New Year Resolutions – In July

I set up this blog quite a while ago with the intention to blog about the homemade, organic baby food that I prepared for my son. I had grand plans that included detailed instructions and a lot of pictures. While I did prepare and store a lot of baby food, I never got around to building the blog.

Now that my son is two, he doesn’t really need baby food anymore although I may, from time to time, share some of my favorite recipes here. He has made me rethink a number of things though, food and eating being among those. I was a mixed eater before I became pregnant. I bought organic meat and produce, ate plenty of fruit and vegetables, and cooked new, interesting meals at home. I also ate a lot of Taco Bell, Jack in the Box, Wendy’s, Whataburger, and Eribertos.

Once I realized I was pregnant, I immediately made some changes. I cut out alcohol and severely limited my caffeine intake. The alcohol was not a big deal but limiting myself to one small cup of coffee a day and an occasional mug of organic hot cocoa at night was tough. I’ve been a coffee drinker since, well, since I was four. Blame my grandparents for that – I do. I also tried to limit the amount of fast food that I ate, which was a challenge when working two jobs and experiencing many cravings for deep-fried fatty pseudo-food. I did ensure that I ate healthy food all day and always had healthy snacks, with the exception of a horrid addiction to crappy, processed, packaged donuts that I developed. (Damn you Entenmann’s! Why must you be so addictive?) And you know what? I felt good!

During the first year of my son’s life, I continued to eat well and I actually eliminated all fast food with the exception of the occasional Butter Burger from Culver’s. (Seriously, a burger cooked in butter! Could there be a better idea?) I also worked hard to control the amount of caffeine I drank and the amount of sugar I ate. (Take that Entenmann’s!) And, despite being permanently sleep-deprived, I felt good. I lost the baby weight easily and actually had energy. Who would have guessed?

Unfortunately, as my son grew older and relied less on me for food and more on, well, food for food, I stopped being as careful about what I ingested. The past six months or so has been pretty bad. I have gone back to drinking multiple cups of coffee in the morning. I still don’t eat fast food, with the exception of the occasional Butter Burger.  (Seriously, is there crack in that butter?) The problem is that I eat a lot of crap! Somehow, I started eating a lot of sugary, awful, junk food and I have no idea how it really happened. I also feel terrible. I am always tired, get jittery and restless easily, and just generally feel blah. I am flabby – I am quite thin but I’m flabby and that’s not attractive. This does not make me happy.

Before my son was born, I had a number of hobbies. I took violin lessons, occasionally studied Tai Chi, worked out, read, wrote, cooked, baked, made candy and preserves, and even tried gardening with incredibly limited success. (I had a few really big zucchinis, a few eggplants, and a ton of hot peppers.) While I may not have the time to devote to these things anymore, I realize that I do miss doing some of them. The easiest ones to pick back up are the more “domestic” ones since the Munchkin can “help” with those.

I don’t know what made me decide to make things this past weekend, I suppose it was the fact that I had five days off from work and wanted to accomplish something. So, over the long, holiday weekend, my son and I decorated a living room wall with vinyl decals, made apricot preserves, refrigerator pickles, and nectarine pickles. We also played in the rain and had a picnic, and despite some family drama that we couldn’t control, we had fun! He loves helping to do things around the house! Loves it! So, I think I should take advantage of that while it lasts.

I started thinking that it would be a good time to challenge myself to starting doing more things. They don’t have to be complicated things, in fact, they shouldn’t be complicated. But I have decided, at least on the weekends, to do something different every day. Whether that is making something new to eat, trying out a new craft/decorating project, or something else. I want to do something new every weekend this month.

I had another epiphany last evening as my formerly, totally organically fed, precious two-year old cried because I wouldn’t let him eat more candy at dinner. (Yes, you read that correctly. He had already opened a pack of candy and eaten it all before dinner and wanted more.) I realized that somehow, in just the past few weeks, my child has become a junk-food junkie as well. That is NOT good! I have worked hard to make sure he eats well, and he does! Almost all of his food is organic and prepared at home. We do go out to restaurants sometimes but he generally eats incredibly healthy food. And now all he wants is candy. How did that happen? When did it happen? Sadly, the epiphany wasn’t fully realized until I was eating donettes out of a bag (Damn you Hostess!) while thinking about how much my son wanted candy earlier in the evening. Then I realized that I had eaten a pack of Nutter Butters at work in the afternoon and I was still stuffing donettes into my mouth! Oh! This, right here, this is where he may have picked up the recent sugar addiction.

This could be part of the problem. These beauties sit on my desk at work.

So, on top of doing more new and interesting projects, I’ve decided to wean myself and my sugar bouncy son off the junk food. Yes, we will still have treats but I’m trying to get back to eating healthy food more often than not. There have been far too many times lately when I’ve grabbed a hot dog or a mediocre bowl of soup from the cafeteria at work because I didn’t bother to bring anything good to eat. So, I’m going to start bringing my lunch more and stop eating so much crap. It’s really that simple. I’m not sure the Munchkin will be too happy about the situation. At least I’ll have this smile to remember.

I’ll post more about projects for the upcoming weekend later.

In the meantime, here’s what we did last weekend.

Apricot Preserves:

Refrigerator Pickles:—Quick-n–Easy/

Nectarine Pickles:

Blossoms and birds wall art:

Tree wall art:

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What does he eat

I am repeatedly asked what my son eats. The answer I always give now is “everything” but people seem to want more specific information. So, what does he eat? Well, the munchkin is just over 7.5 months and eats a pretty decent variety of foods. I’ll let him try just about anything that I can find that’s organic and safe. I’ll just list them below.

Avocado, Bananas, Peaches, Pears, Apples, Mango, Raspberries, Blueberries, Cherries, Kiwi, Pumpkin, Butternut Squash, Acorn Squash, Spaghetti Squash, Zucchini, Sweet Potatoes, Turnips, Potatoes, Beets, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots, Peas, Green Beans, Eggplant, Hummus, Lamb, Beef, Chicken, Turkey, Ham, Eggs, Yogurt, Organic Corn and Citrus mini-muffins, and Oatmeal.

There are also foods that he eats mixed in with other things (soups/stews/etc): Onions, Garlic, Celery, Prunes, Tomatoes, Organic Whole Wheat Pasta, Spinach, Artichoke Hearts, Corn, and Mushrooms.

I feel like I’m leaving something out but I think these are some of the main foods.  There are a few things that he has “tried” but hasn’t really incorporated into his diet yet (cranberry sauce, a couple bites of cheese and melons, and some cereal and  dessert items that are occassional treats).  He also really likes pickles but I try to keep those away from him for now. Dill is a favorite flaver add-in though.

I think he’s doing pretty well for such a young munchkin. My hope is that he becomes a good eater, someone who eats healfully and is willing to try new things. Hopefully he doesn’t turn into a raging food snob. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.

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