Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Day in the Life

I remember a time when I ate without caring about calories, fat content, cost, or where my food came from. I used to eat, no lie, 2 bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits and 3 hash browns with a soda and not think anything of it (and that was just breakfast!). Then I had kids, started breastfeeding, watched a few very enlightening movies (Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead and Food, Inc.), and suddenly food became a much bigger deal to me. Yes, we still have processed food in the house, thanks to some very strategic couponing. But those items come out very rarely, unlike before where they were the norm.

I remember when I first started switching over to real food and thinking "I'm going to starve. What the heck are we going to eat? We're going to starve to death. With hundreds of dollars of processed food in the pantry, we're all going to die of hunger. It will be the saddest thing ever."
 This was compounded by the fact that creating food is very hard for me. I feel like every recipe I have ever come up with completely on my own is yucky. Yes, I said yucky. Until I finally realized I could take recipes I find and use them as jumping off points. I change this, tweak that, remove this, and add that until Ta-Da! It's mine. And much to my surprise, I started coming up with good food that tasted good enough to meet the approval of my very picky family, myself included.

So, this is a pretty standard day of food around here for me.

For breakfast, I like to keep it simple. Something like hard-boiled eggs and oatmeal or whole wheat bread with apple butter or homemade granola with milk

So much cheaper than buying it in the store -
and you know what's in it!

The size and ease of my lunch are often determined by whether or not the baby has chosen to take her nap. Usually, she chooses not. Quick and easy is the name of the game here. I usually have a big salad or an all-natural turkey and cheese on wheat with mustard and relish or hummus with a tiny bit of mayo mixed in

This one is a romaine and iceberg mix with carrots
and red cabbage, and I added frozen peas, sunflower seeds,
some shredded Parmesan, and olive oil and vinegar dressing.
An afternoon snack is mandatory if I plan to stay on my toes through dinner time. I like something filling and light. I'm crushing on smoothies lately, and my two favorites are banana berry smoothies or peaches and cream smoothies

These are an awesome pick-me-up when
I start wanting a nap around 2:30pm
  Dinner is my chance to shine. I love menu planning and can usually tell you what we're having on Tuesday three weeks from now. I like to keep it simple, but also try not to fall into that trap of rotating the same 6 or 7 dishes every week. I serve typical dinner-time fare - some lean protein (usually chicken), a small starchy side (like rice or potatoes), and lots of veggies (raw, steamed, salad, etc.). I also love one-pot wonders and crock-pot deals and have no problem serving something with little or no meat like chili, cheesy soup, stuffed peppers, or 6 veggie spaghetti (I was so hungry last time I made it, I forgot to take a pic! Recipe coming soon)

Between the two kids (7 months and 10 years) and karate and tennis and cooking and cleaning and laundry and making baby food from scratch, and the million other things I do on a daily basis, I find I need to have my tank topped off a few times a day. My favorite go-to snacks include frozen banana bites, pumpkin seeds, mini oatmeal muffins, baked tortillas with bean dip, fresh fruit like apples with peanut butter or nuts, or even just a glass of milk (the perfect balance of protein and carbs, as all snacks should be, and shockingly filling with just enough sugar to keep me from going crazy)


What are your food days like? Do you follow a guide or plan or do you just eat whatever looks good that day?

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