Monday, May 21, 2012

School Field Trip and Grilled Cheese

It's been awhile since I've been able to swing a field trip with one of my kids and  I remember now why I don't make a huge effort to do so. We went to the landfill and the copper mine (both of which were fascinating and entertaining) and had lunch at the park; I was in charge of hovering over six third graders. I rode on the bus and I thought to myself, the rock concerts that I used to go to, including Van Halen and Aerosmith had to have rated higher on the decibel meter than being packed on a bus of elementary school children, but I debated it heavily. Once the bus stopped, there was a flurry of confusion and chaos as there was a mass exodus of kids running every which way through the park, swinging on the railings over the giant mining hole, sliding down brick walls, disappearing in restrooms; it was like an end of the world scene from a movie as people flee in every direction, those kids run like they are on rails. I swear, all kids need internal honing beacons or electric dog collars to be corraled. By about two o'clock I was totally exhausted; my head was pounding and I fell asleep on the bus waking suddenly as I felt four pairs of devious and plotting eyeballs watching me intently. It was a little creepy.

I will say that it was fun to be with Preston and he was a very, very good boy. The big hole was neat and the fun facts I learned about landfills and recycling were very interesting and informative. I will have to put some space between this one and the next field trip I volunteer to go on. With all that in mind - it's reward time! Okay, so most health experts (including non-experts like myself) would say that turning to food in times of stress causes only harm and no good. True, true. But who the hell cares right now after being on a bus all day with crazy kids?! "I'm having fish tonight!" (Bruce the Shark, Finding Nemo) Or in the non-carnivores reward-food realm - grilled cheese. Oh, grilled cheese has been a favorite Sunday afternoon past-time and 'comfort food' for as long as I can remember. I loved it when my dad made me grilled cheese and it has become Preston's favorite 'Mom Meal' as well. In fact, he refers to it as my 'world-famous grilled cheese.' I did some crude math on the calorie count of a grilled cheese sandwich and wondered if as a favorite meal, we just throw that number to the dogs and enjoy the meal in all its goodness. Kind of like not looking at what is actually in a Tasty's blueberry cake donut, but just relishing every tender morsel. Yes, we'll leave it alone - but I will tell you cheese is happy fat (slowing absorption of carbs), and high in protein (22 grams!) and I wasn't totally horrified by the number (which does depend on the amount of cheese and the type of bread used). We won't feel terrible about splurging once in awhile.

I've also found that aged white cheddar and Great Harvest's Roasted Onion and Asiago Sourdough bread make for a fantastic sandwich. Throw together the simple balsamic salad with tomatoes and maybe a few Terra chips for crunch and you've got a very happy lunch or dinner.

*As far as splurging goes, allowing some of your favorite foods in your life is the way to go. Deprivation never works - in fact it almost always backfires. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I eat impeccably during the week, look forward to my home-made popcorn and movie every Friday night and a '10' treat Friday or Saturday. The trick is to make sure it is a '10' and still watch the portion size. I don't like having to 'undo' what naughtiness I wreaked over the weekend over the course of the following week. Allow yourself some wiggle room but always keep the end goal in mind of staying fit and healthy. My mom gave me a slice of cake today and as much as I wanted it, I threw it in the freezer to have on my weekend treat day. I just repeat my mantra, "I can wait until Saturday" in my mind and find that I really CAN wait until Saturday. Find what works for you, then employ and enjoy.

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