Quick update: I have not succeeded in doing the house cleaning 15 minutes a day thing. Not succeeded in the least! I never even started! Oh well. I suppose there's always next week, although, who am I kidding -- it's not going to happen :)
In other news, though, eating well and as healthy as possible has been going along swimmingly.
The majority of my lunches have been packed from home and the dinners have primarily been very healthy. The image to the left is some of the best hits: lunch that was leftover chicken kabobs (with pineapple, green pepper, and cherry tomatoes); southwest ground chicken stuffed red peppers, healthy chicken nuggets (with zucchini tots), and chicken parm meatloaf muffins (that was ah-maz-ing!!). These dinners have been so good, and the kids have been eating them up!
And he ate two (two!) of the chicken parm meatloaf muffins. In fact, we didn't have any leftovers of the meatloaf muffins; they were that good. The plus side of the meatloaf muffins is that they cook up fast (in 20 minutes), which is much better than waiting around for an entire loaf to bake. We served them with raw carrots, since Taylor loves raw carrots, so there was very little clean-up.
It really has occurred to me that (mostly) clean eating can be so much faster, easier, and (sometimes) cheaper than I ever thought it could be. I think part of it is that you kind of have to commit to figuring out an easy way to make these healthy meals. There's "easy," and then there's EASY. And you've got to figure out what "easy" means to you.
For me, I am lucky in that I am just experimenting with different foods and I don't have a vital need to follow any kind of strict diet or restrict too much of anything. I don't really know what "clean" eating is. I just know that right now I am trying my best to eat less processed foods, which necessarily puts me in the way of eating more veggies and fruits. I'm trying to choose lean meats and also looks for more natural and/or low-fat, low-sugar type options.
And I'm doing all of this with a very specific priority of not buying a bunch of expensive, gourmet ingredients or supplements or anything crazy. Plus, I need to have meals that can get on the table between the time we get home and 6:15, which doesn't always leave very much time. So raw carrots? Hell yeah! They are easy, healthy, and don't really dirty any dishes (unless you serve them in a bowl, which is still super easy to clean). Bag of microwave broccoli? Hell yeah! Cook it a little under, so it's still a little crunchy and can add it to any dish or reheat for leftovers all week. Shredding the zucchini for the zucchini tots? I'll use a food processor next time. But still, the family loved those things! Taylor ate more than one, and IT HAD ZUCCHINI IN IT! I am a happy mom and will give myself carpel tunnel shredding veggies if it means my kid will eat zucchini or beg me to make sweet potato fritters. Hell to the yeah. Philly stuffed peppers? Meat, cheese, onions, mushrooms, and green peppers, and the kids ate everything on their plates (I left out the onions and 'shrooms for the little guys, but they got applesauce). Me = one happy mom. And those things cook up in no time.