28 June 2012

Patriotic Bento Blog Hop!

I am participating in the Patriotic blog hop with my Bento Blogger Friends! How lovely!

Red & Blue brown rice (colored with Wilton cake colors), a patriotic cupcake paper filled with black grapes, 3 almond bark covered pretzels, a star (paper) pick with edible yellow glitter and yellow sprinkles to make a [terrible looking] firework. And a sailboat! Because to me, the 4th of July holiday means being on the lake. That is what happens when you grow up in Greers Ferry, Arkansas. Yep. :)

To see another amazing Patriotic Bento, click HERE!

24 June 2012

The End {Project Shut Up & Eat}

My dads week of having every meal catered is over. :) I hope he really enjoyed it. I asked him a couple of days ago if he could tell a difference in his body, even the slightest. His reply was not really, but he was sleeping better. That made me feel a little discouraged, because, well.. I wanted him to tell me he felt like he had a little more energy, or something.

Then he came home from work one day, and I wasn't there... and he mixed up some greek yogurt with raw sunflower seeds for a snack, instead of grabbing a bag of chips or pretzels.

THAT made me happy. I hope that he will take away a couple of healthier eating habits from this week... and not just go back to his little debbie cakes.

20 June 2012

Hump Day

Welp, here we are. half way through (nearly) this project.

So far... it has been hard to get my dad to eat as much food as I would like him to. It is like pulling teeth to get the man to eat breakfast. Yesterday he came home from work with most of his salad still in the lunch box, and nearly all of his snacks still there. ugh.

This morning I left a threatening note on the coffee pot to try to get him to eat his food. He left his breakfast in the fridge.

His meals should have looked like this today (I've downsized his portions a little since he's not really eating as much as I want him to).

Breakfast: apple cinnamon chobani.

mid morning snack: nectarine

Lunch: tuna salad on a whole wheat pita, vegetable chips

mid afternoon snack: banana, raw almonds

Dinner: salad (lettuce, jalepenos, bell peppers, tomatoes, tapenade) with 2 turkey & quinoa muffins crumbled over the top.

Hopefully he does a little better today. I fear he is sneaking chips and/or chocolate.

Monday night I made grilled shrimp over wild rice with chickpea salad. He didn't really eat the rice or chickpeas... but he really enjoyed the shrimp.

Marinade recipe: honey, juice from 1/2 lemon, cracked pepper, salt, balsamic vinegar, cayenne pepper, minced garlic.

17 June 2012

Day 1 {Project Shut Up & Eat}

Today is the first day of our project, and I am so excited! My dad started today off (Fathers' Day!) with a healthy breakfast... & hit the road for a bike ride with my mom (& a nectarine in his saddle bag for a mid-morning snack).

I am so excited to tell you guys today.. I am going back to school this fall! I plan to major in nutrition and find a job after graduation as a dietician. I also plan to become a certified personal trainer, and spend the rest of my life teaching others to be healthy! I have complete support from my family and close friends, and I am so thankful to have such caring people in my life.

My dad's menu for today:

Breakfast: 1 egg & 3 egg whites, scrambled with sautéed bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes with 1/4 grapefruit.

Mid morning snack: nectarine

Lunch: tuna salad in a whole wheat pita, cucumber slices

Afternoon snack: banana, raw almonds

Dinner: baked chicken, chickpea salad 

After I made my dad his breakfast this morning, he said... "What, I don't get any salt with this?" hahaha. This is going to be such a huge adjustment for him. I am proud that he is doing it! :)

Happy fathers day!

14 June 2012

Goals {Project Shut Up & Eat}

When this project came to me, the only goal I really had was to see if I could trick my dad in to doing things MY way for a week. That was a quick victory because after only about 3 minutes of prodding, he agreed. That's when I decided maybe I could have more fun with this than I thought.

After thinking it over, I realized one of my primary goals is to show my dad that eating REAL food can be a delicious, filling, lovely thing. I'm a person that needs a meal to "stick to my ribs" to make me feel full. That is from years of eating processed food, huge "American" sized portions, and being told as a kid to eat everything on my plate (which I do tell to my kids, I say "make a happy plate!" but their food choices are a lot better than mine were when I was a kid). The temporary "full" feeling you get from processed foods becomes a comforting, familiar feeling. That is why, I think, it can be so intimidating to change your eating habits.

At first I was stressing about a few things. 1- the cost of healthy food. My parents still have two kids at home, teenage boys, that eat a LOT. They also have my niece Phoenix at home- she doesn't eat much but her diapers aren't cheap and either is baby formula. Oh... and with teenage boys comes their friends... they also eat a lot. 2- the availability of organic food. Then I started thinking.. baby steps. Let me get my dad to EAT vegetables and fruit. I'll find what I can organic (Walmart is really the only option for groceries, except the occasional little melon stand on the side of the road during the summer), and just let the habit form naturally. Who knows.. maybe I'll really change his attitude and he and my mom will grow their own small garden next year (ha, yeah, right).

Once I figured out my goals for this "project" ... I became a lot more excited. I mean, not only am I, the child, educating the parent- but I am also encouraging my dad to be healthy. And by him making the effort, who knows how much longer that could add on to his life. I try not to be a worrier, but that is something I worry about often- losing my loved ones.

I have been cooking a little while I'm at my dads (I have been bouncing around from my dad's to my grandparents' trying to visit everyone as much as possible). I thought I would try to get a quote from my dad for this blog post... but this random text message says way more than some prompted quote ever could. :)

10 June 2012

Dirty Deets {project shut up & eat}

The deal on my dad: I'd say a typical day in the life of dad goes about like this.
  • wake up, guzzle coffee
  • fill thermos, kiss my  mom goodbye
  • work work work
  • whats that? lunch time? gotta grab a little debbie cake. maybe. if there's one in the seat of the dump truck/whatever vehicle he's driving for work that day
  • work work work 
  • go home.... work around the house, help my brothers do whatever, help babysit phoenix, work some more
  • kiss my mom hello when she gets home
  • work some more
  • come in, drink a glass of sweet tea, munch on some ruffles chips while he tells mom he's starving
  • eats whatever mom whips up (she's going to eat cereal).. grilled cheese, BLT, rotel, creamy tacos (barf)
  • eat some roasted almonds or cashews, some more chips, watch tv, play a card game on his phone
  • fall asleep in the recliner... before or after eating 7 or 8 mini candy bars
  • get up, drink a glass of milk
  • go to bed
  • wake up, repeat
My dad is a pack-a-day smoker. Marlboro lights. Do you see why I want to make over his diet? As far as exercise goes, I will say that aside from walking to/from the house to the shop, and lifting/working on cars/trucks... my dad is pretty sedentary. He's a naturally thin man, always has been. I can't say he's never lightly active, but I guarantee you he's never just taking a walk for leisurely purposes. 

I am so PUMPED to start this project! :)

08 June 2012


Ok.. So I meant tUna! Haha :)

Here's my recipe for the best ever tuna salad.

•single serving packet of white tuna in water
•little orange tomatoes (smaller than cherry tomatoes, I can't remember what they're called. Really, any tomato will work, but these are my fave!)
•pickles (about 5 dill chips, spicy is better!)
•raw (or roasted unsalted) sunflower seeds
•yellow mustard

Chop tomatoes & pickles. Mix everything up. Stuff into a whole wheat pita and chow down! Or, use a huge lettuce leaf (or collard leaf) instead!

Yum! Today I paired mine with my favorite- steamed French beans with garlic & cholula.