Sunday, September 30, 2012

Healthy Lunches Week #1

To see what I am doing with the "lunch challenge" why I am doing it and my inspiration for this challenge, click HERE!

I have to say that the first week of our whole foods lunch challenge went really well. The kids were excited to see what they were getting, and for the most part, they liked everything. It was fun to see their lunch boxes at the end of the day and see how very little was left.

Ahead of time, I made pizza crust from 100 days of real food. I used her recipe and made three thin crust pizzas. I poked holes in the dough to limit the air bubbles and cooked it on a pizza stone. Once cool, I cut it into some squares and some slices and froze them ahead of time. The recipe to her crust HERE.

I also made smoothies ahead of time and froze them in the smoothie containers that Lisa uses on 100 days of real food. I bought them on Amazon. You can order them HERE. The smoothies I really like are from The Yummy Life and you can find the recipe HERE. When you see the list of options at the bottom, I used almond milk, Greek yogurt, honey and agave, bananas and frozen strawberries. There are my kids favorite. Pour in the silicone smoothie tubes and they stay in the freezer.
My spaghetti sauce (Here) made on Sunday, shredded mozzarella cheese, pizza crust from the freezer (link to recipe above), Applegate natural pepperoni (see HERE) and cut strawberries.
 Reviews: Both girls said this was their favorite lunch they have ever had!

Lunch was dehydrated strawberries (made myself), Somae granola in fridge (recipe HERE), poppy seed muffin from the freezer (recipe at the end of the post), hard boiled egg with lemon pepper and Greek yogurt blended with berries and agave (in blender, mix 1 C. Greek yogurt, 1 C. of triple berries from Costco, thawed, and 2 T. agave). Blend and that's it!
 Review: Victoria didn't like the yogurt, but ate half of it....she never eats any this was good. Jocelyn licked hers clean! They said the dehydrated strawberries were like candy!

Lunch was cut up cantaloupe (cut up the night before), one of my raw cookie balls (recipe HERE), air popped popcorn with sea salt and a little drizzle of melted coconut oil and a sandwich with natural peanut butter, homemade low sugar raspberry jam in a cool cut out sealed circle from Pampered Chef (HERE).
 Review: Nothing left at the end of the day for either girl

Lunch was cut up veggies with ranch (not the best, but doesn't have MSG and much junk. Fresh at Costco), Quesadilla on whole wheat flax tortilla, new at Costco with smashed avocado in the container). Girls also got a smoothie (not pictured) in a silicone smoothie tube (info at beginning of post)
 Review: Success! I sent too many quesadilla slices, but other than that....they LOVED IT!

The girls were so excited about the pizza lunches, that they BEGGED me for them again. They have the same thing, expect applesauce with cinnamon and a raw cookie, like Wednesday.
 Review: The girls were excited to have this again, especially cause this was the first time I haven't let them get the school pizza. They felt included and loved this even more they said!

Every day, the girls got water and an ice pack in their lunch. They came home from school happy, content and drank a green smoothie when they got home. Our favorite is :

1 C. almond milk
1/2 C. Naked Orange Juice
2 Frozen bananas
1/4 C. plain Greek yogurt
1-2 C. spinach
2 C. thawed strawberries

Blend together in a blender until smooth. Sometimes I add some ice to make it thicker and sometimes I add water to thin it out. I then add 2 scoops Somae Pure Protein (whey and egg white protein) and blend for a quick second. Everyone drinks a cup after school and if they are still hungry, I keep my raw cookies in the freezer and we make popcorn.

Whole Wheat Poppy Seed Muffins
  In a bowl, stir:
2 eggs
1 6 oz natural vanilla yogurt 
1/ 2 C. buttermilk
1/2 C. coconut sugar
2 T. raw honey
Juice of one lemon
Zest of one lemon
4 T. coconut oil (melted)
2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 C. whole wheat flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
2-3 T. poppy seeds

Mix and Bake at 400 for 10 minutes or until golden. 

Update on Life

I have been out for a while. First of all, crazy summer and getting pregnant in June contributed to no extra ability to blog...let alone clean my house, cook, take care of my crazy kids, and be involved in life around me. I am now 15-16 weeks pregnant and feeling great. My kids are in school: Victoria (9) is in fourth grade, Jocelyn (7) is in second grade, and Tyler is in preschool three days a week.
I  have been hired by Somae Health as an independant consultant to rewrite training materials and help revamp their procedures as they expand and grow. I LOVE Somae! David and I used them in March and David lost a total of 30 pounds. I lost 16 and am finding each one of those pounds again as the baby grows each week.
I LOVE that Somae promotes whole foods, I LOVE that they believe in healing your gut and your digestive system, I LOVE that they have one-on-one mentor coaching to help you with your individual needs and I LOVE what they stand for and are trying to promote....overall health and wellness through a whole foods lifestyle.
When I started my blog almost 2 years ago, that is what I was trying to do. It hasn't been perfect and it hasn't been easy and there have been times when it was easier to revert back to everything that was convenient and fast. I have learned so much since then and have met amazing people along the way to teach me and set such a good example for me.  And now, as a family, we are slowly on our whole foods journey together.
I told Somae that for 4 weeks, I would blog about whole foods lunches and what I am fixing for my kids. My ideas for the challenge came from 100 days of real food and the amazing lunches Lisa creates every day for her kids. My friend Trina told me about her website and once I took a few minutes to check it out, I couldn't believe everything she was doing with her kids. I decided to take on the challenge for 4 weeks and then evaluate how it went, what the kids like and don't like, and what I can continue to do to make lunches exciting and fun (and easy for MOM).
I am hoping that I will find time to not only blog about the lunches we create as a family, but what else we are doing to stay healthy this fall and winter, what we fix for dinner, fun things we do and are involved in, and just give a little more insight to our every day lives and how eating a whole foods lifestyle fits in with a crazy schedule.

 Victoria on her first day of fourth grade. She is smart, kind, funny, gentle, accepting  and we call her our "old soul." She plans on being a veterinarian and gets this compassionate love for animals, definitely from her dad.
She has had the hardest time "enjoying" healthy choices at home, but is slowly coming around, and I have realized that the less I push her, the more she decides its good for her on her own! She doesn't want to know what is in her food and is more likely to eat something healthy if she doesn't see me make it!
 Jocelyn on her first day of second grade sporting her brand new braces. Jocelyn is spunky, brave, strong, full of life and determined to do things her own way. She wants to do make-up for runway models someday! She LOVES eating salads and drinking green smoothies and begs for healthy things! (She also loves sugar, but admits that it doesn't make her feel good and knows that she is happier and less feisty when she consumes less sugar! She also sleeps more soundly and has less trouble falling asleep when she doesn't have anything "junky" in the evening!
And last, but CERTAINLY not least, our Tyler. He is 4 and LOVES preschool. He wants to be a ninja when he grows up (like his friend Kevin-one of David's P.T. interns). He loves dinosaurs, playing by himself, scootering and HATES using hair products! Junk food, especially artificial dyes, high fructose corn syrup and enriched white flour make him CRAZY! He is drawn to those foods because he likes the tastes, but then bounces off the walls or becomes sick and lethargic from too much. When he makes better food choices, he is more obedient, has no runny nose, sleeps better and is less likely to bite or hit one of his sisters. He will only drink a green smoothie if he know he is gaining some sort of super power from it....SO....we get creative around here!

Enjoy our journey and glad to be back! Don't count on a post every day, but do plan on new recipes, healthy tips and great lunch ideas in the near future!

I don't promise to be perfect, to know all the answers and to do everything right, but I do promise that I am committed to:
  •  health created (as much as possible) at home,
  •  moderation
  • trying different things
  • learning from others
  • admitting someone can do it better
  • listening to my kids and what they like/don't like
  • making healthy eating fun and easier
  • having fun
Here's to HOME-MADE HEALTH and the freedom that comes from living a whole foods lifestyle....most of the time!