Food on the brain

Say the word "food" and a cloud of thoughts and emotions and ideals and wishes that look like this may take over your brain. It has taken over my brain, but maybe not in the way you think.

With a goal as vague as "eat well", I knew that I would have to find a way to define what eat well means for me and for our family. And it is not easy. It is not easy because I know too much. I know what I ought to be eating, what I should be buying, what I can't possibly go near and what is a down right an abomination. The problem is reconciling the list of what I know and what I can realistically do, or what I realistically want to do. So as always, it is that sweet spot in the middle, between extremes, somewhere balanced between McDonald's and fresh from my garden.

In the past week, in stead of making drastic changes that had no chance of becoming actual habit changers, I have focused instead on paying attention to what I eat. Just paying attention. Its hard but in it is the greatest gift - for what one can begin to see if that the what that you eat is as equally important as the how you eat. And for me, though there are some significant whats that I can and will change, the brutal reality that I had to literally swallow this week was the state of how I eat and how far away from mindful it actually is.

It goes something like this: make food for toddler, feed toddler, make food for us (if its different from the toddler fare), empty dishwasher at the same time, serve food, eat cold food if toddler is still awake, and so on and so on.

The worst part for me is how totally cliche this is. How cliche it is that this mom is sitting and eating the left overs of an almond butter and jelly sand which. How cliche it is that this mom just shoves whatever food she can in her mouth as she runs out the door. How cliche it is that the mom's plate of warm food stands alone only to get cold as she is dealing with some sort of toddler something. How cliche it is that this mom taking care of everyone else before she takes care of herself.

So with food on the brain, I spent the week watching and mentally recording my habits, in the hope of making a few minor adjustments. And though I want to make a major overhaul, major overhauls don't work. Instead, I will keep it simple and I will keep it short and I will keep it doable:

1. Until February 14, I make a smoothie for breakfast every morning choosing from one of the options in the book Spent. I drink that smoothie sitting down without doing another activity.

2. Until February 14, I drink 3 large mason jars of water a day

3. Until February 14, on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays, dinner is 90% ready to serve before I pick up the nugget from daycare

Feels like Valentine's Day is the perfect target for this refresher in taking care of myself so that I can take care of the people I love the most.

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