3. DON'T BE PICKY. Picky eaters are for toddlers; that's it. Once you turn 4, you can no longer be picky. Get over it, and eat your broccoli. For the record, broccoli is one of my least favorite veggies to eat — BUT I figured out a way to make it delicious, thanks to Rachel Ray. Cut it lengthwise (with stem), drizzle it with EVOO (of course) and balsamic vinegar, and roast it in the oven (400 F). Add S&P. So, even though I'm not crazy for broccoli, I buy it and I eat it. Fortunately, Skyler and Elijah LOVE broccoli, so there is no way around it! :)
How do you prepare your least favorite
vegetable to make it delicious? Seriously, I want to know!
Best answer wins bragging rights!
4. THINK OF FOOD AS FUEL rather THAN PLEASURE. Ask yourself the question, "What does my body need right now in order to conquer this day?" Cereal with almond milk and a cup of coffee is not the best answer. A better answer is a tall glass of water, sautéed spinach in coconut oil topped with two eggs, garlic and cherry tomatoes. For lunch today, I ate my leftover salmon from the night before, a grapefruit and some nuts. Tonight, I will go out to dinner because my daughter has a performance at 6pm, and with 3 kids, we need to "keep it real" and simple. Though convenient, eating out can be difficult nutritionally. Try to stick to the salad options, or a la carte it appetizer-style. I always order Brussels sprouts when on the menu. As hungry as you may be, steer clear of the heavy plates, and if the timing works, eat a small amount at the restaurant and then head home to fill up on something more nutritional and satisfying. Don't think of your dining-out experience as your last meal ever (unless it is); continue the train of thought, "What does my body need right now?" I have a love for cooking shows. Seriously, my kids and I curl up and watch a cooking show quite often. I could watch Jacques Pepin every day, and I have a bit of a crush on Alton Brown. I still enjoy Alton's show, Good Eats — he's a big nerd, but in his show, he helps break down the science behind different foods. He wrote up an interesting list of what to consume daily, weekly or never.
What nutritious foods do you eat every day?
5. AVOID FILLER FOOD. I call pretzels, Goldfish, chips, etc. "filler food." It is the in-between food that you want to fill you up, but it never does. It never satisfies! Don't buy them, and yes, your kids will LIVE without them! I promise. I usually have tortilla chips in the pantry and an occasional non-GMO grain cracker. And yes, I do purchase the other ones on occasion . . . so my kids don't eat all the neighbors' Goldfish. But, for crying out loud, I hate filler food!
6. WHY I DON'T FOLLOW RECIPES. I try to let nutrition lead, rather than a recipe. I'm practical, resourceful, intentional and creative. When a recipe calls for heavy whipping cream or a stick of butter or 2 tablespoons of sugar, my tummy begins to cry, so I skip the recipe and search my kitchen for inspiration. I keep my kitchen stocked with onions, carrots, garlic, celery, spinach, etc. Colorful veggies and fruit fill my kitchen (and yes, fruit flies abound, unfortunately). So, when someone asks what I eat, I kinda stare back at them because I rarely make the same thing twice, and I usually let my veggies take the lead. For example, I picked up the thickest, most plump eggplant (though technically a fruit) yesterday, and to me, eggplant tastes best with tomatoes, onions and garlic. I take my eggplant down the Italian road or up the Indian path. I let my imagination run wild with where that plump purple vegetable can take me. The possibilities are endless! Eggplant parmesan (minus the bread crumbs) is delicious! I also chop eggplant in small cubes and add it to a colorful dish of sautéed onions, garlic, peppers, squash, potatoes, etc. I add tomato sauce or tomatoes and tons of Indian seasoning. To make it creamy, you can add plain greek yogurt! Serve with quinoa or cauliflower rice.
One of my family's favorite meals is my Kitchen-Sink Meat-Love Balls: I know, such a funny name, and since I never follow recipes, it is never exactly the same. Elijah, my middle, calls my meatloaf "meat love" because he LOVES it! I make the gooey mixture into meatballs and cook them in olive oil over high heat in my cast iron skillet. After getting a nice brown coating, I finish cooking the balls on a cookie sheet in the oven (350 F) for 10-15 additional minutes.
I throw everything in my meatloaf, other than the "Kitchen Sink":
I chop up tons of veggies (usually any and all veggies I have on hand) using my Cuisinart food processor: carrots, onion, garlic, Brussels sprouts, sweet pepper, cilantro, etc. — it all goes in a large bowl. Next, I add the meat, usually a combo of ground turkey, elk and hamburger. I eyeball everything and apologize to the person reading this wanting exact directions. I have no clue. My veggie-to-meat ratio is about 1:1, so for example, 3 cups of chopped veggies to 3 cups of ground meat. Then, I add salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, 2 eggs and gluten free crackers to help it bind and absorb the moisture.
How do you cook up your nutritonal meals? What works for you?
Do you need a recipe, or would you be wiling to shop your local grocery store for in-season produce and come home with a blank slate?
Imagine that. . . The opportunities could be endless, and yes, also disastrous!
Take it one simple step at a time and share your success with me!