If any of you know me well you probably understand that I sort of bumble along from one obsession to the next. I enjoy this bumbling because I tend to never have a dull moment. Something new and exciting is around every corner just waiting for me to learn about, taste, test, experience and embrace. It's been such a strange spring with spending so many days getting the house ready to sell, from trying to sell it where I've become an Alice who is always cleaning and cooking. Sometimes we have just a half hour to make our house sparkle waiting for a potential buyer. It's made trying to do anything routine, complicated. I haven't worked much, haven't blogged much and overall haven't done anything in my normal day to day life. I guess in a way I have just spent more time away from the computer and experiencing more house wife-ish type things. And I'm loving it. I've never felt more relaxed.
I've become really interested in the idea of Centenarians that Oprah has been going on about. I was especially intrigued about the idea of the Blue Zones or hot spots in the world that has the highest number of centenarians. We already eat a relatively healthy diet but I have noticed that more "healthy" junk food was sneaking into our cabinets and into the children's lunch baskets. I would unpack them in the afternoon and find myself disappointed to see all the Annie's Cheddar Bunnies gone but most of the fruit and vegetables left behind uneaten.
I decided to make a change and was inspired by this blog and her use of tiffins. I wasn't quite ready to go raw and vegan but I certainly wanted to try some of her ideas. I've gone to some websites, placed the tiffins in my virtual cart but never checked out. Something stopped me from spending the money. But then I found that our local store was selling tiffins and I had two in my cart before I could even take a breath. I felt a bit at peace as I checked out relieved that I was going to make some changes in our diet.
We had fallen into the routine of the children having a daily sandwich. Dave made them before going to work so that I wouldn't have to touch the wheat. I was uncomfortable with them having wheat every single day for lunch but waking up to an already prepared sandwich was hard to resist. Now that the tiffins entered our lives, it was time to put a halt to the sandwiches.
I sat down with the children and had a long conversation of the changes that were about to occur. I was basically revamping our entire food routine. Cerys had fallen into the rhythm of having organic instant oatmeal every day and Keiran complained about whatever was put in front of him. I went back to my Menu Planners and grabbed some of my healthiest cookbooks and went to work. My favorite is Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair.
Here's an example of a couple days of menus:
Breakfast: Spinach scrambled eggs
Lunch: leftover chicken pieces, rice crackers, carrot sticks, melon, strawberries
Dinner: chicken gravy over brown rice, spinach salad
Breakfast: Hemp smoothies (hemp powder, yogurt, acai berries, bee pollen, OJ, agave & banana)
Lunch: Tuna salad, crackers, cucumbers, blood orange
Dinner: Baked Potatoes with cheese, avocado slices
Dave is in Texas this week so the dinners are very simple. The children have been so positive about these changes. There hasn't been a single complaint which I must confess, I am surprised about. This morning we tried mochi for the first time stuffed with jam. They were delicious.
Here's what I made for the tiffins today.
Salmon, kale salad with ginger/soy dressing & two seaweed sheets in case Cerys wants to make some salmon rolls.
I am limited to space which is why the healthy junk food has been given the boot. Cerys's second layer includes half a banana, blood orange (a family fav), sweet peas and a couple kumquats. I've been using the tiffins for 2 1/2 weeks now and each day the children bring them home and they are generally completely empty of food. I must admit that it warms my heart to think of them taking in all of this amazing nutrition.
It seems that daily we are learning about the power of food in our bodies. Whether it is the rise in disease which is linked to poor nutrition or learning about power foods like the goji berry and how it can help you live longer. What Dr. Oz found with these blue zones though is that not only were they eating a good, well balanced diet but overall these people were happy and satisfied with their lives. I've spent the last year feeling happier than ever. I'm more at peace with myself, with the choices I've made in my life and how I spend my days. I don't' know what exactly shifted my health but I haven't been sick since last May. (knocking on wood). I usually catch anything that comes my way with at least 4 or 5 colds a year. I can usually fight them off with heaps of raw garlic and herbals but I still experience some unpleasant days. The children also have really turned a corner in their health. Cerys hasn't been sick in probably a year and she hasn't been to a doctor in possibly two years. Keiran also has only been sick once. Is it the food? Our drafty house? the fresh air of the PNW? or something else? I don't' know but I am loving it.
Feeding my children as much nutrition as possibly is my gift to them. We do keep it all in moderation though. Summer is spent enjoying ice-cream and organic hot chocolate is definitely a winter favorite. Overall though sugar is kept out of their diet on a day to day basis but flavor and sweetness are not. Even if they become Lucky Charm addicts when they leave home at least their foundation is based on the healthiest start that I can give them. And I hope to have this argument with them...all the way into my 100's.