Purple Soup

Yep, that’s right. I made purple soup last night. I’ve been on this soup kick since the weather started getting cooler. While Pinning soup recipes, I randomly saw this amazing photo on Pinterest of a mysterious purple soup. Of course the link only brought me to a food photography website – there was no recipe. So I Googled purple soup and pulled my usual recipe twist where I look at a couple of different recipes for the same thing, take out all the weirdo ingredients (or stuff I don’t like) and make up a slightly new recipe that’s all my own.

Viola! I made Borscht, a Russian peasant soup made from cabbage and beets. Sounds yucky, but I’ve had Borscht in a few different Russian restaurants in San Francisco and it’s good. Although, I don’t remember any of the bowls I ate being purple. Guess that’s where the red cabbage comes into play. I’m not a big fan of beets, but I noticed that when I make soups that get blended at the end of the recipe, my kids eat it up. Vegetables and all. So I’m experimenting with what kind of vegetables I can get into their healthy little bodies.

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Purple Soup in a red bowl.

As you can see, I’ll never make a living as a food photographer. In fact, they might pay me not to take pictures of food. It’s hard to see the purple color since I only have red bowls in my house, but you get the picture. So, do you think my kids ate it?

No way! It was absolutely horrible! Gah! I spit my spoonful right out of my mouth. In 8 years of marriage, this is the first meal that my husband wouldn’t eat. Even when he doesn’t like something very much, he’ll still eat it, but not this time! I got a, “I’m sorry, honey. I know you worked hard on this.” Then he got up and heated up some leftovers. Caylie tried a spoonful and then laughed while she pushed the bowl away from her. Chase said, “Yummy in my tummy; it’s delicious mommy.” When I asked him if he wanted more he said, “No thank you, I’ll have some peanut butter.” Peanut butter sounds good, kid. Sounds really good!

And here I was, all excited to post my first foodie blog, recipe and all. I’ll spare you. Don’t eat purple soup.

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My Whole 30 Challenge

Ugh! Just typing that title makes me want to eat a bag of Jalapeño potato chips because I know that I’ll be feeling deprived of flavor for the next 30 days.

For those of you who have never heard of the Whole 30, I’ll try to break it down for you. It is a 30 day program in which I will be cutting out all “psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups.” This is supposed to give my body time to heal from any damage those food groups have caused and to reset my metabolism. The website outlining the program claims that if I follow the guidelines it will change my life.

For 30 days I will only be eating whole foods. That means meat, eggs, seafood, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds and good fats like olive oil. That’s it. What I won’t be eating for 30 days is sugar of any kind (honey, syrup, etc), dairy, grains, legumes, white potatoes, alcohol, MSG or sulfites (which are preservatives).

Why am I doing this? I’ve heard it can break a sugar addiction, which I most certainly have. I’m already gluten free so my grains have been limited. When I started paying attention to what I was eating, it was still the starchy food that I was reaching for over the veggies and protein. I don’t drink, so the alcohol won’t be a problem at all. I even think the dairy won’t be too tough to cut out. But white potato, any added sugar and legumes. Yeah, that’s going to get rough. The program claims it will change my life and change the way I think about food, so I think its worth the effort.

Why am I doing this now? I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while, but I kept putting it off and putting it off. It’s so restrictive! And I have a weekly grocery budget that I need to stay within. Adding potato and beans is a cheap way to fill out a meal when you don’t want to use too much meat. The biggest reason I decided to start this now is this: yesterday my 3 year-old son told me I was fat. Ouch. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words like that from my kid? It hurt me. I cried. And I realized that I can’t keep putting this off. I’m going to do it starting tomorrow.

I’m not going to blog about it every day, but every Monday I will post a weekly update. I’ll tell you how I’m feeling, what I’m eating and whatever else comes up while I’m detoxing from all those disruptive (but oh so yummy) food groups. Wish me luck!

Thank You, Thank you very much.

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Can someone, anyone, tell me how to teach my kids some gratitude? I know, I know, being a mom is a thankless job and waah, waah, waah to me. But really. I need a thank you over here. And it needs to come out of the mouths of the little people I brought into this world with my own blood, sweat and screams.

Yesterday, by the time Mike got home from work, I had reached that critical level of stay-at-home momness. You know it: Defcon 5. As in, this bitch is gonna blow if you don’t back up off me. “Get away from me!” Yeah, I said it. I needed my kids to get the heck away from me and not talk to me for a good 12+ hours. “Mommy needs alone time” was a complete understatement. I actually *gasp* questioned why I ever wanted to have kids in the first place. Lucky for the other 3 people in my family, Wednesday night is grocery shopping night. And mommy goes solo.

You wouldn’t hire a maid to clean your house and not tip her, right? You don’t stiff your waitress when you go out to eat, do you? (There’s a special place in hell for those of you who do.) You wouldn’t go to a friend’s house for dinner and forcefully spit your food onto your plate, loudly exclaiming that it’s disgusting, would you? No, you’d tip your maid and waitress. You’d probably thank them as well. You’d eat the dinner your friend made whether you liked it or not and you’d warmly thank her for inviting you over. For taking the time to cook a meal for you. Out of the generosity of her great big heart.

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So why is it that I can’t get a thank you out of at least one of my two children? I pick up after them, cook for them, clean their clothes, clean their stinky little bodies, read them books, color with them, take them to the movies occasionally, go on play dates, take them to the beach, the lake, the playground. Do I get a thank you? No. Today, I picked the kids up from camp and took them to the movie theater to see Monster’s University. We ordered nachos and fries and sodas, stuff I rarely let them eat. As we’re leaving the theater, my son sees the concession stand. “I want a treat!!” “Sorry, we just filled up on junk. We’re leaving,” I tell him, trying to tug him out the door. “I want a treat!” he screamed in his best belligerent three year old voice. “Didn’t you have a great time at the movie? Didn’t you just tell me your tummy was full of french fries and soda?” Apparently not. Instead of a thank you or a “I had a great time” which I would take in its place, I got a pouting, crying kid who told me that he never gets anything that he wants.

You know what kid? Join the damn club. Mom doesn’t get what she wants either. She doesn’t like picking up your wet towels from the floor, digging under your bed for your dirty underwear so she can wash it, or hunting down your sister who has disappeared from the house. Mom does it because someone has to. And all she wants is a thank you, thank you very much.

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Eat it, please?

When I was a kid, my brother was the picky eater of the family. My mom catered to him with breakfast and lunch, always making him his favorite things to eat. Like a mustard and mayonnaise sandwich (yes he ate this regularly) and french toast or pancakes. But at dinner time, she made one meal for the family. And most nights, my brother refused to eat dinner. My parents would always say, “Well, I guess you’re going to go hungry because that’s all there is to eat.” Later, I would see my brother sitting in the living room eating a big bowl of cereal and I would think, “My mom is such a sucker. Of course he’s not going to eat dinner because he knows he’ll just get cereal later if he doesn’t like it.”

Fast forward 25 years later and here I am trying to get my kids to regularly eat well balanced meals. It’s definitely a struggle. And why is this? Don’t these kids know how good they have it? Custom-made omelets or real oatmeal and fresh fruit for breakfast, anything they can think of for lunch, and homemade dinners every night that take me, at least, a half hour to make, if not longer. No TV dinners in my house! And do you think that they eat these meals? No. It’s a crap shoot as to what they will eat and when. Sometimes they’ll devour a meal, but the next time I serve it, they refuse to even take one bite. It’s beyond frustrating!

Tonight I slow cooked a pot roast with red potatoes, carrots and a quartered sweet onion. The whole house smells divine. The meat was falling apart on our forks. The kids ate nothing. Not one bite of a carrot. Not one bite of potato or roast. And now, they are begging for food. We use the tried and true phrase from my parents’ table that “this is all there is to eat and if you don’t eat it, you’re going to bed hungry.” And I know that if they are truly hungry, they’ll eat it, right?

So why am I sneaking the kids a banana when my husband isn’t looking? Because I can’t stand the thought of my kids going hungry.

But I’ll never feed them cereal. Because that would just make me a sucker.