I often get comments like, “You’re so much thinner in person.” Or (after a particularly long holiday season), “Mazel tov, you’re expecting” — when I’m not. You may know my story, having seen it played out on TV. To be honest, it’s been hard to gain the baby weight and not lose the baby weight, all in the public eye.
This last pregnancy, I was especially big. After I saw the number 200 on the scale I stopped looking. I am only 5 foot 6. And so there is only so much you can explain away.
Baby weight or not, my tummy is like a magnet. Every extra pound gathers around my midsection like there’s a clearance sale at Nordstrom. Tamar Genger, my long-time friend, colleague and nutrition “rabbi,” has the same trouble spot (or so she says). I like to think maybe that’s why we get along so well.
I’ve often turned to her, begging(!) to do something together. You see, Tamar is a registered dietitian with a Master’s degree in health studies. With all her impressive credentials and schooling and whatnot, she’s got more initials after her name than some British royalty, and when it comes to eating well, I trust her implicitly. So I generously offered myself up as the perfect guinea piggy for her healthy meal-plan schemes and dreams. She finally heard my pleas (thank you G-d!), ‘cause I’m tired of being called pleasantly plump. Truth is, I’m just plain tired (and would settle for feeling more pleasant.)
That’s the real impetus for all this: exhaustion. And to be even more honest, my sedentary lifestyle can sometimes leave me depressed. Not like mentally and clinically, just kind of lackluster feeling. You know what it’s like to be a mommy or daddy, what it feels like when everyone is crying at the same time (including me) — just totally overwhelming. When am I scheduling in eating healthy and all the meal planning that goes along with it when I am just trying to keep this family of mine running smoothly? I always say that between kids, careers and carpools there isn’t a moment to do much more than breath.
So that was the push for this new Fresh Families thing we’re doing. I looked at other programs that were very me/mom/I focused and I needed to create something that was we/family/us focused.
Tamar was with me on this. We usually, eventually, end up on the same page. That’s what happens when you work so closely with someone for almost seven years. And she knew the life I wanted included cheese, chocolate and challah so Tamar studied, tested and found a way for us to eat the foods we love while maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle. It is this inspiration that helped us launch Fresh Families.
Our nutrition philosophy, in a nutshell (purposeful pun), is all about healthy whole foods. We focus on integrating more whole grains, vegetables, fruits and nuts and minimizing added sugar or processed ingredients when we cook for our families.
But more importantly it’s dinner every night that stresses me out. It’s always there, without fail, just taunting me with the “what are you gonna do with me tonight” attitude. I have mastered cooking quick for my kids but have been wanting to cook healthier for the whole fam. So Fresh Families is for anyone who wants healthy family friendly takes on the fast food (chicken nuggets, fish sticks, mac ‘n cheese — we have Fresh Families versions of all of those and more) that your kids will love.
I’ve always loved the before-and-after pix from makeovers. This meal makeover after pic will feature your family’s smiling faces!!!
Fresh Families Recipes
As “The Bride Who Knew Nothing”, Jamie found her niche specializing in fast, fresh, family recipes. Now the “Queen of Kosher” (CBS) and the “Jewish Rachael Ray” (The New York Times), she’s the creative force behind JamieGeller.com
Jamie and her hubby live in Israel with their six super kids who give her plenty of reasons to get out of the kitchen - quickly. Check out her new book, Brisket 101 and her new family meal plan “Fresh Families”.