What’s A “Meal”?

My dad’s gym was right next door to our neighborhood market and, come lunch time, he would send me over to grab our “lunch” – fresh shrimp and a lemon. The ladies there knew us well and so would always help – and back I would go to our weight room where we would unwrap the shrimp, squeeze lemon juice over it, and eat it up with a protein smoothie on the side. Quick. Easy. Lunch.

This was always how we ate in our family. A “meal” was rarely a plate of food with a starch, a protein and a vegetable all prettied up and perfectly separated on a plate; a “meal” was also never so heavy that we walked away “stuffed”. No, our meals looked more like this:

A bunch of raw radishes and a chicken breast.

Hardboiled eggs, grapes, a couple pieces of wheat bread.

Shrimp (like I already mentioned) with a smoothie or some fresh fruit.

(These are the meals I mention because they are the earliest meals I remember as a child.)

This “training” I got growing up set the tone for how I eat now and how I am training my kids to eat:  sometimes a “meal” isn’t a full plate of food. I want them to learn this because, in our fast paced life, “busyness” is too easy of an excuse to eat like garbage. So, in our home when we’re pressed for time, we still eat in a way that shows them by example that whole, simple foods are the go-to.

Sometimes a “meal” is a couple slices of rolled up turkey, fruit and a handful of almonds.

Sometimes a meal is a peanut butter sandwich on seed bread and a banana.

Sometimes a meal is a bowl of roasted veggies, a few slices of chicken and a glass of milk.

This is an important concept for my kids to live out because I want them to go into the world on their own with a habit of reaching for the “good stuff” – the simple whole foods that energize us without wearing us down, that nourish us as we were created to be nourished.

Does it mean we never, ever eat fast food? Of course not! BUT – fast food is neither the norm, nor the habit. And, it is a choice we make – not something we “fall” into.

So, be encouraged today. If you want to eat healthier in your home, maybe one step is simply transforming your mind about what a “meal” has to look like.

Rebel on, elisha