I had my weekly meal plan all done when my husband reminded me to go “meat-free” for Ash Wednesday. So instead of a slow cooker chicken, I’m going to try a new recipe for red beans and rice sans sausage (In celebration of Mardi Gras of course). I might make some kind of meat to go with lasagna planned for Tuesday.
For more meal plan inspiration see Org Junkie.
What’s Cooking this Week
Monday: Make your own quesadillas: chicken, beans, tomatoes, cheese, avocado — whatever we are feeling.
Tuesday: Slow Cooker veggie lasagna with green salad and fruit
Wednesday: Red beans and rice without sausage and sweet carrots (am adapting this for the slow cooker!)
Thursday: leftovers with some roasted root vegetables
Friday: Breaded white fish, mac and cheese and roasted asparagus
Salad of the week: Toasted walnuts and with pears
Snack of the week: celery with peanut butter and raisins
Challenge — Making healthy changes and self-compassion
I’ve written before about my struggle to stay on top of everything. With two kids, a part-time job, and writing this blog and other projects, let’s just say I’m challenged with organization. This has always been a sticking point for me — every New Year’s since I can remember starts with “This is the year I get organized.”
I often try to parallel what I know about behavior change for food and exercise to my goal of getting organized. So when I read this article in the New York Times on self-compassion, it got me thinking. Basically the article says that going easy on yourself is an important part of changing undesirable behaviors.
I’m compassionate with myself when it comes to eating and exercise. When I get out of balance, I work to remedy the situation without being too hard on myself. I’m raising my kids in the same way — guiding instead of being over-judgmental with their eating.
But when things come crashing down on me due to not writing something down, planning appropriately, or putting things in their place, that negative voice chimes in.
“After all these years you still can’t pull it together — loser!”
“Look how organized all those other moms are — you’re just not good at this (translation: you’re a bad mom).”
This article points out the societal belief that we need to be hard on ourselves or we’ll become too self-indulgent. So in order to deal with weaknesses, we try to keep ourselves in check in a very judgmental and unsupportive way.
But this uncompassionate way of dealing with our shortcomings actually de-motivates us. Think about it. How do you feel after talking to a person who puts you down vs. one that gives you understanding and support? It’s even worse when we do this to ourselves because we are with ourselves all the time.
So I remind myself that no one is perfect and that struggle is a normal part of the human condition. Maybe I’m not where I need to be with organization. But the truth is I do have a lot to juggle — and even the most put-together moms have mini breakdowns when things get overwhelming (I hope you are nodding).
So I’m giving myself a break and incorporating one small change I can make at a time. Can anyone relate? Are you a bit too hard on yourself at times?
News — We need even more vitamin D? What?
A study came out in the Journal of Anticancer Research. This research showed that much higher intakes of vitamin D are needed to get blood levels to where they need to be to help prevent chronic diseases including certain cancers, type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.
The researchers say that intakes of 4000-8000IU may be needed to achieve vitamin D blood levels of 40-60ng/ml. This interview with the lead researcher, Dr. Cedric Garland, a professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of California at San Diego, discusses the research in more detail.
It’s important to note that there is still a lack of consensus on optimal vitamin D blood levels. Many vitamin D researchers, like Garland, believe higher blood levels are needed to prevent the diseases mentioned above.
Garland says that people really need to get their levels checked and have them monitored. One cannot assume that their levels are good as some people take high levels of D and still have low blood levels. And others take very little but still have high levels.
Moral of the story: schedule a physical and ask to get your vitamin D levels checked. And come back and let us know what they are!
Have a great week!
For more easy recipes and tips on how to serve meals to kids, check out Maryann’s book The Family Dinner Solution: How to Create a Rotation of Dinner Meals Your Family Will Love