many new recipes lately, and the ones I have tried, I've forgotten to take pictures of so I don't have any sort of photos to go with it. Blogging blah!

This whole lack of things to talk about made me wonder why I even blog or write here. Sure, there are people who come check in, but it's not like I have thousands of followers or anything. I wondered who looked in on my life and came back again? Who found what I had to say interesting? Do people really come here regularly? I checked my "stats" and it appears some people do, although you wouldn't know that from the outside, I don't think.

So why am I here? I guess in short, to get stuff out, to help people, to inspire people, maybe to keep a housewife entertained now and then. And I'm here for myself and my husband, so we can document what we do and see hard evidence that are lives aren't TOTALLY boring...or maybe they are. So clients can see some product reviews in one nice place and maybe even get some inspiration on how to feed their families. For friends to keep up with the small stuff going on. And on the other side of it, for me to get perspective from readers...what do you think of that recipe? What did I say that was just plain stupid and why? I had hopes that it would become a place that people in real life, and in internet life could come to and check in....see what's going down on this side of the world...granted lately not a whole lot has. And in some ways, I think it has, in that people do come through, people do try the recipes, people do think we have good points now and then.

But anyway, that was ramble-y and silly, but it's why I'm here. Maybe soon more will happen around here to give it some "meat" until then, you'll just have to hold on.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lifestyle Changes

I said in my last update post that happened to just be a few hours ago that we had decided to make some lifestyle changes in our household. This was honestly a pretty easy decision for us (okay, me) to come to because I knew where we were was NOT where I wanted us to be long term, but when we were both working full time outside of the house on top of all of the other various life things that had to take place, I just didn't have the time or energy to put in to making a change. When I ended up becoming a housewife, I had the time, energy, and capability to make the changes I felt necessary. This made such a huge difference, that it's hard for me to even put it all into words in this post...seriously. But I will give it a good try so that maybe, just maybe, someone else can get some inspiration from us!

My biggest thing was changing our diets. I had and have very specific plans in mind for how I planned to feed my family, including my future children and the way we were eating was NOT part of that plan. We were going for what was fastest, cheapest, easiest, and not even worrying about the health factor. Why? I have no idea, except I think time and energy was lacking. Plus neither of us was deemed "unhealthy" so we just went along with how we had been through college and didn't worry too much about it. Sure we ate veggies and didn't have meals that consisted solely of french fries and pizza, but we didn't worry about balanced meals, or even particularly healthy meals. We just used common sense to guide our choices.  That had to change at some point though, and I decided the time was now.

This was actually a fairly easy transition for us. Neither of us have a dislike of healthy food, or vegetables, or fruits. We aren't picky eaters and we were both raised to eat generally well. But we had to find a way that worked for us as a couple. One thing that made a big difference was that now I had the time to make a 45 minute meal instead of a 10 minute one, and we were eating earlier. But as I have come along in the process, I have found that I could have still fed us that way if I had been a more careful planner and done my prep work. But, oh well, shoulda, coulda, woulda, right? At least we made the changes now.  (I feel like that is kind of a vague explanation of what we did, but I'm still formulating how to really go in depth on our food choices. So maybe I will just keep it vague and then explain even more in a whole separate post later. Okay? Okay, good.)
Making our food choices work for us was actually quite easy, as I said because of our likes and dislikes, but also because we had realistic expectations of what was going to happen. I knew for a fact we were not going to go gluten free, or vegetarian, or vegan or any of those other "completely cut out X" lifestyles. We just weren't. Neither of us was willing to completely give up what we love because we weren't at a point where we felt it was necessary for our health. We wanted to be able to continue to enjoy our fast paced, 20-something, lifestyle and attend family parties with all the Italians, and not worry too much about what we ate. We wanted to continue to have friends over almost every weekend and feed them things that fit with our plans but weren't so healthy or uncommon that other people were turned off. (Yes, we really do have people over almost every weekend..remind me to write a post on that sometime....) I knew that I was still going to meet my best friend for Starbucks at least once a week, probably twice, if we are being honest, so I was not about to go extremist and change it. *Let me just say, so no one gets their undies in a bunch, that if you made a choice to go anything free, that is great for you! I by no means think that is bad or unintelligent or negative at all, that's between you, your family and your doctor. I am saying what works for us, and none of those work for us, so therefore didn't happen.* So we picked the things we weren't terribly attached to and changed them. Here's a bulleted break down...easier to read that way.

  • We started picking turkey instead of beef for things like burgers, lasagna, tacos, you know those items that have a ground meat. We didn't notice or car a difference and were cutting back on red meat. We still eat some beef, but made a leaner choice for the things that we really weren't going to notice a difference in. Also turkey sausage is totally delicious in many things and we grew to love it in our lasagna and pasta.
  • We started using quinoa over rice or pasta in many side dish situations. It's really becoming popular for its health benefits and it's really yummy. We really love it's flavor and have found multiple recipes and situations in which we prefer it over rice or other grains. 
  • We cut back on caffeine. I am an addict, no doubt and I cut it way way way way way back. It was hard for about a week and now I feel AWESOME without it.
  • We cut back on wine. Neither of us were drinkers, but would have wine on weekends occasionally, we pretty much cut it back to almost never. Super easy for us to do, and makes us feel good that we can say we did it :)
  • We switched to organic for most things. I was very skeptical, but decided after some research that it was worth it for certain items, and while I may not notice a "difference" in us due to this, I think health wise it was a good choice for us.
  • I started reading labels. And holy crap was I amazed. It's crazy how just paying attention can make a huge difference. By doing this I have done a way better job balancing our meals and we have both felt way better health wise.
  • We eat less sugar. Again, not that hard, but I stopped buying cookies to pack in work lunches, etc and we just eat a little sweet thing instead. (Like those snackwell cookies or a 100 calorie pack of chocolate covered pretzels. Enough to satisfy without going overboard and it's awesome)
Now on to exercise.  This was really a spot we were not great about. I mean, my job involved some running, walking, etc but it was by no means a work out routine. We started walking together on weekends, and eventually for me this turned into during the week either alone or with a friend, which then morphed into jogging, and into going to the gym. Now I get in some form of exercise at least 5 times per week and feel AMAZING. I ended up losing a dress size and while I'm not 100% where I want to be, realistically I'm in a good place and am happier with that. I am also really happy with the routine we have and the overall benefits it's had not only on our bodies but on our minds. I am so much less stressed, anxious, control freakish, etc because I'm getting fresh air and exercise. It's amazing when I am started to get stressed to just go for a jog or even a walk and get rid of it. Not to mention my bum thanks me for making it a more reasonable size :)

We made a few other changes as well, but I think that is all better in another post. This was already kind of a mental explosion in the form of a blog post, so it's probably better I don't go crazy.

So overall I think the biggest thing I can say as far as words of wisdom if you want to make a lifestyle change in the nutrition/health department is do what REALISTICALLY will work for you. Don't make a change you aren't willing to stick with for a very long time and find ways to make it work within your lifestyle. If you know you like to go out on weekends, find ways to make that work better,like ordering a lighter dish, or keeping it to 1 drink, or keep your weekdays really structured so the splurges aren't as bad. Find exercise that you will actually do. If you don't want to run a marathon, don't make that your goal. Find ways to make it fun and a motivation for you to do it. (Bikini season anyone?) And have REALISTIC expectations of what your body should be. Don't try to force yourself into an unhealthy weight or diet. That is not healthy or okay and will not be good in the long run. And don't be hard on yourself when you have an off week. You WILL get back on track and YOU will reach your goals. :)

Oh hey!

I know I have been a seriously bad blogger...haven't been keeping up with where we have been and the time has just flown out from under me! Let me give you a quick update on where we are and then I promise promise promise to stay more on top of what we are doing around these parts.

*We made it through the holidays although vowed that this year we are going to take it easier! We were totally overbooked this year and went to like 6 different places..yep, no more of that. We are going to have to pick our top events and stick with them so as to not make ourselves coo-coo. (Or more coo-coo).

* We MOVED! To a bigger house and we love it! We spent way too much time (and money) redecorating and are finally settled into our new home and LOVING all the extra space to entertain and spread out! It is weird to have to call for each other and not just turn a corner and see the other person sitting there, but it's a nice change most of the time!

*We have decided to adopt a healthier lifestyle and are eating better and exercising (okay, I am, my husband has come a long way,  but still has a ways to go before he can say he's totally adopted said lifestyle). But I feel SO MUCH BETTER! So much more energy, so much happier, all around a great change for us here. I will actually post more on this later.

Okay I think that's actually a recap, I guess we haven't been that exciting after all...but time has been flying for us! And we have had tons of fun weekends with friends and only more to come, especially once BASEBALL is back! YAY!!!! We can't wait!

Let's leave it at that, and I will be back to talk more about other stuff later!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Catching Up

Wow, I can't believe how long it has been since I posted! What a blogging slacker! I see a few of you have checked in on me, and I promise I will get you all caught up! Except a flood of posts in the next few days with a few recipes, coupon tips, etc that you all have been asking for!

And a small hint...there's going to be a giveaway here really soon so make sure you follow us so you can be included!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Christmas Contributions: The Cinnamon Roll Project

So not to toot my own horn, so to speak, but I make pretty darn yummy cinnamon rolls. Yep, from scratch. (quick break while I try to stop my mouth from watering). And, to clear things up, it's not just me who thinks so. My whole family actually agrees. It all started when I decided I would bring them to Christmas breakfast one morning. And I pretty much have not been allowed back in the door on Christmas morning unless I have them in hand.

So you may ask, why mess with success? Well, I am just always looking for something to be better, yummier, softer, and a few other words you would use to describe a baked good. Plus, they are in no way easy and tend to be a bit messy as well. They are a labor of love, no doubt totally worth it...but this year I am a bit busier around Christmas (yep, I use that excuse every year), plus what if there is something that dethrones the king? So that is why each year I try out new recipes...go ahead, ask my husband what his favorite time of year is...I am willing to bet he (and his roommates from college) will say cinnamon roll season.  And this year, since I have this blog, I figured I would share this experience with all of you. And since I am going to be doing some baking this week, I figured I would give this introduction now, since the anticipation will hopefully get you to come check it back out! (and if you do happen to come back, don't forget to hit that happy little button that says "follow" so I know you were here and plan to come back!).

Also, please feel free to leave me your recipes to try out, cinnamon roll or otherwise. I am always looking to add to my collection and would love to see what you have to try!