We swapped the artificial for real, whole food. Gone is the fake. Here is the wholesome. No artificial sweeteners. No dyes in our desserts. To hell with hydrogenated oils.
So where are we with weight?
Let me offer a quick caveat before our big reveal ... we didn't start Fresh Mouth as a weight-loss effort. Our goal was purely about nutrition. No one in this house, with the exception of me (10 pounds up from normal since the baby was born 10 months ago), has any weight to lose. The kids are in the 50-60th percentiles for their ages, where they've been since they were born. Dirk is thin. And he's always been thin. He had a brief bulking-up episode when he started med school, and I had Aidan, but he's never struggled with weight. We wanted to eat better as a family.
Any shift in a diet - good or bad - usually impacts weight. Think of Morgan Spurlock of Supersize Me fame who gained 10 pounds in five days gorging on McDonalds for every meal.
So, we weighed ourselves at the beginning simply as a barometer.
Ok. Here it is ...
Dirk - a loss of 4
Aidan - a loss of 1
Patrick - exactly the same
Me - a gain of 2
Dirk is eating less "junk" fillers at home and at the hospital. He used to grab Cokes and cookies on the run, but is now eating more fruit. For Aidan, I really think it's a matter of the reduction in granola and breakfast bars. On an average day, he would eat two breakfast bars with breakfast, two for a snack and maybe one or two when he got home. At a 140 calories a bar, that's up to 840 calories of a lot of empty sugar in a single day. Patrick has replaced his candy fetish with carrots, fruit, cheese and everything else I offer. And he looks great. I don't know what the exact nutriotional correlation is, but he has no dark circles under his eyes, and his coloring is super.
For me, the increase is in the homemade baked goods. I never ate the processed cookies or "treats." But the warm, home-baked goodness is tough to resist. As the baker, who else is going to try the cookie batter, the first cookie out of the oven, the broken ones and the extra one that won't fit neatly in the Tupperware? Oh, yeah, and the scraps that the kids didn't eat. And, let's not forget, almond butter. I've been a little liberal with that one. I've just been excited about everything we've made and eaten. I need to get back to normal portions. And salad.
Today, I baked and cooked like crazy when I found out Dirk lost weight. It was a comfort-food day - bread, oatmeal cranberry cookies, roast chicken and mac and cheese. Here are two recipes: our famous family dough that we use for everything from pizza and calzones to bread and roles. It's sure-fire and easy. And then there's mac and cheese.
1 tablespoon yeast
2 1/2 cups flour (50% whole wheat, 50% white)
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1. Add yeast to a large bowl. Pour warm water over yeast and stir with a fork until yeast is completely dissolved. Add olive oil and honey. Stir.
2. Add flours and mix.
3. Knead dough until it becomes a shiny ball.
4. Let rise for about two hours. Form into desired shape - pizza crust, baguette, rolls ... bake at 400 degrees until golden brown.
Mac & Cheese
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk (I use 2%, but have used whole and even skim in the past)
2 cups grated cheddar
1. Start with a basic "bechamel" sauce ... just melt butter in a pan at medium heat. Add flour and stir until it forms a thick paste. Slowly add milk to the paste and stir until it's smooth and thick.
2. Add cheddar and stir until cheese is melted and sauce is thick. Salt and pepper to taste.
3. Remove sauce from heat and pour over cooked noodles of your choice. We use whole wheat macaroni.
Breakfast: Yogurt, grapefruit, strawberries and OJ with fish oil.
Lunch: Grilled cheese sandwiches, pita and hummus, carrots, banana and milk. Aidan took pita and hummus, applesauce, grapes, potato chips, craisins and apple juice.
Dinner: Roast chicken with lemon, garlic and rosemary, mac and cheese, homemade bread, garden green salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette and oatmeal cranberry cookies.
Nugget o' the Day: "I'm not a candy fiend anymore." -Patrick as he ate his banana.