For some reason, my eldest child seems to always give me a rough go of things for several weeks right around her birthday. I remember it when she turned six. And it happened again this January when she turned seven. Maybe it's coincidence. Maybe not. But this year, to be honest, it was a particularly tough several weeks.
It was one of those parenting seasons where I began to question all the decisions I was making for her, wonder if I was somehow "wronging" her, and how I'd failed as a parent. I found myself faced with situations where there was nothing in my parenting bag of tools and tricks that seemed to work.
Eventually, things began to settle down. I think a big part of it, was my change in perspective, which seemed to have a calming effect on our home.
Dan and I also began to notice a pattern. Many of our tough episodes with her seemed to be related to food–whether she was flat-out hungry or coming off some sort of sugary-high. So my focus began to shift, and I realized that I needed to start making some eating habit changes around our house.
On one particularly rough evening, I called Emily and we talked about all this. By the end of the conversation, she encouraged me to focus on two things: getting protein in at every meal (and snack), and making the transition to more whole wheat and grains.
I also started counting points, like I mentioned before, which always helps me be more mindful of where the calories are going, and keeps more filling foods in our diet.
And I have to tell you, the changes have been really good. The rough season appears to be behind us. And on the rare occasion that it shows its ugly head, she's in a much better place to be able to deal with it, and move on. Me, too.
So I'm back to meal-planning. I'm getting very familiar with my Cooking Light magazine again and delving into out my grandmother's old Moosewood Cookbook.
But you all never fail me…what are some of your best high protein snacks, or whole grain meals and dishes? What's your favorite way to cook with beans? What resources, magazines or cookbooks do you like best? (have you seen this super natural recipe search?? It's great!) I'd love to have some more recipes and ideas in my repertoire, I think most of us would. Share a link, a post, a recipe. And hopefully, I'll have some time to combine them all into one place so that they are easily accessible for all of you, too.
Thank you, friends.