#fuelnotfeed: Health on Purpose for Families
Food is either a friend of a foe - it either nourishes or wreaks havoc on our bodies. The choices we make for ourselves may be easy enough, but adding children to the mix can strain even the best of us.
When combining our nourishment goals and meal planning with school mornings, working late, weekly mix of sports/dance/after school activities and weekend entertaining, food choices can be a challenge. When not faced head on, the challenges of our day-to-day may influence individuals and families to default to the ‘standard American diet’.
What is the Standard American Diet?
According to Rip Esselstyn, the Texas fireman-turned-vegan featured in the 2011 documentary Forks Over Knives, the Standard American Diet breaks down to the following:
63% of America’s calories come from refined and processed foods (e.g. soft drinks, packaged snacks like potato chips, packaged desserts, etc.)
25% of America’s calories come from animal-based foods
12% of America’s calories come from plant-based foods
And, a mind blowing half of all plant-based calories consumed in the United States (6%) come from french fries! That means only 3% of America’s calories are coming from health-promoting fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
The glimmer of hope is in those that choose health on purpose for themselves and their families.
You are ahead of this curve- you have a drive to perform, excel, and achieve, respecting your mind and the most incredible machine ever created- the body. Choosing to nourish our physical, mental and social selves will directly impact our families, creating a cycle of ‘fuel not feed’.
RESPECTING OUR BODIES IS A MINDSET
It is health on purpose- deciding the fate of our daily performance, willingness to excel, ability to function at consistently higher levels. Whether that is training for marathons, running a business or running a household, remaining in peak state requires proper fuel. The same goes for our beautiful babies- so lead by example, nourish the mind and body, and promote health on purpose.
First, determine your family fuel musts, such as water upon rising each morning. Second, stock your fridge and pantry with smart choices. Third, have accessible fruits, pre-cut veggies, regular or non-dairy yogurt and the like available on your counter and within in-reach in the fridge. Fourth, meal plan with your family on Sundays and include all in preparing meals daily.
My favorite #fuelnotfeed options for full family engagement:
An obvious choice, yet one that must be a reminder for our little ones. When my babies rise in the morning, a glass of water first thing is our must, and throughout the day available alongside non-dairy milk and our favorite green juice from Trader Joe’s in our house. Choosing re-usable water bottles that are well made, easy to drink from and effectively close is a must so children can carry in their backpacks for school and bring with them throughout their day, including to after-school activities and for bedtime on a nightstand.
HOMEMADE SMOOTHIES & FRESH JUICE
High speed blender, nutrient extractor or juicer, use it daily! Easy three-five ingredient fresh juices and protein shakes are a go-to at our house - and when you have the right mix of fruits and veggies, they are child approved. A few of my favorite starters are below:
EASY APPLE/KALE SMOOTHIE
(1) Chopped Green Apple
1 cup chopped kale
1 cup Coconut water
BIT SPICY AND SOOTHING
1 Green apple
⅛ Inch piece of ginger
CHOCOLATE PB PROTEIN SMOOTHIE
1/4 cup chopped kale
1 scoop favorite protein powder
2 teaspoons PB powder
8 oz water + handful ice
This is a choose-your-own-adventure kind of meal that children love, and always ensures a mix of veggies and proteins. You know the drill: saute or bake your favorite protein with a mix of Mexican inspired spices. Grill or saute onions and peppers. Shred Romaine lettuce or de-vein kale and shred the remains for more of a nutritious punch. Add chopped tomatoes, drained and heated black beans, avocado and radish sticks. We sometimes skip the taco shell and make a heaping plate of ingredients or wrap in romaine boats.
Would love to hear your musts and how your family has enabled one another to #fuelnotfeed! Together, we can choose wellness and continue a healthful cycle by leading by example and encouraging engagement with the entire family.