Please Meet Kelly
Please meet Kelly–our first guest blogger! Kelly is our sister-in-law. (She is married to Dave, Kim’s brother). They have 3 kids who range in age from 6-19, so Kelly has plenty of ideas and tips about how to help busy families eat better. We receive a lot of questions regarding recipes and nutrition and we believe Kelly’s insight and tips will help. She plans to write regularly for ChickpeaandBean.com, so check back for more posts!
I DID IT!!!!! I did it–I actually, finally, totally, unbelievably, got my kids to eat beans last night! I have been vegan/vegetarian for 3 or 4 years now and I just could not figure out a way to get them to eat beans. Yes, they eat healthier now that I am learning what is in dairy and processed foods. But I still could not get enough fiber into them and with kids, I think that fiber is the most important nutrient, because fiber isn’t in many foods that kids like to eat. They LOVE carbs. And for many kids, if you really tried to document their food intake, you would probably be shocked to learn how little fiber they actually take in. That’s why kids have so many constipation problems, in my opinion. And for years, I had such a tough time, always making sure they eat enough fiber. But I still couldn’t get enough in them for my liking. My daughter is 15, my son is 6 and I also have an adult son who is out on his own in the world now. But for the kids in the home, I struggle every day with making a quick healthy breakfast, packing their healthy lunch, and feeding them a healthy filling dinner every night. Now throw in the mix that I am almost 100% vegan and I don’t want to feed my family processed foods or dairy or meat, and I am just going crazy.
So lets back up a bit, to let you get a little understanding of how it all started for me. My name is Kelly. I am a 36 year old, stay at home, almost totally vegan mom and aspiring yoga teacher. I have always wanted to be vegetarian for animal cruelty sake. My husband was on board with it also, and back in maybe 2004 or 5 , we decided to go vegetarian. I prepared the polenta and boca burgers and fake chicken, turned organic, and tried to keep my kids sugar intake to a minimum. For a while, we did OK, but I just didn’t have enough education about it and at that time, if you didn’t have a Whole Foods near you, getting groceries for a vegetarian diet was really hard and so we kinda just stopped. But one day about 4 years ago, my husband’s family was talking about this amazing video called Forks Over Knives that we had to see. So we decided to watch it, and not long after, my husband’s sister and brother-in-law (Kim and Marc) had decided to go vegan. Marc had lost a ton of weight, reversed his diabetes, and experienced other health benefits. Kim had lost weight and looked and felt so much better in many ways that we decided to try it too. I knew how hard it was last time, just going vegetarian, so Marc and Kim gave us tons of tips and tricks and info to get us started in the right direction and I used this app on my iPhone called 21-Day Vegan Kickstart from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (click here to visit the website). My husband, Dave, and I decided to go to Whole Foods the day before the kids went back to school for the new year. As a fresh start we piled up the cart with fruits and beans and veggies and rice and weird food and spices and vegan Worcestershire sauce and all that. And for 21 days, if it wasn’t on the app, we didn’t eat it!!
In 21 days, Dave had lost 18 pounds, and I lost 8. Which might not sound like much but we both didn’t even exercise at that time. We weren’t exercising to begin with, so we thought that it would be too much to start with all of that at the same time. We looked and felt great! Both of us noticed all kinds of things changing. My husbands heart burn went away, his IBS symptoms were alleviated and he was sleeping better. I looked great also–my skin seemed radiant, and I felt energized. We both were amazed at how we never felt that sluggish feeling after a meal anymore. One thing that really surprised me was that my daily stomach aches were gone, completely gone. Ever since I was little, I had stomach aches after eating and before going to the bathroom and different times during the day. When I eliminated dairy from my diet, I felt great and all those pains were gone.
Now this brings me to my kids. As a Mom, how could I feed them the stuff I won’t eat (all that meat and dairy and sugary food)? I just couldn’t, so I stopped feeding my 2 year old cow’s milk. And after a few days, I realized that this boy didn’t have watery stool anymore. He had been a breastfed baby, and they usually have looser stools than formula-fed babies, or at least that’s what I heard. Also, he had Salmonella poisoning as a baby , and that was supposed to stay in his system for over a year, so I kept thinking that his loose stools were normal for him. Every once in awhile, he’d have what I called rabbit turds. But when I eliminated dairy and switched to almond milk, he never had loose stool again. I was amazed! And convinced. Dairy was not for our family.
Now I won’t lie to you and tell you it’s easy, because it’s not. But it does get easier. The normal dinners that we were all used to eating had to change. No more pot roast, spaghetti and meat balls, sloppy Joes, mac n cheese, or lasagne. Actually, we still have those meals, just with more veggies, or with a vegan meat, like Gardein. But I don like to have too many fake meat meals. One reason is that some are so real tasting, it grosses me out. Also, they are still a processed food and can sometimes contain egg and milk and lots of fat. But we put beans in everything here, to fill the fiber and protein for the meal (the kids just usually manage to eat around them) lol. Which also brings me to how I got my kids to eat beans last night …..
I had a lot of cilantro that I needed to use up and I thought that I’d look for this cilantro rice recipe I remembered seeing in a cook book, but I found a guacamole recipe instead, and who doesn’t love guac???? It starts with a can of white beans, then the avocado and all the normal ingredients for guacamole, blend in the food processor and voila!!! The kids were chowing down on beans and they didn’t even know!
Everyone slept so good last night, with a belly full of fiber and nutrients and I was a happy mom, patting myself on the back as I fell asleep <3