by Connie Hom
Jennifer is five years old now and I still have not lost the 20 or so pounds that I gained during and maintained after the pregnancy! Some people are kind and say that it's due to the slowing down of my metabolism because of my age! Some go further and reassure me that it is quite normal to keep a little weight on... especially if I had a child "later in life."
Before motherhood, I remember my family and friends always remarking how lucky I was because I could "eat like a cow and not gain weight." To be honest, this comment became really irritating to me. I suppose at times it was intended to be a compliment, but it made me feel bad when I was able to scarf down two plates of noodles or three bowls of steamed calories. I tried to defend my guilt by telling everyone that I was svelte by magic... I worked at it; as in running at least three to four times a week and going down to the gym to take a 90-minute aerobics class followed by working on a Nautilus machine three times a week
Times have changed. My first priority is my daughter and not my workouts. I admit that I was really manic about not deviating from my exercise schedule. I would even schedule in brisk walks at 6:00 a.m. with a neighbor after running for 60 minutes only eight hours before! Walking at 6:00 a.m. and running at 10:00 p.m. does not fit my current Mommy schedule.
I was complaining to my dear friend and neighbor about my lack of personal time to work out as much as I would like. She helped me to realize that my diet has changed drastically since I became a mother. Though I have always prided myself on my knowledge of nutrition and exquisite cuisine, it took a candid observation by another to see what I was doing differently. Marian said that I ate an abundance of vegetables, seafood, pastas, and rice, but ate very little meat, butter, or rich Continental cuisine. My diet consisted primarily of Chinese, Japanese, low-fat Italian meals, and pita bread turkey sandwiches with a spray of lemon juice for dressing. During my rare pizza binges, my toppings would be a medley of unusual vegetables (no meat) that got a lot of laughs and a few yuks from some friends.
If you are a new parent or grandparent caring for a young child, you probably just eat as quickly as possible, whenever possible. If you a parent of a toddler and are like the old me, you probably have given up exotic cuisine after two or three attempts to make separate meals of adult food and children food.
My conviction to make only pure, natural gourmet food for my daughter faded away upon her first year at preschool.
I would send her to school with wonton shrimp soup, teriyaki chicken, cucumber salads, steamed broccoli, and such. (Note: sushi does not denote raw fish... it means vinegared rice.)
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