We get in ruts with food. We eat the same things night after night to leverage leftovers or just because. We stop making homemade baby food every night because we burn out. We stop serving kids vegetables because it's not worth the whining. And we even hit the drive through because a hot meal in two minutes for two bucks is sometimes tempting, and admit it, even tasty.
That's why you need a good ol' fashioned challenge to kick you back in gear, break the rut. It's the reason for Fresh Mouth or this awesome blog called The Great Big Vegetable Challenge that user "mamabird" pointed out. The goal: "Take one seven year old boy named Freddie and his mother as they face the challenge of turning him from a Vegetable-Phobic into a boy who will eat and even enjoy some of life's leafier pleasures. Join us as we work through the A to Z of vegetables!" There's beautiful food and photography and another kid gagging and surprising himself.
I know these challenges can seem ridiculous and even pointless, but I think they're life affirming. They move toward change. And moods here are changing, attitudes re-aligning. Literally. And not just to the idea that we're doing "the potion." I know we're only on Day 5, but we're detoxing, man. I feel clearer. That's all I can say. Lighter. I don't know about pounds, but I feel less weighted down by hydrogenated oil and corn syrup. Patrick's enjoying fewer bouts with his darker side that often compels him to tell me he's moving to Grandma's house or Spain or the homeless shelter. When I asked Aidan if he feels differently on Fresh Mouth, he said, "I think I feel happier. I have more energy for school." Check out one of my favorite articles from Ode Magazine called "You Do What You Eat," which covers the impact of a fresh, healthy diet on learning and behavior.
Dirk says he doesn't feel a lot different, but I don't think he's eating enough. When he's at work at the hospital, he eats very little. He needs easy, power snacks. Thoughts? I'm trying to stay on top of food diversity. It's not easy tracking intake of fruits, veggies, protein, dairy, etc. But user "momentofchoice" offered a really useful daily checklist that helps you manage.
I shopped again today and spent $82.86. The Fresh Mouth grand total for a family of five in five days is: $290.22. Keep in mind I had to restock a lot of food this week in general. After the purge, we lost our stock of pasta, peanut butter, tomato sauces and other staples of everyday eating. So, some of this week's costs are just to account for restocking the larder. But we are flying through fruit and veggies. We used a dozen eggs in five days. And I bought some organic produce, organic milk and almond butter which cost $8 a jar. One label nuance of note with the almond butter was the cost of convenience. Straight up almond butter was $8. For "no-stir" almond butter, you pay $3 more. That's convenience, right? But the rub was in the ingredients. "No stir" comes with added hydrogenated oils to keep it from separating.
Breakfast: Yogurt with homemade granola, leftover blueberry muffins and OJ with fish oil.
Lunch: Patrick and I ate carrots with hummus, strawberries, cheddar cheese, homemade bread with almond butter and organic milk. Aidan - pb on homemade bread, craisins, applesauce and pretzels. After school, I made air-popped popcorn with melted butter.
Dinner: Grilled hamburgers, fresh kaiser rolls from a local bakery made today with five, whole ingredients, homemade French fries with olive oil and a little kosher salt, salad, apples, yogurt.
Nugget o' the Day: "Mommy, I'd like to take you on a dinner date." - Patrick eating lunch with me today. Mood is good.