Category Archives: Food

Judgy dieting

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(Don’t let those little smiles fool you, they gag when told sweet potato chips and dried mangoes are substitutes for chips and dessert. They’re no dummies.)

Dieting. The word alone makes me cringe. That word also makes me want to open a bag of Cheetos and go to town. (On a side note: I was watching the Martha Stewart show many, many moons ago and she claimed she didn’t know what a Cheeto was. Really Martha? How out of touch can you be? You live in America and have never had a Cheeto? I digress…) So dieting…or as people in the business say, “It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle.” Gag. I know that lifestyle of which you speak. If social media serves correctly (and doesn’t it always?) this “lifestyle” is full of TIGHT athletic wear showing off perfectly toned abs, green smoothies, mirror selfies, and yoga poses overlooking the Grand Canyon. Basically identical to my current life, except the opposite. Although I do love a green smoothie. Even if it has kale. Look at me, guys, I’m growing!

Anyway, when I attempt to make healthier food choices, I’ll admit I tend to become a bit of a judgy dieter. On my first day, I like to sit on top of my mountain on my high horse and look down on those eating their processed food. “How can they eat that Chick fil A sandwich and fries?! Don’t they know how bad that is for them? But I guess if they’re going to eat fried chicken, at least it’s the Lord’s chicken.” The whole time I’m thinking these things, I’m reminiscing about pounding a #1 with a half and half tea just the week before. Ahh, the good old days. I may even watch in horror as the person in the car next to me downs a milkshake from Sonic. Oh the sugar and the fat in those! Does she know what she’s doing to her body! And I drive off in all my self-righteousness, trying not to remember how smooth a peanut butter fudge shake goes down.

Day 1 is when I’m most judgy. I’m always good on day 1. Day 1 I can’t be tempted. What am I…WEAK? No. Day 1 I’m ALL IN!! I’ve got my meals planned out, my exercise on, and I can’t be stopped.

Fast forward to Day 4: I will cut you for a brownie. I’d give my right arm for a piece of pizza. I will try sneaking Hot Tamales out of my kids’ candy stash. I am JONESING for junk food. I had no idea that tall mountain I was on was actually a glass house…maybe I shouldn’t be throwing quite so many stones. And usually by Day 7 I’m bingeing on chips and I’ve gone to buy a cake in a cup from Puffy Muffin. This is my cycle. Until recently.

Just a few months ago I had a very hurtful experience. It had been going on for some time but I finally had to address it. My jeans were cutting into my stomach. They did it over and over, unapologetically, every day. The jerks. So I finally made the decision to start eating healthier. We don’t talk a lot about dieting in our house but we do talk about making “healthier food choices” which my children just adore. What kids don’t love when their moms start buying healthier snacks at the store?

“You want chips, honey? Oh sorry, we don’t have those but you should try one of these multigrain flax and chia seed crackers! It’s basically the same! And I know you like fruit roll ups but how about one of these tasty dried apricots? Yummmm!” At least I know my kids will not be played for fools when they get older. They don’t buy into this nonsense one bit.

So over the last month or two I’ve changed up my eating, knowing full well I could cave at any point, which has made me a little less judgmental. I’ve had a few hiccups (I went on a trip to Chicago with a girlfriend and enjoyed ALL. THE. FOOD. And it was magical. I feel certain they will serve the pasta and deep dish pizza inside the pearly gates. It was just that good.) but for the most part it’s been really good. And bonus: my jeans aren’t being such jerks anymore! For those of you who are dieting/making healthy food choices, press on. It’s not for the faint of heart. Or the faint of gut. May all your protein bars taste like chocolate chip cookies and your smoothies like milkshakes and may God have mercy on your waistline.

-Courtney

P.S. If you’re like me and don’t see much change in that number on the scale but have noticed your clothes fit better, you have my sympathies. The scale is a punk.

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Why I don’t cook for my kids

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(This was taken years ago but is still pretty accurate.)

I know it sounds a bit harsh: “I don’t cook for my kids.”

But it’s the truth.

I had a friend ask me a while back, “Doesn’t it hurt your feelings when your kids don’t like your cooking?”

The short answer? No.

Here’s why:

  1. If I cooked for my kids, we would only eat chicken nuggets and cheese quesadillas. That’s a fact, friends.
  2. They think the Kids Cuisine TV dinners are real food. They would be wrong.
  3. They eat old candy they find in my car.
  4. They think box macaroni and cheese is better than homemade. It’s baffling.
  5. Basically, they think anything out of a box is pretty much going to be better than whatever I’m making.
  6. They’re little, surely their taste buds are still developing.
  7. They judge a restaurant by whether or not it has an iPad at the table or queso as an appetizer.
  8. I’ve seen them eat their boogers.
  9. They don’t love when I cook Pioneer Woman recipes. Say WHAA?
  10. They hate Tazikis.

 

Because of these things, I feel they are not objective when it comes to good food therefore their opinions are invalid. Seriously, who doesn’t like Pioneer Woman?

I’m not great at a lot of things: cleaning, putting away laundry, excel spreadsheets, sticking to a budget, walking into a room full of strangers, and on and on the list could go. But one thing I would say I’m pretty good at is cooking. I’ve made some disgusting meals I wouldn’t even feed my dog but for the most part I can follow a recipe. So when my kids put up a fuss about dinner and say “It’s GROOOSSSSSSS!!!!” (a regular occurrence) before they’ve even tried it, I don’t pay it any mind. When they just look at their plate of food and ask how many bites must they eat before they can get up, I smile and say, “Just go ahead and get started and we’ll see.” They love that. I’ve seen them eat old M&Ms off my dirty car floor, why on earth would I let them hold my cooking ego in their grubby hands? This is ludicrous.

There was a time when I cooked for my kids, or kid. When I had only one child and he was a picky eater I catered to whatever I thought he would eat. It was easy because, well, I just had the one kid. My mother guilt sometimes creeps in and convinces me this is why he is still a picky eater at 11 years old. I only did it until I had my 2nd kid and realized Mama ain’t got time for all that. Sorry, bro, you gotta eat like Mom and Dad. These were hard times for Paxton.

Do I think I only cook well-balanced, nutritious meals for my family? No. I love some enchiladas and jambalaya. Do I think most of the food I cook is healthier than what they would pick if they had a choice? Most definitely yes. Do I sometimes give them quesadillas and chicken nuggets because it’s easier? Yes, because sometimes I need sanity and if I hear one more complaint I might lose it.

So to the Mamas whose kids hate everything they cook: I FEEL YOU. Keep cooking good food. Remember they are kids; they wouldn’t bath or brush their teeth if not for you. Clearly they don’t always want to make good choices and this is why they have us, the parents, to teach and guide them that there are other foods out there. Expand their palates!! Maybe just maybe they’ll end up liking it one day.

-Courtney

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