Back from vacation and we’re almost completely back on track. Still could stand to increase our water, but since that’s been our biggest hurdle all along, I won’t complain too much.
We’ve been getting to the track in the evenings and I think we were all more than a little surprised by how fast we’d gotten out of shape. Even though we hiked several miles each day on vacation, in terrain that’s vastly different than what we’re used to, and even though we walked a lot in the evenings, it’s still not the same as heart-rate raising controlled formal exercise. In other words, nothing beats a good hard run.
Food has been good. Tonight’s dinner was a mixture of all sorts of fresh veggies (onions, green peppers, kale, zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes) served over buckwheat groats, white beans and bowtie pasta. Could have left it there as a vegan meal, but I topped mine with a dollop of sour cream at the table along with raisins. The kids did pick through it, eating mostly the pasta and beans, but I know they picked up the flavors of the whole mixture too.
I had to really bite my tongue to keep from grinning the other day though. My youngest asked when I would make him some kale chips again! I love these kids! My older two didn’t much care for the chips but they do try every new thing I put on the table. I’ll take that any time.
Well, we’re off to the mountains to hike, relax, and be tourists for a few days! While vacations normally make me happy, the atmosphere and timing of this one is making me nervous. We don’t have our habits down for our food yet, and water has been lacking lately. Luckily, we aren’t planning too many times of eating out so hopefully we won’t do too badly. If we can at least keep away from the soda and too much sweets, I think we’ll be fine.
Looking forward to getting outside a lot, though. Fresh air, lots of new scenery. I’ll fill you in when I get back!
One of the best parts of this project by far is the exercise / activity time. My kids are unfortunate enough to have 2 parents that work full time jobs. They’re old enough that they can fend for themselves for most things, but we still come home for lunch so that they’re not alone all day long. However, it’s not like I can just let them roam the neighborhood all day either so they spend a good part of the day inside. That’s what led to the idea of exercise time in the evenings.
We have been heading to the local middle school to use their track some evenings. We run laps, walk the small hill that separates the track from the softball diamond, jump in the sand pits, or play basketball. My middle child can run 2 miles already with barely one stop for water! My youngest prefers to sprint, and usually can get 2 laps in before he heads off to the sand. Hubby, our oldest, and I just plod along 🙂 Sometimes we’ve got wings on, other times we’re just putting in the time.
We have a new way to burn off some energy too — the pool! We get a discounted membership through my husband’s job so we pay one price and have free admission all summer long. The park where this pool is located has many activities, in fact, including miniature golf, paddle boats, a driving range, a nature trail and a fitness center (which wasn’t included in our membership but is available in higher levels). Just last night we headed over there, swam for 90 minutes or so, then ate our dinner of sandwiches and watermelon on a picnic table before heading home. It was the perfect summer evening.
And yes, we all slept well last night! That’s the best benefit of all.
I had a sit down discussion with the kids today. I figured it was time, especially after watching everyone sliding last week. Gosh, I have heard others say that Moms rule the house, but I always felt like my husband and I had equal control here. It really became apparent though how little he gets involved in what the kids eat when I got too busy to be there! That’s OK, he does a great job keeping us going on the evening activity so I’ll take what I can get.
The discussion today served to remind the kids that they need to drink their water, fill their plates with fruits and veggies at every meal, and do a better job of limiting their time on the media. I reminded them about how we all want to finish this project healthier than when we started so hopefully they’ll remember.
Today we visited the farmer’s market again, and brought home tons of goodies. Fresh bread, pork chops, ground beef, locally raised shrimp (who knew you could raise shrimp in the Midwest???), peaches, strawberries, raspberries, green beans, broccoli, cucumbers, rhubarb, green onions and cabbage. I made a fabulous dinner — green chops, coleslaw, grilled red potatoes, green beans, and skewered shrimp. There was hardly a drop left.
We took today off from exercise, but are planning a nice long hike in the woods tomorrow. Gotta get an early start so we can beat the heat a bit. Then we’ll head for the local pool to cool down before we head home. So far, this has been a great summer. A little rain would be nice though!
I have to admit, though, hearing my youngest say “Hey, Mom, remember those kale chips you made before? Can you make those again???” made my whole weekend. Never in my life did I ever think I’d hear any of my kids say that!
Wow, what a week already. I’ve really been tested, and I haven’t passed every test with flying colors I’ll admit. Still we’re doing well and better than usual so that’s something.
We were all dragging after that long hike last weekend, so we’ve toned down the exercise this week. We’ve only gone to the track to walk or run twice so far, which is about half as much as normal. The kids have increased their TV and computer time as a result and I can feel that strain in the house. Seems like we’re all a bit on edge. Very weird.
However, another hike is planned for this weekend, and I hope to get back to the track or at least back to evening activities this weekend. Then in a couple of weeks we’re going on vacation to the mountains, and planning fun hikes every morning! Ah, summer…
On the food end, though, several good things have happened. Last Saturday, the local Farmer’s Market had their opening day so every weekend I have full access to local produce, meats, eggs and even seafood! Also, I rejoined the CSA that I belonged to last year, and the deliveries started yesterday. Between the market, the CSA and my own garden, we will have plenty of produce. I am thrilled about that. How better to “make half your plate fruits and vegetables” than with your own or at least local! If I had a peach tree in the yard (or two!), life would be complete. Here’s a picture of my CSA haul:
Posted in Food, Journal, Planning Ahead
Tagged CSA, exercise, farmers market, food, garden, hiking, kids, produce, project, water
I really have been impressed with all of us so far in terms of exercise. We don’t get to the track every single evening to run or walk or do hills, but we’re there a minimum of 4 nights a week. That’s 4 nights we’re not just idle, playing couch potato, or vacantly staring at the TV. And on the weekends, we try for even more outside time. This past weekend, we hiked for 7 miles! It took us well over 4 hours, but the weather was perfect and we just couldn’t pass up the opportunity. We went to a nearby national forest and walked a trail we hadn’t visited in at least 7 years. It was fabulous. I was even more impressed that I only heard “are we done yet?” maybe 2 or 3 times. For 13, 12 and 9 year olds, that’s amazing!
Water is not near yet to the point where I had hoped it would be, and somehow all the juice disappeared this weekend, but the kids are still making strides with water. At dinner yesterday, we drank and drank and drank (maybe we needed the hydration after that hike!). The kids like having their “own” water bottles, and while they do need reminders to get them out of the refrigerator, they are willing to grab their bottles and chug. I do think I might “forget” to buy juice this week, though.
Progress is being made! The journey is definitely the best part of this so far!
We are on plan today, but rain halted our evening activity. However, we had a family game night instead so at least we weren’t sitting idle all day!
How to get the kids to increase their water, though? They’re still not drinking juices or soda or lemonade or iced tea, but they’re not drinking water either. I remember being a kid and I drank when I was thirsty. Never thought about it, what I was drinking or when or how much. My parents rarely had soda in the house, but we had a lot of iced tea (with lemon and sugar). I drank water when I felt like having water. Should I worry that my kids rarely get in more than 20 ounces a day? Well, that’s on average — yesterday, my middle child drank 96 ounces!
I am getting better about having plenty of fruits and veggies out at meals, though. We ate a whole watermelon in 3 days time, we’ve eaten 1 1/2 bags of red grapes, we’ve gone through 2 bags of baby carrots, and more than a bag of apples. We still have cucumbers, celery, tangerines, pineapple and other stuff. And the great part is that we are eating all this stuff — not wasting it!