Yesterday was the first day of our slow meat and dairy fade-out.
When I got up, I made banana, strawberry, oatmeal, raspberry and almond milk smoothies for myself, Gerry and Archie. Shep wouldn’t drink one. I’m determined this weekend to find a recipe for a smoothie he would like. I think it’s a textural thing for him. For breakfast some of us had whole grain cinnamon toast. Shep had a few Trader Joe’s cheese puffs, an apple and juice. I rarely let him have anything like that for breakfast, but I was trying to get everything ready for the morning and made an exception. A little while later, he had a bowl of dry mini wheats. I felt better about that.
Archie took a nap just before lunchtime, and afterwards, we visited a local farmer’s market with my mom. I was surprised at the tiny produce section they offered, but excited when I saw how fresh and vibrant everything was. We filled our cart with tomatoes, cucumbers, peaches, corn on the cob, new potatoes and green beans. I decided dinner would be a giant pot of corn, potatoes and beans. I was concerned it wouldn’t be filling enough, so I bought LOTS just in case. My mom bought the boys a quart of strawberries, which where gone by bedtime. The boys do love a good berry, praise the Lord.
For lunch, I had a Panera gift card I wanted to use and I remembered the restaurant was on a list I read of places vegetarians can eat a good lunch. Some other places were P. F. Changs, Subway, Noodles & Co. and Chipotle. I always get the same thing there, so I was a little flustered trying to read everything on the menu before ordering. I settled on a Chicken Cobb Salad with no bacon and cheese, and ended up taking most of the chicken off. So I ate lots of lettuce, tomatoes, avocados and herb vinaigrette and a little chicken. The boys shared a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and potato chips, but both ended up eating a cinnamon roll instead of finishing their sandwiches. Maybe Panera wasn’t the best idea — all those sweets in a glass case… toddler temptation!
It might be that we need to eat our meals in for a while. At least until we figure out the nuances of eating at restaurants where the main source of nutrition is meat or dairy.
Throughout the rest of the day, the boys had snacks of strawberries, carrots, triscuits, water, tea and another apple. I felt a little better about their diet for the day by the time dinner rolled around.
To make the pot of veggies, I parboiled some potatoes in salt water, then added 3 chopped up corn on the cobs and a pound of green beans with the curliques snapped off. I have a huge jar of raw nuts that I can’t eat plain (too chewy), so I added a cup of chopped almonds to the meal, too. When everything was done cooking, I tossed the pot with 2 t. raw sugar, 2 t. salt and a T unsalted butter.
The butter was the only animal-based product in the meal. I haven’t quite figured out what the best ratio is for consuming animal-based foods, but I thought this was a good shift from our regular protein-driven dinners.
We all ate until we were full, with the exception of Shepherd, who actually ate some of everything on his plate, but just didn’t seem hungry. He went to bed without a fuss just a couple hours earlier, so I think he was just worn out.
Once the boys were in bed, I noticed Gerry was hungry again. He had two craft beers, two oreos, a cheese stick and some chips for a snack before we made it to bed around 11. He definitely thinks regulating snacks is going to be the hardest part of this transition because they are so casual and unplanned. Maybe having a snack plan would help.
I found myself waking up hungry about halfway through the night, so I am going to try to have a bowl of whole grain cereal with almond or coconut milk before I go to sleep tonight, if I need it. We might, however be using today as our “big meat” day for dinner because we were gifted with a groupon for Boulevard Haus before we changed course.
The boys woke up a lot last night, too. Archie actually was up most of the time until 4 a.m. He might have been hungry.
I think my biggest challenge is going to be finding satisfying textures without meat, eggs or dairy, and also keeping the boys from being hungry all the time. I might incorporate a couple standard snack times into our routine. It might help them, too. I just need to think of snacks to replace their beloved cheez-its, cheese sticks and chocolate milk (shep).
Feeling thankful they like fruits and veggies that are whole, with stems on them. As long as it has leaves on it, they are excited to eat it!