Video Blog – What's In This Mom and RD's Freezer?

Ever wonder what food is really in my kitchen? Well, today we are featuring our first ever video blog. This is after my weekly Sunday food shop. Just so you know, I do not represent any of the brands mentioned nor do I endorse them. What you see is just what a I happen to have this particular week. Happy viewing and healthy being to you and your family this week. Click below on the image below.

Walking with Purpose

By Guest Blogger: Rebecca Weiss

For the past ten years I have been invisible. I’m not a superhero, and I’m not joking. Since the early 2000s, I, as an overweight, middle-aged woman in New York City, have been completely invisible.

This has played out like a humorous montage in a sitcom. I climb up a flight of stairs from the subway, and the people coming down the steps run right into me. I walk out of a coffee shop with a cup in each hand and the person in front of me drops the door in my face. I walk down the street with my husband—no small fellow himself—and people part ways and let him through while I am swallowed by the crowd. Back when George Bush was president, I posted political stickers all over lower Manhattan and no one noticed my acts of vandalism. I really was invisible.

I got used to it. People didn’t see me, and I didn’t make an effort to be seen. I stopped getting my hair cut, stopped wearing makeup, stopped buying new clothes. By the time I was up to 230 pounds, I was wearing my husband’s old khakis and baggy t-shirts everyday and always had my hair piled up on my head.

I often laughed to myself when someone from my neighborhood, or one of my kids’ schools, or just the grocery store, would acknowledge my husband but not me. It got to be quite comical at times. I stopped to help someone whose car had broken down and she waved me away, not realizing that I have ridden the same train with her to and from the city every workday for the past six years.

Since beginning a fitness program about a year ago, and eating more mindfully, I’ve noticed many changes in myself. I’ve got more energy, I sleep well, I don’t suffer from stomach-related ailments any more, and I can run, climb stairs and dance like a fool without getting out of breath. I’ve reveled in my discovery of these things. And, just recently, I’ve begun to notice something else: People are seeing me again.

It seemed like a fluke at first. One morning my train pulled into the station, and the other people waiting to board made room for me in line. Some even said hello. Next, a barista at Starbucks acknowledged my presence without me waving my hands in her face. Then, it spread: salespeople offered to help me in fitting rooms, coworkers complimented my outfits, some people actually apologized after bumping me with their bags on the street. I had forgotten how to react in these situations, so I adopted a nervous smile and tried to go with it.

I’m not saying it’s been a complete 180 and the world embraces me now. It’s certainly nothing like when I was in my 20s, sashaying down the NYC sidewalks in platform sandals and short skirts, with men coming up to ask for my number. I know those days are long gone, and I’m not sorry to see them go. But, whether they see me as a set of legs, or as a mom, or a woman on her way to work, it’s notable to me that they actually do see me. Of course, I still get the door dropped on my face at the coffee shop from time to time, and pushy people on the train are still pushy—this is New York, after all.

Now I wonder, is it just my weight loss that’s brought me back into the visible world? Could it be that I walk differently, hold myself differently, address people differently? When I was heavier, was I showing myself to anyone? Or, was I hiding in my oversized clothes and unkempt hair? Perhaps I wanted to be invisible.

Regardless, the fact is that I’m here now. I walk with purpose. My eyes are bright. I’m taking up the space I choose. No matter what I weigh, I’m here, and I’m not going to disappear again.

A Comment from MDIO:

When reading this, I expect that Rebecca is just now becoming present and comfy in her own skin. No longer does she want or feel the the need to hide. Yet– Moms and dads, despite what our kids look like, what shape or size their bodies are, lets vow to love them, and help them find self worth so that they can beam from the inside out from childhood through adulthood.

 

About Rebecca: 

Rebecca Weiss is a writer, mom of two, and director of communications for a New York City auction house. In 2012 she started a fitness and wellness journey. She is a monthly contributor to Mom Dishes It Out.

Whole-Wheat Orzo with Mushrooms and Onions

 

INGREDIENTS

1 box of whole-wheat orzo

1 lb mushrooms, slices

Lipton onion soup mix

1 medium Vidalia onion

1/3 of olive oil

Fresh ground Pepper

DIRECTIONS

Cook orzo as per directions on box.  Chop Vidalia onion and slice mushrooms.  Sautee chopped onions and slice mushrooms with 1 tsp of olive oil.  Meanwhile, drain orzo and add the 1/3 cup of olive oil.  Mix everything together in a bowl.  In the bowl, add the Lipton onion soup mix.  Mix thoroughly.  Add fresh ground pepper to taste.

 

 

Teaching Nutrition in School

Like so many things affecting their children, parents tend to disagree on whether sex, sexual orientation or religion should be taught in school. Well, this mom (and an RD) often wonders if nutrition should be taught in school.

Teachers are not experts in nutrition nor are they educated about pediatric or adult nutrition as part of their college curriculums. Yet, many classroom teachers are giving lessons on “calories, good and bad foods, and even having students log their foods to see why they are so fat.” And I’m not making this stuff up. My client’s mother recently told me exactly what her daughter’s teacher had said to the class. If you’ve been reading my blogs regularly, you’ll easily imagine that at this point my nails are, at least figuratively, scratching the chalkboard!

Stop! Hold on just a minute! Do we even realize that these kinds of discussions and activities help create little food police and body dysmorphia? Moms, dads, teachers and kids: Do you know how many calories you burn in 24 hours? In 168 hours? Do teachers know how many calories kids are burning…especially since every kid hits puberty at a slightly different age? We typically do not know these answers; nor should we be obsessing with them. Also, do we really know if the calories on a package are correct? News flash: They are not being regulated and/or checked for accuracy! So why are we relying so heavily on these external measures? Be cautious and recognize that this black and white/all or none mindset is an unhealthy one. Instead, think about using an internal regulation system and try eating nutrient dense foods the majority of the time.

Most importantly, please know that foods are not “good” or “bad.” How can food be a moral issue? When you teach your children or your students that a particular food is “bad,” think about how they’ll feel if they eat the food. That’s right. They’ll not only feel bad and guilty; they’ll also probably start to hide these foods. Instead, try to make all foods neutral. For example, teach children that milk is milk. It’s a dairy product that is high in calcium and protein and comes from cows. Broccoli is a food that grows up from the ground and helps our bodies fight getting sick. Because foods vary in nutrient density, our bodies and kids’ growing bodies need certain foods more often to meet specific demands. You can describe each food’s nutrient density or just call them “everyday” foods or “sometimes” foods as described in my book, The Mommy Manual’s Healthy Habits. 

And why are some adults teaching kids to identify how “fat” they are? Our children are already being bullied by their peers…and now they’re learning to tell themselves how bad they are! I say this because our society (not me personally) continually states (overtly or covertly) that “fat” is “bad”! Why don’t we teach children how healthy they are or how special they are?

 

Even First Lady Michelle Obama is singing this new tune. She has been quoted saying she does not discuss weight with her daughters, nor does she weigh them.

So, why not use something like what the children’s nutrition tracker calls “An Apple A Day”; it motivates our youngsters to eat their veggies and be active. My boys love this tool and have actually turned eating and being healthy into a friendly competition.

Meanwhile, it’s not just one misguided teacher who shares this “good” and “bad” food misinformation. Even one of my son’s teachers labels certain foods as “treats.” I have told my son I will no longer acknowledge this word as it indicates something special. For example, ice cream is a snack choice, not a special reward. The point here is that nutrition is a sensitive issue…especially in my world where I am privy to the teary-eyed triggers that influence the development of eating disorders. And yes, binge eating is an eating disorder. Most adults don’t have their own nutrition needs in order, so it’s particularly scary to me as a mom (and as an RD who cares about her clients) that nutrition education is being taught without regard to both biology and psychology.

I know…quit my yapping and do something! Right? Well I did…and I continue to do! First, I’ve educated my sons’ school on appropriate food language and they’ve made this information part of their Health and Wellness Curriculum. I recently planted strawberries with the students and talk food and nutrition with them on a regular basis. Second, and on a much greater scale, I’ve finally finished my 8-week plan for creating healthy habits for children. The complete program is available to download. Moms, dads and teachers alike can use this book for lesson plans and nutrition education on subjects such as what carbohydrates are or what qualifies as an “everyday” food. In short, teachers can teach about nutrition but should consider using a positive approach and promoting things kids can do rather than what they shouldn’t be doing. For instance, my sons’ school just made pancakes with blueberries and did a “dairy study”. The result: My picky boys came home eating blueberries and having tried goat’s milk. Now that’s what I call a beautiful educational experience! 

So what do you think? Is nutrition education appropriate for school?

What positive programs are your schools implementing?

Would you like to share your nutrition education success?

 

 

 

Children's Nutrition Tracker Giveaway

Are you looking for a visual guide to make sure your little ones are getting the adequate amount of nutrients through a variety of food choices?!?  If so, An Apple A Day’s Children’s Nutrition Tracker is the perfect item for you!

  • The tracker is setup to follow all guidelines of MyPyramid and you will begin each day with all doors open.  As your child consumes a suggested serving, they close the door in that column.  It is a fun, interactive way for your children to get involved in healthy habits!
  • In addition to adequate food choices, the Children’s Nutrition Tracker also encourages 30 minutes of daily physical activity as well!
  • The tracker contains core cards that are full of serving suggestions and nutritional information for a variety of popular foods.
  • Since it contains built-in magnets, it is perfect for the fridge, which also makes it easier for the kids to help with!
  • The tracker can be used for up to 2 children and there is a customizable name section so each child can keep track of their own progress for the day!
  • The tracker also grows with your children so you can purchase additional core cards made for boys and girls ages 9-13 as well!

We’re giving away 1 tracker to a lucky fan so that you can help promote healthy eating habits in your home. This fun and interactive game will get children excited about learning how to make healthy food choices!!

For more information about the Children’s Nutrition Tracker, visit An Apple A Day’s website!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

One lucky winner will receive An Apple A Day!

Enter by one of the following ways. You can submit more than one entry by doing any of the following. Just be sure to leave an additional comment letting us know you did! Good luck!

  • Leave a comment here and  “Like us” on our Facebook page
  • Follow @MomDishesItOut and tweet @MomDishesItOut is having a #MDIO #Giveaway.
  • We’d love to hear what your thoughts! Giveaway ends on Sunday, May 12 at 5:00 PM EST.

Chopped Salmon over Shaved Brussel Sprouts

Chopped salmon may not be a traditional dish but it’s perfect for make-ahead meals! It can be a delicious meal served over grains like brown rice, rice pilaf or quinoa. Cool it down and you can toss it on a bed of greens. For a refreshing summer salad, skip the soy sauce and hot sauce–season with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 2-4)

2 (5 oz.) boneless salmon fillets, cut into cubes

1/2 cup white onions, chopped

1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped

2 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp Siracha hot sauce

olive oil spray

1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

_______________________________

1/2 lb Brussel Sprouts, shaved

1 tbsp honey

METHOD

In a large bowl, combine the chopped salmon, green onions, soy sauce, hot sauce and salt. Set aside.

Heat a medium skillet over high heat with olive oil. Add the brussels and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add honey and allow it to cook for 2 more minutes, or until tender.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil spray. Add the white onions and saute for 1-2 minutes, or until translucent. Add the salmon mixture in a single layer  and cook until caramelized or opaque.

Adjust seasonings. Serve immediately over bed of shaved brussel sprouts.

  

Healthy Habits Giveaway

The creator of MomDishesItOut — savvy city mom and registered dietitian Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD,  has developed The Mommy Manual’s Healthy Habits. This healthy-eating and physical activity workbook can be used by coaches, school teachers or even parents teaching nutrition.  Through this approach, you will understand the difference between an “everyday” food vs. a “sometimes” food. With a mission to help children develop a positive relationship with eating and a neutral relationship with food, the  Healthy Habits approach provides honest, credible, and fun health education. This week, one lucky winner will receive a free copy of  Healthy Habits!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

One lucky winner will receive a copy of The Mommy Manual’s Healthy Habits!

Enter by one of the following ways. You can submit more than one entry by doing any of the following. Just be sure to leave an additional comment letting us know you did! Good luck!

  • Leave a comment here and  “Like us” on our Facebook page
  • Follow @MomDishesItOut and tweet @MomDishesItOut is having a #MDIO #Giveaway.
    We’d love to hear what your thoughts! Giveaway ends on Sunday, April 28th at 5:00 PM EST.

 

Is Your Tween Hiding Her Lunch?

REAL GRANDMOM ASKS: My 11 year old granddaughter is hiding her sandwiches and lunchables that are packed for her lunch in her room; sometimes before she even leaves for school. She takes a bite out of the sandwich or lunchable and puts in back in the container and seals it up, then hides it in her room. She doesn’t have an explanation for this and you can tell she is embarrassed when you talk to her about it. None of the food is new or disliked, that is why this is such a puzzle to us. My daughter is going bonkers over this and I simply don’t know how to advice her. Maddie has hidden evidence of “sneaked” food before when she was very young but this is a new behavior.What do you think? 

Thanks,

 

Debbie A., a perplexed Grammy

 

REAL MOM LAURA ANSWERS:

Thank you Debbie for your heartfelt question.  I am sure many other grandparents and parents share in your sincere concern for both their daughters and their  granddaughters. There are a few things you can do without alarming your granddaughter. Be sure to keep this a confidential as possible. It is  a very sensitive subject and privacy will help to ensure your granddaughter’s privacy and thus minimize any shame or embarrassment. I will answer the question directed at a mom (or dad) since mom (or the primary caregiver) will need to do the follow through.

In general when any tween is hiding food, consider checking in with the school nurse or guidance counselor (in private) to see if your tween is:

A)   Eating a different type of food at school?

B)   Eating any lunch at school?

C)   Attending lunch at school (some students hide during the lunch period to avoid social anxiety, bullying or to enable skipping the meal for restriction purposes)?

This will give you a better idea of what is happening for your daughter.  There are many things to consider such as is your child:

A)   Embarrassed to bring a home packed lunch?

B)   Perhaps your child doesn’t like the way their food smells?

C)   Perhaps your child is uncomfortable with their changing tween body?

D)   Has anyone said anything to your tween to make them feel shameful of their body?

E)   Is your child restricting their intake in effort to gain a false sense of control due to changes in friends, family, school…?

F)    Is your tween newly aware of her body and thus restricting her intake to prevent it from maturation? 

Next and most importantly, sit down with this wonderful child and let them know you are there to listen. Let them know you promise not to be angry (if you truly do) and can help to support them. Validation is the most important piece. Moms don’t need to solve every problem rather we just need to listen.  Tell your tween you love them and are there for them when they feel ready to share. Giving your tween an unbiased outlet and a few hugs may get them to be honest with you.

If your tween is not ready to confide, you can also offer to take the tween food shopping to see if that helps to resolve the issue. This may give you a better sense of what is going on if your tween actually takes you on the offer.

If the issue continues, it is best to have your tween see a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist (therapist specializing in eating disorders) or a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian (RD specializing in eating disorders). This accreditation is only given to experts trained in the  prevention and treatment of eating disorders by the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (www.iaedp.com).

Beet Hash with Eggs

Photo courtesy of  allthegoodblognamesaretaken.com
A recipe from our friend Carol Murray, and adapted from Whole Living magazine, October 2012.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 2)
1/2 lb beets, peeled and diced
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and diced
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup parsley, fresh, chopped and extra for garnish
1.5 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
2 large eggs, organic
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

In a medium skillet, add beets and potatoes to boiling water. After 5 minutes, drain vegetables into a strainer. Heat oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute until translucent, about 1-2 minutes. Add beets and potatoes and stir occasionally for about 4 minutes. Add parsley, garlic powder and season to taste with salt and pepper. Push the hash aside, forming two spaces to cook the eggs. Add eggs and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and allow eggs to cook until egg whites are firm and yolks are tender but runny. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

Are there any normal eaters out there?

My family and I just returned from vacation with my in-laws and my brother-in-law’s family. My father-in-law told me that my pancakes were going to make him fat! My mother-in-law taught my kids a song about a fat girl that no one wants! And the usually simple act of feeding my kids in public appeared as dysfunctional as an SNL skit! For example, I was feeding Bobby salmon or tilapia to ensure that he consumed some protein, or even gnocchi—one of the newer foods in his repertoire. But Billy ate absolutely nothing! My mother-in-law was pleading with my husband to let our little one just have ice cream for dinner. After all, Billy was “on vacation.” Meanwhile, neither one of the kids was even asking for ice cream! And by the way, I freaked out (internally, of course) when I heard my kids singing grandma’s song and asked them to change the words from “fat girl” to “mean girl.” 

As moms, we almost always seem to be walking around in minefields! Constantly dodging, reframing or renaming! The food and body comments are endless. That’s why when you’re “on vacation,” it’s most important to keep the food and nutrition relationship a top priority. Yes, the kids can have ice cream. They can have it every night if they want…or if you want to serve it. But the kids need to be hungry for it—and be the ones asking for it. They also must be able to understand the concept of “everyday” foods versus “sometimes” foods.

Yes, this was our “vacation.” But by no means does that suggest we throw our wholesome nutritional efforts out the window! Ice cream for dinner is surely okay if your child is a healthy robust eater. But my picky younger son needs to at least learn to sit at the table while everyone else is eating!

Having a hungry picky eater is a great time to introduce a different version of a food he likes and, at minimum, get him to taste the food by licking it. There is no hard line. We need to know and understand our children. I know my older son Bobby is at the point of trying new foods, but he sometimes needs coaxing or a forkful of the food ready for tasting. He really loved the ricotta gnocchi and ate the whole serving of it along with his plain pasta. By the way, some nights we asked Bobby to try a new food and others we didn’t. I also base what he eats on his mood. If he’s cranky, I definitely focus on whole grains, protein and salmon—especially when he is beyond moody.

Meanwhile, little Billy has entirely no desire—perhaps it’s part fear and part control—to try new foods on mommy’s time. He did manage to lick a few new foods during our vacation; he also ate the bread on the table and usually found something to nibble. This is a monumental improvement in his behavior; last year he played under the table at our Easter brunch. This year he ate a yummy blueberry muffin plus some cornbread followed by brownies and ice cream. I am truly ecstatic that he found some things he liked and could enjoy those foods along with everyone else.

Reading our little guy Billy is like reading the weather! He is so very unpredictable. Just when I think I understand his selective eating process, he perplexes me yet again. So, moms…I hear your cries of frustration. You are not alone! Feeding certain kids is easy as pie while feeding others is similar to playing a game of chess. But like I often state: Most people are not normal eaters; rather, they eat in a disordered manner and/or have a negative relationship with food and their bodies.

If we moms can get our kids to love eating and view food as just food—not “good” or “bad”—and if they can love their bodies, we are doing well enough!!

Happy eating…and happy being in your body! Until next week…