Monday, April 28, 2014

You've Got to Start Somewhere

Four months ago I started eating "clean." That meant no sugars of any kind, no processed foods, no chemicals or additives in my ingredient list, and hardest of all, giving up my beloved Diet Coke. I did this for my health, but more than that I did it because I had signed on to a challenge along with several of my friends through our local gym. The challenge was over 3 weeks ago. I came in second place. Since then I have eaten just about every "non-clean" food item I can get my hands on. I can't seem to stop. Burgers? Yes! Pizza? Let's get two! Chips, cheese, crackers, Easter candy out the wazoo, cake pops... it's basically ridiculousness at this point. So I've got to find some willpower again. Surely I can find some somewhere. Somewhere!? Yes.. It's time to start fresh and get back on the clean wagon. Not an easy task, that's for sure.

As if that won't be hard enough, I decided that this time around I'll bring my 3 kiddos along for the ride. Oh and you know what? Let's try and go Gluten Free too! This should be easy!! Right? RIGHT?? Ya.. I'm certifiable. There's no denying it at this point. I (along with my mom... more on that later) spent 4 hours and a few hundred dollars shopping at 4 different grocery stores yesterday getting everything from raw Pepitas to garbanzo bean flour to gluten free rolled oats. At some point during this shop-stravaganza we picked up my 2 daughters and I filled them in on what we had been doing all afternoon. They were so excited! I heard cheers and squeals of delight from them! OK you're right, I'm a big fat liar. It didn't go exactly like that... It was a little more like, "What!? No more Lays chips?" "Are you kidding me? We can't have ANYthing FUN anymore? EVER?" It's going to be a tough transition, to say the least.

Today we tried to start things out, with marginal success. Weren't the kids THRILLED to find that frozen waffles for breakfast are on the new plan???  Yes! That is, until they found out that we actually had a few frozen waffles left in the freezer and were simply getting rid of them. (Loud sighs heard all around the breakfast bar.) They were just going to LOVE pure maple syrup, I just knew it! OK... this actually surprised me... they did actually love pure maple syrup. I'm not a huge fan of syrup and the smell of it, if even a drop of it gets off a plate or fork for more than 3 seconds, is one of my least favorite things on the planet. I was sure they'd hate this. (Maybe that was wishful thinking... it costs a crap-ton of money!) They actually really did love it, though! I'm guessing the "light" fake syrup I've been feeding them for years doesn't actually have that great of a taste. I'm not a syrup lover, so I can't know for sure, but there's my guess.

A funny side note about the syrup... while I was at work today I was on the phone with my mom, who said, "this maple syrup has a list of ingredients a mile long and I can't even read what all these crazy ingredients are in it, no wonder the kids liked it, it's definitely not "clean." I laughed thinking, wow I can't believe I just trusted that it said "pure maple syrup" on the front without reading the ingredient list! Have I learned nothing about the "false" advertising on food products by now!? I honestly thought that's what happened, and thought it was hilarious. Tonight, however, my mom looked at the bottle again and said, "Oh, I must not have been fully awake when I looked at this earlier. This is what I was looking at earlier: (Points to a note under the nutrition label saying, "Not a significant source of calories from fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, dietary fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C.) HERE is the actual ingredient list: (Points to section curiously titled, "Ingredients," which then said: Pure Organic maple syrup).


OK so on to lunch! Epic win, right? Ha, far from it. Lunch was school lunch in the cafeteria. I'm not quite ready for packed clean, gluten free lunches, yet. One step at a time, dearies!

Dinner was late as the girls had an activity at their religion class that kept them there until 7 rather than their normal 530 release time. My mom cooked (as is the norm, and, unlike me, she is awesome at it!). For dinner, grass fed, antibiotic and hormone free chicken breast (still trying to figure out meat. From what I've learned about the labeling of meat, the fact that this said grass fed, antibiotic and hormone free, yada yada yada, could actually mean "we raise chickens in the most disgusting, inhumane ways as is possible under the USA's minimal FDA regulations and feed them a vegetable only diet, but the vegetables are injected with enough hormones to keep a bus full of senior ladies on a trip to the casino from having hot flashes, first, then we mix it all together with pretty much everything we dump from our garbage cans before actually packaging it." I'm trusting this label for the time being.) with a very very light coating of clean bread crumbs (homemade from clean bread).

To go along with the chicken we had delicious sweet potato wedges, green beans, and... garlic buttered English muffins? (More of the "getting rid of everything in the fridge" business.) Here is what happened. Child #1 (Olivia): ate zero sweet potatoes, zero English muffin, possibly 2 extremely small bites of chicken, and all of her green beans. And all of her sister's. And some of my mom's. Ok, for her, considering she is my most picky (or possibly tied for that honor), this was a win! Lots of veggies were eaten! Yay! Child #2 (Ava) ate: 2 bites of sweet potatoes (under protest), zero green beans, zero English muffin, and all of her chicken. And some of her sister's. And one of the leftover pieces. For her, my least picky eater, I'm calling this one a draw. She likes chicken and many veggies-- although clearly tonight's choices were not on that list. Child #3 (Brody) ate: none of his hamburger. What's that you say? Where the H did the burger (on an English muffin bun....) come from? Well... the Brodster is well known for eschewing homemade chicken in every form, refusing to even take a bite of it. Ever. (He will eat chicken tenders at restaurants... sometimes.) But tonight there was no eating of the burger (it had chicken in it and a weird bun. Only the 2nd part of that is actually true... but he was quite sure both parts were true). He also ate... zero sweet potatoes and zero green beans, and zero English muffin, refusing to even try them (no surprise there). Then, after being told he couldn't have any snacks after dinner, and couldn't even have any of the strawberries on the table unless he ate something, he asked for some of Ava's chicken. What? Yes. Chicken. We gave him some. He ate it. He asked for more. This happened 3 more times. Easily more chicken he's had in 2 years. So that's a definite win for him! He then ate about 10 giant strawberries so, not too bad for a night's work.

Kids went to bed without an after dinner snack. Except Brody. Who convinced me to get him a baggie of pretzels for a "bed snack"... (getting rid of the stockpile, ok!? Also, somewhat of a pushover... especially when it comes to getting whining to stop).

Overall we scored maybe a 60% for our first day? Not too bad. Hopefully we're up to a solid "C" by week's end. And hopefully I haven't killed anyone by then. I would consider either of those outcomes a major success.

After dinner we did what has become a 20 minute long "nightly meds" routine... that I've only just started implementing a week or so ago. Like everything we do in this house, it's loud, there's a lot of repeating instructions, kids run away at various times, complaints are bouncing everywhere... Basically, loads of fun. Olivia takes a Melatonin to fall to sleep (at the urging of her pediatrician). Ava (who currently is sporting a cast on her THIRD broken arm in less than 2 years) has recently started taking vitamin D and calcium supplements. Brody has been sick lately and is on antibiotics, and had a little fever today so there was also Tylenol to be had. AND in the whole "live/treat things more naturally" theme, I've started using essential oils for an additional treatment for Liv's very severe ADHD, and for what will likely be a similar diagnosis for the Brodster in a few years. So Liv and Bro sit on the kitchen counters, feet up, socks ready, while I put lavender, vetiver, and a blend made specifically for ADHD called "In Tune" on their little tootsies. They smell totally awesome after this happens (she says facetiously). Liv complains the entire time. Bro likes it. Go figure. This is totally new for u so I have no information yet as to how well it works, if at all, but we're focusing on giving it the old college try!

The girls went upstairs to watch "Dancing with the Stars" before bed while I spent 2 hours getting Brody to sleep, then cleaned the kitchen, then made 2 cakes (more on that later as well) then sat down to write this blog. As I write this I am thinking, I have literally no idea if the girls had or did any homework tonight. So, that's awesome. Chaos is the norm around here, so it's not the first time that's happened and won't be the last by a long shot.

I PROMISE that from now on I won't update you on every single thing the family eats or every single thing anyone in the family does every single day I post, I just wanted to document our first day of the lifestyle change we're making, coinciding with my first day of blogging. Hopefully someday soon I can look back on this and laugh saying, "ha! Look how we couldn't even stomach SWEET POTATOES a few short weeks (months? years?) ago! We are so awesome now in our perfectly clean and gluten free lives! Or... something to that affect. Only time will tell. Also, I'm extremely wordy by nature, but I also promise to put forth a great effort to make future posts much shorter than this. I just had a lot to say today! ;) Hopefully you've stuck with me this far, and will stay on this adventure with me! ;)

Here's the Motley Crew at Easter this year. Nothing
in those baskets is clean, I can assure you.

1 comment:

  1. Kudos to you! Even though we steer clear of processed foods as much as possible cutting out all sugar and gluten would be a challenge!
    Keep up the good work (and efforts)!
    Thanks for checking out my blog-
    If you get the links up on your page to follow your blog let me know and I'll follow it :)