So wow…it’s been a long time since I last posted. To long if you ask me but I had some major writers block and I’ve also been working really hard on focusing on my health, family and distressing from the busy days, weeks and what has appeared to turn into months in the Parker home.
Earlier this week I posted on my personal Facebook page about doing a trial menu for the previous 2 weeks with the daycare kiddos and adding more protein into mainly our breakfast but also eliminating a lot of the added sugar through out the day and I had so many people asking for ideas that I figured this was a great post to hopefully help get me back in the routine of hanging out with all of you over here again!
I grew up eating sugary cereal or poptarts every morning, a dozen cookies after school…yes, you read that correctly…I often question why that was an appropriate afternoon snack for anyone, a massive size dinner and then a large bowl of ice cream and some more cookies before bed. I love my momma dearly but seriously, I was raised to have some health issues later in my life. As a teenager I remember wanting to eat healthy and I would be given a Slim Fast shake but was still never thaught proper nutrition until a high school Home Ec class one year. During that year I slowly changed my eating habits, started exercising almost every day and before to long I had dropped 30 pounds and felt amazing. Fast forward to being pregnant and throwing up all foods that I had to prepare we went back to take out all day, every day for all those months. Hard delivery and a precious little girl that refused to sleep resulted in a slow recovery for me, depression and continuing the tradition of take out. By the time our 3rd was in kindergarten our eating habits were probably absolutely horrid, I was still exhausted all the time, snapping at anyone that crossed my path and we had some behavior issues that made us want to pound our heads against a brick wall ALL DAY LONG. A friend mentioned that she had taken her boys off of food colorings and had seen an improvement with their behavior and at this point I was ready to try anything. So goodbye fruit snacks and most of our cereal selections and wouldn’t you know by the end of a week it was almost like we had a new kid in the house! The next few years I cut out pop, candy and found my love for cooking which in return equaled less nights of take out. I thought we had this whole healthy eating thing nailed and other then the day after a candy filled holiday the behavior issues had continued to improve. These last few months I’ve realized that just because it’s homemade, a vegetable or a fruit doesn’t mean that you can eat it anytime you want or that it’s the best option for your body. We were actually eating very little protein which made us hungry ALL the time, it was making me grouchy and was adding to my daycare kiddos craziness from about an hour after breakfast until lunch time. A few weeks ago my doctor had shared something at our ladies retreat about protein and I got this brilliant idea to give it a try with the kiddos breakfast and then also being more diligent in giving them less sugar/carb filled items at lunch and for their afternoon snack. I am amazed at the difference I have seen! For the most part they haven’t had meltdowns before lunch, they are thanking me for the food I’ve filled their plates with…without even being reminded, and they have fallen asleep faster at nap time and haven’t woke up crying for a snack. Another bonus has been surprisingly our grocery bill has went down slightly! As for me I’ve been eating high protein/little to no carbs on and off since November and have seen my blood pressure start to drop, I’ve lost some more of the weight that’s hung around since the early 2000’s and I’ve had more energy then I’ve had in years!
So what do we eat?!?! This is a question I’ve been asked a lot in the last year and something I’ve had to tweak a few times to figure out what’s best for me and my body. So just because this has worked great for me, don’t be discouraged or give up if you don’t see my results. It might take time for you to figure out exactly what your body needs. I’ve never been a big breakfast person so most days won’t eat until 11:00am and I’ll have some type of grilled or baked chicken or beef, if I need an afternoon snack I’ll slice up half an apple and some cheese or a handful of walnuts or pecans and then for supper I’ll have some more chicken or beef and a small amount of vegetables. I’m living in a kids dream world right now since fruit and vegetables like to sky rocket my blood pressure, so I’m limiting myself to at the most only 1 serving of each a day. I also only try to eat for 6 hours out of the day. So if I eat lunch at 11:00am I try to eat my dinner at 5:00pm. I’ve brought my blood pressure down from 220/180’s to 150/90…don’t freak out…I’m still working on this but I’m headed in the right direction! Do I still struggle? Absolutely! I have 30+ years of bad eating habits I’m trying to break but seeing results with how I feel and on the scale make it easier to stick to.
Now for the kiddos…according to the food program I’m on for the daycare I need to feed them milk, fruit or vegetable and a grain at every breakfast. No protein is required until lunch. I’ll admit that my breakfast choices for them weren’t amazing because I have 10 of them that may eat it, throw it across the room or crumble it all over the floor, so I wasn’t really thinking about spending more time preparing something that they may or may not eat. We of course had behavior issues but once again there’s 10 of them so I never once thought about how our food choices could maybe make 90% of our day peaceful. Umm…I’m so glad I gave this a try because I’m blown away and shocked at how different our days now look and how peaceful my house is now. I give them the grain because I’m required to but if it was my own kids I wouldn’t give it to them on a daily basis for breakfast. Down below are my top 10 breakfast ideas that are kid approved to hopefully give you some new ideas!
-Scrambled eggs with cheese and you can add in shredded chicken or beef for added protein and flavor.
-Egg muffins…the kids love these! This week I chopped up some ham and tomatoes and then whisked together a dozen eggs with salt and pepper and filled the muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. You can change the flavor by adding in peppers, cheese, etc.
-Breakfast Pizza…my kids all went crazy for this! In a 9×13 pan spread out one tube of crescent rolls and layer shredded hash browns, cheese, any other toppings you want and then mix together 6 eggs with 1/4 cup milk and pour over the top. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.
-Protein Balls…lots of recipes on Pinterest so go take a look and pick one that sounds good to you. Most use peanut butter…I encourage you to read your PB bottle to see how much sugar it contains.
-Egg McMuffin…I bake an egg in a coffee cup in the microwave for 50 seconds then place on the bottom half of a toasted English muffin and top with cheese and the top of the muffin. The kids thought I actually bought them McDonald’s!
-Yogurt with a small handful of cereal to add some crunch.
-Yogurt Sundaes…slice a banana and pile on yogurt, berries and a little granola.
*I read the labels for almost everything…the best yogurt I’ve found for the cost is organic vanilla yogurt in a large tub from Aldi. I would love to make my own so I can control what all goes into it but that hasn’t happened yet*
-Hard boiled egg with sliced apple or pears and cheese stick or sliced cheese…not the wrapped cheese but the kind from a block that you slice yourself.
-Cheese stick, Apple and a handful of walnuts.
-Grilled chicken tender on a biscuit with a little honey drizzled over…Chick Fil A inspired ?
Hope this gives you some new ideas…I should also add that I’m not a doctor and these are just things I’ve learned and been amazed at while getting my health on track, raising 3 active kids and owning my own home daycare. I’m not hear to treat you but to give others hope for being the healthiest that God has intended for you. I’ll keep posting over here how this journey is going for us!