Salad Days

Moms who have been following my blog will know that I’ve gone on a “real food challenge” 😀

Eating healthy food isn’t easy especially when you’ve got chocolate bars, KFC, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and all the other bright and shiny places tantalizing you with their delicious foods.

cherry-tomato-celery-letuce-and-zucchini-salad

However, a few events made me realize NOT to take my health (or my family’s) for granted:

1) Four years ago, my fit and healthy father died from cancer. We lost our dear father and every Christmas, my heart breaks because the kids no longer have Grandpa’s fun and cheery presence at Christmas. And Christmas really isn’t Christmas without my father…

2) Then, I was informed that I had pre-diabetes after the birth of my second child. Heck, I’m only in my mid 30s!

I’ve got to stay healthy and strong for both my kids because I want to be there when they go to school, when they get all grouchy in their teens and when they go to college (hopefully!) or do something useful with their lives. I’d definitely want to stick around to see their boyfriends and girlfriends….

3) Recently, I found out that one of my nicest friends died from a heart attack. He was only 40. I’d only spoken to him a few weeks earlier about his business and we were going to work on a project together.

In our world today, it’s hard to find a genuinely kind and sincere person – in most cases, someone wants something from you. You can imagine how devastated his parents are and the world has lost a wonderful person. Seriously, anyone and everyone who meets him will say that he’s truly a nice guy. Oh yeah, even boyfriends and husbands will like him…

4) When I started working, I had to eat truly awful foods in the common cafeteria that I ended up packing my own sandwiches! And, Hubby thought my sandwiches looked really yummy LOL

Due to all the above, I made a vow to include more fresh fruit and vegetables with our meals.

1. Here’s our first “healthy” breakfast:

  • Deep fried egg on wholemeal bread (processed), 
  • slices of cheddar cheese (processed), 
  • fresh lettuce and tomato with tomato ketchup (processed) and 
  • French mustard (processed!) 

Truly a baby step when I was pregnant but I must have done something right because my little girl loves eating cherry tomatoes and tomato slices 😀

2. A cheese, tomato and lettuce on wholegrain bread sandwich for lunch at work:

Both Hubby and the kids love to watch me prepare food in the kitchen, which is great, because it’s a wonderful chance to EDUCATE them about healthy eating.

tomato-cheese-and-lettuce-sandwich-whole-grain-bread

I was surprised when Hubby said he wouldn’t mind sandwiches for lunch if I packed them for him LOL!

3. Salad for breakfast: Lettuce, carrots (organic!) and tomato with honey mustard and yogurt dressing 

A week ago, I started having salad for breakfast. Hubby would chow down some salad before he rushed off to work while the kids looked on curiously.

My son wouldn’t touch the salad dip with a barge pole but my daughter loves dips! In the end, she chucked the organic carrots and went back to her tomato slices -_-

Yesterday, we had cherry tomatoes (perfect), celery (a bit yucky so I gave it all to the Hubs…) and zucchini (nice with dip). Neither the preschooler nor the toddler liked ANY of them!

I also had a huge bowl of iceberg lettuce but the boy told me he preferred the “dark, green leaves”. Okay!

We have been having fresh vegetables for at least one of our three meals for the past few weeks.

I feel more alert and I’ve also enjoyed the regular bowel movement (sorry for that!!!). Hubs has always loved fruits and veggies thus he’s happy to see his wife eating healthy.

But the best part?

On Mother’s Day, my son asked for the “big, green, one” nestled under a pile of deep fried squid! Both of us were puzzled and when Hubby held up the big slice of lettuce, he nodded!!!

You cannot imagine my joy when he ACTUALLY took the lettuce, took a huge bite, chewed it and ate it. I was ECSTATIC! I took photos and the imp graciously posed for the pic holding a lettuce and a thumbs-up sign LOL He even volunteered himself for a video but I said, no, it’s OK.

Holding my breath throughout the rest of the meal, I watched him crunch it up and even shredded pieces of it to go along with his udon. He finished a HUGE lettuce leaf that was almost as large as his head!

Can you imagine my joy? I have been trying for nearly 5 years trying to get this kid to try lettuce!

When I asked him why he suddenly decided to try it, he said he saw Mummy eating it for breakfast 😀
Imagine me doing the happy dance OK.

I started on this healthy eating journey mostly for Hubby and I – I never thought it would have such a great effect on the kiddos.

If you’re thinking of a healthy diet too, start TODAY. You’ll never know what surprises you’ll get 😉

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  • Shooi

    Hey dear, if you are still kefiring, you can actually make cheese from kefir too. I haven’t tried it but reviews on the web says it tastes very good.
    However, I do make a salad dressing out of kefir. My own recipe ..hehe => Kefir + honey + sesame oil! I love the fragrance of sesame but you can replace that with olive oil. If you have no kefir, you can replace that with yogurt. So now you don have to use store bought yogurt dressing! 🙂

    Maybe it is me hitting the mid-thirties and I start to see more people around me succumbing to ill health. I am getting more obsessed over the “healthiness” of the food I eat and serve to my family. Moving more towards whole foods, and organic if possible, and in the process getting the kids to enjoy a greater variety of healthy food. It is really true that the kids pick up eating habits from their parents. My vegetable hating elder kid is eating so much more greens now and I actually had him finish a huge portion of spinach pizza (with 3 cheeses) yesterday. Hurray to more greens and better health.

    p/s: sorry for the long comment, perhaps i should email you. But i am very happy to see you going on the healthy diet plan! Gambateh!

  • Shooi – Yes, I’m still kefiring for Hubby LOL Glad to see that you’re on to a healthy diet plan too. Definitely gonna stick to it since I see such encouraging results.

    Spinach pizza eh? My boy was reading my blog and he said, “Mmm…slurp, slurp!” hahahaha

    I’m afraid I need to avoid as much sugar as I can. Wanna try an old recipe (if I can remember) my friend taught me. Yogurt recipe to come next 😉

  • wow..your hub is so easy about eating lightly and healthy…

  • chinnee – Wanna know why? I lost almost all of my pregnancy weight but he has gained so much.

    Then, I signed us up for gym (my birthday present to him) and I lost some more.

    Now, he’s getting a bit kiasu that he’s still fatter than me especially since I’d secretly call him “fatty” when the kids are not around LOL 😉

  • Very healthy sandwiches with so much greens and raw veggie, goodie! Kefir is healthy. I really do think that kids can be ‘brainwashed’ or trained to love veggie by eating them by the loads yourself too. My girls are not the veggie loving type but in my household, my mil and I are both health freaks and we graze veggie like we are cows and goats. So it is thru watching, coercion and practice that now, all 3 of my girls love veggie too!

  • Kit

    Health Freak – I remember how impressed I am by how much veggies your girls eat. This far, my kids love stir-fried broccoli, cabbage, french beans, long beans, spinach and xiao bai cai.

    However, they drive me nuts with their food preferences e.g. one loves tomatoes while another DETESTS them. One loves fish in ANY form while another will only take deep fried fish, salmon and NO steamed fish.

    In taking up this challenge, I am hoping to teach them to appreciate all kinds of food, especially fresh fruits and vegetables and other types of real food. Nice to know another health freak 😀

  • woah! you so healthy! I don’t really like salad – I just don’t like the feeling of eating raw vegetables somehow. sigh – I need to go on a diet too but so hard !!!

  • Kit

    jen – I’m not healthy and I don’t like salads either 😉 That’s why I’ve joined a healthy eating challenge. You can join in later when you’re ready…

  • You think it might be the same birth date thing? My son LOVES lettuce too! He’ll order those Subway sandwiches with ONLY LETTUCE…and finish it all! I could not be happier.

  • Kit

    giddy tigress – I don’t know. Mine only STARTED eating lettuce last month but he’s definitely into Subway sandwiches now. I’ve not taken him for any yet since the tot can’t eat sandwiches 😛