The old saying ‘a change is as good as a rest’ really does contain some truth. My daughters have just spent a week in France with their dad, and his French family. Their taste buds have been challenged – some good, some bad! Their French Grandma, Mamie, lets them have fresh baguette sprinkled with Nesquik for breakfast; while Grandad, Papy, barbecues traditional French sausages for lunch and lets them drink a little diluted red wine or ‘cidre doux’; Mamie makes them their favourite ‘potage’ in the evenings – basically a watery vegetable soup with angel hair pasta. All my eldest daughter’s photos were food related or taken round the table, which does sum up the French way of life beautifully! Before they went on holiday they complained that they would be bored because ‘Mamie spends all her time in the kitchen either preparing food or cleaning up afterwards!’ In contrast, at home, I’m very much into the Jamie Oliver style of quick cooking with fresh ingredients. I don’t spend hours mashing things up into terrines or covering fish in breadcrumbs. I like simple, fresh ingredients and easy cooking with delicious herbs and spices. It’s interesting how children notice the differences between families and cultures. If you have school age children, no doubt they will have returned from friends’ houses with food orientated stories – both positive and negative! Comments that stick most in my mind are ‘we had hot dogs for dinner, in horrible bread rolls, and no vegetables!’ Then there was the little girl who came to my house who said ‘what’s apple crumble?’ Back to the holidays, and the point of my ‘change is as good as a rest‘ comment. While my beautiful girls were away I was lucky enough to have nine whole days to myself. Nine days of relaxation, uninterrupted sleep, reading books in the garden in peace, going to the gym at 8pm, having the cat all to myself and, most importantly, always finding everything exactly where I left it and never tripping over someone else’s belongings in the hallway! I decided that I had the perfect opportunity to focus on my own fat loss goals and ate completely, 100% clean for the whole nine days and exercised every single day. The result? I lost 4.5lbs (2kg), my clothes are looser and I feel like I have back that part of me that had been temporarily drowned in a sea of Mummy. So my girls are now home and very happy to be eating their normal foods again (the cold fish terrine would have made me want to rush to the bathroom so I’m proud of them for even trying it!) The break from each other and from our normal routines has done us all a lot of good. Today we’ve had delicious fresh pineapple, raspberries and blueberries for breakfast with pumpkin seeds. We’ve had a game of squash (of sorts!) at the gym before coming home for chicken in peanut butter (a healthy version of traditional Satay) with salad and now we’re off to see the sea – that’s the one thing they miss staying inland in France. When you feel like something needs to change in your lifestyle, your diet or your children’s diet, then simply set a date and give it 100% focus. You’ll be surprised how easily children adapt to change – and most will thrive emotionally as well as physically on healthier foods. Go for it! Good luck and I’m always here to answer your Nutrition questions. Lorraine Ps. My 11 year old daughter wants you all to know she took all the photos herself and helped create the collage on picmonkey!
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