Another one of my favorite things about moving (see, I have more than just 1!) is getting the chance to more easily make changes in our family's habits. It is VERY hard to change aspects of your life & bad habits when nothing else in your life is changing; but when you have a move, there are so many opportunities to start fresh with a clean slate. It's a great chance for us to reexamine our priorities, from how we spend our time (& money!) to how we eat.
I am making a major effort for us to eat fresher. I've always been health-conscious, but now that JB is actually home for dinner most nights (except for a big issue they had to handle this last week) and there aren't as many exquisite restaurants right on top of us as there were in Naperville, I'm focusing on filling our home with fresh food. (It also helps that it's summer, with the most delicious fruit & cheaper produce.) I do 90% of our shopping at Costco & Trader Joe's, and I always take the kids with me, so we talk a lot about healthy choices.
Vitamix often hosts demonstrations at Costco, and ever since I saw the first one a couple years ago, I fell in love. Only problem = they are EXPENSIVE! (Like "I didn't even ask for Christmas" expensive!) Enter God: a friend of JB's just closed his business and asked him if we WANTED his Vitamix! FOR FREE! YES, PLEASE!!! (& SUPER PRAISE!) So today we came upon the Vitamix demo at Costco with fresh interest, b/c I wanted all of her recipes! This thing is so powerful, you don't peel or pre-chop most of the fruits & veggies you put in, & it liquefies EVERYTHING into major deliciousness. She made an orange-colored "sorbet" with banana, CARROTS, CABBAGE, fruit juice (looking for a way around that part), honey, & ice - and the kids gobbled it up! She also made them "chocolate milkshakes" with Ovaltine (which does have sugar, but it lots of vitamins unlike Nestle Quick), soy milk, cinnamon, SPINACH, banana, ZUCCHINI, & ice - a.ma.zing. She then made a frozen strawberry lemonade with grapes, half an unpeeled lemon, whole strawberries (with the tops), basil, honey, & ice - the kids loved that, too (esp. b/c we just got our own basil plant, so we can have fresh like at LaLa's house. :-))
I'm not a big fan of smoothies, b/c they're often so sugary, & I don't believe in drinking fruit juices when you have the option of eating whole, fresh fruit. Even our pediatrician admonished against it, b/c fruit juices are so high calorie & basically just sugar water with some vitamin c. (I told her no worries! Preaching to the choir! Juice is OK, as long as it's treated as a treat - it's not a healthy alternative to water, which lots of people seem to think. That drives me NUTS! We only serve Will & Sis water & white skim milk on a regular daily basis. OK, stepping off my soapbox now. ;-)) I want my kids eating WHOLE fresh fruits & veggies, instead, so they get the fiber & extra nutrients; but when that IS the base of these smoothies & not just juice, I'm on board! (And excited! Can you tell?) I can't wait to make chocolate milkshakes (with chocolate whey protein that we already have) & spinach the next time the kids want a "treat". :-) I want to drink them, too!
(BTW, I have no affiliation with Vitamix whatsoever. Just a fan!)
I don't mean to come across like a total health nut, either. Wednesday night, we found a great local pizzeria with all-you-can-eat FREE soft breadsticks! Holy heaven. I'm also a self-professed sugar addict, (what I wouldn't give for a banana pudding Cook Out milkshake or a plate of brownies right now!) but I think b/c I *am*, I know what I want to guard my kids against turning into. I'm totally not militant about treats out & about, (I'm not that mom who makes them give back or turn down free candy,) but I do care & try to monitor it at home, you know? Am I a hypocrite with them? Yes. I wouldn't buy them the bubble tea I got (milk, tea, sugar) at Joy Yee; I made them get the whole mangoes blended with ice. But they loved that! (And I often did, too.) Do I [steal & secretly] eat more of their Halloween candy than they do? Yep. Do they eat dessert every night? No way. Do I? Almost every night after I put them to bed, I have a little something. Yes, I'm a hypocrite, but I'm also an adult. ;-) I want them to learn about moderation while I'm in charge, and the coolest part is that becoming a parent who cares about what they eat has made me even more conscious of what I eat, as well. We're all better off for it, and having the excuse of another move & a refrigerator to fill from scratch makes it easier to be healthier. :-)