I haven’t tracked this, but I should, but I load and unload my dishwasher at least twice per day. Before dinner (from the day), and then before bed (from dinner). I always chuckle (because chuckle is actually as fun a word as it’s meaning), because that’s just cray. This past weekend, I made breakfast and snacks and food for the week, and then snacks and lunches, and everyone eats differently, and there’s three kids, and then me, and then my husband, and then that’s without anyone even stopping over for brunch. Though I did make a delicious ginger tea for my neighbor and I, but that was just one tiny thing. It was endless amounts of chopping and dishes and cleaning up and putting things away, and where’s the Tupperware, and what do you want to eat, what can I make you, and just non-stop. The dishwasher got loaded and unloaded three times, just on Sunday.
By the time my husband wanted to use the dough that he kneaded earlier in the day, that was rising in the microwave for him, to make some homemade bread, I was dead. When I say dead, I’m being super extremely dramatic, but totally spent from the short order cooking, all day long. At first it’s fun, and then it can get a bit ridiculous. We don’t have feeding times in this family (which may or may not be a problem), and I just feed my kids on demand – alllllll dayyyyy longgggg. Since we love spending time at home during the weekends, it’s basically mama is in the kitchen prepping food all day long.
Holy, Moly, Guacamole, Exhaustion.
It’s comical and funny, but is this what it takes to EAT well, healthy, raw, fruits, veggies, homemade grub? Yup, pretty much, at least for us, and I know for many of the mamas surrounding me. My little people are only 3 & 6 & 15, and they know how to go into the pantry and grab some school snacks and open them up and munch on them, but because I want them to stay away from them as much as possible, I’m constantly offering up fresh apples, strawberry, cucumbers, scrambled eggs, and whatever else that is in it’s natural form in the fridge, that all need a bit of prep, whether it’s washing grapes or baking organic chicken on demand. Exhaustion.
Dinner for my children last night. It’s not impossible, but it’s work. Work we must get done.
I’m complaining, but also accepting that this is life. This is WHY convenience food was born, because once women entered the workforce, and the workdays became extra long for both mamas and papas, who was going to spend all day in the kitchen cooking and prepping and cleaning up? Do we all need to step back and say NO to other commitment just to feed ourselves?
Yes, and no, for sure.
It helps that my husband and I work from home, because all day long, I have the access of my kitchen, and it’s pure freedom on the weekend to eat as we go. Yet, the commitment to this is not without work. And for anyone working outside their home, or even stay at home parents, I can’t imagine it’s nonstop food go. Yet, I have also recently committed and re-committed, especially since my people are growing more and more each day, to feed them as best as I can, for as long as I’m privileged.
My stepdaughter loves Caesar salads, so I’m motivated to making her one at least once per day. I add the Romaine, and baby spinach, and organic croutons (and non-organic ones from Aldi too), and raisins, and protein or other grub. I chop strawberries on top of her Greek yogurt, and then everything else for my little kids I described here. Instead of scaling back, we’re going harder.
This is my boy this past weekend, eating whole wheat tortilla shells, melted with grass fed butter, and cheese, and nitrate free turkey slices, eating along a cup of Kombucha.
I want these children have everything they need, to function well, and to grow healthier and to really know that part of the reason they feel so well, is because they eat so well. Already, they are beginning to feed themselves, and the options in front of them, are strong. I want them to get stronger and stronger, and I want their palates to continue to develop and be drawn to the fresh, the raw, the veggies, the fruits, and I want them to know that meat and seafood should come from a place that isn’t a factory but instead, nature (as often as possible). I want them to eventually choose NOT to eat eggs that aren’t pasture raised or always choose organic when possible.
Saturday after a flag foodball game, I headed to Publix to ONLY pick up organic frozen blueberries (because my daughter loves to eat them), and while there I added Romaine lettuce, and Kombucha and bananas and Z-Bars (HACK!!!), and red cabbage to my cart, because healthy eating needs a lot of grocery replenishment.
Because the effort is grand, it’s okay to acknowledge and recognize and slowly accept this effort. As a society, we love to hack things and maybe take shortcuts to sincerely save our sanity and peace, but it’s also okay to accept, that when it comes to food and feeding ourselves and our families, sometimes, shortcuts and no or minimal effort and health, do not always go together. And this must be okay too.
The same goes for feeding ourselves, our individual human bodies. Our ability to prosper, and prevent disease starts off with what we put into our bodies. Heck, it even starts off with HOW we put this food in our bodies. Are we eating in a car, or are we eating sitting down, in peace and quiet? Are we giving our bodies enough time BEFORE our first bite, to let the digestive juices start flowing? What are we feeding ourselves? Is it enough, is it too much? Are we eating because we’re hungry? Do we know how certain foods make us feel? Are we feeding our cells and nourishing our insides, or are we just stuffing food in our mouths?
This was a late breakfast for my husband on Sunday. Pasture raised eggs, over a lot of GREENS and half an avocado, drizzled with homemade vegetable curry.
If your goal is to improve your health via improving our nutrition, it is okay to take many steps back and accept that a lot of effort must go into your day to make this a reality. There are tons of articles out on the web, how to make eating well and super easy and short, and I may even write one in the future, but for now, as your STEP 1, accept this fact. Accept the fact that you may have to go to the grocery store, or market, every day or every other day, and buy fresh grub. You must wash it, you must chop it, you must eat it and the store the extra. You must learn how to cook eggs and meat and fish correctly, so to persevere as much nutrients as possible. You must have to learn how to enjoy these foods without the sugar. You must then be okay with cleaning up grease and fat and stuck-on food, but this is still okay. To save money, you may have to learn how to love leftovers, and be able to eat this again the next day. You must be okay with going back to the grocery store, and picking up more fresh grub, and doing it over and over and over again.
I made fruit salad for my daughter’s Valentine’s Day party at school. No one liked this, and no one ate this, except for me, and my kids just wanted to pick out the strawberries. Sometimes our homemade grub is a fail, and sometimes a win, but we must keep food playing, and getting it done!
At one point, this will be your life, and as your health, your sleep, your stress and your mind improves, the motivation for eating whole real natural food, in it’s purest form, will begin to grow, and flourish. It’s pretty exciting when I can say without a doubt I just had the absolutely best weekend ever, doing nothing but eating and feeding my family, surrounded by friends (and well cleaning the house). It takes taking a ton of steps back, from the endless hustle that many live, but it’s also taking so many steps forward with your health and longevity and pursuit of health, wealth and stealth perfection.
Cheers, real food eaters and lovers.