Training update: This week I logged 15km of running with one longer run of 9km. I had one attempted run with both kids in the stroller and it went terribly because Clyde kept trying to climb out – you win some you lose some! We’ll see what this week brings.
Alongside modelling an active lifestyle for the boys, we also want to eat well as a family and do our best to set them up with healthy eating habits.
Adam and I love to eat. We love kale smoothies and ice cream sundaes and everything in between. We eat meat and fish and drink beer and wine. We eat at restaurants and cook frozen pizzas at home.
By many accounts, we nourish ourselves no different than anyone else – and while that may be true, we have made a few changes over the years that have allowed us to eat well and to eat clean.
Clean eating is one of the greatest lifestyle choices that we would like to impart on the boys. It’s the choice to eat whole foods that are minimally (or not at all) processed, refined and handled.
The irony about clean eating is that it’s possibly the most simple lifestyle – but given today’s food industry, it’s a hard transition and a conscious decision to say no to pre-made meals, most restaurant menus and packaged foods.
If you read last week’s post about our active lifestyle, you may remember reading that you can’t out exercise food. While we strive to eat clean all year round, it’s particularly top of mind while we’re training for a race or working towards a fitness goal.
If I’m going to arrange a babysitter and/or plan a day around a long run, I don’t want to jeopardize my progress by making a poor choice with how I refuel my body. Choosing to eat clean foods will also contribute to increased and consistent energy and a smooth recovery making my next workout that much more productive.
Here’s a typical day of eating for me:
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs from a friend and local hobby farmer, toast from Wilkie’s* with almond butter and an apple or gingerbread pancakes topped with plain greek yogurt and a drizzle of Ontario maple syrup.
Lunch: Raw veggies sticks with hummus, frozen pizza from Our Pizza Farm*, and a handful of grapes.
Snack: Clyde and I love to bake so there’s usually something like these healthy banana muffins around for an afternoon snack. If not, I like a bowl of plain greek yogurt drizzled with maple syrup and topped with granola and berries.
Dinner: Oven baked or barbecued chicken from a local friend and farmer, sweet potato fries and steamed broccoli.
After kids are in bed**: These cookies or ice cream from Carp Custom Creamery*. Closer to the race, I will do my best to trade this for a light snack of crackers and veggies with hummus but cookies and ice cream are my kryptonite … and I’m still nursing full time so Mama’s gotta live a little while she can.
Drinks: Water. All day, everyday. We occasionally offer Clyde a glass of milk because we have it in the house for baking and bowls of cereal but otherwise, we are a water from the tap kind of family. I don’t go anywhere without my Klean Kanteen or my Swell Bottle so that I always have water available. In training season, staying hydrated all the time is particularly important.
*I specifically mentioned the source of these foods for three reasons. Firstly, we buy from them during market season and enjoy seeing the vendors each week. Secondly, they’re local sources that pride themselves on producing a high quality product with fresh and local (when possible) ingredients. Thirdly, all three companies established a share or pick-up program this winter so we were able to stock up or plan our meals accordingly knowing when we would have these foods in the house. Not only did this benefit our meal planning but it also had a huge positive impact on our grocery money because the money was spent up front and then we made a commitment to use what we had and then wait for the next pick up.
You may have noticed that I chose the words “After kids are in bed” instead of “Dessert.” This brings me to my next topic…. why we don’t feed our kids dessert – gasp! Do you feel badly for them? Hear me out!
Along with the concept of clean eating, we want the boys to understand that truly all whole foods in moderation contribute to healthy eating habits. I didn’t say that we don’t allow our kids any junk food, I specifically used the term ‘dessert.’
If we’re going to offer our boys something sweet – right now only Clyde, we will put it on his plate with the rest of the his food and it becomes part of his meal. It’s really interesting to watch him eat it. Sometimes he goes right for the treat and finishes it right away but most times, he eats a bit of everything throughout his meal.
What we’re avoiding is the build up of sweet food – the desire to want what we can’t have so to speak. What we’re instilling is that all whole and clean foods contribute to healthy eating habits and good nutrition.
So often, kids today are asked to finish their meal or have ‘x’ number of bites before they can have dessert. This is not only teaching our kids that their meal is just a means to eat something sweet but also that the ‘best part’ comes at the end.
The concept is less about not eating sugar or junk food and more about educating them about how food drives their bodies and to make good choices, always in moderation.
So… your thoughts? Not so bad, eh?