Monday, February 15, 2010

serious talks about food

Starting out on the lighter notes, the quiche is delicious if you let it dehydrate-which was not in the instructions-and sit for a day. Yesterday, the consistency of the filling left something to be desired although the taste was ok. Today I re-heated in the dehydrator and the filling really did taste almost cheesy. I have to say that one quiche is SO filling. ugh. Next time I would add more spinach. The rawkin fudge is a nice treat and one piece will do ya for awhile. I made more apple cinamon cookies and the cinamon raisin balls...both are a big hit. My son whipped up a nori roll for his lunch today and my daughter made a sandwich out of flax crackers and almond butter. Everyone is quite happy.

As a family, we had a discussion at dinner last night that went on and off until bed. My daughter started it by saying she just wanted to eat the sweet treats of raw food and didn't really like the "entree" parts. We talked about the benefit of the yummy sweet treats, mostly offering protein and some offering fruits but I posed the question: where are the vegetables. Her face went blank as she tried to make dates a vegetable with no success. We talked about all of our favorite sweet treats and couldn't find a single vegetable in one. I talked to my kids about their choices and how they need to find balance. There need to be fresh vegetables and even fresh fruits. While the dehydrated yummy stuff is good and all, it doesn't offer quite the same as a cut up apple or a fresh orange.

My son asked me if most kids were taught to think like this because when he is in school and friends see his lunch or hear him talking about delicious meals they get all grossed out or insulting. I did not know exactly how to answer him. Sometimes I question my own parenting for teaching my kids the way I do. Should they know SO much. Maybe I should just boss them around, prepare their food and lunches and teach them not to question. Maybe I am making life harder for them by teaching them to question so much of their world. I know that some times I would love to be ignorant. In the realm of food alone, I would really love to eat something delicious and processed and loaded with bad things and not know it and believe it is really good for me because it says "vitamin fortified".

Later, my son came to me and asked why he misses processed food SO much. He admitted to all these time where he would sneak food and how he just couldn't stop eating it and he never felt full. I did not shame him at all but instead just asked him to think about that. How much control that processed food had over him. His father got up to almost 400lbs before he had surgery, his father's parents and brother all had to have stomach surgery and some have even gained back ALL the weight they had lost from the surgeries. Unfortunately, he needs to be aware of this, I think. He was a healthy eater for the longest time until we tried a medication for his autism and ocd stuff. The medication helped him so much but seemed to trigger something in him that has never been reversed. He ballooned up and became obsessed with food, only bread and sugary foods.

I want him to grow up healthy and aware without shame or even fear of food. It is such a fine line to walk. Leading by example is one of the best things I can do and I know I struggle with my weight. I always have struggled but I can find a stopping place. My ex husband once pulled 13 bagels out of the freezer and while toasting some ate the rest-all 13 in one sitting. I am not like that. I do eat when I feel overwhelmed or lonely as admitted in prior postings. I am working on finding alternatives to this behavior. I think it is the right thing to do to educate my kids, give them information and help guide their choices but not make them ALL. As they grow older I am supposed to make less and less, let them try their wings while still under the security of my care.

As babies and toddlers, I made all their choices. As young children I made most of their choices or limited the options. As they grow older, they go to friend's houses, they go out with friends and are accountable for themselves. They need to learn to make choices and understand the consequences. If you go to a friend's house and they offer donuts for breakfast, this could cause a consequence of sugar rush and sugar crash. In a child with autism, this is rough and more extreme. In a child with immunity challenges, this has almost always lead to cold sores breaking out. How far did that donut carry you and what are the ramifications beyond the immediate. I try to get them to notice what their choices mean.

Leading by example, I can go get a pizza and drink some soda and be quite happy-temporarily. The next day I feel gross, sluggish and out of sorts. For days I jones for similar jolts of wheat, cheese and sugar. The urges are intense at times and it is hard to get my head clear. I talk to my kids about how I feel and what I go through in order to help them feel less crazy about their own cravings. I can eat that stuff but I have to be willing to face the consequences. I think it's the right thing to do for me and my kids. I also talk about when I am raw and feeling good and when my vision seems clearer and my head seems clearer. I talk about how my body starts to crave what it really needs instead of tastes of processed junk. I talk about my better energy and easier days as well as how much clearer my sleepiness comes at the end of the day signaling to me when it is time to find a stopping point.

It is not easy being a parent. I think we always question what we do, say, teach, etc. I have many who criticize the way I do and some who compliment my process but the truth is, nobody knows how to do it right. I realized LONG ago that no matter how I parented, my kids were going to require therapy. If they never watch t.v. then they would require therapy about how mean I was for culturally stifling them. If I let them watch ALL the t.v. they wanted then they'd go to therapy and talk about how I let them zone out and disconnect. It is all shades of gray. I have NO idea what I am doing but I am doing the best that I can. I think that when it isn't easy and mind numbing it probably is in the right direction but when it feels like it is a constant battle then I might have over shot. Somewhere in the middle? Somewhere in their intelligence, listening to them as much as I want them to listen to me. Hoping for the best turnout possible.

So we have agreed that we will EACH chose a recipe for the beginning of the week that involves vegetables and again for the second half of the week. We have lots of books and on line resources so we can look and plan. They have to HELP prepare their choice and be willing to experiment. The only way we are going to branch out is to try new recipes. We also have to give the recipes more then one try...don't throw it out immediately. Like the quiche, for example, it took a day or two of re-trying to find how much I like it after it set up a while. The sweet treats are easy to like. We also have to find new ways to enjoy the fresh fruits and vegetables. On with the adventure.

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