I love to run, do push ups, clean my house (I know that’s weird), rearrange furniture, occasionally blog at Pretty Dubs about my home or other projects, eat chocolate, go shopping, read recipe books, take pictures, and spend time with my cute three kids and husband. Our pets are a bunny and hermit crabs. My husband wants a pet pig, but I’m about 100% sure that’s not going to happen (they even eat sheet rock!). Besides my kitchen, my other favorite place in our house is the home gym we are putting together in our garage. I love aprons. I love using our home as a gathering place for people: friends, food, and fun. Yes, please. I honestly believe this life is all about the way we treat each other and I always want to leave others better than I found them.
Welcome to Carrot Bowl.
ABOUT CARROT BOWL
Here at Carrot Bowl I’m cooking with veggies and whole foods. Having consciously decided to eat this way, I’ve felt more balanced and healthy. I want everyone to eat more veggies and love it! It’s easier to eat this way than most people think and it tastes really good. The recipes you’ll find here are mostly vegan: egg-free, dairy-free, and meat-free, but you might find the occasional splurge. I saute with water rather than oil and I cut back on sugar.
Does it cost more to eat this way? No. The things you cut out of your grocery bill are then replaced by foods that do more for you; skip the sodas, potato chips, candy, bakery items, ice cream, dairy things, meats, pizza, and pre-made bagged meals. The new priority is on the produce section, the whole grains, and the flavors that meld the two. I buy things in bulk when possible. It’s cheaper and can be made into more food items than non-bulk. Simply cook more often. It takes planning, but having stocked basic ingredients, you’ll find you can make about anything. Having the right things around will help you focus on eating well and feeling healthier.
I’m excited you’re here!
I hope your journey in healthy eating inspires your family and friends. I totally believe in the individual power of one. You are a bigger influence and example than you realize and will affect those around you as you consciously make the next steps to eating more powerful foods! I believe in you.
(read more below for eating with kids and our back story)
We explain the way we eat by saying 90/10. 90% of the time we are vegan because it’s keeps our bodies healthy and feeling good, the other 10% is eating out, eating at friend’s homes, or a splurge (yes chocolate).
This 10% allows for a balance with the rest of the world. It is an easy way to help the kids recognize healthy “always” choices from “sometimes” unhealthier choices. Talking about “sometimes foods” and “always foods” is a great way to involve your kids.
An occasional piece of pizza with the soccer team is going to be okay, getting self-serve yogurt with grandparents or on a special date is not going to end the world, but it needs to be done in lots of moderation. When presented with the choice, choose green over anything else if possible. When I eat out, I choose the things most closely related to our diet, but that doesn’t always work in the 90% range. I think showing my kids how to have this balance will help them be healthy long-term and avoid being self-conscious about food in public. Super important.
A baby step with kids is to make it fun to try new food every day. Just one bite. Make is SUPER exciting and full of praise. This includes adults, even if you’ve never like olives or bananas or kale, you have to be the example of trying something new. Don’t make it a negative experience. Offer ONE dinner and kids will change. It will take time, but it will happen. Go into the experience with excitement let it eventually rub off.
THE BACK STORY
I haven’t always eaten this way.
August 2012 marked the beginning of an experiment. My brother-in-law challenged my husband and I to eat a diet of veggie-heavy meals, supplemented by whole grains, cutting out processed foods, oils, and sugars. After six weeks we were hooked.
It felt good and was fun to learn about new ingredients and methods (who knew you could shred cauliflower to make a rice substitute!). We felt healthier. Besides all that, watching our kids be able to change their eating behaviors was really rewarding and exciting. We want them to eat greens and veggies over sugary treats and cheesy pasta and enjoy it.
Young children are hard to convince. But it’s not impossible, it takes consistency and offering healthy choices over and over and over. Read: one dinner, one choice.
We were those people, without even knowing it, that made mac & cheese for the kids to take to friends’ homes just so we knew the kids would eat something (enter gasp). I’ve seen lots of others do it too. It might not be mac & cheese or it might be that you feed your kids before you go somewhere, either way I think it’s not helping them. I say this after crossing to the other side. I know the work it takes to get here. It’s not fast and it’s not easy. It has to be consistent and loving and made to be exciting and its sometimes hard.
I still hear, “why do we have to eat vegetables at every meal?” After this long, they still say it. Hopefully they’ll remember we were consistent in the future. Hopefully it sticks with them that healthy food choices empower them as they eventually leave home (sad day). Hopefully they want to pass it on to their own children.
Young children (speaking of 3-year-olds and younger) are especially hard. It will take more give from you. Baby steps…small and steady wins the race. And as adults, with a life-time of eating behind us, change can be equally hard. No matter what your household consists of, I think it’s worth it to eat healthier. It’s worth it to try. Your life and health depend on it.