Sunday, February 6, 2011

Three little words

Language exerts hidden power, like a moon on the tides.
Rita Mae Brown

It's amazing how much someone's words can impact our day, the way we feel, the way we see ourselves. Sometimes these words can bring us down, fill us with doubt, frustrate of anger us.  Other times these words can lift us up, encourage us or brighten our day.  Yesterday was one of those days when a small comment from a stranger put a smile on my face for the rest of the day. 

I do my weekly grocery shopping on the weekend and yesterday I hit up the store with all three boys in tow. Our grocery store has a children's play area that the boys LOVE, so Big-Bug and Middle-Bug checked in to play while Little-Bug and I made the rounds.  Once our cart was stuffed to the max with our weeks supply of groceries, we headed to the check out line.  As I was loading our order onto the conveyor belt, I couldn't help noticing the woman in front of me was inspecting each item I places on the belt.  I was starting to get a little uncomfortable, thinking "WHAT are you looking at!!" When she turned to me with a kind smile and said "Looks healthy mom!"  I thanked her and we continued to make small talk about babies and motherhood until we finished checking out and parted ways.  But even though our conversation ended, the impact of her words stayed with me all afternoon.  

Healthy eating is something that is so important to me, but the challenge of feeding unprocessed, nutritious meals to five people while maintaining a budget can be a bit of a challenge.  I know I have a tendency to obsess over menu planning and really over-think food choices, so receiving approval from an unbiased, outside observer really means a lot to me!  

Lately we have implemented a 7-day meal rotation to take some of the pressure off of menu planning and to allow me to stock up on basic ingredients in bulk to help out the grocery budget!  So far it seems to be working well, 7 dinners provides enough variety for me to enjoy my meals without becoming bored (which happens to me easily) yet it is a small enough number of dinners that I can quickly memorize my recipes, making dinner prep smoother/faster and I know exactly which ingredients to stock up on when they go on a good sale.

Our current dinner menu is:
  • black bean - zucchini quesadillas with spinach salad
  • baked tilipa with brown rice steamed broccoli and steamed carrots
  • broccoli - mushroom quiche with spinach salad and green beans
  • white bean chicken chili with spinach salad and steamed carrots
  • black bean - sweet potato casserole and green beans
  • chicken stir fry with brown rice
  • red bean taco salad
The kids do a pretty good job of eating each of the dinners, although Big-Bug sometimes has objections to his steamed broccoli.  Most surprising to me is the fact that the boys always finish their salad first :)  Little-Bug has even started eating his, which is a big step for him since the texture must seem a little unusual for the little guy.

The boys still eat their favorite lunch every day: PBJ, milk and apple slices, but Hubby and I have recently revised our lunch.  Hubby is trying to eliminate refined sugar from his diet, so things like bread are off his menu for the time being.  I am participating for moral support (but I still love me some sugar!)  Our new lunch consists of vegetable sticks, roasted cashews and almonds and cubes of cheese.  It's actually pretty satisfying and sometimes we throw in some apple slices :)

Lunch Time!

White Bean Chicken Chili

Black Bean Sweet Potato Casserole.
This doesn't look super appetizing, but it is SOO good!

Red Bean Taco Salad

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