Overwhelmed. Scared. Defeated. These are the emotions that hit me like a ton of bricks when I opened the Healthy Family Challenge meal plan for the first time. I believe the voice inside my head was saying things like, “What? There’s no way. How can I prep all this stuff? There’s no time. Rainbow trout tacos for lunch? On a weekday?”
After a solid 30 minutes of wondering what I had gotten myself into, I decided to browse through the fitness plan. I could instantly feel my energy and excitement coming back as I read through all of the fun games and activities that we’re going to try over the next few weeks. It was then that I realized it’s called a ‘challenge’ for a reason. There’s no doubt in my mind that the activity plan is going to be much easier for us to follow than the meal plan.
I like cooking. I don’t love it. I pretty much stick to the basics and some of the tried and true family favourites. We’re a turkey meatball, chicken, shepherd’s pie, spaghetti and breakfast-for-supper kind of family. Meals that contain words like “orecchiette” or recipes that use “delicious” and “kale” in the same title scare me. As a family, we have a lot of room to be more adventurous with food and a lot of reasons to add new, healthier ingredients to our diets.
No time like the present, right? I decided to bite it off in chunks and plan for the first three days only. Once I started going through everything in detail, I realized it wasn’t anywhere near as scary as I thought it was. Things like oatmeal, fruit, seeds, eggs, applesauce and salmon are all things that are easy to buy and prepare. The illusion of complex and time consuming recipes was throwing me off but, in reality, they look very easy and don’t have long lists of ingredients required to make them.
In fact, the kids and I decided to do some advance prep (Miller family milestone number one!) and made the snack clusters on Sunday. The kids loved it when they noticed that there were four ingredients — and four of us — they realized we each got a turn to pour something in and mix. When we were done, I got one “mmm crunchy Mommy”, one “these are really good” and one “that smells like horse poop.” Two outta three ain’t bad.