You can do anything for 10 days right? Well we'll see. I've decided to join others in doing a 10 day shred that involves taking my Juice + supplements and shakes as well as no gluten, dairy, processed foods, sugar (fake or real), no eating after 6pm, and no caffeine. But really? In African culture it's like impossible to not eat after 6pm, because you take a break during the day and then go back to work around 3 or 4, which means meeting with people, language classes, etc take place in the evening and then you have to exercise when it's not blazing hot outside, followed by getting a baby down to eat and bathe all before 8pm, AND THEN you can try and make dinner and enjoy it before passing out on the bed. So yeah, needless to say we don't eat until 9pm, which is not ideal, but reality. But, it's been good to help us go hungry a little bit during the night so hopefully when the 10 days is over we won't need to eat as big of portions in the evening, and even better if we can figure out how NOT to eat at 9pm.
I'm also reading a book called "French Kids Eat Everything" by Karen Le Billon (am American who married a French man). As I dive into her stories I can totally relate to when I was a kid. I hated vegetables and really anything not from a drive-thru. But I no longer think that's because I just thought it tasted it better, but instead it was because I didn't have vegetables prepared with flavor, spices, and healthy fats for me to learn to enjoy. Growing up it was the "eat it or don't get dessert" trick or the more poputlar "eat it or you don't leave the table." No problem, I'll sit here all night before I eat 10 boiled brussel sprouts...I mean yuck!
Our food system has so much work to be done, we can't get gourmet meals in pre-school like the French can, but we can do our best to start teaching our kids to enjoy flavors from as early as 4 months. So that's what we have been doing with Ezra. We have been introducing him to new flavors like peach compote with mint and apricot compote with vanilla bean, all homemade. I'm not trying to be granola here folks, I'm just trying to be French. :)
So as I read this book and think about Ezra's clean start to food, it's got me realizing how much it plays into my struggles with food today. Part of our desire to overeat and eat bad things stems from what we were taught to eat as a child. I mean when I was in elementary school we didn't have a cafeteria so we got a choice of ordering McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, Grandy's, etc. I kid you not people, this was our daily lunch! I like to think America has evolved a little bit since then in our choices for our kid's lunches, but who knows. So if you have kids and are on this journey to eating healthy yourself I highly recommend Le Billion's book. I also recommend for anyone with babies to check out Bebe Gourmet. It has some great recipes and explanations for recipes for your baby from 4 months and up. It's also based on a French diet, but adapted for Americans. Because I'm just not sure I'll ever get up to the level of serving foie gras to my kid (or myself)...
That said, with the #shred10 I am posting a few of my favorite recipes, and some honest truths along the way. You can follow along on insta stories. First up, is an amazing zesty brussell sprout-potato-chicken zinger and my new favorite shake combo berry lemon cake batter.
ZESTY PAPRIKA CHICKEN WITH CITRUS BRUSSEL SPROUTS AND POTATOES
(taken and adapted from the Healthy Living Revolution Cookbook, pg 56)
1½ lb brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
4 small shallots, quartered (we used onions since we can't get shallots here)
1 lb baby potatoes, quartered
1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil, divided
1 tsp salt, divided
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1) Preheat to 450°.
2) Zest the lemon and the orange. Then thinly slice the fruit.
3)In a large bowl, toss brussel sprouts, shallots (or onions), potatoes, lemon and orange slices with 1 Tbsp oil, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper.
4) Pour onto a large baking sheet.
5) In a small bowl, mix together garlic, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp black pepper, paprika, thyme, zest and 2 tsp oil. Brush over the chicken.
6) Place chicken onto the baking sheet in between the brussel sprouts.
7) Roast for 20 to 25 minutes. Brussel sprouts should be tender. If the chicken is done but vegetables are not tender, place the chicken on a plate and cover with foil. Continue to cook the vegetables until tender.
Berry Lemon Cake Batter Smoothie
1 - 1.5 cups of dairy alternative (I used coconut milk for this one)
1 scoop of Juice + Vanilla (or protein powder of your choice, but the vanilla flavor gives it the cake batter taste)
1 Tablespoon of Chia Seeds
1 Tablespoon of Flax Seeds
1 drop of essential oil lemon (I use Young Living because I know they are approved to digest)
A handful of frozen berries like blueberries, raspberries, etc.