Want Your Kids to Eat Better? Smash the TV

It can be pretty difficult to get your kids to embrace vegan eating when TV commercials are working overtime to contradict everything you say. 

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The case against TV commercials:

And what are they marketing to children? According to Dr. Harris, the top four products are fast foods, sugared cereals, sugary drinks and candy.

Thomas Robinson, a professor of pediatrics at Stanford University and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, has studied childhood obesity and its links to screen time. In experiments with preschoolers, he told me, ‘even a 30-second exposure to a novel product, one that you’ve never seen before, changes their preferences for brand.’ ”
— NY Times

When we started this journey, we had five TVs in our house and the boys wanted everything they saw advertised on them.

Even though our vegan lifestyle wasn't the only reason we got rid of cable, I will say it made it easier to get the boys to eat vegetables and try new dishes once it was gone.

What Can You Do

 

*Reduce your child's TV time

*Send them outside like grandma used to do us-I know y'all remember those days. lol

*Play a board game or cook together

*Skip the commercials- DVR your child's favorite shows and fast forward through all the commercials. 

*Be willing to say no to your child's demands-I know from experience that is easier said than done, but I worked overtime to get my kids to accept healthier alternatives opposed to the crap pushed in advertisements.

 

Do you think watching too much TV affects our eating habits? Leave me a comment below.

Further Reading (from quote above): How Advertising Targets Our Children  

 

What's for Dinner? | Vegan Camping Meal

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With all the money we saved last month, Eric and I took the boys on their first camping trip.  I was a little nervous about the food (since we usually stay in cabins), so I kept dinner as simple as possible.

What we ate...

 Portobello mushroom burgers using a store-bought marinade

Portobello mushroom burgers using a store-bought marinade

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Bush's vegetarian baked beans and grilled red bell peppers seasoned with garlic powder & salt (not pictured).

 Watermelon & pistachios

Watermelon & pistachios

Dessert was s'mores with bananas  (it was too dark for a pic but you can see it in the video). Instead of using vegan marshmallows (regular marshmallows aren't vegan because they contain animal bone collagen), I picked up a few bananas from Wal-Mart once we got to the campgrounds. Dessert was a fail! The bananas didn't melt the dark chocolate, so it didn't remind me of s'mores at all. Maybe I should've roasted the bananas longer and used riper ones? Next time I will be sure to pick up vegan marshmallows from Wegmans before we leave.

I made a quick video (below) of all the food and a full camping vlog on my second YouTube channel.

We're heading to Virginia Beach for another camping trip later this month!

Are you going camping this summer?

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Will Ditching the Microwave Help You Eat Better?

Like a lot of people, I grew up with a massive microwave on the kitchen counter. I even remember my parents having a cookbook designed to make complete meals (from scratch) in the microwave. No lie!

When we moved to the apartment about 6 months ago, we decided not to get a microwave.  At the house, I used the microwave a lot because it was built in and convenient.  I wasn't sure we would be able to live without a microwave until I talked to one of my friends (who has been without one for at least 2 years) and she said it wasn't hard.

She was right. 

                     Heating leftover lentils on the stove top for lunch

                   Heating leftover lentils on the stove top for lunch

So far I haven't had a problem reheating anything on the stove top (or oven) and I find that we eat better without the microwave.

Here's why...

*No more prepackaged microwave vegan meals-These entrees take waay too long in the oven. I could make a whole meal (likely with less sodium and preservatives) in those 50 minutes.  

*Microwaves zap all the nutrients from our food anyway. Read about that here and here. I know this one is controversial.

*Our steam basket is pretty darn convenient. I use it to steam tempeh and frozen vegetables. I liked using the microwave for frozen veggies.

 

Could you live without a microwave or have you already ditched it?

 

Size Doesn't Matter...

...at least not as much as I used to think....

In 2005, my husband and I purchased a 2,000 sq ft home in a rural county.  We lived on a private lake and were considered to be "doing well" for a young couple. Our three children had plenty of room to roam, and I was suppose to be happy

Since we bought the house during the height of the housing market, we had to go further south to find an affordable home.

Further south meant being away from our families, quality schools, and most stores. Overall, for me, it was a life of isolation. I didn't know anyone (didn't make much effort to meet new people) and the pace was too slow for our family.

Two months ago we moved back north, and went from a 2,000 sq ft house to a 1,000 sq ft apartment. Yes, apartment!

I can honestly say that despite the downgrade in space and privacy, my level of happiness has been upgraded.

Our family is adjusting to a few major changes, but we're taking them in stride.

This move is taking our minimalism journey to a whole new level and I want to start documenting it more on the blog.

Stay tuned!