Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Whatcha' Eat Today - Mom of two

As a busy working mom raising children, keeping house and taking care of all the other grown up responsibilities, our healthy can easily be pushed to the back burner, including our eating habits. Our relationship with food  goes from being one of quality to one that is cheap, fast and easy. This way of eating leaves you with a tired, unsatisfied feeling leading to more eating of the same and the cycle continues.  Here is the Whatcha' Eat Today journal of a 40 year old widow and mother of two who might be falling into that cycle.

Day 1
Breakfast: Bacon, eggs w/cheese, grits, two pieces of wheat toast and coffee
Snack: grapes and water
Lunch: A piece of Veggie Stromboli and water
Snack: Tastycake apple pie, half a bag of Doritos with water
Dinner: Meatloaf, pasta and mixed vegetables with raspberry ice tea
Dessert: One scoop of Fudge Ripple ice cream and 4 Nutter Butter cookies with water

Day 2
Breakfast: pancakes, eggs, two pieces of bacon, coffee
Lunch: none
Snack: two pieces of wheat toast with jelly
Dinner: homemade bbq chicken fingers and fries
Dessert: pistachio and almond ice cream

Day 3
Breakfast: Bacon, egg and cheese on an onion bagel and coffee
Snack: two chocolate chip cookies
Lunch: two shrimp rolls and ginger ale
Snack: banana with peanut butter and plain Hersey bar
Dinner: homemade beef cheese steak with fries and iced tea

Day 4
Breakfast: bacon, egg and cheese croissant and coffee
Lunch: Baked Ziti and buffalo chicken salad with blue cheese dressing ½ wheat roll and Pepsi
Dinner: fried tilapia and fries with water

Day 5
Breakfast: pancakes with bacon and coffee
Snack: two pieces of toast with water
Lunch: 2 hot dogs and fries with peach iced tea
Dinner: Meatball sandwich with fries and iced tea

Day 6
Breakfast: oatmeal with coffee
Lunch: two cheeseburgers with fries and a fruit punch
Snack: chocolate chip cookies
Dinner: hot wings, mini burgers and potato skin platter

Day 7
Breakfast: Pancakes with bacon and eggs and coffee
Snack: banana and water
Dinner: Baked chicken and vegetable stew and mac and cheese
Dessert: two chocolate chip cookies

Two suggestions for you are to drink more water and eat more high fiber snacks.  Drinking more water and higher fiber snacks will keep you from having those spikes of energy and then crashes causing you to look for a sweet treat to get you that energy rush again causing you to eat too much.  Switching out your soda or sweetened iced tea with fruit infused water or tea will help you to feel fuller longer.  The recipe is quite simple and can be used with any fruit.

Infused Fruit water/tea
6 cups of cold water
2 oranges (or your favorite citrus) sliced
1 cup of berries or fruit of your choice
Optional: Mint, 3 herbal tea bags

Add all of the ingredients in a large pitcher and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.  Drink with meals or snacks.  Be careful not to let it sit more than 2 days as the citrus will get bitter.  All the more reason for you to drink it all every day. If you pair this water with a high fiber snack like a raw Larabar that has fruit and nuts and 4 grams of fiber or an apple or pear with 4 grams of fiber each and high in water content you will be satisfied longer.

If you need a more savory snack try some popcorn or my favorite frozen Edamame (soy beans) just pop them in the microwave, season with salt and serve warm.

Now at this point I would usually stop at two small changes but I know you guys are thinking, what about all that fried and fast food. Well I did promise that I would not get preachy and try to change eating habits around completely but when I gave the first draft of this to the journal owner she herself called me on the fact that I was brushing over the worst part of her diet. So I have no choice but to talk about it. 

This diary is not lacking in meals as in past diaries but it is missing nutrients. Because of the lack of nutrient dense foods you eat more empty calories because your body keeps craving what it needs to work and it keeps receiving the wrong things. So let’s work on getting your body what it needs.

Since you usually get breakfast and lunch on the go you may want to try the Mason jar options from the last food journal but, if you still need to buy these meals from a convenience stores make sure you get the healthiest options.

For breakfast go for a cut apple and peanut butter cups and a dry toasted whole wheat bagel or a mixed fruit cup and a Kind bar or a grab and go instant oatmeal cup and some grapes. 

For lunch why not swap the fries for a homemade stuffed baked potato?

You can easily make these on Sunday night for the week by baking 5 potatoes and wrapping them individually in foil to store in the fridge.  The night before work take one potato split it open and place it in a microwave safe bowl.  Add frozen broccoli, 1/4 cup of shredded cheese, cover and microwave at work.  Switch up your topping for chili or this spinach and mushroom one that I love.

4 tablespoons of vegetable broth
2 cloves of garlic chopped
14 oz. of fresh assorted mushrooms
10 oz. bag of fresh organic spinach
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup of white wine or vegetable broth
Salt and Pepper

Add 4 tablespoons of vegetable broth to a pan over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and the mushrooms and sauté until both begin to soften.  Add the vinegar and the white wine and stir until the liquid begins to be absorbed and reduced.  Add the spinach and stir until the spinach wilts.  Season with salt and pepper and spoon mixture over a baked white or sweet potato.

I know this is a lot of information to take in and I appreciate your willingness to confront your eating habits and make steps towards a healthier lifestyle.  I applaud you as you take care of all of your responsibilities every day and hope that you will take some of these suggestions and take care of you.

To the rest of you: How do you take care of you?