Your refrigerator is quite full. Who’s eating all this food?This is called having a baby (Zoe, 9 months), toddler (Zach, 3), and husband with different nutritional needs, taste preferences and schedules. Zoe is on breast milk so the bottles are hers. All the wheat, dairy and meat products are Zach’s. My husband and I are vegetarian foodies, so the over-flowing vegetables and Tupperware containers are ours. That being said, there is plenty of sharing and Zach will eat almost anything.
So even though your husband and you are vegetarians, you give Zach meat. Does he need meat as a growing boy?You can totally raise a kid healthy on a vegetarian diet. I feel that vegetarianism is an adult choice, so I offer him all the foods. We’ll cook organic chicken, turkey or nitrate hot dogs just for him and we’ll make him sandwiches with organic cold cuts. When he grows older and sees mom and dad don’t eat that food, if he chooses to join us, that’s great, if not that’s fine. I want him to be as open as possible to all types of food and so far he’ll try everything.
We’ll be eating our dinner and without even offering him anything, he’ll say “I want that.” We find he’ll want it more if we don’t offer, so we never say, “eat this” because he won’t since he’s a toddler. We also try to make food fun. Like he loves broccoli because he thinks it’s little trees and he likes being a monster.
It’s great you’re introducing Zach to different foods at a young age because exposing kids to bitter, less traditionally pleasing tastes younger in life will make them more likely to be receptive to these food later in life. So is Zach helping your husband and you consume all those vegetables? And how do you go through them?!We do a lot of juicing. And yes, Zach will drink the juices if I put a lot of lemon in them, so it’s like lemonade. If I add apples I can even get him to drink Kale! However, it is mainly my husband and I who juice. I usually have some hummus, crackers and a big juice for dinner because I don’t sleep as well on a full stomach. It’s good to give your digestive system a break when you sleep, like a night fast. By cutting off eating meals around eight o’clock and sticking to juices, I absorb a ton of nutrients without straining my body to digest it. I also eat so much through out the day it’s just not a big deal.
Are the many Tupperware containers a reflection of your eating through out the day?Yeah, I’m eating all the time. I want to eat now. As a vegetarian I get my protein from many different sources rather than the “complete” protein of meat. This is one reason I eat frequently.
What does a complete protein mean?A complete protein, such as a burger, has all the amino acids in one place; However, you don’t need them all in one place. The fact is if I eat beans, tofu, tempeh, whole grains, certain vegetables and rice all the amino acids combine to make a “complete” protein.
Did you have to change your diet when you started breast-feeding? What are some benefits of breast-feeding?I made an effort not to change my diet. Breast milk is exactly what the baby should be eating, so you don’t have to worry about whether they’re getting the right nourishment. It’s the proper ratios of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, there are immunogubulins that help them from getting sick, it’s been shown to reduce diarrhea, and lastly, it’s a wonderful way to connect since you release oxytocin, the “love hormone”. Not so “lovely” with a pump, but I need the reserve bottles since I work.
Have you started introducing Zoe to “real” food?I let Zoe eat everything and anything. I don’t avoid the “allergy” foods because I don’t think waiting a year makes a difference and I would rather expose her early to different flavors. The only thing I do avoid is honey.
Do you find being so health conscience to be time consuming? Is it interesting part of your life or a burdensome element?Being health conscience can be both. It can be a very positive, all-encompassing thing when I’m into the life style of going to the farmers markets and trying new recipes. Or, if I’m very busy it’s a burden and a hassle I don’t want to roast vegetables or make a salad, I just want food. At those times, I’ll order healthy food, or hope my husband can pick up the slack. That’s what it all about, finding how it can fit into your life at different times.
What would you say to someone who wants to be actively involved in his or her diet and have a well balanced refrigerator but is concerned that time constraints may prevent it?You make the time on the weekends. It may take an hour or two out of your day but then you don’t have to think about it. If I don’t do that then, then it doesn’t get done and it can get out of control. It’s really about making the time.
Would you say you have a positive relationship with food?Yes, food it’s a huge part of my life and I love it. I’m a foodie! Going to restaurants and finding interesting health food is my hobby. I don’t go to bars, I don’t go clubs, I don’t even go the movies, I go to restaurants. That’s my entertainment. Yay food!
If you’d like to know more about what is in Amanda’s refrigerator, please leave a comment on this article and we will address questions.
To get a taste of Amanda’s favorite restaurants around New York City, check out these: