“Made It” Monday – Baby Food

So, I usually need some inspiration on Mondays.  So I was trying to think of something fun – and thought, what about “Made It Mondays?”  I could write about something I made – like, craft-wise; or a new recipe; or a goal I achieved; or even a journey I completed!  Whatever comes to mind…  Whatever I “made” over the last week.

So, here goes…  This week, I made….

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Baby Food!

When I decided I would give it a go, and try making my own, I started combing the internet for “how-to” articles, recipes, suggestions for equipment, etc.  I felt like I was diving into the unknown and wanted to get it right for my little one…

I ended up buying a little baby food gadget that would steam and puree the food easily and without much hassle…  And found a couple of lists of what foods to start with.  But that’s about it!

And, actually, I tried the gadget – and it was broken when I got it.  I already prepped some food and had to get them pureed, so I did it over the stove – and Wa-la!  Everything worked so easily, I returned the gadget.  Silly me.

So, if you’re reading this, and you’re like me – wondering where the heck you start with something like making your own baby food.  Here’s my two cents:

1)  What you need: a small sauce pan and a cheap steamer basket (Target has a great one for $7).  Then, put together a little kit with: a small cutting board, paring knife, small spatula, maybe a vegetable peeler, and a small food processor (or small bowl insert for your large one!).

2)  How to do it:  Wash, peel, and chop up the fruit or veggie being used.  Steam it for about 10 minutes.  Pop it in the food processor and whiz it up til nice and creamy (with some veggies, I added formula to make it a creamier consistency).  No need to add anything – it’s that easy!

3)  To store it:  Some people put the pureed food in ice trays, freeze til solid, then pop in ziploc bags.  Great idea!  I chose to go this route, though – I LOVE the Oxo Baby Blocks.  I use the small ones in the fridge and to take with us, and the large ones to freeze.  I have two sets and it’s working perfect – and keeps me from making too much food.  If I make food once or twice a week, for about an hour each time – we have plenty!

4)  What I’ve made so far:  I started with two things I didn’t have to cook (avocado and bananas).  Then moved on to:  sweet potatoes, apples, peas, cantaloupe, carrots, peaches, edamame, and we’re introducing black beans this week.  Each food is introduced for 4 days before we try another new one (just in case there is an allergic reaction).  I try to alternate fruits and veggies – and now I’m adding in meatless proteins (I’m exactly excited about pureeing meats!).

It really is that easy.  And he actually seems to like his food – and eats very enthusiastically!  (At 7 months old, he’s all boy – eating lots!)  And get this…  It’s fun!  I actually like taking the time once or twice a week to make his food.  It’s the kind of task that you get to actually see the results of your labor – and the smiles it brings.  And whether I’m entertaining him while cooking (turning the radio up and dancing around the kitchen) or I’m by myself after he goes to bed…  It’s relaxing and fulfilling.

Who whuddathunk?

What have you made this week?  I’d love to hear!

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Healthy Habits

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Mmm…  Cottage cheese, heirloom cherry tomatoes, and a little salt and pepper.

This is my favorite snack right now.  Yep.  You heard me.

Quite the switch from chocolate anything a week ago!

Today is day seven of my new (old) life.  I started a weight loss program a week ago and have been loving every minute of jumping back into healthy foods!  (Did I just say that?!)

Whole grains.  Fruits and vegetables.  Lean proteins.  I feel like a switch has been flipped and I’m well on my way again!

So my question is…  Why do we sabotage ourselves?

I know I like eating healthy.  I know the fresh foods taste good.  I know I feel better when I eat  this way…  And yet – it’s so easy to get derailed.  Why?

I think for me, it’s a convenience thing.  I like foods I can grab and go.  Fresh food takes planning, preparation, and has to be eaten before it goes bad (so if you buy too much and get sick of it after 2 servings – oh well!  Finish ‘er up!).  I’ve spent the last several months doing the grab and go thing – and now in the space of one week, I have loved giving thought to what I put into my body and the small amount of time I’ve put into preparing snacks and meals.

It’s kind of a brief meditation during the chaos of the day.  A moment to myself – even as the little one is bouncing in his jumper to jungle music and shrieking with glee.  It feels like a reward for making it through the last 6 months.

Did I just say that?!  Healthy food is a reward?!  Man.  I’ve come a long way…

So, anyway…  The diet changes are being made.  Now, this week my challenge is to bring back exercise.  The plan is for my hubby to take the kid when he gets home from work so I can exercise for a while.  We’ll see how this goes…  I figure if there’s a plan that involves others, I may actually stick to it!

So, how do you sabotage yourself?  (I think we all do in some way…)  And do you have any new challenges ahead?

(Sometimes, sharing them out loud – or in writing – is a great way to make it real…  And get some added encouragement!)

Milestones

My husband told me I hit a milestone today, as I handed him a grocery list with a plan for our meals this week.  

A milestone?  What?

“You’re looking at cookbooks again.  Planning meals.  Cooking.  You haven’t done that in over a year!”

…It’s true.  At the beginning of my pregnancy, the morning sickness provided a state of constant nausea.  I couldn’t stand the thought of veggies or meat.  And that mostly continued the rest of the 9 months.  Then, after I had the baby – I still didn’t want veggies, or much meat.  All I wanted was food that was quick to grab and easy to eat while holding the baby with one arm.  Granola bars.  Pop tarts.  Bananas.  Protein shakes.  

Horrible.  I know.

I used to make my own bread, can my own jams and salsas – heck I even made homemade puddings for a while!

It’s been quite the ride…

But yes.  I’ve started returning to my healthier ways.  This week alone, I can’t even comprehend how many veggies I have eaten (tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, bok choy, carrots, bell peppers, avocado, sweet potatoes, broccoli!)!  Success!  

And as I write, the hubby is out grocery shopping – a list that consists of mostly produce.  And yes, I guess it is a milestone.

We’ll be making recipes this week out of Jamie Oliver’s “Meals in Minutes” cookbook – and I can’t wait!  (The book was given to me as a Valentine’s gift in February…  And I’m just planning my first attempt!)

Funny what things can become a big deal.  I’m eating veggies.  Planning meals.  Cooking.  (AND the house is clean again.  I’ve started projects around our home.  I’m blogging.)  

It feels good to be “me” again.

Thanks for noticing, Honey!

What milestones are you crossing these days?