Thursday, May 10, 2012

clean eating as a family - doable or recipe for disaster?!

You know the saying, "when mom is happy, everyone is happy"? Well, when mom (yours truly) is doing a Spring Cleanse (whipping up 5 to 7-days of no-sugar-added, gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan, dairy-free meals so I can clear out the winter blahs and regain my energy for the most active and social season of the year), then it should come as no surprise that the rest of my family is also enjoying the same meals. The trick is coming up with family-friendly recipes that fit this scope. (And remembering that it's just for 5 to 7 days...)

I don't preach this to my kids. I just serve up the meals with a smile, and sit down to eat with them. We eat healthy foods most meals, so it's not like it's a huge shock to their systems. The things that are missing that week? The treats: store-bought popsicles/ice cream, yogurt tubes, chocolate chip cookies, frozen pizzas, etc...

The trick is to be really organized that week. Make up a meal plan of your favorite "clean" recipes ahead of time. Pick a week when it's doable from a scheduling and cooking standpoint. I could go *totally insane* trying to do this as a busy mom. Instead, I like to think about it as filling our plates with the good stuff (meals that highlight veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, healthy fats, and whole grains) so we crowd out-- and don't miss-- the foods that drag us down. Now, is it realistic for us to be eating this way all the time? No. We eat out, we go to parties... and you all know that I am an "everything in moderation" kind of gal. But these reset weeks 3-4 times/year help me, as mom, get my mojo back. And my family comes along for the healthy, delicious ride. In the next few posts, I'll share a few of my favorite family-friendly (and super simple) "clean eating" recipes. First up: edamame hummus. Make a batch at the beginning of the week to have on hand for snacks, served alongside a veggie platter or gluten-free crackers. (Mary's Gone Crackers ones are a favorite here if you want something crunchy.) Many supermarkets also sell a prepared version, which is great. Just check the label... the fewer ingredients the better! Really, it should only be: edamame + olive oil + and your/their choice of flavorings such as lemon juice or spices/herbs. When we make it for our home, I add walnuts to pack an added nutritional punch, but if I think the batch might be making it into school lunches that week, I leave the nuts out. Do you have favorite clean eating recipes that your family enjoys?

1 comment:

  1. Eila, it's so inspiring that you do this kind of "clean eating" week with the fam!

    I love roasting a huge tray or two of veggies simply with olive oil and salt so I can have them leftover all week for munching, meals and making into cold salads with grains (my favorites are sweet potatoes, onions, cauliflower, broccoli, beets...). Yum!

    I can't wait for more of your clean week recipes... (totally voting for you every day, you rock!)


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