A Salad A Day

I have a confession to make… my family is vegan and neither of my girls can pronounce the word vegetables properly. Sad isn’t it? Autumn says vengetables and Kesara says begbittles. Allow me another confession, my family has been vegan for over two years and none of us eats enough vegetables. There I said it. Now I feel better.

OK, just one more… for the past 5 weeks, I have been feeling shitty. Can I say that here? I have been tired all the time with a total lack of energy. I have days where I feel like not doing anything at all and I am in a constant state of stress. I have a tightness in my shoulders, back and neck from being so uptight. I am irritable and moody and some days I am a complete bitch. At the end of the night I finish my day laying in bed with a feeling of guilt for the way I act and feel. Then that little voice of inspiration (although faint) whispers, IT’S YOUR CHOICE.

At that moment I get even more angry because I actually feel like it is impossible to feel better. I make every excuse and blame everybody else for how I act and feel. I am nursing so I need to eat all these cookies/muffins. I don’t have time to eat healthier or cook like I used to. I had three kids. Lots of mothers don’t exercise. Last night I faced the truth about how I feel and act and that is that I don’t want to  take responsibility for myself or make myself feel better. I don’t want to exercise, sweat and get uncomfortable. I don’t want to eat moderately. I don’t want to take a break from my favorite comfort foods, peanut butter and baked goods and I have been using food so often these days to comfort myself and relieve my stress instead of nourish my body and mind.

Last night I made a decision. I baked a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies, ate more than half of them and decided that I am going to CHOOSE to be healthier. I am not happy with my body and I am not happy with my attitude. I have not been very patient or loving these days and my mind is always on me and what my perceived problems are. I literally sit and nurse Serafina thinking about how fat, ugly and terrible I am and I have had enough. I guess that I have gotten into some bad habits and thought patterns since I have been spending so much time inside sitting with her, but I have decided that I am going to start taking little steps and do what I can to feel better.

This week I started yoga again and it was amazing. I got to let go of my mind and just be with my body. After an hour long session I could feel my stress relieved, my mind clear and my compassionate, loving nature returning. I remembered how great it feels to do the difficult thing and get uncomfortable and really aggravate my ego.

Today I woke up with the intention to workout. My mind was saying no. My mind was saying that it would be too hard, there was no time, that it would be selfish of me when I should be spending time with the girls, yada yada. I just kept that intention, throughout breakfast, doing the dishes, brushing the girls hair, nursing Serafina, I am going to workout today. I got Serafina to sleep, Autumn started on her schoolwork and Kesa coloring and I did my 50 minute total body cardio! Was it uncomfortable? HELL YES! A part of me hated it, but a deeper part of my loved every minute of the challenge. It was difficult, uncomfortable and sweaty and at some points I wanted to quit or cry, but I just kept on going and I made it out not only alive, but feeling better than I have in a long time.

I have a tendency to go to extremes and take on too much like  over exercising, restricting myself of certain foods or expecting change overnight, so I decided that I am just going to start slowly and focus on the positive, like how great I feel when I exercise or eat certain foods. I am going to experiment with actually listening to my body to decide when to exercise and when to rest. I am going to commit myself to eating mindfully and I am going to eat one big, colorful salad everyday for the next week and share it on the blog.

I want our family to be healthier and happier. I know that if I don’t take care of myself then I have nothing to give to others. You know what they say, “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” I am going to take time everyday to cut up vegetables and make different dressings to jazz them up and get the girls interested. I am going to eat more whole grains and vegetables and move my body everyday and just see if I feel any better.

Here was today’s salad:

Asian Dressed Spring Salad with Chickpeas

  • 3 cups spring salad mix – baby spinach, radicchio, lettuce and baby greens
  • 1/2 medium carrot, grated
  • 1/2 orange pepper, sliced
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 inch cucumber, sliced
  • 1/3 cup chickpeas
  • 2-3 tablespoons Asian Dressing (recipe below)

Asian Dressing

  • 1/3 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon shoyu or tamari
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Mix all ingredients together in a small dish. Makes about 3/4 cup of dressing.

So today begins day one of our vegetable eating adventure. The girls were excited while shopping for vegetables today. We got spring mix, coleslaw mix, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and some sweet potatoes that I am going to make into fries. Autumn enjoyed hers with vegan ranch and Kesa likes catalina dressing.

I am excited to share some new recipes and get these kids to eat more veggies. I think that we will all benefit and be less stressed and cranky around here.

Maybe by the end of the week they will finally know how to say vegetables!

Anyone else find it hard to get the family to eat enough veggies? Are there certain veggies that you or your kids won’t eat?