Thursday, October 27, 2011

Kitchen Makeover, Paleo Style

Who needs a breadbox when you don't eat bread? 

For that matter, why have a toaster, much less a toaster AND a toaster oven taking up space on your counter? I have a very small kitchen. The woman who designed and built our house lived alone, and apparently didn't consider that someone who had to cook for more than one person would ever inhabit this kitchen. That's why we have the smallest refrigerator available on the market (just TRY to cram enough food for a 15 year boy into a fridge that's shorter than I am!), and very little counter space. So when the opportunity comes along to increase my available food preparation area, that's something I should jump at.

Voila, one day recently it hit me: I don't need any of these bread-altering implements, because I no longer eat bread. What a freeing concept. So away the appliances went to a bottom shelf somewhere and suddenly I have a whole lot more counter space than I've had in the 12 years we've lived here. NICE. Since I spend a lot more time cutting vegetables and meat these days, it's great to have the extra space to do so.

Paleo Update:

While I'm at it, a paleo eating update might be in order: I'm still eating mostly paleo, I say mostly because we buy local raw goat's milk and I occasionally put that in my smoothies or coffee. I will also eat rice from time to time, especially if we go for my favorite Thai restaurant and their salmon-pineapple curry. Yummmm.....

My kids don't eat paleo, but they recently transitioned to eating gluten-free. Realistically, although they do eat some bread substitutes (I might have the only kids in town who love rice cakes), this also means they eat a lot less grains than they used to.We simply haven't replaced all the bread, cereal, pasta, etc. that we used to eat. That also means that they eat more veggies and fruits as filler in meals instead of grains for an overall Nutrient Win.

Only Two Meals A Day?

I finally figured out a meal plan that works for our crazy family's schedule. I cook breakfast in the morning when we get up, and then I cook supper at about 3:30 in the afternoon. Those are our two main meals each day. The kids can get themselves snacks at around noon, and then we're all out of the house or busy from 4:30 - 8:00 most evenings for stuff like karate, robotics, swimming, and dance. So when we get home, it's another snack time. Two main meals and two main snack times seems to work best for our family. Otherwise, I was always stressed trying to cook dinner at 8:00 at night, and no one was really hungry for a big meal then anyways. I can't tell you what a relief it was to figure this out!

These days, with everyone worried about kids, nutrition, and childhood obesity, it feels good to have a plan in place to keep our kids active and eating well. As a parent, the number one lesson I've learned is it really doesn't matter what you say to your kids, it matters what you do. The example you set is what they learn from, so having our entire family eat nutritious meals and snacks, and get out to exercise every day, as well as walking and biking for transportation has been the key to raising healthy, happy, energetic kids and now (ulp!) a teenager.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Along with giving my countertops a Paleo makeover, I aimed at the refrigerator: everything in the door was something to be applied to bread, which I didn't eat any more, so why have it?

After ditching useless condiments, I now have lots of room for stuff I use now. Once I got rid of the toaster like you, it was amazing to see all the crap I had bought just to smear on the toast!

I was going to buy a dehydrator, but thought "what do I eat so much of that drying would make it cheaper/handier?" The answer is nothing--I gave up fruit and finally started losing weight.

I've been combing raw recipes looking for Paleo-friendly stuff to make, but they mostly contain cashews, dates, and so forth, and I ask myself "would I ever make this often enough to necessitate invest in a dehydrator?"

Again, the answer is no.

Who needs a machine beyond the food processor, the toaster oven, the stove, and maybe a blender, when all you eat is meat and veggies? I use my refrigerator and freezer more than anything else.