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I’m a single mom and I cheated; here’s why I continue to…

Did I catch your attention? Ha ha! I knew I would. ME? CHEAT? How could that be true my friends and family would say???!!!

Ok…. the truth is I cheated on my values of whole foods, four food groups, cook everything from scratch, and to minimize pre-packaged food and processed foods.

And I still do!

Why this confession you might be asking?

Because it’s the truth! And I think that even though my professional life and personal life is almost one in the same based on values, I am a human living in the year 2014. And honestly being a stay at home mom is just as difficult as being a single mom. Even when the kids are gone. I am shocked that two years after separation (hmmmm interesting coming up on the anniversary in 4 days actually), I am still not always reaching my daily healthy living goals.

My values and daily goals towards holistic health (mind, body, soul) are just that. Goals. Sometimes I reach them, and other days I fail miserably. Most days are somewhere on that continuum.

But really what I want in this confession is to tell you that even though I am a Professional Home Economist with a degree in Nutritional & Nutraceutical Sciences as well as re-certifying to be a Registered Dietitian, I can only do my best. And sometimes it is this:

And even in my idea of confessing my “sin” I realize now I forgot to show the bag of pre-prepared shredded carrots that I had swiftly shoved back into my fridge (future post I’m going to do about my fridge!). So also please forgive me for not even getting the picture “right”.

But yes, three acute illnesses (none of them the flu or a virus by the way….yet… knock on wood!) in my family within 5 days sent my home into the “bare minimum”. Have you ever had that — just hanging on for dear life and honestly just getting through the days.

So please notice the pre-cooked protein chicken (meant as a treat for my daughter’s lunch this week) and the pre-packaged lettuce field mix. I did end up cutting up a cucumber and putting some in (guilt had set in) and I, with a bit of exhaustion, cut up the rest and put it into a lock’n’lock container (hoping that it would not turn to mush before I can get to it later).

The salad dressing (poured directly on top and then a pour from the EVOO bottle on top to make it improperly) and cheese (leftover – used it up after I took the pic) and ta dah! GOOD ENOUGH!

In this world, we are all busy. All of us – including us: the people that are supposed to be these more “perfect” people at doing it.

But really, I forgive myself for doing it. If you truly knew all the happenings in my life, you would too. What do you expect of me – single mom, student, home owner (leaves today!), charity worker (managing the Ontario portion) teaching, volunteering at community kitchens and writing a local column, a basement flood recently, a broken car, a great dane and a crazy cat….. oh wait…. fun… yes please – I fit that in too as well as being a daughter who lives 2 hours away from her parents and tries her best to visit.

So list all of the things you do in a day…. but list all the good stuff.

So I looked at my meal and saw the good stuff:

  • I had a complete meal – veggies (dark green & orange is recommended EACH day!!), meat/protein (chicken), milk food group (cheese), and a healthy fat/oil – EVOO

  • I fed my recovering body

  • I tried my best

  • I stuck with my values

  • I took care of myself (many moms and dads don’t!)

  • I ate a real meal when my kids were gone (single adults – young or old can relate to this!) and no one to share a meal with

  • I gave myself a pat on the back instead of “should”ing on myself (say that out loud…. 😉

  • I used my personal life in my professional life to teach/lead/inspire (hopefully) even in a little way

  • I had fun having this idea and making an instant project

  • I promote and honor single parents

So with that, my “linner” (lunch/dinner in the afternoon) is done, the insurance construction crew is gone, and I am about to go run errands and attend an orientation meeting for another volunteer position 😉

But just so that we can be clear, the guilt can always set in…. and so I thought I’d leave you with the fact that balance is necessary – even in our judgement of each other and our own lives. Whether you are the newest expert in nutrition and health, or the person who doesn’t know where to start. The best thing is to keep trying your best and know NO ONE is perfect and everyone cheats!

Balance is everything…. so I finished my meal off with dessert: carrot muffins me and my daughter made this week for “family night”.

I think that was the “guilt” setting in…. 😉 Kidding – just proud of the times I can do it. And it’s better because I was baking in the kitchen with my younger daughter. That’s the life I want…. family in the kitchen – just loving the basics and enjoy the messiness of it all!

Signed without apologies,

The Nutrition “Cheater”


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