Wasn't Jesus the original hippie? With his sandals, dress and kind, compassionate, tender, joyful nature? What a loaded word that is! I am oftentimes called a hippie – in some ways, I am, some not. I am an Older Mom with Young Kids and Older Kids, Four in All – Remarried, Striving to make a Step Family with Love and God's help.
Day One: Lunch
I put some refried vegetarian beans (again, cheating as a bit of oil in them) as well as hummus on a corn tortilla. (Is hummus in the 7 day rescue? Cannot remember, but there is no added oil in it.) Not bad. I can do this.
But I think I’m missing something … what is it? Oh yea, uhh … plants. Plant-based diet. I take out some broccoli and try to eat it raw not slathered in ranch the way I normally eat broccoli. Not appealing at all.
Going to have to work on this.
I get through the day and feel fantastic. No heartburn at all. I take my seven year old to the outlet mall for clothes and even have more energy than I normally do. Seriously, some days, I hit the wall so hard I feel like a bug on a windshield, but not today. Dinner is whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce, no oil plus garlic, spinach and broccoli. There are my greens. I need to find something to top them with though. The rest of the family has beef tips and french bread with that incredible butter on it. I’m okay though as I go upstairs right after dinner. I find if I stay downstairs or in the kitchen, I’m always looking to ‘top it off’.
I realize through the day just how much meat I have been eating: sandwich meat during the day and finishing the beef tips on my kids plates at night. I spend so much time doing the ‘mom thing’ of eating what’s left on my children’s plates, because, you know, I don’t want to be wasteful, and starving people around the world appreciate it. But not anymore. My thirteen year old protests, ‘but you need meat, Mom!’ My husband responds, ‘You know your mom. You can’t tell her anything.’
Day Three is always the hardest, right. There’s that excitement on Day One. Day Two you still have a bit of momentum. But Day Three, your body’s like shoot, she’s serious. Where are my damn french fries.
Day Two was, like most of my days, challenging. I’m not manning a spaceship or anything, and therefore it even sounds silly complaining but taking care of children is hard work. They’re loud, chaotic, messy, complaining, illogical, emotional …. and that’s just in the first fifteen minutes. From there, it usually goes downhill.
Yesterday was sans heartburn until the end of the day. My seven year old has become consumed by television, and we are having to make a constant effort to keep her at two hours per day. In that kiddy crack cocaine way, this German ‘Mia and Me’ show has mesmirized her. It’s one of those shows that completely irritates adults, so you can’t watch it for long enough to figure out why it’s bad for them. But she loves it. Seriously. She could probably watch 63 episodes back to back. And the thirteen year old is bored and teasing her. And she and the four year old keep going for snacks: granola bars, pretzel crisps.
When an hour and a half is up, amidst her extremely loud protests, I turn off the television. And then they start running around the house like maniacs. Finally after several half-hearted ‘stop that”s, as the four year old is in the bathroom, and the seven year old is on the other side of the door engaged in a to-the-death tug of war with the door while screaming, I finally lose it. (Yes, yes, I forgot the Scuba Diving theory of parenthood that I explain here.)
My blood pressure went so high that I actually lost sight in the left part of my eye for a second. And the heartburn comes back.
But it’s not as bad as it’s been. And fifteen minutes upstairs to get back my calm, I”m okay. I get through the rest of the day and am able to get a somewhat decent night of sleep despite a bit of heartburn.
But I’m sick of corn tortillas and re-fried beans which seems like about all I ate yesterday. Yes, I cooked mushrooms and onions in vegetable broth, but it was not that tasty as I was downstairs going through six feet of dirty clothes to find my daughters Basketball shirt she needed. I had asked my husband to watch it, but he was helping with homework … you get the picture. This parenthood thing is not easy. I’m really not happy with those of you who make this look easy. I go through most days thinking that surely I must have missed some essential manual on this.
Anyhow, this blog is supposed to be on my diet, and today seems all about parenthood. But this is why so many of us parents lose our focus on our bodies, isn’t it?
I suppose there is always an excuse. It could be the chaos in your house, or it could be too much quiet. In the end, it’s all about finding healthier ways to live. Period.
My mother takes two blood pressure pills .. a Beta Blocker and a Dieuretic because one doesn’t cut it. Her doctor says she needs both. And a cholesterol pill. And hormone replacement.
But there’s got to be a better way. I love my family. And even though most days, they drive me completely crazy, and I worry incessantly about all the future therapy they’re going to need, I wouldn’t change any of them for the world.
And I love my crazy, chaotic home. I called it in to my life, and now, I just have to figure out a way to love me while loving it. Day Three; here I come.
Colette O'Neill, Innovator of Goddess Permaculture ~Plantswoman ~ Teacher ~ Writer and Photographer
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