Monday, April 5, 2010

A New Beginning and Ratatouille

Well folks we have joined the Eat to Live Bandwagon!

Last night Corey and I read together from the book, this morning we went shopping, and we are officially up and running! A few notes:

-I'm not having the kids do this too... Em did you? Katie are you going to? I am certainly involving them with pieces of it, and taking this new start for me and Corey as a chance to be extra diligent about their diet in general, but I didn't think they could get enough calories and fat content that their little bodies need doing the same thing as us... especially the first 6 weeks that are designed for weight loss. Any thoughts mommies? (Whit that totally includes you too!!! Yay!)

-Corey is done with soda. Yesterday he also said he'd like to have meat only 4 times a year: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and the 4th of July. WHAT?!? I was shocked. He is so on board with this it's awesome!

-I was SO shocked at how much food I was able to buy with the amount of money that I spent. WOW! Shocked really was the only word. I hope it's that way for you too Kate. I had the luxury of shopping at 3 different stores including a Sam's Club where I could buy cheap frozen berries.

-It feels like there is more but I guess that's it for now. I will leave you with what we had for our first Eat to Live dinner:

Ashlee Ratatouille (Whit I still would like your recipe too!)

1 small-med eggplant or 1/2 of a large one
1 med zucchini
1 large red bell pepper
1/3 of a large yellow onion
1 can no salt diced tomatoes
Mrs. Dash Italian Medley Seasoning (I have a feeling with this no-salt business Mrs. Dash is going to be a big friend!)

Chop eggplant, zucchini, pepper and onion to be bite sized (yes even the onion- I love me a big bite of onion! Corey gave all his to me). Toss them all in a very large skillet with a tablespoon of water. Stir and cook for a few minutes over med-high heat. Add tomatoes and generously season with Mrs. Dash (does it bother you that I used an italian seasoning for a french dish? Just let it go, it totally worked). Cook and stir until almost boiling and reduce heat. Continue cooking until veggies are the crispness you like. Don't make 'em mushy! Mushy eggplant is yucky!

We served ours with a small portion of plain brown rice and cooked butter beans. I had never tried butter beans before. They get 2 thumbs up from the Burtons! I am trying to make beans something that we eat with all types of meals, not just mexican, and I think this worked pretty well. My kids love Ratatouille and I was thrilled that they liked this version seeing as how the one I had been making used a packaged salad dressing and cheese.

I know that the next 6 weeks are going to be hard, and take a lot of work, but I am so excited!

PS- Everyone still wants to do this blog right? We've all been kind of absent lately. Just checking :)


  1. I'm still here....just floundering in a bit of "what the heck do we eat?!" lately. We haven't "officially" started ETL yet, but all of the things I've planned for dinner this week would fit in, I think! It's just that we're allowing ourselves to finish off the last of our cheese and other totally nasty for you things....and get in one visit to Grandma's that will throw everything off before we "start."

    Ash, I AM actually planning on having the kids do this as well. From reading the book, it seems as though you really have to get out of your head the traditional thoughts of caloric and fat requirements, and what foods really contain them. Plus, I don't think my kids will do very well at eating the things I want them to, if there are less-healthy options available. I don't know.....I might allow them to top something with a little cheese to help it be more appealing, but I really think that first we'll just try things as they are.

    And I don't know....I haven't finished the book yet, but it doesn't seem as if the diet really changes after the first six weeks, just that that's the time frame for your body to really adjust to the new lifestyle, and when the most changes occur. I think that even from the beginning he gives the option to include the animal foods or not...just realizing that whenever you do, (first six weeks or not) it's not quite as good for you.

    Does that make sense? Or am I not understanding the book....??

    I'm glad to hear that your grocery bill wasn't too bad Ash. I can definitely see how cutting out animal products would lower the cost, but I'm worried about the cost of produce! Especially in the amounts specified. This kind of half/half week will show I guess. I'm headed to the grocery store today.....wish me luck. :)

  2. Yeah I thought the same thing- the life plan is not much different than the 6 weeks- but I guess there are just a few things about it that I currently don't agree with for a long-term plan. Although I definitely reserve the right to change my mind as we are still reading and have yet to hear ALL of the nutritional info. Perhaps as I read my mind will change.

    I don't have any issues with getting rid of animal products in the diet- even with the boys. The thing that REALLY gets me are the restraints on grains and even certain kinds of vegetables. I think you certainly have to keep your body type in mind, and that being lean is worth giving up certain kinds of foods depending on how your body functions, but I don't know... the scriptures say grains are good. I BELIEVE in grains. I wish I ate more! and to think only one serving a day, and that only if you avoided certain kinds of vegetables- to me seems low. Also- if we are to eat fruits and vegetables in season restricting things like sweet potatoes and winter squashes makes that difficult. There has to be some kind of balance I would think. Does that make sense?

    The boys are eating next to no dairy but I am not restricting the grains, although I do own that I need to find more unadulterated ways of fixing them. But for the time being if they want a peanut butter (no added oils) and agave sandwhich on fresh whole wheat bread that I ground the wheat for myself that day- I have no problem with that. And then if they have brown rice with dinner in the same day- I don't think that's too much.

    Did that kind of thing bother you at all? Will I feel differently when I read?

    So we are day 2 here and going strong- so far the hardest thing for me is not cooking all the veggies. I LOVE cooked veggies so much more than raw... but we are doing it!

    Another side note- I am surprised how very FULL I am all the time. Corey too.

    I thought of another reason it will be cheaper for us than you- salad. Sam's club has organic lettuce and spinach salad things that are MASSIVE for so cheap. Darn! Just another reason to move to IL... :)

    I would love to know your thoughts about all of this guys. I hope when I express my thoughts you know that I am really hoping for discussion and know that I have SO much to learn! I am so glad we have each other!

    ps- I love nuts! This has been a MOST welcome addition to our diet.

  3. The grain thing is a good idea for the six weeks just to give you a jump start but after that I think if you want to add more grains back into your diet then you can. Because I breast feed and exercise a ton I eat more grains. I eat 2-3 (mostly 2) servings a day and they are two good size's of grains. As far as for your kids. They are still growing they need more grains. I remember my mom telling me about an olympain who followed a two year old around all day and attempted to do what he did and could not keep up. Our little children are burning calories left and right and growing at a massive rate. They need more of that. As for us grown ups, we are done growing. You just need to listen to your body. Katey is pregnant I breast feed so, you will need more than Ashlee. It just depends.

  4. Okay, I finally got to the chapter on the 6 week plan vs. the life plan today, so I feel like I can comment with more understanding now. :)

    I still really don't have a problem with the 6 week plan, for us. If my kids have an option for grain available, they will pick it every time over the veggies. Plus you can have as many beans as you want, so I think that makes up for some of what you miss out on in the grains. Also, my idea of "whole grains" has drastically changed. This is just IMO, but I'm starting to feel like the whole idea is to eat every food as close as possible to the form it came to you bread, (even whole grain) starts to sound more "refined" when you think of it that way. I think another reason for the restriction during the 6 week plan is to help your tastes the veggies and beans taste as good or better to you than the grains. (Which is why I will make my kids do it too....they MUCH prefer starchy grains to veggies. :) )

    I think he also did make allowances for body type...he did say that a more active person can tolerate more grains in their diet, (this would definitely include kids!) and that kids shouldn't be restricted on the amount of nuts like adults.

    On the veggies...I also don't have a problem with that because the only veggies limited are the ones that will make you feel really full with less. He doesn't exclude raw carrots at all, just cooked, (which seem like the best-for-you orange veggies) And as for the squash, I wouldn't probably eat more than one serving a day of it anyway, and agree that you shouldn't with the potatoes. With the availability we have of produce year-round anymore there's always green veggies at the grocery store. And Brandon heard at a garden show the other day about this cool way to grow veggies 10 months out of the year here in Vernal....pretty impressive considering we frequently get below 0 during the winter. (I think it was using "cold boxes" or something like that.)

    Anyway....I don't think you're horrible if your kids have rice and bread in the same day. Obviously any adaptation of this diet is going to be MUCH better than the typical American diet....these are just some of my thoughts after actually reading the chapter. And we'll see how we actually do when we put our money where my mouth is! The countdown is on!

  5. Sorry, one more thing I just thought about! I won't hold my kids to the "no snacks between meals" long as it's a food that fits in the plan. To be honest, I probably won't hold myself to that either, being pregnant. I'm not in it to lose weight right now obviously, just be a healthier me.