Day 151: chicken nuggets and Murphy’s Law

Today’s menu: chicken nuggets, collard greens, fruit cups, cornbread muffin

NUGGETS! Get your nuggets while you can! Going fast!

I chowed down. I was so hungry, I barely even remember entering the cafeteria and buying my lunch. All I could see was FOOD and I was ready to eat it. Since I plan to never again eat another chicken nugget after December 17th, might as well go whole hog, right? I’ve eaten more than my fair share this year, don’t you think? The BBQ sauce certainly helped get them down.

The chicken nugget that got its revenge…
This time a peppercorn hit me in the throat, where it decided to stay. It left me sputtering and looking for my water. School lunches usually lack a sensory experience (as compared to when I ate real Mexican tacos in June), but with yesterday’s burp and today’s peppercorn, well, I guess I need to re-evaluate that statement.
I couldn’t get through the collard greens. They are so bitter…although not as strikingly bitter as when I first had them. I’m trying to figure out if the greens have changed or if my taste buds have acclimatized. Bring back the spinach!
The kids ate what is on the right
and threw out what is on the left
I saved one of these containers and it’s in my cupboard at home!
You know, for old times’ sake…
Last night I “bragged” about my son, saying “he’s a great sleeper.” I must have pissed off the parenting gods who then evoked Murphy’s Law. My little boy was up in the night for about a half-hour from 12:30 until 1 am. I was in such a deep sleep that when he first started crying out I didn’t know what day it was. In the middle of the night my mind was racing, “Is it Saturday?” Strange.
I have found that when I parent I end up evoking Murphy’s Law frequently. Let that be a warning to other parents (and especially parents-to-be) — you will be smited! I should have known better. Poor kid woke up with a runny nose so there’s our reason. It’s his second cold this fall. He hasn’t gotten an ear infection this fall but he goes to daycare full-time so colds are unavoidable. No diet can stop daycare germs!
UPDATED: If you have concerns about your health or your child’s health, see a doctor and as many specialists as you see fit. Also ear tubes are fantastic. Our son was so sick (the average kid had one ear infection per year — my kid had eight by 16 months) and I’m very happy we had the procedure done. It definitely was the right choice for our family. If I had another child and an ENT said tubes were appropriate, I wouldn’t hesitate.

Call your reps today!

I want to urge you to call your representative today Wednesday and urge him/her to pass the Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act. Here’s what the Healthy Schools Campaign emailed me:

Dear HSC Friend:

This Wednesday, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act, the legislation that provides funding and sets standards for school food.

The House is considering the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (S. 3307) which, though far from perfect, includes excellent policy changes to improve school food now and in the future. In a time when many children face both hunger and obesity, this bill presents an opportunity to set policy that will bring healthier food to the children who need it most.

Your voice is crucial in making this policy a reality. Please call your Representative today:

Dial 1-877-698-8228 and enter your zip code to be connected directly to your Representative’s office. Deliver this simple message: “Congress must not adjourn without passing the child nutrition bill. Please vote yes for the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.”

We have urged those who care about school food to speak up about this issue several times over the past two years as reauthorization worked its way through Congress. Now, as Congress prepares to vote, your voice is more important than ever.

Thank you for taking action.

Let’s get this over with already! How long does this bill have to sit around considering how important it is to so many little people?

Day 150: cheeseburger and my metamorphosis

Today’s menu: cheeseburger, whole wheat buns, baked beans, pear

The patty looks odd, right? I’m puzzled as to how the cheese got pock-marked. It almost looks like it was dribbled on there, but I think that it must have been placed on as a slice and then it melted during the (re)heating process…then the condensation dripped down on it? I don’t know. The baked beans were a little on the gelatinous side, but fine and the pear was great (it was a little wet so I knew it had been washed).

I have to say that the patty didn’t taste *bad* but, as usual, I shrug…who knows what I’m eating. From what I’ve read the quality of this beef is either the same as a fast food patty or worse.

I talked about lunch with a couple kids. I asked one girl, “Did you eat the baked beans?”
“No, I don’t like beans.” (I’m willing to bet this is the attitude of most of my students)

And the other girl piped in, “Did you know that beef is from… a cow?”
Smiling, “Yes, I did.”
(She even paused for dramatic effect!)

Almost exactly two hours after lunch (yes, I looked at my watch), I burped and tasted processed meat. I want this to be on record: I never want that to happen again. After December 17th, I’m done with processed meat for good. Add it to the list of things I don’t want to eat again…(ahem, gluten, dairy)

Take a look at the calendar. Yep, tomorrow is December 1st. Where did the year go? What happened to me?

Looking back, I started this whole thing on a whim, a crazy thought. I was sitting on the couch last December coming up with my goals for the following year (it’s a ritual of mine) and I told my husband, “I should eat school lunch every day next year! The kids eat the weirdest packaged lunches…. I could blog it…” with a laugh.

Then I stopped, “Hmmm.” He laughed too until he realized I was partially serious.

“No, we got enough on our plate.” He was referring mostly to our son, about 15 months old at the time with near constant ear infections, not a good sleeper, our chronic exhaustion….

So I did what every woman would do in that situation, I forgot about it. We went on with our lives and enjoyed the holidays, unfortunately two ER visits with our boy…


I couldn’t shake that thought. It was like December 28th or something and I was driving somewhere, maybe just around our community, running errands. The “school lunch blog” thought entered my head again. My sweet, goofy students. So broke, poor even. But so much to offer the world. Well, damn, “I’m going to attempt to eat school lunch everyday in 2010.”

And here I am. Eleven months later. 150 lunches eaten. I’m oddly sickened but proud…
My relationship to food has changed…forever…there’s no going back.

Then: I didn’t blog opinions. I was scared.
Now: I’m aware and an advocate, stating my thoughts. I’m not…as scared 🙂

Then: My son was ill, an ear infection every two weeks.
During: He got ear tubes, which meant he just got an ear infection once a month, two ER visits this summer, received prescription for daily med and home nebulizer in September.
Now: He is healthy, changed him to goat milk late spring, totally (cow’s milk) dairy-free since September and gluten-free since October. No ear infections, no tantrums, great sleeper. I’m parenting a different child.

Then: So I have chronic IBS, so what? It’s just a cross I have to bear…along with every one of my immediate family members now that I think about it, but I tested negative for Celiac’s Disease so it can’t be gluten…?
During: In June after six months of school lunches, I was diagnosed with mild asthma and got my first prescription for a rescue inhaler.
Now: In October, started the low gluten/low dairy diet outside of school is making life better. Yep, I know. Wow.

Then: I thought it was “just food.”

Now: I have learned that food is personal, food is life, food is health.

Thank you, dear readers, for following along on this wacky journey and putting up with me. If you started from the beginning, you really didn’t know what you were in for, did you? Neither did I. I’m so happy I started this blog and met all you wonderful people. If you ever needed a reminder to listen to that little voice inside you, your gut (literally), here it is!