Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How do you eat when you're out of town?

Welcome to the July Carnival of Natural Parenting: You Are What You Eat

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about their struggles and successes with healthy eating. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


I've never felt so good in my life, from the time Luke has been eating solids until now. When he first started eating solids we wanted to make sure he was eating mostly organic and fresh foods. We decided on baby led weaning, so we've been just feeding him whatever we eat in manageable pieces. This meant we too would be eating mostly organic and fresh foods. I can honestly say, I feel like this is the best I've felt, ever.
To take it up another notch, my husband found a blog called Mark's Daily Apple. Then we bought his book and read it. The guy talks about eating a 'primal' diet of mostly meats, veggies, fruit, nuts, eggs and not as many carbs... you know hunter-gatherer type meals. We've been doing that for a couple weeks now. I couldn't tell any difference until I went to visit my parents this past weekend. We had pizza, cereal, bread, all the types of carbs I've avoided for the last few weeks. Don't get me wrong, the food was really good. My body just wasn't used to it. I had gas every night, all night long. Then, I didn't really even want anything to eat because I knew it was going to upset my stomach. I even said no to cake at my grandma's birthday party, something I never do. But my stomach just couldn't handle the sugar and extra carbs. I just couldn't wait to have a salad with chicken or eggs with veggies.
This is probably the biggest struggle. How do you eat when you are away from home? There's all this wonderful good food but it's bad for you. It's greasy delicious pizza. It's the fantastic cake at Grandma's birthday party. It's all the food you missed when you were 'eating good'. We're not total fanatics, we just try and do 80% good, 20% bad. But if you get used to eating a certain way, then don't for a few days, it hurts.
But even harder, what do you feed your baby when you aren't at home? Usually I have an array of snacks for Luke all the time... cheese, yogurt, fresh fruits, dried fruits, etc. But when we're out of town or somewhere else it makes it harder. Luke's getting used to having more than just breastmilk all day. So when he doesn't get those snack times, he gets hungry, like real-food hungry. With baby led weaning, you give them what you eat, but what if I'm eating food that's not really that healthy? Needless to say, Luke didn't eat too much healthy food this weekend. He really didn't eat too much at all (thank goodness he's still nursing).
Maybe I need to get used to making sure I have snacks ready. Or when we're out of town, make sure to stop to pick up some things for him. This changes everything. It was way easier when I could just nurse and not worry about food. I love food, but it's become so hard in so many different ways.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated July 13 with all the carnival links.)

  • Why I Love The Real Food Community — Much like many people who follow AP/NP values, Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite! takes the parts of the "real food" philosophy that work for her family and leaves the rest. (@bfmom)

  • Feeding a Family of Six — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children gives helpful tips for feeding a family of six.

  • Starting Solids at 6 Months — Did your doctor recommend that you give your baby cereal? Sheryl at Little Snowflakes discusses how whole foods are so much healthier (and more delicious) than traditional cereal. (@sheryljesin)

  • Am I What I Eat? — Andrea!!! at Ella-Bean & Co. has figured out a way to avoid grocery stores nearly altogether.

  • Are We Setting Our Kids Up To Fail? — Megan at Purple Dancing Dahlias found that cutting out the junk also transformed her sons' behavior problems.

  • Changing your family's way of eating — Lauren at Hobo Mama has techniques you can try to move your family gradually toward a healthier diet. (@Hobo_Mama)

  • Real Food — What kinds of fake foods do you eat? And why?! Lisa C. at My World Edenwild talks about why she chooses real food.

  • A Snackaholic’s Food Battle — Julie at Simple Life wants to stop snacking and get into the old ways of cooking from scratch and raising her own food. (@homemakerjulie)

  • Food, Not Fight — Summer at Finding Summer doesn't want her kids to grow up like her husband: hating everything green. (@summerm)

  • How Do You Eat When You Are out of Town? — Cassie at There's a Pickle In My Life wants some tips on how to eat healthy when you are out of town.

  • Carnival of Natural Parenting: Food! — Sybil at Musings of a Milk Maker hopes that by serving her children healthy, balanced meals, they will become accustomed to making good food choices. (@sybilryan)

  • There's No Food Like Home's — NavelgazingBajan at Navelgazing revels in the Bajan food of her upbringing. (@BlkWmnDoBF)

  • This Mom's Food Journey — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment made a journey from not paying attention to food to growing her own.

  • Who Knew Eating Was So Hard? — The challenges involved in changing to healthier eating habits take on a whole new dimension when you have a child who has difficulties eating. kadiera at Our Little Acorn shares her own experiences. (@kadiera)

  • Loving Food — Starr at Earth Mama truly believes food is her family's medicine and is willing to spend days preparing it the traditional way.

  • Food Mindfulness — Danielle at born.in.japan details how her family spends money on each category of food. (@borninjp)

  • Food for Little People — Zoey at Good Goog wants to bless her daughter with happy traditions built around good food. (@zoeyspeak)

  • Eat Like a Baby — Have you been told that you should not equate food with love? Kate Wicker at Momopoly shows us why that's not necessarily true. (@Momopoly)

  • Food — Deb at Science@Home tries to teach her children three rules to help them eat a healthy diet. (@ScienceMum)

  • Healthy Eating Lactose-Free — MamanADroit gives us tips on how to eat healthy if you are lactose intolerant (or just don’t want cow milk). (@MamanADroit)


Dionna @ Code Name: Mama said...

If we are at a hotel, I try to find one with a fridge, then we hit a store as soon as we get into town. At least then I have control over meals/snacking. If we are just out of town for the day, I have no problems bringing a cooler/bag of healthy snacks. This is also nicer on the wallet than eating out :)

Lindsay said...

I'll be interested to see what tips you get, because we're wondering the same thing-we are going to my brother's wedding, and I'm sure it won't be the type of food my son's used to! I may just pick up a couple bananas and bring a bag for trash and a plastic knife for cutting! Then he can at least have that for breakfast.

Cassie said...

Yeah I try and bring good snacks too. But it's really hard when you have to eat dinner at your parents or relatives houses who just don't care or know about good food. Luckily my parents are pretty healthy and it's pretty easy. But there's still the pizza night and grandmas home cooking.

Lisa C said...

Absolutely bring your own snacks. When we go out of town, I bring healthy organic snacks for Michael. When we visited my aunt, they had spaghetti for dinner one night, which he ate a little of, and then he topped off with grapes and avocado that I had brought. The next day was pizza for dinner, and he barely touched it. Although he was all over the hot dogs we had for lunch!

I'm seriously considering bringing my own butter when we had dinner at my in-laws because she only had margarine, and it totally grosses me out. But what if you don't know what's going to be served? I say, load your plate with whatever is the healthiest option, and go easy on the other stuff.

Megan said...

I struggle with this as well. I try to bring a jar of homemade yogurt with me and usually some of my soaked whole wheat bread. This last trip I made granola before we went and brought grapes as well. One trip we got some beef jerky and beef sticks from a local meat market. But during our stay I try to pick out the best from a meal to feed my daughter. If there's lasagna, I try to pick out the meat in it for her to eat and leave the noodles. I also load things up with butter so she gets some good fat. Unfortunately, I just have to bite my tongue a lot too. There are certain things I definitely say no to, but sometimes I just let it slide.

One thing's for sure: I'm always very grateful to be home again to my own food, no matter how much fun we had!

kadiera said...

We bring our own snacks (and pack picnic style lunches) on trips. when visiting my father, we purchase things we know he won't have to add to each meal - I find a big pile of steamed veggies with smaller portions of whatever passes for a meal there works wonders

Juliana @ Shakti Mama said...

Oh, I know your struggle so well. We eat the same sort of diet as you do ... especially protein. Too much carbs and I feel awful. We've learned to buy food we want to take to our parents' house, otherwise we might get food we don't really want and we always end up feeling sick or something. Unless they cook the sort of meals we enjoy, which Jeremy's mom certainly attempts to do for us, though she's not very good about buying organic produce ... though she knows we will only eat local meat, so she buys that for us ... otherwise we won't eat what she has, period point blank. Great post ... I've been thinking about writing about my own relationship to food.

Cassie said...

We try to bring snacks. Its just so hard because we eat wig so many different people when we visit family.
Juliana, isn't it crazy about the carbs? We just started eaing primally about a month ago. I cant believe I can already tell he difference, we aren't even that strict. I cant wait to read your post about food

Lauren Wayne said...

I totally know what you're talking about. I have the worst trouble with it, too. I remember when we were vegetarians at home but would eat meat if relatives served it that I always ended up constipated on every visit to family. My body just couldn't take the switch to the type of diet that puts a big hunk of meat as the centerpiece of the meal.

The only tips I have are to try to eat at least two of the daily meals on your own terms, away from the others if you have to. You can buy your own food from the store so it's not an imposition, and "blame" it on your baby for why, just saying that's what he's used to or something. I know I feel better if I get some lighter fare more like I'm used to for breakfast and lunch, even if dinner's on the heavier side. I also make sure we buy our own drinks (like whole milk instead of skim).

I've had some luck with not offending people if I say I'm on a diet to excuse why I won't eat certain things, but if you're not, I don't know that you'd want to lie outright. But you might say you're trying a certain way of eating and would like to stick with it, for health reasons, or some such.

Melodie said...

That's so tricky! Perhaps you could fib and say your doctor has your child on a special diet and you want to do it along with him for support but along the way you found that your body responds really well to it and now you have trouble digesting other foods. If you turn it into a "medical" instead of "personal" issue, some people can more readily accept that. Good luck!

Kat said...

I know what you mean about BF being so much easier! My little guy has food sensitivities and now figuring out snacks for him on an ordinary day is tricky, let alone when we travel! We've taken a few trips and I just bring our own food to where ever we are staying. It's usually with family so we can use their fridge. And when we told my aunt about his diet she gladly made us wheat free pasta and cooked to meet our needs wherever possible (we were so grateful!). I like Lauren's tip about trying to eat your "own food" as much as possible...it's what we do too. It's easy to explain why-just say it's because of the baby. Hehehe. Good luck!

Sybil Runs Things said...

This is EXACTLY what I struggle with! My kids don't have food sensitivities, but I do try to be conscientious about what they eat. Me, on the other hand, I don't do gluten or soy and then also try to eat more whole grains, less processed, blah blah blah. It is very hard.
A couple to tips to share: carry a small cooler and instead of looking for foods at delis or fast-food place or something, go to the grocery store. If you are going to a party or a dinner, bring a substantial dish to share so that you know for sure there is something to eat. Or if you're staying at a house for a while, go grocery shopping. Offer to prepare meals.
But you know, I totally get it, it's so hard!

Kate Wicker said...

I really struggle with this as well, especially since we're frequently visiting the grandparents' since they don't live too far. I had to gently talk to them about not always spoiling my daughters with high-sugar foods devoid of any nutritional value. I understand they want to treat their grandchildren but because we see them so often, I had to set some ground rules. Like others, I also do bring snacks when traveling.

Cassie said...

Lauren and Melodie and Kat- I like the idea of saying I have to eat this way because of my baby. It's a good idea. It's just so hard when it's family... especially when you've been eating that way your entire life with them. Then you go off on your own and change. Oh well, bringing healthful snacks seems like the way. Maybe I just need to learn to bring more. It's hard because I'm just in that transition phase between my baby needing more snacks as opposed to just nursing all the time. I just forget. I guess I'm not used to being a Mom of a kid yet!
Mamamilkers- yeah we actually did that last time on the road. We all were just craving meat and veggies... so we just said that we'd cook dinner. It worked out wonderfully because my parents didn't have to cook. My parent's aren't really the problem- they eat healthy. It's just seeing all the other relatives and all the desserts and junk food.
Kate- I wonder if I'm going to have to do that sometime too. My inlaws don't live too far away and I know they treat my niece to lots of icecream and stuff. But, I'm ok with that as long as it's not too frequent. I guess I just have to see how frequent it becomes.
Thanks for all the comments. I don't think I've ever had this many on one post before haha