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oranges, carrots and mint, oh my!

January 10, 2012

When I started planning for Brady’s arrival last year, I swore I wasn’t going to be one of those mothers. You know… the “make your own baby food” or “run around with hand sanitizer in her back pocket” or “never let her kid eat a Cheeto” mom.

I said a lot of things I was and wasn’t going to do before I became a mom.

: )

And so, today, as I was sanitizing Brady’s bottles in boiling water while simultaneously juicing local, organic apples for his morning apple juice, it occurred to me… I’m that mom.

And I have to say… I’m so glad I am. It honestly wasn’t until recently that I really began thinking extra hard about what our family is eating. McKay Pittman (from the ever-adorable Oatmeal Lace Design and a close family friend) told me, a long time ago, about the movie Forks Over Knives. I never watched it, but as the New Year drew closer late last year, I decided I’d give it a whirl. I’ve always been a remotely healthy eater but was feeling overladen with holiday cocktails + my mom’s yummy holiday treats + my own fast-paced-processed-food choices.

I watched Forks Over Knives and decided, by midway through the movie, that our family had big changes to make.

Caviat: when I say “our family” I mean the people in our family I can control – myself and Brady. My husband is a frat-boy. He eats pizza and boneless buffalo wings and m&ms. He loves white bread, whole chocolate milk and mashed potatoes. He’s also really fit and somehow not 300 pounds.

I hate him.

Sort of : )

I digress.

So, together, Bryan and I started discussing the foods we were choosing to give our now I-pick-it-up-myself almost-toddler. He’s totally off baby food (refuses it) and LOVES just about anything. Honestly, he’s never turned anything down. He’s had chocolate. He’s had turnip greens. He’s had asparagus. He loves it. All of it. Knowing this, we knew that we were shaping his food choices by deciding what we put on his plate. We’ve always “attempted” to buy organic meats (just because we knew it was best) but we’ve never really addressed our food choices beyond that.

After watching Forks Over Knives and later Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (thanks, Natalie!) Brady and I have made a complete change in our diets (well, change for me — not for Brady, this is all new for him). I have faith Bryan will follow along one of these days. He’s asking lots of questions about how I’m feeling and how it’s going.

Truth is, I didn’t make this decision to lose weight. I’m happy where I am. I made this decision because Forks Over Knives really opened my eyes to what we’re actually putting into our bodies. I’m not following anything strictly and wouldn’t call myself a vegetarian or a vegan – but I would say semi-vegan if I had to. We’ve talked with Brady’s pediatrician about our healthier choices and he’s all for it. And so… I’ll eat meat if the occasion arises, but when I have a choice, I won’t choose it. Brady will have meat occasionally, but not for three meals a day. We’re choosing organic produce as much as we can, avoiding processed foods, enjoying dairy products occasionally (listen, I’ll never give up caffeine… so almond milk in my coffee is making this part possible), eating organic lean meat only occasionally, have switched to mostly natural or organic cleaning products and my favorite change… we’ve started using a juicer for Brady’s juice as well as for yummy juices for myself.

I get this great satisfaction out of choosing locally grown, organic apples from a local farmer’s market (that I just discovered!), washing them with my own two hands, juicing them myself, mixing just a little with a lot of water and giving it to Brady. The only way I could improve that process is to pick the apple myself! The juice is really thick and delicious – Brady LOVES it.

I’ve also started juicing for myself – carrots, apples, mint is yummy… mango, oranges, kale, spinach… I really love it. The first time I made this juice I thanked my college-bartender-turned-sales-exec husband for teaching me how to do a tequila shot. (I mean… never have I ever……………) Yech! But it grew on me and now I love it!

All in all, I’m feeling great. I’m terrible at going all day and forgetting to eat… having dinner time roll around only to find myself STARVING and searching for something carb-laden and processed. So this new plan lets me eat all day long and not ever feel that empty feeling at the end of the day. Learning new recipes has become my favorite thing to do… thanks Pinterest.

So here we are. I’ve started making and storing things for Brady to eat to make our meal times easier. His favorites are bow tie pasta, blueberries, green beans (number one favorite), beans and carrots. Mmmm!

Please enjoy this photo of my child with his fancy organic-home-juiced-apple-juice and one shoe off… with Cheerios in his lap. And so it goes… : )

This, by the way, is Brady’s super cute placemat from Sarah + Abraham. Sara Tams is such a talented designer. I loved following her journey when I was getting started. Brady loves to pick up this placemat (especially when its covered in peas) and hold it over his head.

copyright 2018 emily ley