This guest post is from our favorite ladies, Natalie and Holly, over at The Modern Proper. Their mission is to reinvent proper for the modern homemaker, one delicious meal at a time. Check out more of their delicious recipes here.
Power up and push through! This is what I tell myself everyday at about two o’clock when I’m too tired to eat, and too overwhelmed to rest. Once I push through, this “slump” generally only lasts until dinner when I get my second wind to enjoy my family for the evening. I’m finally past the sleepless nights. For the first time in six years all my babes are sleeping through the night, no one is nursing and I’m NOT pregnant. And boy does if feel good, but my babies are still young and busy, leaving me with that dreaded afternoon low at which point I usually remember it’s been hours since I’ve eaten, or worse…I haven’t eaten at all. I’m faced with a choice, do I pick the crumbs off my kids lunch plates (waist not, want not, right?) or do I do the right thing and fuel up for the rest of the day? I’m not talking about a good ol’ carb overload (although there is a time and a place for that). No, I'm talking about fueling myself with something delicious, healthy and filling. Something that, even on the longest days, will sustain me and help me finish the day strong (rather than crawl to the finish line).
Why is it so hard for us moms to make good choices mid-day? The reasons are aplenty, and I’m the first to admit that I fail miserably in this department. So, while I'm going to give you a few tips to better care for yourself, it's not in a spirit of hypocrisy, but rather to recommit to taking my own advice and caring for myself, as well. Here goes:
When meal planning, try to ensure your dinners will provide you enough leftovers for the following day. You’ll sleep easy knowing you'll eat well the next day with absolutely zero extra effort. If your schedule is busy, make sure to schedule in a lunch for yourself. You’re working a real job keeping those babies alive and happy, so act like it. A timed lunch is necessary, even if it means eating with your employers. If you do make a lunch from scratch, make enough for a couple of days. Multiply your efforts and prepare for those days when you don't have the luxury of cooking. Make sure that what you’re eating is going to fuel you, not just fill you. A green smoothie, protein with a few veggies or a hearty salad like this kale one below are great examples of quality over quantity. Make it count.
While I'll go ahead and toot my own horn and tell you this is great advice, you're not alone in making bad choices. As moms, we all mess up. We all have days we try to just make it to the end, neglecting ourselves in the process. I’ve eaten my fair share of toddler leftovers, and empty, desperate carbs. However, I know that when I take a moment to eat a real lunch for myself the benefits far outweigh the effort, and my mid-day slumps quickly flea allowing me to do more than merely survive the rest of the day. It's worth it. We're worth it.
Kale Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Tahini Dressing
¼ cup tahini
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp water
½ cup olive oil
4 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp yogurt
1 tsp honey
Pinch of salt
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 bunch kale, ribs removed, roughly chopped
¼ cup goat cheese
¼ cup raw pepitas (or any other small nut)
1) Mix all dressing ingredients in a small bowl until combine, for a creamier texture, blend in a high speed blender.
2) Preheat oven to 375°. On a parchment lined baking sheet, spread out sweet potatoes in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss until all pieces are coated. Roast until tender. About 20 min. If you want them a little crispy, broil for 3-5 more minutes.
3) In a large bowl toss kale with tahini dressing. Top with sweet potatoes, goat cheese and pepitas. Enjoy!
*Kale holds it’s crunch for more than a day even when dressed. So, save those leftovers!