Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Conquering Dinner...One Meal at a Time

Yesterday, fitness blogger and concerned aunt, Carolyn of Full-on Fit, shared some practical tips on how to help kids stay active, and in turn, fight obesity and Type II diabetes.

Faithful MaMe Musings' readers know that the topic of healthy eating is one that is important to me, but it is also an area where I find myself in a constant struggle.

Eating well and exercise do not come easy to me.

When you see me posting recipes and health tips, it's not because I am a culinary know-it-all or an always-eats-my-veggies braggart.

Quite the contrary...I am just trying to pay it forward (and perhaps hold myself accountable, too) by sharing what I have learned either (1) the hard way or (2) as the result of hours of online research).

It's not that I don't want to be healthy. I do.

It's just that lack of time, my love of carbs, and my disinterest in exercise work against me.

And, sometimes, like yesterday, it's just laziness.

I had the day off work, and in a moment of motherly weakness, I decided to keep the Babies home from school instead of taking them and enjoying a kid-free holiday. (That's the topic of another post all together--"Do you send your kids to school when you are off work just so you can get a day of peace?" But, I digress...)

We didn't get out of our pajamas all day. Lunch was left-over crock pot chicken tortilla soup. Seriously, this is the first crock pot meals I have ever cooked that was eaten all gone! We will definitely be adding this recipe to our rotation.

At the suggestion of my nutritionist, I now only buy 2% reduced fat cheese. She actually recommends 2% over fat-free since 2% doesn't have the fillers used in fat-free. Since I do the grocery shopping, we have also switched to 100% whole grain, much to my husband's chagrin. (He loves some white bread)!

Another way I've been trying to conquer dinner, one meal at a time, is to plan our meals on Sunday and then shop from a list for those meals. I think I've posted details about this planning process before, but to recap, I try to do one meatless meal, one meal containing fish, and something easy in the crockpot. The fish night is always a hard one.

And guess what was on the plan for last night?

Fish. Cod with Italian Crumb Topping, to be exact.

Apparently, lounging in one's pajamas all day doesn't leave one craving fish.

No, it leaves this mama wanting something saucy, something cheesy, something greasy...

Like pizza!

With the husband standing ready to call our favorite pizza place for carry-out, I decided to jump ahead in this week's meal plan to Friday: homemade pizza.

Except, I wasn't feeling up to making my own dough. (Hey, it was only Monday).

So, I made a last-minute adjustment that turned out to be a big hit: homemade pizzas on English muffins.

Before you start conjuring up images from your college dorm room days of those English muffin pizzas laden with fatty cheese, let me share how we made these pizzas a bit more healthy...

  • whole grain English muffins
  • reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
  • sautéed veggies: red onion, broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms
  • fresh sliced tomatoes
  • turkey sausage and turkey pepperoni
  • organic pizza sauce
  • a spinach side salad (for mommy)

    Emily and Drew loved helping add the toppings to their pizzas and they ate the whole thing and asked for seconds.

    Prep was minimal. Cooking time was short. And clean-up a breeze.

    And, just like that, I've knocked out two meals this week and have made it to our first "eating out" night. We're headed to the Canes' opening night, where all kinds of temptations await...

    Hey, hockey's back. What can I say?

    Did you know that MaMe Musings has a Facebook page? We do!

    If you're interested in getting in on the meal planning action, "LIKE" our page and check in on Sundays when I post the meal plan for the week and beg ask for your suggestions.

    Surely, together, we can conquer this dinner thing--one meal at a time!


    Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

    I might need to add that soup into MY rotation as well! (With ya on the carb addiction, by the way)

    Colleen said...

    that soup looks so good!! I hear ya. I hate planning dinners. It drives me nuts. I try to plan ahead but I'm not always good with that!

    yetunde said...

    I love a mom who can whip up meals on the fly. Yet another twin mom badge girl. I'm trying to make healthier food choices for the family this year and I would be succeeding too but for buttered dinner rolls... (and yes, I sometimes take the day off and drop the kids in daycare so I can catch up with housework and shopping).

    Tami said...

    I want to eat healthy too, but seem to have the same issues. I love carbs, I hate to exercise and I don't eat as well as I should. Laziness seems to be a huge part of my struggle. If I plan, like you said, the week goes great and my grocery bill goes down. So whats the problem?? ME!
    I've made English Muffin pizza before. Not quite as yummy as yours. I want to try them. See how THAT goes over with teenage boys who only love McDonalds, wings and pizza! LOL
    Crock pot meals are yummy! I have recipes for them. I can email them to you if you'd like.
    Have a good day!

    Leigh Powell Hines said...

    That soups looks great. I hope you are well.

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