Before we had Ryley, Ryan and I were terrible at eating. We skipped breakfast and sometimes lunch, so by dinner time, we’d be so starved that we’d pig out on fast food.
Honestly, when I got pregnant, my biggest fear about being a mom was whether or not I could be trusted and faithful enough to make the time to feed my baby at regular intervals. We’ve done ok, I think. I’ve always been pretty vigilant about making sure Ryley eats three meals, but all along we’ve struggled with making her breakfast a nutritious one. It’s so much easier when you’re in a rush (which we always are) to throw some pop tarts (which I now consider to be the equivalent of cardboard) in a toaster, slap them on a paper plate, and off we go. Years of this. Seriously.
No wonder she’s starving and moody when I pick her up from school! If she’s famished all through the morning, then her lunch is not going to be enough. So she’ll continue to be hungry in the afternoon, and by the time I pick her up, her blood sugar is so low that she’s crabby as all get out. I’m just beginning to make the connection (yes, I’m a little slow, apparently) between moodiness/behavior and having a good breakfast. I have to stop thinking that, well, having a light breakfast (or no breakfast) has never bothered me, and what’s good enough for me is good enough for her.
As I’m quickly learning, it was good enough for me because my body had slowly become numb to my choices. It was learning to function out of habit, in some kind of deprivation mode -- not from nutrition. And it was declining more than I realized or understood.
So these days, poor Ryley sits at the kitchen table at 7:15 with a bowl of oatmeal and a side of yogurt, while I run back and forth to the fridge, piling apple slices and grapes in front of her, then pouring a glass of milk and handing her a stick of cheese. I’d rather her be late to school than go on an empty tummy. She likes it too, and she says she’s noticed a difference as to when her tummy starts growling in the mornings.
Also, I like it because her behavior is better, and she’s the picture of CHEERFULNESS when I pick her up. :-) Yay!
On another note, since September, I have been trying to drink 150 ounces of water a day. That’s my tall Starbucks water bottle x 6. I figure that if I drink four of them at work and then two of them at home, I space out my water intake pretty well throughout the day. Some days I’m successful, and other days I’m not. But on the days I don’t do as well, especially on the weekends, I literally feel like my body starts shutting down. I feel anxious and moody and thirsty. My insides ache. Weird, I know. It’s almost as if I can feel my organs crying out for water! As soon as I drink it, the aching subsides, and it’s like my body wakes up and comes to life. I love it.
One of these days I will get around to compiling all the great recipes I’m collecting into a binder of some sort. There are so many good things, like parmesan green beans (thanks, Pinterest!) and baked kale chips (thanks, Melanie!). How wonderful would it be to be organized?
I feel like I am becoming like the health nuts I made fun of for all those years. I’d never bought kale before last week. No worries, though, really. I would never actually choose carob chips over chocolate. I’m still fat, and I will always be a fat girl at heart. ;-)
In closing, I wanted to share another fave recipe. We have a place called Yolanda’s Tacos near my work, and my co-worker Leahh and I eat their delicious, cheap tacos two or three times a week. I know. But you would too. In fact, I told my friend Jenny about Yolanda’s, and she tried it and fell in love with it too. It really is the shredded, chipotle-marinated chicken that I crave the most. So Jenny gave me this recipe so we could recreate the goodness at home:
Shredded Tinga Tacos
2-3 chicken breasts
1 jar of chipotle salsa
2-3 tsp minced garlic
1 can of green chiles
Place the chicken breasts in the crock pot. Sprinkle minced garlic over them. Pour salsa over the chicken to cover them. Put the green chiles in on top. Cook all day on low or half a day on high. When done, shred it up!
So you must know, I started with five frozen chicken breasts, so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. But when we got home, after nine hours of cooking on low, I could smell it outside our house. I think it may have been a little soupy because we started frozen, but it was still perfect. The chicken fell apart when we touched it, so shredding was no problem at all.
We served it in corn tortillas with sour cream, cheddar cheese, sliced avocado, and cilantro. Yum!!! And we had tons of leftovers for the rest of the week!