Friday, August 2, 2013

Eating with Gusto

This weekend my youngest is traveling with me to see the oldest. My boys are ten years apart. When Bridger was first born, Dylan was the best big brother.  He rocked him, and kissed him, and made him laugh.  They were so cute together.  And then our little Boo learned to talk, and Dylan seemed to resent the Petit Prince.  He became jealous of the talking baby. "You let him get away with EVERYTHING.  You spoil him."  Well, there was probably some truth to that.  Bridger was only two.

Time has a way of softening the hard edges, and after Dylan grew up a little more himself, the boys actually became close again. Bridger worships the ground on which his big brother walks.  My heart melts a little whenever I watch them together.  And I laugh.  I have to; they're so funny together.

Now Dylan has grown up, married to the sweetest little wife, and moved three hours away to Utah's Dixie in Saint George.  My boys miss each other. This weekend will be a treat for us all.

Dyl and Jamie at Crossfit
Dylan and his wife stick to low-carb eating, along the lines of the Paleo diet. If you're not familiar with that, they eat like cave men...whatever grows out of the ground and can be hunted with a spear is what's for dinner.  That's my take on it anyway...they basically eat no processed foods, and get plenty of veggies and protein.  There's not a lot of room for homemade rolls and cookies in their diet, but on the weekends, they splurge occasionally. 

Yesterday I asked if Dylan had any special food requests for the weekend. "Shepherd's Pie!"  was Dylan's enthusiastic response.

"Do you want the real thing, or Paleo-style with cauliflower as a substitute for the mashed potatoes?"

"Real stuff!  I'll help make it if you want.  Thought about adding mushrooms and grilled onions to the burger part."

Dylan is quite the cook and manages their kitchen beautifully with weekly menus posted on their fridge.  He is a master griller and Dutch oven expert.  He continued,  "Do YOU have any requests you would like to do this weekend?"

"Hiking, but only if it's not hot as hell."  Yes, that would be me, speaking like a sailor to my child.  (You should know that Saint George IS hot as hell.  It's not just a figure of speech, so I excuse myself from resorting to this crude language.)

"It's pretty stinking hot, but we'll see."

During the summer, it's always over 100 in Saint George, unless it's raining.  It's a desert down there, so that is a rare and welcome delightful experience!

My kids are all healthy eaters; more so than I. They always have been.  We're all a little obsessed, though. 

I remember once when Bridger was in kindergarten, he was in his booster seat in the back of the car, complaining about being hungry.  
"I think there's a Reese's peanut butter cup back there; eat that." And what did my little five year old child say to that?

"Do you know how many freaking fat grams there are in that thing?"

Yeah, we have some issues.  I recall a 'last day of school" celebration when I offered to take the kids to Bullies, the local drive-in, to celebrate. I'm thinking ice cream cones and milkshakes!  It's a special day, after all.  What did my kids want? The boys wanted sandwiches, and Sierra asked for iced water. Sometimes I wonder if they are actually mine.

And WHY do they have issues?  I blame myself.  After Bridger was born, WAY after Bridger was born, I was still packing the pregnancy weight, and then some. Okay, I can admit this; after my third baby, I weighed 224 pounds. 

I remember the day I had struggled into my swimsuit to go to the pool.  Bridger was standing on the king-sized bed, and he patted my back. 

"Mommy, your back has boobs, too."  Good lord, I WAS big.

Not long after that, I began my first Body for Life challenge.  The nice thing for me was that Dylan was a high school athlete at the time and he was happy that I was eating more protein and making healthier choices.  We experimented together with our protein shakes and making healthy breakfasts. At his request, I made whole grain waffles with oat flour and flax seed oil.  We topped them with fruit or homemade syrup.  And Cool Whip.  There's always my favorite non-food of choice: Cool Whip.  I still struggle to give up that junk.

Sierra is my only girl, the Sierra Sandwich has her in the middle of the boys. She has been on board with most of the healthy eating.  She was blessed with muscles from the start, just like her brothers. She has always had the waist of a wasp and gorgeous, muscled arms, butt, and thighs. She rolls her eyes at me whenever I ask about calories.  

"I don't COUNT calories, Mama Llama." She has a great attitude. Sierra is actually one of my heroes when it comes to having a healthy mindset about life and priorities, in general.

My kids are my partners in crime.  Most of the time, we all try to eat healthy.  Some of the time, we indulge, and when we do, we do it with gusto.  We love CafĂ© Rio, Menchies, Swig (a local specialty drink drive-in in Saint George), ice cream, homemade goodies...  
Thankfully, I am the only slave to the scale. 

As anyone who has read my blog knows, I tend to be obsessive-compulsive about so many things.  I did NOT pass the awful weighing habit on to any of them.  I am just glad that my kids seem to be not only health-conscious,  but have a healthy perspective about diet and weight.  I tend to be the one throwing us all under the bus, diet-wise, most of the time.  ("Who wants ice cream? Want me to bake some cookies? Anyone up for frozen yogurt?") They rein me in with their raised eye-brows or their polite "no, thanks" when they think it's time to tone down the gusto.

I am looking forward to some silliness, some visiting, and some good food this weekend.  This IS the good life, and I'm so glad for these sweet kids to share it with.  (AAAAUGH!!!  A preposition at the end?  Can I let it go for once?  Watch me.  I can do this.  I'm going to slowly exit out of this without even fixing it.  Now if I can just not hyperventilate while I do.  Deep breath...breathing slowly. THE END.)


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