Wednesday, July 3, 2013

clean eating: coffee and wrap up

(i wrote this on day 2, then never finished or hit publish because kids. yes, i am aware that is not a proper sentence, but kids. kids. and i kids. )

today i want to talk about coffee.

since becoming an addict a mother, i have developed a dependency  started feeling like i can't get through the day without a cup (or 4) of coffee in the morning. 

i start my mornings off like a champion. the sun starts coming up at 4 am and since that has started happening the babies have been waking up earlier and earlier. it also finally gets dark at 10:30 and since that has started happening the babies have been fighting sleep. bella is in a pretty decent routine, but each night at bedtime, she says, "but momma, it's still light outside!" and i explain to her, each night, about how the sun works. it's all very exciting and no. 

in the wee hours of night, cora decided it was time to partay and we played on the floor for about 2 hours. by that i mean, i sat in the chair crying while she flip flopped around on all the furniture. they say this is a phase because she is learning new tricks and i should enjoy it. they clearly have no children or had them long enough ago that they forgot what a nightmare sleep deprivation can be when your 3 year old wakes up ready to take on the world, right after you get your 7 month old back to sleep. 

enter that glorious bean, slow roasted and ground down to make the most amazing thing since sliced bread. possibly more so. 

on day one of our challenge, i tried to drink my coffee black with just raw sugar. i couldn't do it. i have some grade a coffee but i like it sweet. so i broke down and added creamer. it was a moment of weakness (she said, starting in on her second cup of vanilla nut). but i have started doing some perusing of the internet now that my eyes have been pried open. 

first of all, would this be too much to ask for?? i guess since the sugar is probably of the white, refined variety, this is a no go according to the rules. but i also may see if i can get some at the commissary once we are out of our 10 days.....

photo credit
Carrie at Deliciously Organic has several recipes for natural coffee creamer. they sound pretty yum. i may try the french vanilla one tomorrow morning. 

French Vanilla
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons maple syrup

Whisk together milk, cream and maple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cut vanilla bean in half, and scrape out seeds. Add seeds and vanilla bean to milk mixture. Turn off heat, cover the pot and steep for 30 minutes. After mixture has steeped, strain through a fine mesh sieve, pour into a glass bottle and store in the refrigerator. (If you don’t have a vanilla bean on hand, simply replace it with 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract)
it sounds pretty high in fat, but i think i may be able to use less of it since it will be pretty sweet. 
here are a few more . looks like i may need to head to the store today to gather some of these ingredients. it also looks like you can make ahead and store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. 

clearly, i lack some follow through. i planned to blog every other day or so. i blogged once. so, i will just lump it all together with observations and what i've learned.

i am an addict. sugar, mostly. since having cora, i feel like i *need* it. i never have craved sugar before, except when i was pregnant with bella. i'm pretty sure the hormones from pregnancy make crazy anyway, so let's just add sugar dependency in there as well.

those homemade coffee creamers are for the birds. after whole milk, heavy cream and maple syrup, i feel like i am drinking my daily calorie allotment in the wee moments after waking. and they weren't satisfying. i mean, it tasted like i put milk in my coffee. if i wanted milk in my coffee, i would have put milk in my coffee in the first place and called it a day.

i HATE the way vanilla extract tastes and cocoa powder is just gross. and that should have been my tip off before i started, really. so, homemade creamer = fail in my book.

over all, we didn't really change our diets much. i guess we don't eat as poorly as i thought.


one thing i learned was that there are more junk foods out there with less than 5 ingredients that aren't sugar and are recognizable. it was kind of odd and the OPPOSITE of what i thought i would see. the ingredients in bugles are "degermed yellow corn meal, coconut oil, sugar, salt and baking soda." and according to the label, have 1g of sugar per serving. which absolutely astounded me. not that they are healthy, by any means, but strictly going by the "rules" they are almost acceptable.

ruffles original potato chips are made of "potatoes, vegetable oil (sunflower, corn and/or canola) and salt" and are gluten free! again, not arguing the health qualities of chips. but the original flavors of these chips don't seem to have the laundry list of ingredients, or chemicals, that i thought they did.

the other thing i found interesting, is how common potassium chloride, an ingredient in lethal injections, is in food processing and also in many "substitutes". before we started, joel was eating a bag of....something.....and we were talking about ingredients. he said, "i'm sure this is fine..." and we looked at the ingredients. the first 5-6 were recognizable, the next was something sciency sounding, and the last was potassium chloride. our conversation went a little something like this--

me: that's bad.
joel: really? what does it do, cause cancer? (because everything does)
me: i don't know. i just know it's bad. (because whatever he was eating was most likely bad.)
::searches google for 'potassium chloride food'::

me: o.O it's used in lethal injections. 
joel: o.O ooookkkaaayyyy..... (slowly puts the bag down) 

now, granted, you would have to eat like 15 bags of whatever he was eating, in like a day. but should we ever consume any amount of it in the first place? then i read an article that said it is only legal to put it in food in the US. it is banned everywhere else.

to wrap it up and cut this short:

we will continue eating the way we eat. mostly fruits and vegetables, meats and dairy that are organic, grass fed, free range, etc. and we will enjoy our coffee creamer bought from the store. we will eat chips at a bar-b-q and enjoy ourselves when we are out with friends.

bella loves her veggies

life is too short to be too restrictive. we ate 90/10 before, and we will eat 90/10 now. i will continue to cook as healthily as possible, and try to make the best choices i can, but ultimately, 
i don't want food to be an obsession for my girls.
 we should eat to sustain life, give ourselves the energy we need to function and eat cleanly in order for our bodies to function properly, but not to the point that it becomes more than that.

 if they can't get through a meal without analyzing every bite-be it for calories, fat, ingredients or if it fits with a certain lifestyle, 
then i have failed them. 
i want to teach them about whole living-not just a means to an end. 

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