By Melissa Schlenker
Hello Friends! I’m thrilled to be here, back with my laptop and my camera, collaborating with Tom on the new Sheehan blog. Let’s rewind a bit. For about 4 years, I wrote a pretty-well-followed blog (as part of my day job) – chronicling my journey as a mom, fitness devotee and foodie as I navigated the grocery aisles, cooked nutritious recipes – and basically just tried to make it through the week! One of my personal goals, as part of that process, was to somehow instill my passion for making healthy choices around food in my children (and my husband too). My kids were young when I started A Better Bag of Groceries – and it felt like I was living in a non-stop frenzy of juice boxes, pizza birthday parties, Goldfish crackers and chicken nuggets.
Over the last couple of weeks, as I thought about what the Sheehan blog journey would be, it finally came to me when I opened the refrigerator and found my daughter’s lunch. (Note: my kids, ages 13 and 11, pack their own lunches – oh, believe me – THAT was a journey). Anyway, the photo above of the beautiful salad in a jar is my daughter’s creation. She’s 11. That is what she chooses to take for lunch. I achieved my goal. My family is making healthy choices – not because I tell them to – but because it is the lifestyle they have learned all along.
If you are reading this blog right now, it’s highly likely that you have made a commitment to exercise. What is your commitment to healthy eating? What do you want for you? What do you want for your family? One thing that I have come to accept, through many years and some ups and downs with food, is that eating healthy is a commitment. There is some work, some time – but I promise that through this blog I will help you along the way.
Before we get started, I wanted to offer up a few tidbits on where I’m coming from – and where we will be going on this journey:
I have had some chubby times in my life. Let’s just say that I really liked the dining hall at college (um, why?) If you are a Sheehan member, you know me as the Pilates instructor, barre class early riser and ballet dancer. Like just about every woman I know, I have a thing or two (or three) that I would like to improve, but my point is that I’m thinner than I used to be. About 15 lb less than I was at my wedding. I’ve been a Weight Watcher (many times). I know how to count points. I don’t do any of that any more. It’s all just lifestyle now.
My family eats healthy – but they also love pizza. As in every Friday night. (I don’t eat pizza regularly, but we’ll get to that. My point is – we are not perfect. I like dark chocolate. I like wine. We fit it in – in moderation.
I have a cranky gut. I’ve been gluten free for about 5 years and dairy free for 2 years. I’ve been recently diagnosed with IBS (good times!) and under my doctor’s advisement, I am beginning a trial of the FODMAP diet. However – since my husband and I cook for our whole family – you won’t necessarily see those restrictions in recipes.
I have been working in the grocery biz forever. My career has gone from consulting to corporate to start-up to where I am now (I work for a co-op of grocery stores in strategic sourcing). I love grocery stores (we’ll visit some), new food trends, and food news.
I promise not to make you buy $15 spices or forage for your own mushrooms. We are all time-crunched. I truly believe that while healthy eating takes commitment – it can be simple. We’re going for easy here.
So – get ready for some fun new recipes, planning tips, some field trips, new food finds and more. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes us!