Sunday, January 10, 2010

Healthier eating choices for the whole family

South Beach Progress

I've been on Phase One of the South Beach Diet for 8 days now, and it's going well. We bought a new digital scale to replace the analog one we've had since we got married (and doesn't seem very reliable), so I'm not exactly sure how many pounds I've lost...but they are melting away. I also feel much healthier.

I'm sure cutting out alcohol, sugar, and wheat is partially contributing to this feeling, although I am definitely counting the days until I can add grains and fruit back into my diet. Phase One (purposely strict to limit one's cravings) officially ends on Saturday, but I will end it one day early, since Friday night my sister and I will be helping my mom celebrate her birthday at Edgefield, and I want to be able to enjoy a glass of wine.

I did go out to lunch with friends twice this week, and I did fine. The first time was sushi, and I had miso soup, edamame, tofu, and sashimi. The second time I had a yummy roasted vegetable salad with grilled chicken on it--the dressing was honey mustard, which I realized later technically breaks the Phase One rule (no honey or sugar), but oh well. I have not missed bread, but I have missed rice and oatmeal.

I stocked up on tons of veggies, organic olive oil, jarred red peppers, and whole grains (organic brown rice, wild rice, and quinoa), in addition to Wii Fit Plus, at Costco this week. Last night I made Indian chicken (with coconut milk and cauliflower), spiced lentils, and garlic-sesame green beans. We had the leftovers tonight, and they were delicious.

Kids Get Healthy!

This week has focused heavily on food, because 3-year-old Nick has been horribly constipated, to the point of groaning and pain. He has a horrible diet--drinks tons of milk (regular and chocolate) and eats a lot of starch (toast, macaroni and cheese, rice, etc.) as well as string cheese and eggs. Very few veggies, and the only fruit he seems interested in at the moment are bananas (also not good for constipation). He's in that skeptical 3-year-old eating phase. Things he used to enjoy he turns his nose up at now. Fortunately, the constipation seems to have passed because we've cut way back on his milk intake, and we're feeding him popcorn (high in fiber) and other healthy foods.

We've decided that our entire family needs to eat healthier. As it is, we realize we our way healthier than most American families, but we still have lots of room for improvement. We typically eschew high-fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils, and most processed foods, but like any parents, we have our weak moments when we have given into our kids, or into convenience.

Mike and I have found ourselves being short-order cooks for the kids at times, even though we swore we would never do that! It's not all the time, but any time we make something we think the kids won't like as much we'll make macaroni and cheese, corn dogs, or spinach ravioli for them.

We've both been reading a lot about healthier eating (I'm reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan right now), and Mike read about a great idea to encourage healthy eating in kids: the "no thank you plate." Now the kids can put food on the plate that they do not want to eat. We've had some grumbling about the healthier choices we're putting in front of them (especially our efforts to limit snacks right before or after dinner), but overall I believe it's going well. They will get used to it!

Part of my kitchen revisit will include getting rid of anything that doesn't fit into these healthy eating guidelines, including a big barrel of Red Vines, which I allowed Kieran to buy with his allowance during a weak moment at Costco! They are stale anyway. Who can eat a big barrel of Red Vines before they go stale, anyway? Personally, I hate the things. Hope Kieran won't notice their absence.

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