If you have been following me for more than a day you know I am all about moderation when it comes to food. Really when it comes to life in general but mainly with food.
I spent over a decade completely obsessed with numbers, calories, points, macros, etc and I was effing miserable.
Not only did I develop a solid case of anorexia and bulimia, I had was a slave to exercise and defining myself by the numbers: the scale, my pants, the measuring tape. Whatever it was, I was never good enough. No matter how thin I got or how little I ate, I was NEVER good enough.
That was until I was pregnant with my first, Sydney and I started to see my body differently. It was no longer about me and the “look” but more about needing my body to grow a healthy human.
Far more daunting of a task than fitting into a size zero.
It was then, I saw my body as capable and realized that all the shit I had been sweating over for years really wasn’t worth it.
It didn’t move the dial enough for me to obsess over every single morsel of food.
Life is just too short to not enjoy what you eat. (says the girl who used to eat a salad with no dressing and steamed chicken. OMG)
That being said, I became a mom, now have two kids and eat relatively healthy most of the time. I like to say “I eat anything but not everything” which is 100% true of my philosophy with my nutrition.
I don’t cook or meal prep but do focus on putting quality ingredients into my body the majority of the time.
I focus on simple, quick and convenient meals and never devote days to “prepping” mainly because I trust that I can eat anywhere and know exactly what to do.
So that’s me. But what about my kids, particularly the toddler?
My daughter is approaching the horrific threes (no one told me about this stage, it’s a freaking nightmare) and she has been acting out.
Not just the typical tantrums, but things like:
Waking up Angry
Unable to process her emotions or cope with simple situations
Getting hungry often
She has had a year with many changes. We moved across the country. She now has a baby brother and has to share the attention.
She has a new house with a big girl bed. She is potty trained. She started a new school and has since had 3 teachers.
It’s alot. For a two year old, that is alot of change in one year. So it’s been an adjustment for all of us especially her.
But that is not enough to justify some of the behavior. It just doesn’t sit with me and all I know about nutrition and its effects on our bodies.
So while I was focusing on myself and my husband eating healthy etc. I was allowing her to eat typical toddler food because….it was easy? I was stressed? I had no time? I didn’t feel like dealing with the tantrums? She refused to eat other stuff?
I don’t know why really. But at that time with a new baby I was doing the best I could in the moment.
Sure it was 90% organic and grass fed and fresh BUT it was still 70% crap to be honest.
There was too much processed food and too much sugar, not good for anyone let alone a toddler who can’t cope with her emotions.
Once her behaviors started becoming consistent and I put two and two together I decided that a diet overhaul was needed.
How would I feel if I ate pancakes for breakfast everyday? Like shit.
How would I feel if I ate mac n cheese (even the organic kind) for lunch? I would crash an hour later.
I say this because yes she is a toddler and yes she is picky and sassy and independent BUT she doesn’t know what her body needs. I do.
It’s my job to teach her and feed her quality ingredients that nourish her little body.
Not because it has anything to do with the look but because this is when she will learn what healthy food does for her body.
I never learned it. I ate crap as a kid and grew up overweight as a consequence. I started dieting at the age of 13 because that was all I knew.
Could she control some of her behaviors? Likely yes and I could chalk it up to her being a toddler. BUT I refuse to see that as the only thing going on here.
I am not sure how capable she is of handling an energy crash at 9 am after eating her organic pancakes with honey. I know I personally would want a nap after a rush of carbohydrates and sugar.
So as a mom who is in the thick with you, I want you to know that I am not perfect. I run my business teaching moms how to eat for their bodies. Not only for the “look” but for managed hunger, increased energy and overall health and well being. So why did I not think about this for my toddler?
You see images on social media of my happy kids and me making myself a priority but what I didn’t show you was the box of mac n cheese she ate 4 times a week for lunch.
I am not aiming for perfect but I know that I can do better in this situation. Once I realized this was likely a culprit for her behavior I cried. I felt like a bad mom. I felt guilty for not advocating sooner. I thought of all the days I just said “fine eat this” to avoid a tantrum and meltdown.
I did all of that. I am not super proud but I also know I was doing the best I could.
And now it is time for a change. After a trip to Whole Foods earlier this week, her new meals have been planned. Honestly she is already doing very well and I have already seen a positive impact in her behavior, hunger, sleep patterns and overall happiness.
Again, we are not going for a certain plan. We are not cutting out anything, we are just doing an overhaul on her diet to teach her how she feels when she eats protein rich foods and less sugar and processed crap.
Day 1 (and I don’t do fun shapes and stuff)
Egg whites (she doesn’t like yolks with nitrate free bacon and avocado
Snack: protein smoothie with banana, natural PB, plant based protein and greens powder
Lunch: nitrate free ham, gluten free wrap, snap peas, cashews and half banana
Snack: carrots and organic yogurt
Dinner: pork, corn, broccoli and pears