Got to Love Greek Food: Wellness Diary Week 2

As you may have seen on my Pintrest board last week, I pinned and cooked some amazing meals last week.  I made many Asian themed foods for lunch and dinner, and some yummy quiches for breakfast.  Unfortunately, one of my most predominant flaws, lack of consistency, showed it’s ugly face and I cheated quite a bit.  From eating Chick-fil-a with the kids, rather than packing a prepared meal, to binging all weekend on restaurant food (thanks Hooters, Chilis, and Tony’s Pizza), I should feel ashamed of myself, but I don’t.  

The only thing I can do, is improve this week.  If I make excuses or beat myself up over it, I’ll stay inconsistent and unhealthy.  I have to improve my mood by getting back to work!  So, I started Monday with an awesome workout and have a class scheduled every day this week, except Friday and Sunday, because every day is just crazy talk.

This week’s food prep theme is Greek/Mediterranean.  I use themed food each week for two reasons; First, I am expertly inconsistent so, new foods each week keep me interested and make me want to eat them (most of the time).  Second, all the recipes use similar ingredients so my food bill stays reasonable, even though I’m using fresh, healthy ingredients.  

I never stick to specific diets, I just try to eat healthy, but I always do a little research before I prep each week.  Here’s what I found on Mediterranean diets:  A mediterranean diet focuses on less protein and lots of vegetables.  Since the recipes have no salt and oil replaces butter, it’s a heart healthy diet that has also been linked to reduce risk of cancer, Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s.  Last night, I made a tomato, basil, artichoke chicken with sautéed lemon, garlic spinach.  The younger kids screamed, “Ew!” while my oldest   said it looked like a gourmet meal!  I pushed the veggies aside and cut up their chicken for a meal everyone LOVED!  

On Sunday, I prepped Greek salad and rice bowls for my lunches, but I didn’t prepare anything for breakfasts.  That’s a big no, no for me because I’m not a breakfast person.  Nothing ready, means I eat nothing, or I eat crap.  Today, I had cold pizza left over from the weekend… Inconsistency flawed, I don’t know what to tell you.

Life is about balance – at least that’s what I keep telling myself!

I ate that strawberry donut on Sunday… Yummy!

It’s only Tuesday, ya’ll.  If you’d like to see if I make it through this week and all the moments mentioned above, check out my youtube channel this Friday when I post my weekly wellness diary.  I’m sure it will be filled with flaws that should make you feel better about your own wellness journey!  

YouTube:  youtube.com/expertlyflawed

For recipes check out my Pintrest Board:  Week 2 Flawed Wellness 

 

 

 


 

 

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Diet Flaws and Some Must Needed Changes

I generally eat healthy and my kids enjoy a variety of food, but I have some serious health flaws.  I love a fast, easy meal, even if it is terrible for me, I don’t eat breakfast, and I hate going to the gym.  Sometimes my car is filled with fast food bags and I hate myself for it.  Other times I’m blasting my mom of the year recipes on Facebook and making my kid’s school lunches the envy of their friends.  Why can’t I be more consistent?  Because I’m expertly flawed, of course, but here’s my attempt to try in 2017.

  1. Stop eating out

Sometimes I actually convince myself that I’ve been so productive that I deserve to be treated to a meal someone else cooks for me.  Other times, I convince myself that I’m just too tired to cook a meal for myself and my family.  Either way, some weeks we eat out more than we cook and that needs to change!  Pintrest get ready, because I’m coming for you!  I will be pinning recipes and actually cooking them!  Night one Baja fish Tacos… Yum! One night a week I will treat myself.

  1. Eat Breakfast!

I’m guilty of running out the door without breakfast.  Most days I purposely skip it and have even been guilty of not making my kids eat breakfast as well.  I’m not sure if there’s something chemical to not wanting to eat so early in the morning but it seems so since they couldn’t care about this important meal either.  I’ve heard nutritionists, coaches and my nagging husband say that it’s the most important meal of the day.  It jumpstarts your metabolism and gets everything moving.  So, I started the New Year off right and bought some yummy breakfast foods at the grocery store.  My breakfast is a piece of whole wheat toast with almond butter and a smoothie.  I’m still struggling with finding healthy breakfast foods my kids will eat.  Share some of your favorites with me (here)

  1.  Sweat at the gym, not over eating clean all the time

I don’t have any gluten free requirements or allergies so why do I obsess over eating clean all the time.  I obsess over it so much, I sometimes skip a meal (or stop and get something completely unhealthy) just to rebel against the cutting and prepping that preparing fresh food requires.  This DOES NOT mean that I’m going to abandon fresh foods completely, I’m just not going to sweat it if I include carbs like whole wheat bread or brown rice lunch or dinner.  AND FRUIT!  Screw the sugar… I’m eating fruit dammit!

4.  Exercise for an hour a day 4-6 days per week

Eating right is only half the battle… and all that blather.  I know I have to get my exercise on if I want to feel good mentally.  Plus, I’ve noticed that when I’m in a regular workout routine, I naturally want to eat better.  After all, why suffer through an hour of pure pain, when one fast food sandwich will throw it all away?  

5.  Stop being so hard on yourself (period).

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Why You Must Defend Public Education

Three months ago, I quit my job as public school teacher… Not because I had tough students, because I did, and THEY WERE MY WHY.

Not because I had too many papers to grade or lessons to plan, because I did, but the growth of many, meant more than my personal time off.

Not because I wasn’t getting paid enough, or because my insurance benefits barely covered my health care, or because I felt undervalued…

I quit because education is no longer about our students, it’s about funding and profits.  

While many government officials argued for charter schools, Arne Duncan, President Obama’s Secretary of Education, fought for public education. Unfortunately, this meant more regulations and public schools scrambled to train teachers on the new Common Core Standards and accommodate the testing required to show growth.

The tug-o-war for growth versus proficiency was literally fought in the classrooms of teachers trying to understand what exactly was expected of them.  Students suffered because teachers constantly had to adapt to these new changes sent down from politicians and lawmakers.  Teachers suffered because they were a one man dog and pony show and ultimately deprived of their pay raises and schools suffered as many didn’t receive funding.  

To say public education needs some help is an understatement, but the value of public education is strong.

The value of education comes from providing a safe, stable environment where our kids are taught by highly qualified teachers who lead them in creative, intellectual lessons necessary for college and most importantly, for life.  

No matter their background, students with varying abilities, from many religions and cultures are entitled to a free education in the hopes that our society will be better off due to an educated, civilized youth.  While students now seem to be becoming better at taking tests than engaging, we need to find a balance between accountability and preparing our kids for life.  

Defunding public school and replacing it with unregulated charter schools is not the answer to our problems in public education.  This has been proven time and time again, but most prominently by Betsy DeVos, Trump’s nominee for Education Secretary.  In her home state of Michigan, Detroit’s shift to charter schools under the promise of “more choice” has left students without a stable place for education as many schools have closed taking parent and federal money with them.  Students at her Detroit schools have shown lower literacy rates, many reaching the 8th grade before they can read.  More options have meant shifting schools more than 20 times for primary students who are only seeking stability and qualified teachers.  Finally, students have been denied due to disabilities, both physical and intellectual creating civil rights violations.  Allowing schools to be selective is the definition of discrimination and will result in segregated schools again.  We cannot move backwards!  

Education is about opportunity.  We must defend public education and ensure that it continues to be a shelter to our passionate teachers and their students who are our future. 

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Mom, Why Is The First Lady Naked?

After googling Melania Trump, my daughter ran to me with questions I didn’t want to answer.  Nude photos, some with her and another woman led to all kinds of questions about our values and femininity.  I’ve raised my daughter to feel like she can come to me with questions regarding sexuality but often times, I find myself stumbling to find the right words.  My flawed response and deeper thought on the issue may help other parents navigate these questions.

“How can our First Lady have pictures like that?  Didn’t they check online before they voted?”  Hmmmmm, I have to figure out a way to remind my daughter that not all public figures are role models and respond as unbiased as possible (even though I share her shock).  I want her to have female role models whose most powerful weapon is their mind, not their bodies.  “Once something is online, it can’t be unseen.  Even if it’s deleted by the user it’s most likely been shared, retweeted, etc.  I’m not sure whether she is proud of those pictures or whether she regrets them but you and I know that being famous for your mind is way better than being famous for your body.  Stick to googling your favorite role models, like J.K. Rowling.”

“Ohhhhh!  I looooove her!  That’s so embarrassing though!”  I mean people from other countries can see our First Lady naked!” “MMhmm.”  That’s all I got.

“So, is she like, a lesbian?”  

“No, she’s married to Donald Trump.”  

“Well then why is she kissing a woman in the pictures?”  

Clearly she has not been introduced to porn, thank God! My internal struggle:  Men like lesbian porn but  I can’t say men like lesbian porn to my 12 year old! She might think she needs to do things against her beliefs just to attract men.  I could say she might have been an actress and being a lesbian was her role. – START AGAIN –  “Well, maybe she acted in a movie where she was a lesbian or posed as one at a modeling shoot.  In real life, you know that being a lesbian isn’t something people do to be sexy or cool, it’s who they are and it’s about love.”

“Uh huh, but why did she need to be naked?”

“Probably because that was part of the role she was paid for.”  

Uh, isn’t that called prostitution?”

Great, now I’ve somehow made my daughter believe that our First Lady was a prostitute.  I can’t tell her that women sell themselves out all the time for the pleasure of men. A $12 billion dollar porn industry proves that, and since I have no idea what Melania’s motives were, I’ve got to lessen the impact of her naked photos by putting her celebrity into perspective.   “No, prostitution is having sex with other people for money.  I’m not sure why she chose to show her body.  Celebrities sometimes do things that aren’t acceptable in real life.”

“If a girl at my school did that nobody would care why, she’d just be called a slut.”  

There’s that word.  The word that fills young girls with fear because it comes at the cost of their reputation.  The word that elicits confusion because she’s not yet comfortable with her sexuality and can’t determine what actions make her a slut. Is it okay to like a boy at her age?  Hold hands with a boy without others assuming that she’s having sex with him?  Kiss a boy without him expecting it to go further?  So she does nothing and eventually ends up being labeled prude, or one of today’s favorite “insults”, a lesbian, making her question her sexuality even more.  Back to sending a picture, “It’s NEVER okay for a young girl, or anyone else for that matter, to post or send a naked picture of her.  That’s child pornography.  After college, if you want to become a nude model, let’s talk again.”

“WHAT?!?!  I don’t want to become a nude model!  I’m never showing my body to anyone.”  Yes!  I raised a strong, independent girl!  Wait, is she ashamed of her body?  She just got boobs and her curves are starting to fill in.  Has she been harassed or embarrassed because of these changes? I want her to have the confidence to be proud of her naked body but the values not to show it to just anyone.  “Trusting someone with your body is a HUGE deal.  You should be proud of your body but I’m glad you’re taking responsibility to protect it.  I think one day you’ll show it to your husband.”

“Ew, Mom. Gross!  And I would NEVER marry someone like Donald Trump?”  

“Why?”  

“Um, he treats women like poop and only cares about their body, and business.  He probably only married her because she posed naked.”

“Do you think that’s why men marry girls?”

“No, I think it’s why men like Donald Trump marry girls.  I’m going to marry someone who’s as smart as me… and makes me laugh… and is home at night to brush my hair…”

One of the hardest things about parenting a tween is the complex balance between preserving innocence and preparing her for reality.  It’s even more complex when reality contains social diseases that she will most likely experience but are not acceptable.  I hope that she never feels pressure to show off her body, or pressure to hide her body.  I hope she always knows that her mind is more valuable than her body, and that she never has to sacrifice her beliefs because they don’t fit into the traditional mold of a woman.  

My job as a parent is not to pass on my belief that another human being is lesser because of their choices, but to make sure that my children understand that self respect and integrity are not only values that are important to our family, but to being a woman.

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