Monday, August 4, 2014

Turning the Titanic {Simple Meals}

A friend the other day joked that I was a "mommy blogger".  What?  That's a thing?

Obviously she was referring to my willingness to blog about such riveting (read mundane) topics as remembering late last night that I had an early morning appointment with the GYN (because it's been "awhile" since I've bothered)...on top of needing to get some blood work...make phone calls for our business...and take 4 kids to the dentist....all by 11 am.  Well...yea...that's my life.  And, I ain't afraid to blog about it.  Apparently.

Yesterday, I sat in the hair chair and caught up on my magazine reading.

If you follow me on facebook in any of our 24 Day Challenge Advocare groups, you know how I feel about getting variety.  I need it.  In food.  At work.  In fitness.  In my home decorating.  In my life in general.

The article I read however touched on an interesting topic.  That whereas variety was important, studies showed that too much variety at each individual meal time actually encouraged OVER EATING.


My internal alert system always perks up at the work "over eating", so let's think it through.

We, you and I, both go out for frozen yogurt.

We both fill our cups with 1 1/2 cups of No Sugar Added Vanilla.

I top mine with blueberries.  A righteous choice.

You top yours with blueberries, strawberries, walnuts, coconut flakes, and dark chocolate chips.  A righteous choice as well in my book.

YOU, apparently, are now more likely to overeat.  Because...for the obvious reason.  Yours is more yummy.

The thinking is that the more textures and tastes you have in a particular meal, the more excited your brain and taste buds are too eat it, and the less likely you are to feel satiated. The article did note the exception:  vegetables and spices.


Variety over the course of time, but individual meals kept simple.


Simple meals is one way I am attempting to "bring my family" along with me in this healthier is better journey.

Here is tonight's dinner, prepped and ready for the grill.

Chicken breasts marinading in teriyaki sauce, with veggies and peaches ready to go on the grill.


I met with another mom lately who told me she couldn't fathom not buying sugary cereal for her kids anymore for breakfast (even though she really didn't want them to actually eat it).

I suggested that she "down grade" the cereal choices then.

Simply put, stop buying their favorites.

Instead of Apple Jacks and Captain Crunch for instance, buy Raisin Bran and Mini Wheats.  Because they are more virtuous choices?  No, not really.  But because most likely, YOUR KIDS WILL EAT LESS.

Follow me.  You are a teen age boy.  You LOOOOVVVVVEEEEE Apple Jacks.  You love them so much, in fact, that you gorge on them, and instead of eating the recommended serving size of 3/4 a cup -- you eat the equivalent of a punch bowl full every morning.  In fact, you eat the cereal so fast your mom begins to wonder if she actual bought a box to begin with.
Your thoughtful, caring mother wises up though.  She switches to buying Raisin Bran.

Your complaining about this change is kept to a minimal, because you like Raisin Bran after all, it's just not your FAVORITE.  This minor change and minimized griping allows your mom to keep some of her sanity during this process.  I may or may not be VERY acquainted with this scenario.

The cereal choices in your pantry are now less, you eat a cup of it and go about your day.  Whereas the change in cereal wasn't particularly night and day in the nutrition did cut your sugar, fat, calories, sodium, chemical, etc intake JUST BY HAVING LESS THAN YOU NORMALLY WOULD.

And, my friends, that's how you get started.

Eventually, you have no cereal in the house.  Now, there are breakfast choices that need to be COOKED or BLENDED for goodness sake.  Eggs, bacon, protein shake mix and fruit.

And, before you know it -- you are switching over to turkey bacon...and the changes go on and on.

Turning the titanic doesn't happen quickly.  But planning to not let everyone slam into the iceberg is still nice.

I have found that my family actually eats more healthful (in our cause that means smaller) amounts when my meals are thoughtful, but simple.

Saturdays dinner:  French Onion Pot Roast with Fresh Green Beans

Sundays dinner:  Marinaded steaks, with left over Green Beans and Watermelon Slices

Tonights dinner:  Teriyaki Chicken, with Grilled Peppers and Peaches.

See?  Thoughtful.  Fresh.  Planned out.  But simple.

I assure you, you eat less when the menu reads: Pot Roast with Green Beans INSTEAD OF

Pot Roast with Potatoes, and well as...

 Hashbrown casserole, Mac-n-Cheese, Rolls and Dessert.

That's how we used to eat on a Monday night.

These days, that's called a "special meal."

Every day meals are simple -- and variety is offered over the course of a week.

It's just one way I'm trying to bring this large family (4 teens) along with me!

I'd love to hear some of how you are doing it in your home!


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