Thursday, August 30, 2012

Three Things Thursday: Healthy habits

Our dishwasher is on the fritz.

And by fritz, I mean it's not working and hasn't been since the weekend. We (read: Mark) can press wash and the machine turns on the goes into a high-pitch whirring. It doesn't sound exactly right but it sounds like it's running. When you open it, though, it looks as if the water sprayer thingy never got going.

Needless to say, it's been super fun. I already enjoy hand washing sippy cup after sippy cup so add in plates, pots and oatmeal bowls and it's like I'm running the Disney Princess Half with a Sparkle skirt and my best girlfriends.

Oh, running Disney, what fun you would be ... fulfilling all sorts of childhood fantasies. I could hug Minnie, wear a tutu and butterfly wings, ride Magic Mountain, see Epcot, buy those ears and take funny pictures, eat a caramel apple the size of my face.

Searing hot water interrupted that day dream as I started rinsing. Tall drinking glasses lined the counter, and I reached for one to put under the stream. I set it in the sink to let it fill up, the hot water pouring over the lip. I picked up the glass, dumped the water into another clean yet soapy glass and rinsed that first glass once more before putting it in the dish rack. The water in the second glass was dumped and placed under the stream, hot water rushing over the top. The full glass dumped into a third and so the cycle repeated.

Just like my grandma.

So many times, we think about the bad habits we pick up from our families and I'm definitely one of them. I've talked about how my mom taught me that chocolate malts cured all, you fed feelings and it's OK to give up. It's not fair, though. No matter how many bad things our families teach us, there are good habits to be learned, too.

Like proper dish washing.

1. Thinking back on my mom's life, I can never be less than amazed when I think of what she did to pursue and receive her associates degree. She went to school, did homework and raised two young children with no one to rely upon but herself (and her immediate family). There was no husband or boyfriend to put my brother and me down so she could finish a lab report. There was no one to fix dinner if class ran over. My mom taught me that you can accomplish things beyond the limits others have set for you.

2. We often focus on the physical aspects of health - eating, fitness and recovery. My mom taught me, though, that the mental wellness is just as important. She encouraged me to periodically take "me" days. Whether it's shopping or a pedicure or lunch date, spending time with yourself without anyone pulling on you is just good for the soul. It's been a lot harder to do this since having Miles but you bet your bottom I'm taking off next Friday to visit a friend in the morning and take a nap in the afternoon.

3. Our eating habits were less than stellar in my childhood home. We had a standing Friday night date with McDonald's and for my busy mom, sometimes working two jobs, dinner came in a bucket from Lee's. It's not to say that we never thought about health. When my dad was diagnosed with high cholesterol, my mom began making adjustments to our homecooked meals. She replaced ground beef with ground turkey or at least "cut" the beef with turkey. I learned early on that a) ground turkey is good; and b) how to make small changes for a big effect.

What healthy habits did you learn as a child?


  1. When I was a kid, my mom would never let me have cereals with sugar as the first ingredient or soda. I hated it at the time, but now i appreciate it.

  2. We only got sugary cereal on our birthday. Veggies were served with every meal and we had to have some. Candy was given in moderation (I still remember - 4 hershey kisses, 20 m&ms, 2 e.l. fudge cookies). In the summer we had 20 minute reading time after lunch (often extended into longer). We were encouraged to play outside and tv was limited. Apologizing. Listening. Not talking back.

  3. We didn't have sugary snacks, I didn't drink soda until I was a teenager, was never allowed to play inside if it was sunny because I was "burning daylight",always encouraged to read. Served veggies at every meal. and every other Friday night was pizza night (everything in moderation). Now my son is 3 1/2 and doesn't like sugar, eats veggies (sometimes against his will but we have a 3 bite rule) and always prefers outside over cartoons and playroom time. My parents taught awesome lessons that they didn't even realize they were teaching.

  4. We ate home-cooked meals (no frozen/prepared stuff) every day. My friends used to say our house always smelled like food. It's something I try to emulate by limiting our eating out to 2/3 times a week.

    BTW, my respects to your Mom for pursuing her degree while raising you both. I can't even begin to imagine what a struggle that must have been. Truly amazing :)

  5. We ate out maybe twice a year when I grew up! ALWAYS vegetables on the plate! Choose the stairs before the escalator.