Confession: My Kids Eat Shitty-ish, Too

 

My kids love to eat shitty food. All the crackers, Hawaiian sweet rolls, processed meats, sugary treats, ramen noodles, boxed mac and cheese…basically, packaged anything.

It is a DAILY STRUGGLE over here, too. Just because I write about “all the healthy things” and share all the things I’ve learned about nutrition, natural health products, and books to read, doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle to keep the crap out of my house as well. I’m right there with you guys. Or maybe some of you say “f*ck it” and don’t care about the food your kid eat. However, if that is the case, you may have stumbled across here by accident and have no idea what the hell I’m talking about. Feel free to move on.

My point here is that I will never claim that my kids don’t eat shitty food. I don’t buy shitty food necessarily…well, scratch that. I do if my daughter’s friends are coming over then it’s Doritos and Dr. Pepper for everyone. I can’t be the cool parent if I bring only down hummus and veggies, am I? Maybe I sneak in a little chemical free microwave popcorn but that’s it. This may sound horrible but it’s one night and damned if I’m going to spend $100 on healthy food that won’t be appreciated over the $50 of crap that they’ll eat, two fistfuls at a time.

When it comes to food for my kids, I try to buy the “cool” foods, just the least shitty version of them. I buy organic peanut butter. Still peanut butter but the healthier version. Did they hate it initially? Yes, it’s more gritty than the smooth as a baby’s bottom JIF but they eventually learned to either eat what I buy or stop eating peanut butter. They eventually came around.

I buy the healthier version of Goldfish crackers. Do I love that they are eating food out of a box? No, but at least they are eating something that has less chemicals and fake ingredients. I have to meet them somewhere along the spectrum of WWGE (What would Ghandi Eat) to Sonic Drive-In. I hope that we are closer to Ghandi than Sonic but you get what I mean.

My goal is to show my kids that ingredients matter but that I’m not going to be a drill sergeant in the kitchen. While it KILLS me to see them reaching for a snack in the pantry rather than an apple, at least I know that snack isn’t total shit. It’s a less harmful version of shit. Are you feeling me?

I was asked yesterday when I was at school volunteering about what I feed my kids for snacks and school lunches. I was quick to reply that I do NOT have the Pinterest perfect school lunch boxes for my kids. There are no lettuce wraps happening or deviled eggs. My kids actually pack their own lunches and while I don’t inspect them before they head out, I know at least that it may contain grass-fed cheese, no nitrate lunch meat, organic fruit, organic and unsweetened applesauce, clean protein bars, and some pop chips or organic tortilla chips. Maybe even a salad! Weeeee! All I know is that if I don’t buy the shitty things, they can’t eat the shitty things. I buy the less shitty versions of what is out there and let the consequences of how they feel after eating somewhere along the WWGE/Sonic food spectrum.

One thing I refuse to buy is soda. I will buy root beer flavored kombucha or natural flavorings or essential oils for their water but soda is a no go. I also don’t have gum in the house. But does that mean they never drink soda or chew gum? Of course not. When we go out to dinner, they might get a soda or lemonade depending on what the rest of their day’s sugar intake was like. The aftermath of a sugar over-loaded day is worth the fight. However, since I don’t drink anymore (I’ve had about four drinks since January), we tend to all drink water. Monkey see, monkey do. And this monkey eats a lot of clean, healthy food so I feel like the best I can do is lead by example and buy the least shitty food.

We definitely aren’t all the way to Ghandi but we are far from Sonic.

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What are you struggles with food for your kids? Snacks? School lunches?

How do you find balance in eating healthy but keeping your “cool” parent (is there such a thing) status? 

 

What Not to Do During the Holidays

Kitchen Cabinet Project holidaysAh, the holidays. The time when all well-intentioned planning and coordinating goes to shit and we realize we really aren’t in control. I know I said I’m going the positive route this year and this may seem contradictory but stay with me.

We had planned to have our first floor and kitchen cabinets painted before the holidays.Our painter ended up starting the morning of the 23rd, the day my in-laws were supposed to come into town, and got our living room done. As soon as they left (it was a quick trip) we went back to moving furniture from the dining room and my office to prepare. He came back the day after Christmas and painted the foyer, dining room, bathroom, kitchen nook, and stairs to the basement. That took us through New Year’s Eve.

January 2nd was the start of Operation Kitchen Cabinets. Let me set the scene a little. We went from shuffling furniture to now cleaning out every single shelf and drawer in our kitchen. During this time, our garbage service was switched to a new provider  and we had a week and a half between pick up dates. The worst time EVER for this to happen. We had 2,003 bags of ripped wrapping paper, boxes, packages and discarded kitchen items to welcome the new garbage crew. Needless to say, we weren’t able to leave it all at the curb so the garage looked like a dumpster sans the dumpster.

If you want to incite an anxiety attack, empty every kitchen cabinet or drawer and put it all on every table you have available. You won’t be able to cook a proper meal because there is paint dust on everything and your appliances and counters are covered in plastic. 2017 hasn’t been the healthiest of years so far. Breakfast and lunch are faring well but dinner is about survival at this point.

We are on the home stretch and Saturday is the final final, so I’ve been told. But here’s comes the positive.

I love my home again. You know how you can go for a long time with things being sub par just because you tend to look past it all. You been around it so long that you don’t really notice. Well, after being in our home for 12 years now, it all became glaring like a spotlight. The paint had scuff marks from various children, splatters, and oops from moving furniture to aggressive vacuuming. The finish on our kitchen cabinets looked like my half-painted fingernails, worn off and in major need of attention.

But through all the inconvenience and lack of order, I’m very, very happy. Our walls look awesome in their new shade of Dorian Gray (Sherwin Williams) and Pewter (also Sherwin Williams). It makes everything feel clean, new and open. The lighter shade in the living room makes the room feel bigger and now finally matches the new carpet we got last year.

Our cabinets, I’m dying over how gorgeous they are. Seriously, where have you been all of my life?! I never thought I would like white and initially wanted them to be painted gray. Then I realized the walls and carpet were gray so white became the glaringly obvious choice.

I’m so mad I didn’t take before pictures. I took some post-cabinet dump stage, I thought, but realized I put them on my IG stories so they’re gone! I totally spaced taking pictures to compare the before and after! Oh well, it’s the final product that we’re so happy with so we’ll just go with it.

So positivity abounds with my almost finished kitchen. We still have to put the new pulls and hinges on, add white padding to each shelf to protect the new paint, and put everything (or almost everything) back to where it belongs. We haven’t reorganized ever since we moved in so this is our chance. So while our cabinets will be done very soon, the real work begins.

We’re supposed to get an ice storm this weekend so sounds like Operation Kitchen Cabinets may just done this weekend with nothing else to distract us.

My advice to you is not to plan any home projects during the holidays because it will wreak all kinds of havoc into your life. However, if you choose to do so, you will embrace the new year with some serious gratitude and love for what you already have. Sometimes all you need is a fresh coat of paint.

See, even an ice storm can’t bring me down. 🙂

 

Turning Off the Firehose

turning-off-the-firehose

As I listened to one of Rob Bell’s podcast episodes the other day, Episode 120 Wisdom Part 5, How to Think About the News. I couldn’t but let  turn off the firehose, as Rob put it.

And that’s exactly how I feel whenever I open Twitter, Facebook, or turn on the television. It’s all so overwhelming but really, it’s my own fault. I’ve been confusing media with journalism. Journalism is truth-seeking, storytelling, and shining light on what needs to be exposed. There is a standard by which journalists are held to. There is a level of respect for story and for sharing what’s important.

Media is a whole other beast. As Rob explained so perfectly, media is like a firehose shooting us at point blank range of information all day long. It’s via television, Twitter, YouTube, Vines, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, etc. that floods us constantly with random bits and pieces, like the rapid fire Kim and Kanye nonsense, the latest political scandal news, to a viral video of a child singing in his car seat. While at the time, the trickle of information seems harmless but as we keep clicking our mouses, remote controls, or notification buttons, the trickle becomes a firehouse to the face…if we let it.

We can choose to let the firehose run, blasting us in the face with every possible scrap of information that media can point at us or we can choose to turn it off and only give attention to the things that matter to us.

We can turn off app notifications or simply go into airplane mode if we need some focus time. I totally do the whole Pavlov’s dog thing whenever my phone dings or I see a little red circle on my phone screen. It’s insanity in the making. Why would I ever choose to live life reacting to everything and not creating the life I want. But that’s exactly what I’ve done and chances are, the majority of the first world does the same.

Believe me, I’ve been there and I’m still fighting the withdrawals but hearing that podcast really put what I was feeling into words. I had been feeling truly overwhelmed and honestly, slightly depressed about everything I was trying to keep up on. ISIS, this scandal, that tragedy, climate change, claims that climate change is a myth, etc. It makes me crazy.

So part of the freedom I’m creating in 2017 is turning off the media firehose:

-I’m checking email only twice a day, noon and 8 p.m. and unsubscribing to all unnecessary newsletters, not yours, of course! 😉

-Switch off all notifications on my phone.

-Engage in social media via scheduled time and not whenever I’m bored or trying to avoid a task.

-Give my time and attention to sources with integrity only.

-Curate what will bring value or positivity to others.

This is a non-negotiable. My heart and spirit can’t take the constant barrage of negativity and shallow crap that spouts from mainstream media today. It’s killing any chances that I can truly believe that people are inherently good and that our society isn’t going to hell starting tomorrow. Because after a while, if I just keep taking what the firehose is spraying, I will no longer be able to breathe. And if I can’t breathe, well…that won’t the happy ending I was planning on for my life story.

Before I put anything out into the world, I must ask myself, “Is it helpful to others or is it part of the firehouse?” Sure, I like sharing a funny video like the next person but that has to be the exception and not the rule.

What about you? Have you been able to turn off the firehouse or are you still gasping for air?

If you’re still gasping, I hope you make a pledge to yourself that you’ll hit the shutoff valve once and for all. I would love to hear how it’s going and what changes for you by doing it.

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P.S. Connection can’t happen without comments or shares so I hope you do at least one! You’re the best.