Monday, July 19, 2010

Roasted Beets and Round Table

Here's an obvious observation for today: eating crappy food is easier than eating good food.

I ponder this as I eat my lunch. In my bowl is a Romaine lettuce salad with goat cheese and roasted beets (I roasted them myself yesterday). On a napkin next to it is a slice of left-over Round Table pizza, soaking the paper with RT's unique orange grease.

Over the last few years, I've been inundated with nutritional information: not only in the news and in documentaries my husband keeps buying at the flea market (Supersize Me, Fast Food Nation), but also from speakers in my mom's group, and finally, professionally. I'm currently editing a book for a local nutritionist who connects eating well with spiritual health. All this input has added up the conviction that I really need to fuel my body for maximum Mommy performance, and I need to fuel my family well too.

Now as I am grocery shopping I've got this kind of list: whole grain, no pesticides, no sulfates, no corn syrup, less sugar, low carb, good fats, less sodium, more magnesium, leafy greens, organic dairy. I see red X's on half the stuff in the store. And may I also point out the obvious that the red X foods are way cheaper than the green light foods? Also, the red X foods carry a greater likelihood that my kids will actually eat them. So it's a lose-lose for me at Ralphs these days: if it's good for my budget, it's bad for my family. If it's expensive and healthy, it will probably go to waste.

Yesterday we checked out the new fresh grocery section in the Target at the District in Tustin. And I succumbed to all the Xs. I bought hot dogs, cheap white hot dog buns, half a dozen boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (which was on sale for 69 cents). How fun would it be if I could just buy food my kids love all the time, I thought.

Now as my kids munch away on their barely-better-than-Happy-Meals lunch, I sit here with my healthy salad, and my left-over pizza. I see the joy on their faces, and I think Maybe I should lighten up a little. Because giving them junk food occasionally says "love" to them. Come on, they're never as happy as when they are ear-deep in a piece of chocolate cake (see above). This isn't going to hurt them a couple of times a week. As for me, my lunch suddenly looks well balanced: not in the sense that a nutritionist would say, but in a "I'm doing the best I can" kind of way. Leftover pizza: cheap and yummy! Beet salad: loaded with antioxidants! Let's call it a win-win.

1 comment:

  1. I wouldn't stress too much! Your kids eat great and you make awesome homemade food too! Yes, its fun to spoil them with Happy Meals and cupcakes and I do the same with Bridget, but remind yourself too of how much food you make and how much unprocessed foods you dont buy that many other people feed their carts with. But the summer months do fill up with hot dogs and mac n cheese, so let them enjoy, and you too!