Saturday, March 29, 2014

My Food Rules

Nate and I have often laughed about how he grew up with a dietitian mom and then went ahead and found himself a dietitian wife. Coincidence, or does he really care so much about his health, not to mention understand so much about the connection between good nutrition and good health, that he wanted to always have a dietitian in the kitchen? Let's go with the latter.

In all seriousness though, I don't think he's missed out on too much good food because of it. I can't comment on where he might have gotten his junk food when he was a kid, but these days I think he's glad to have a job so he can drink Coke and eat Oreos without being judged by me. Although if this post was a conversation around our dinner table, he would quickly jump in a complain that Apple doesn't sell Oreos in their cafeteria and he doesn't have a car so he can't run to the grocery store for lunch (i.e. Ritz crackers and summer sausage) like he did at previous jobs. But of course he does our grocery shopping occasionally, which is how we sometimes end up with Lucky Charms, boxed mac n' cheese, and those massive cartons of Goldfish crackers in our cupboards.

But don't start to assume that I'm some sort of uncompromising food policewoman. After all, I don't immediately donate those over-processed foodstuffs to the nearest collection bin :). It's just that there are certain categories of food that I avoid on principle (i.e. McDonald's, sweet cereals, fruit snacks, any flavor but plain yogurt, juice, packaged cookies…I could go on, but you get the idea). Beyond avoiding foods on principle, I suppose I have some guidelines or rules that I try to live by. Written out, they might look something like this:
  1. Family meals = super important
  2. Eat dessert, not routinely, mostly homemade, but NEVER as a bribe.
  3. Adults decide what to make; each person/kid decides how much they'll eat
  4. Adults also decide when (at what time of the day) to eat 
  5. Vegetables = prominent position on the plate
  6. Meat is fine, but I'd rather it be an added flavor or side dish rather than a main
  7. Kids can/will eat salad (and other "adult" foods) if we make it normal
I'm not being original by articulating these food rules. Authors Michael Pollan and Karen Le Billon did the same thing in their books, and I love their rules. So my list is an attempt to personalize and articulate the eating environment that I envision for my family. To me, it's all about creating a normal and healthy relationship with food.

An example of a healthy relationship with food (dragging a chair and foot stool out to sit next to the peas)

Our neighbor, Pam, gave us some leftover pea seeds for a winter crop

Friday, March 28, 2014

Movie Maker

I may work at DreamWorks, but I'm no movie maker. My previous attempts at video editing on YouTube left me annoyed and frustrated. Anne shared a bit of wisdom that I've been meaning to try.  She said "iMovie," so today I tried it. I have lots of room to learn and grow, but for now, here are some clips of our Bean.

Oh, but first, one extra little movie clip from my mind's eye. Today we were out to lunch with Megan and Anderson. The kids meal (yep, we're finally to that point, I think) came with a dessert, so Louisa was eating chocolate pudding. I was chatting and turned back to see Cora licking her lips and looking just plain satisfied. Louisa said, "Mom, I shared my pudding!" So sweet, except that Cora is supposed to be waiting until April 11 (her 1st birthday) to indulge in sugar. The words behind her satisfied face were likely something like this: mama! you've been holding out on me. that was the best! 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Still a Clean Freak after all these 3 years

Life is busy! Last week Cora and I were in Washington DC for a weight-management training. I have to complete 75 credits every five years to maintain my RD registration, so when I saw that there was a 50-credit training in Annapolis, MD (40 minutes from DC) I booked a room in my parent's AirBnB and hired the best local babysitters (also seen on the AirBnB page). Louisa and Nate stayed in Campbell and Marcia stopped by on her way back from Anchorage. I think we all benefited from a little schedule shake-up.

I was reminded of the challenges of flying with a one year old, but overall, the cross-country flights went well. I'm just plain amazed at how much a little body can move and (apparently) how not cool napping is when you're on a 747 (or whatever kind of plane it was).

Before our trip to DC, we finally made it up to Oakland to visit the zoo. This and other outings help me remember how important it is to get out of the house each day, so I don't feel mess-trophopic. Let's just say that having kids hasn't really diminished my love for a clean house.

Some recent messes:

A rare puddle in the CA drought

At the children's museum

The chairs are Lou's train. For some reason she dumped ALL of our play-kitchen food under the 3rd seat

If I had fed Cora this turkey/bean soup, I probably would have declared it a "spoon food"
Outings to balance me out:

Since we can't have grass at our house, we try to enjoy it at the park

Roller coaster ride at Happy Hollow

Train ride at the Oakland Zoo

Plane ride at the Oakland Zoo

Monday, March 3, 2014

RD, Foodie, Mom

I've been thinking and talking about writing more about nutrition for some time now. Two people, sort of informal advisors on life, told me, "just start writing!" So now anytime I build another barrier in my mind, I hear their voices echo: just start writing! The barriers/excuses/delays tend to look and sound like this:
  • there are already too many food blogs
  • I should really create a whole new blog (not just shift the focus here)
  • I should read all the child nutrition books available first
  • once I start, I'd have to commit to at least 3 posts per week
So although this blog post is not about food and nutrition per se, it's bringing me one step closer to "launching" my dream blog: RD, Foodie, Mom. My dream is not to be a famous blogger who eventually writes a book and goes on tour, it's more to share ideas (while soliciting ideas), answer questions, and keep my creative/writing brain active. 

So why now? Well, of course now is as good a time as ever. (Just start writing! Just start writing!) Also, I'm drawn to projects that can be started and revisited during small or large (but usually small) chunks of time during the day. I received further inspiration after reading Anne's thoughtful post on stay-at-home motherhood last week. Right on, Anne. I'm totally with you!

Another source of inspiration was a pre-screening of a ridiculous, yet entertaining new movie, Moms' Night Out, three weeks ago. It was ridiculous because it was one of those films where everything that can go wrong, does. How it relates to this mommy-blogger, (ugh, I hate that title) is that the main character is 1) a stay at home mom, and 2) a mommy blogger. Although the movie was stressful for a clean-freak like me, it was also affirming and encouraging. My favorite part (non-spoiler alert) was the final scene, where she comes downstairs, early in the morning, to a cup of hot tea, open laptop and CLEAN house. On the corner of her screen is a post-it that says, "You DO have something to say." Cute. I want to know who cleaned her house though.

It's funny, I'm not even a big movie person, but in the last three weeks, I got to go to two early screenings. One (above) and the other of the newest DreamWorks animated film, Mr. Peabody and Sherman. While the mom movie was a Tuesday-night-out with my friend Heather, I took the whole family to Mr. Peabody. Louisa sat through her first movie beautifully. And Cora? Well, not so much. I was just thankful that she was fine (nursing and eating cheese) during the creative/smart/dialogue parts of the film and only needed to leave the theater during the action scenes. So admittedly, I didn't watch the whole movie, but would definitely recommend it!

See Where Our Pictures Were Taken