I’ve been following this rotation for over two weeks. Yes, I stick with my rotation even during the holidays, although not 100 percent. Of course there’s going to be days I scrap the meal but having dinners planned helps me deal with all the madness.
No more soccer practice so Hearty Thursday returns. We are backing off the grill for a while since it’s getting nippy here (expect for chicken fiesta bowl night). I tried one new hearty recipe (White Bean Soup with Turkey Sausage) that kind of flopped. I got a wee bit defensive when my husband offered me advice just as I realized the meal was not a keeper. “You need to put meat with the bone on so it soaks up the flavor, not processed meat.” I just glared at him.
We finally purchased an upscale Belgium waffle maker, something we have been thinking about for awhile. I really love it. I’m making double batches of waffles and freezing what’s leftover. I also tried waffle potatoes for breakfast one morning but they were too soft. I like the idea of crispy waffle potatoes for savory breakfasts, so I will keep trying!
I’ve been putting to good use another less expensive kitchen purchase. It’s my new snack tray from Rubbermaid. I use to serve veggies before dinner, take it with me to the park, and conveniently store leftovers in the fridge. Every Wednesday we have snack platter day (idea from Real Mom Nutrition) and I always use it when the kids have a playdate. I plan to experiment with different dips.
Fresh Brothers Pizza
I was invited to a tasting for Fresh Brothers Pizza, a new health-conscious pizza place in San Diego. Because I couldn’t make it, they invited me to come for a complementary meal with family and friends (free meal but all opinions are my own). We scheduled a day to eat with friends before heading out to take Christmas pictures. For those familiar with San Diego, it’s in Carmel Valley at the Village Center loop.
The reason I said yes is that pizza and salad is one of my favorite meals. And I don’t like salad first and then pizza. It has to be pizza eaten with the salad. I’m weird like that.
I was also intrigued by their health-conscious twist. They have something for everybody like vegan cheese and gluten-free sauces and crust. According to Fresh Brother’s site:
Our sauce is packed with 100% fresh tomatoes, not concentrate. Our mozzarella is all natural, with no fillers, additives or preservatives. We never fry anything. Our wings, our bites, our tenders, even our Fresh Fries are baked.
They have three choices for pizza crust: skinny (half the carbs), thin (can be gluten free) and deep dish. We went with thin and got “Fresh Momma’s” pizza with spinach, mushrooms, chicken, and a blend of red and pesto sauce, and “Da Works” with a mix of meat and veggies. For the kids we ordered half cheese and half pepperoni with the Fresh Kids Special Sauce “a mix of finely ground veggies blended right into our pizza sauce.” We also ordered both Caeser (for the kids) and Greek salads.
The whole meal was lovely. Crispy crust, solid salad, and great toppings. Just when we thought we were done, they brought out complimentary Sweet Knots. The kids devoured them. Thanks Fresh Brothers!
So we headed out with our full bellies to the beach and got our pictures done just before a downfall of rain. I think I have a new picture for the site (I’m very cold in this picture, can you tell?).
News & Links
The drawbacks of weight cycling in normal weight women was in the news. Other research agress that the most negative effects of weight cycling (continually losing and gaining weight) occurs in normal-weight individuals. For example, they are more prone to a concept called “fat overshooting,” gaining more fat than muscle when weight is regained after a loss. This study points to cardiovascular risk in this group according to The Healthiest Blog (I don’t have the study as these results were presented at The 2016 American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions):
The study looked at data from nearly 160,000 postmenopausal women over 11.4 years. During 11 years follow-up, the researchers found:
- Those with normal weight at the start of the study, but whose weight had fluctuated were three and half times more likely to have sudden cardiac death compared to participants whose weight was stable.
- Risk of heart disease-related death was increased by a 66% in normal weight women who yo-yo dieted.
- Overweight or obese women who experienced weight cycling didn’t show any increase in any kind of death.
- Death rate didn’t increase in participants who lost weight without gaining it back or who put weight on but didn’t lose it.
Children who drink whole milk have a lower BMI and higher vitamin D levels, according a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It could just be that smaller kids are not switched to low fat milk, but this shows that whole milk is unlikely to cause a child to gain weight and the fat in it may help with the absorption of vitamin D (a fat soluble vitamin).
A study in Health Affairs examined the well-being of people in different countries defined as a comprehensive measure of physical, mental, and social health. For every standard deviation increase in well-being, life expectancy increased by 1.9 years in women and 2.6 years in men. This occurred even after factors like poverty and race were controlled for. In one of my Mindful Minutes, I ask readers to consider a broader definition of health beyond the physical, which includes well-being and mental health.
The American Heart Association reviewed research on the impact of sleep on heart health. It found that too little sleep (and too much sleep but not as much) increases heart disease risk and calorie intake. In general for adults, the recommendation is 7-9 hours of sleep per night. You can find sleep guidelines for children here.
Some other articles of interest:
The Troubling Rise of Orthorexia, Or When Health Eating Becomes an Obsession
The Power of Simple Changes to Prevent Heart Disease
How to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain
15 Cookie Recipes for Santa and His Helpers
I’m off to get stuff done before my kids are out of school. Have a wonderful and safe weekend!!
Want to create your own family dinner rotation in the New Year? My book What to Cook for Dinner with Kids helps you step-by-step through the process.
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