The Food Spectrum/Reunion Poll

Hey y’all. Is it just me or has this summer been super busy for everyone? Seems like there’s something going on everyday. Whatever happened to the lazy crazy hazy dayz of summer?

Weight loss is going well – I’ve lost 6 pounds so far. I’ve been moving more and eating less and whaddya know? It works. One thing I’m having trouble with is where I want to comfortably fall on the food spectrum. On one end we’ve got all-junk-all-the-time and waaaayyyyy over on the other end is the hardcore raw vegan way of life. I think I’d like to fall somewhere in the middle of that broad spectrum, but what does that look like? Food from a box just does not appeal to me anymore, but I’m not much of a cook, so a lot of the time I find myself standing in front of the fridge trying to figure out how to make a meal without the box – and I’m clueless. Ideally, I’d like to get away from processed foods, but realistically, I don’t know how to make that happen without causing some kind of uprising from the rest of the family. So what does the middle of the road, healthy, family-friendy, busy-mom inspiring way of eating look like? Have any of you reached that place? If so, would you mind sharing what a typical week of meals looks like, or point me to a website where I might be enlightened? I guess what I’m really looking for here is a mentor who can teach me how to feed my family healthy meals without breaking my budget. Anyone want to volunteer? 🙂

Something else I need help with is THE REUNION. I am so firmly planted right in the middle of the fence on this. I can not decide one way or another if I should go. My BFF isn’t going, but there a few people I’d like to see and catch up with – no one I’m particularly close to, just curious about. Then there is the expense to consider – hotel, reunion fees, new clothes (of course) and a mani/pedi (of course). I’d have to find an arrangement for the kiddos, but that wouldn’t be hard. I haven’t been back to my hometown in YEARS, so it would be nice to hit the old stomping grounds again. On the other hand, if I didn’t go, that money could be used for a family vacation, and heaven knows I need a vacation. Also if I didn’t go that would subtract a lot of stress and worry from my already harried life, and most everyone is on FaceBook these days, so it’s really easy to keep in touch with people. We went to Shawn’s reunion a couple of years ago, so I feel like it’s my turn, and it would be an opportunity for us to get out and just be a couple for a couple of days….okay so you can see why I’m having a hard time deciding! I’m going to leave it up to the Mighty Pear Poll to help me decide. Reunion fees are due by the end of this week so I have until then to decide.

 

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16 thoughts on “The Food Spectrum/Reunion Poll

  1. Well, there you are, Jill!

    I am no help on the reunion–I’ve already told you that I don’t go to them. Reading your quandry, I think it might be one of those ‘very good things’ that you might decide to give up in order to simplify your life. I can tell you that right now there is a conference going on that I REALLY WANTED TO GO TO, and right now I am VERY GRATEFUL that I finally decided to give it up.

    Regarding the food, I have always liked to cook, AND I don’t have a family, so guess I am not much help there either. Plus, I get the whole thing about wanting to go healthy, but not wanting to be radical about it (i.e., okay, Splenda might not be that great of a choice, but I am not going to give it up completely, yet.) I think your kids are young enough to try introducing new healthy flavors to them. LIke last night, I offered my dad some strawberries, and he said, could you put a little cream on them? Well, I had already mixed them with cottage cheese (and a little splenda so it was sweet) and so he took them and said afterwards, I usually don’t like cottage cheese, but that was really good (category: you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.)

    I guess you know about Roni’s Greenlite bites? Seems she is family friendly, has some ‘box’ cooking, and has a husband who does not have a weight problem, and who won’t eat all her healthy food.

    • Thanks Deb – Yeah, I kind of stopped blogging for a few days – just been super busy!! As I was posting my food question I was thinking about Roni and wondering if she was the only one out there like her. I’ve been looking over her site lately and thinking that it might be what I’m looking for. I need to take the time to really pour over her site and find some recipes that I think the family might like. Finally got the hubs to eat whole wheat bread/pasta, so I’m making progress, but boy is it slow!!

  2. You might want to check out Eating Well magazine and eatingwell.com for dinner suggestions. Most of their recipes are simple, quick and delicious. The magazine is based here in Vermont and there’s a large focus on seasonal, fresh ingredients. I’ve had a subscription for years and own a few of their cookbooks.

    Good luck with the reunion conundrum!

    • Thanks Miss Thing! I’ve been thinking about getting a subscription to this magazine. Looks like they’ve got some good stuff in there!

  3. I say start small changes with the kids – for instance – my kids love, love, love mac-n-cheese and Wal-mart just had a sale on them for 50 cents/box – so I loaded up. But, I do not put in half a stick of butter (as the box calls for) instead, I use 1 (one) tbs. Also, puree a frozen bag of cauliflower (cooked) with a little FF evap. milk and add to it – gradually add more over time (they never know!)

    Also, buy the already baked chickens (rotisserie) at the grocery store – I have hit the jackbot at Wally’s by getting there when they are marking them down to $2.00 because they didn’t sell in the four hour window (late afternoon) – I load up because my children love them (I peel off the skin – and give to the big dog outside). You can shred them up and make quick and easy chicken enchiladas, chicken tacos, etc.

    My son loves fruit – so I keep a bowl cut up with strawberries, grapes and kiwi – he adds LF vanilla yogurt (good source of calcium)

    Look at Vickie’s blog and the tag – recipes – she keeps healthy, clean food on hand always.

    My 20 year class reunion was very expensive (350 per person . . . just for the activities) and I was expecting with 6 year old, so I chose not to go. I was in OK at the time and I went to high school in TX, so that also was a factor. But mainly, I hadn’t kept up with anyone since the 10 year class reunion and wasn’t that curious. No regrets, but if you think you would regret not going . . .

    • DM – I love love love you!! These are excellent ideas! I bought a rotisserie chicken last week and we DEVOURED it in no time. I think I’ll make it a regular on the shopping list. Love the mac n cheese idea too – great tips Sister!! 🙂

  4. You might want to visit Shannan and Karla from Living a Whole Life (livingawholelife dot blogspot dot com). And even Hip Organic Mama (hiporganicmama dot blogspot dot com).

  5. reunion? Im not a big help as Ive never gone to one (live too far away)

    the kids thing? I would do (but again Im crazy :)) a slooow switch from what youre doing now.

    baby changes and substitutions day in and day out until in a few months you are ALL eating far more “clean”

    make sense at all?

    • Makes perfect sense! I think you are right, and very very recently the hubs has expressed an interest in eating healthier, so that will help A LOT.

  6. I enjoyed my reunion, but really it wasn’t worth it. If it is in place of a family vacation, there would be no contest for me. You’ll cherish your family vacation much more than hanging out with a few people from the past.

    I don’t have children, so I am not much help there, but you haven’t gotten some great advice! I use the eatingwell website a lot, and also whfoods.org. I keep as many of the foods on his list as possible around, and none of them are super expensive exotic foods–just stuff you can get at most any grocery store.

    Do you have a garden? I know that my 7 year old great-nephew will eat anything he picks from our garden, kale, dill, carrots, lettuce…he is intrigued with the fact that you can eat “leaves”. I have seen several shows lately where children are helping in the garden and more willing to eat food they help grow. But now that I think about it, I think you said you have a garden already….so, never mind! 🙂

    • We do have a garden and my two youngest love to help water and pull the grass (ugh stupid grass) out too. They have already let me know in no uncertain terms that the only thing they will eat from the garden is the corn…we’ll see. 🙂

  7. It’s me again (sorry). But, this subject is something I am interested in and will need to implement this fall when I go back to work (gulp).

    One of my biggest failures was pre-planning meals. I always felt like I needed the vileman to have a variety of meals instead of cooking what everyone liked and was easy. So after cooking new recipes for a week – I would be exhausted and resentful of the kitchen. Growing up, my mother was very routine – Monday was a pot of beans and cornbread; rest of the week was spaghetti, lasagna, tamale pie and probably a roast on Sunday. She kept is simple.

    • Ha! My mom was the same way, which is also the reason that I cannot eat chicken fried steak to this day – we had it ALL THE TIME growing up!

      Spaghetti and tacos are in pretty heavy rotation at my house because it’s something everyone likes and is easy, but lately sandwiches have become a big deal – it’s just too hot to cook!!

  8. The meal thing is still an issue for me. I think the whole simple rotation of the same meals is a good idea for non-gifted cooks as ourselves. The trick is, which meals? When you figure it out, let me know. 🙂

    Reunion–Make a decision–“I’m Not Going.” How does that feel? Does it feel right? Let it sit for a while. If it feels wrong, then change your mind–“I’m Going & Wild Horses Won’t Keep Me Away!” Let that sit for a few days. How does that feel? That’s one way to do it anyway.

  9. We do “healthy grazing” dinners sometimes: put out a tray of veggies and fruit, healthy dip (plain yogurt of fat free sour cream with a little ranch dressing) cheese sticks, rolls/bread/crackers for the kids. Easy, yet well-balanced. Also easy to get away with in the summertime when it’s hot and no one feels like hot, substantial food anyway.

    As for the reunion, I’m not so sure it’s what we think, it’s what *you* think…feelings about high school reunions can really vary among people. Do you think you’d be less stressed if you did some of the things you’re looking forward to–visit to your hometown, grown-ups only time with your husband type of vacation–without the reunion part? Or would you feel like you missed something, even with the other parts? (For example, I was feeling a bit nostalgic about going to weddings the other day–but I think it was more because it’s a chance to get dressed up and go to a party and dance with people you don’t feel weird dancing in front of. It’s probably a good 10 years until the next generation starts marrying, so I’d better find another way for the gussying-up/party/dancing to happen.)

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