Welcome to Day One of the Small Steps Make Food Easy Challenge!
First up – I want to congratulate you on joining. Not everyone signs up for opportunities like this.
But you did.
That means something! I’m looking forward to getting to know you and supplying you with info, resources and a stack of inspiration to help you simplify food and therefore, your life.
So let’s dive into today’s topic.
And I’ll start with being honest…. Over the past five years helping women change the food their family eats, one thing has become obvious – many of us find meal prep a bit of a pain. A drain, really, when there’s so many things required of us. On top of that we feel confused about what healthy is, our family’s don’t seem to appreciate our efforts and it’s all too.damn.hard.
So I’ve recorded a super short video for you on why you’ve been thinking about healthy food all wrong – and how to go about it in a completely different way.
Believe this: it can be far easier than you think BUT most of us go around making changes the absolute wrong way. Our brains literally start to protest and take us right back to where we started.
Enjoy the video and taking the actions below.
Oh and when I refer to ‘wholefoods’ – for the record – I’m talking about food as close as possible to its natural state. So the Shopping List you received in the Info Pack (download it here if you haven’t already) is full of what I would call wholefood.
Listen, I’m not a food crazy person. I just want my family to be eating food that is real more often than not. Which is to say, I’m pretty relaxed, and definitely don’t want to instil fear around food in my children. I don’t stick to a particular dietary theory. I don’t exclude food groups (unless they make me feel terrible).
I’m after the best quality food, put together in the simplest way so my family is getting a variety of nutrients and I’m not spending my life in the kitchen.
If you’re down with that you’ll love this week.
Your first job is to enjoy the quick vid above.
And if you’re a person who loves a good mantra – here’s some quotes I want you to keep front and centre throughout the Challenge:
“Small Steps to Big Changes”
“Keep it Simple, Keep it Real, Keep it Fun”
“Have an egg, have a meal”
“Take Imperfect Action”
In fact – here’s a screensaver to download to your phone to remind you!
See you tomorrow,
It’s Day 2 of the Challenge and today we talk STAPLES.
Here’s where I think shows like MasterChef have a lot to answer for! I mean – who said family food needs to be fancy and ever-changing?!
Over the past decade our expectations of food have evolved….. we watch food shows on our TV’s, there’s been an explosion of cookbooks, we hear about all the different dietary theories like paleo/LCHF/Vegan/Raw etc, we read all the blogs and follow all the Facebook Pages, we take part in virtual summits – GAH! All these things have been amazing for ideas and giving us insight into food and health but they have also completely complicated what could be a super manageable task:
Not sure about you, but my Mum had a set menu of weeknight dinners. Schnitzel and chips, Chops and veggies, Pasta, Casserole, Quiche, Roast, homemade pizza.
It wasn’t complicated because Mum worked. It was predictable and there was no expectation that she’d be whipping out fancy dishes. But we sat down at the table every night and we ate as a family. That’s the thing that meant the most.
So when it comes to staple dinners – I want you to give yourself permission to #makefoodeasy and not worry about repetition or ‘boring’ meals or keeping up with the latest recipe you’ve seen on Goop (does anyone, actually!?)
There’s a time for experimentation (and I used to love being in the kitchen creating until ….. #liferightnow) but there’s also the security of knowing you’ve got a plan, it doesn’t require much thought or preparation and the family happily munch away.
So here’s three things I do pretty much every week.
1. Roast a Chicken
2. Make a batch of my Rich Bolognese
3. Whip up the easiest and most delicious Banana Bread.
It sets me up for the week.
(And for my vegetarian friends – a vegan mate of mine replaces the beef mince for lentils in the bolognese and it’s one of her favourite things to eat!)
Keep your staples simple and easy and watch how your week is transformed. Follow the steps below and I’ll see you tomorrow!
We are living in a pretty crazy time. Here’s a few examples of what I mean…
- >> Social Media has created a vortex for poor self-esteem and comparison and “keeping up with the Jones’s”.
- >> Stats say that women are still doing the majority of household and child-rearing work. That’s after thirty years of exponential growth of women entering the paid workforce. There’s literally not enough hours (and there’s all the guilt).
- >> On top of THAT an expectation of instant results. An expectation that when we decide to create change, that that’s all we need (which ends in a self-assessment of being a ‘failure’).
It’s NO WONDER you are here, part of this Challenge working out how to make this essential role as ‘food provider’ easier! You have such little capacity in your life. I get it. You are not alone.
Watch the short video I’ve created for you today with practical ways through the roadblocks that are making food hard for you.
That’s all you need to do! (It is the weekend, after all)
We don’t have to be switched on all the time.
Do something awesome for yourself.
You deserve it.
And if you want to get a head start on your week – make some of those family staples I shared with you yesterday. Set yourself up for a different kind of week.
Pre-chop some veggies – your faves like carrot, capsicum, cucumber, celery – whatever you like. Having veggie sticks on hand to add to lunchboxes, snack on with dip etc would have to be the LEAST glamorous but MOST helpful thing I can do for myself! Remember – it’s the simple things that make the biggest difference.
It’s Monday morning – let’s get our week started!
I don’t need to tell you that breakfast is important. But I’m also not going to tell you that if you don’t have a great breakfast you are a total failure and a very bad person!
Ugh – lose that negative head chatter – it does not help.
I feel like my success in transitioning to a mostly wholefoods diet has been precisely because I wasn’t harsh on myself if I wanted a piece of toast with vegemite. I mean – that and a coffee – was my breakfast every day for literally 8 years.
Cereal always made me feel a bit gross, which I now know is because too much dairy doesn’t agree with me. You know, I think that’s been the most interesting change for me along my wholefoods journey – noticing how my body feels. Not eating food out of habit anymore – gently trying new things and observing how it makes me feel.
And eating for the seasons is so important. Warming foods in winter, cooler foods in summer. It’s OK to mix things up. I drank a lot of juices and smoothies when I was living in the tropics, now that I’m back in a more temperate climate – not so much.
Below you’ll find a downloadable PDF with three super simple breakfast ideas – and if you’ve done your shopping everything should be on standby.
But here’s the kicker – not only would I like you to have a try at making one of these – I’d love you to sit down and eat it! You may sit down for breakfast already, but so many of us put ourselves last in the morning routine.
Sit down and eat!
Make one of the breakfasts.
It’s got to be the thing I hear most from parents. That their kids are fussy, they are not eating vegetables, in fact, there is very little they do eat.
Without a doubt my kids go through phases and I truly feel like the key is to keep relaxed. But, I’m like every other mother giving herself a high five in the kitchen when the kids sit down to a healthy meal and actually eat it.
Every recipe I’ve created has been tested by my kids. And Katherine, the super-star recipe creator in the Small Steps Membership has one of the fussiest boys around. Her recipes are outrageously good.
But inside that Membership we keep it real and I wanted to share a bit of that with you today. The amount of vegetables your kids eat is NOT a reflection on how great a mum you are. Today’s super short vid is a message directly to you, rockstar woman!
And listen, I’ll keep it real with you right now. Here’s a sample of the veggie consumption situation in our house….
Potatoes cooked thin and crisp in the oven
Corn on the cob
Broccoli – roasted to within an inch of its life.
OK – that’s just off the top of my head. There’s a few things they all eat but they have different preferences otherwise.
So here’s my tips for getting veggies into kids.
Is there a dip they love? Could you cut up veggie sticks and let them have a dive into dips?
Can we have some appreciation for the humble fritter? I can not tell you how much I love a good fritter recipe. And I’ve got two available for you below to download. You have the ingredients to make the Sweet Potato and Zucchini Fritters if you followed the Shopping List. They. Are. So. Good!
Make the most of hunger
I can remember Mum sitting us down to watch TV before dinner and giving us carrot and celery sticks to munch on. What a genius! We were starving and she was getting the veggies in before we even hit the table. I do this now too. Imagine my mum voice: “There’s nothing to eat before dinner unless you’d like this” – enter plate of veggies.
All I can say here is that melted cheese makes things better. If your family is dairy tolerant don’t be afraid to make the most of this miracle food (HAHA!). But seriously – good fats make veggies taste great and there’s some really good reasons why adding them is a nutritionally sound thing to do. One word: butter!
OK, this is probably for the mum of younger kids, but mine adored frozen peas and corn in little bowls to pick away at. Now, not so much, but as a toddler snack – brilliant!
I hope they help.
This issue is huge and fussiness can appear for a variety of reasons. I’ve interviewed stacks of experts over the years for my Members on fussy eating because it’s almost a universal issue. You are not alone if you struggle here!
I’ll see you tomorrow for a powerful discussion on detaching from food.
Try the Sweet Potato Fritters or any of the ideas above for upping the veggie consumption.
I wonder if my experience feels familiar….?
I remember thinking that if I could just get through the baby/toddler years (I had three kids in under four years) then life would feel easier.
Then I started an online business so I could work ‘around the kids’ and decided that when I could hire someone to help me life would feel easier.
Then I thought if we could just move down to Melbourne where we had family to support us that life would feel easier.
Now I could potentially think that when the youngest starts school life will feel easier.
BUT IF I DID I WOULD KNOW IT’S A BIG FAT FANTASY!!
Because our outside circumstances never change how we feel. We are responsible for things changing on the inside first.
But we are not going to dive deep into that here – let’s get practical about simplifying your routine with food. But only if you are ready for life to feel easier.
Are you ready to switch up your habits? Are you ready for a little moving and shaking and embracing that a woman who feels relaxed and calm about food does things a little differently?
Today’s quick video talks about the act of simplifying (and why we don’t do it!) as well as the importance of detaching – this is THE THING that will give you relief around food. Please don’t skip this video. I give you the reason for your unhappiness around food… big stuff!
OK – here’s three ways I have radically simplified food for our family:
1. I shop once a week (and then maybe again on a Wednesday for incidentals). I will show you how I do this tomorrow night at our Live Workshop. I do not want to be at the shops 5 x times per week. Just. No! I have way better things to do with my time and it means that every day I am wasting precious brain space thinking about food. So yes, it relies on a plan, but you don’t need to reinvent the wheel week after week. Which leads me to…
2. Having a Foundation meal plan. Something I know I can turn to any time. That I can experiment with, but I have a selection of wholesome breakfasts, lunch ideas, snacks and dinners that I can whip out without even thinking. It’s the best. You can create your own or grab the one I’m sharing live tomorrow night!
3. The share platters. I stopped adding food to my kids plates and expecting them to eat it all. Because someone likes something, the other doesn’t and it all turns into a whinge fest. Gross. Now I add the food in bowls to the middle of the table and they help themselves. It’s a game-changer. But there’s more you need to know about this that I’m sharing tomorrow night.
Tonight – put dinner on the table on a share plate. Get your family to help themselves.