Inspired by Togetherness
Every past experience shapes and forms how we function as a family and the expectations we have for family time. I’m on a quest to have conversations with people about how they approach meal time, cooking, shopping, and togetherness.
In a recent interview, I got some insights on how a busy, working mom deals with the demands of every day and the ways she and her family work together to conquer it all. Growing up, Gaby saw her mom prepping and cooking meals but was unsure if her mom enjoyed cooking.
Gaby helped out in the kitchen and learned how to cook basic, balanced meals – protein, starch, vegetables. Gaby wasn’t necessarily inspired by the food she ate growing up, but she enjoyed eating. In college, Gaby had a Middle Eastern friend who introduced her to other cuisines. She also went to her first farmers market, which helped her realize the grocery store wasn’t the only place to get fresh produce.
Gaby is passionate about healthy eating and togetherness, making sure all parts of her family are working together. We discussed the importance of finding a partner that has similar goals and viewpoints on health, family, and participation. When she was pregnant, she had gestational diabetes. Her husband went to the meetings with the dietitian to help learn how to eat differently. She was taken aback about having gestational diabetes and the dietitian reassured her that it wasn’t her fault. She greatly appreciated the dietitian’s time, support, and guidance.
As older parents with a young child, they wanted to teach their daughter the value of fresh ingredients, cooking, healthy eating, and together time. Her daughter is now 15 and they share preparation of meals each week. Gaby encourages anyone to learn how to cook with the thought “If you can read, you can follow a recipe.”
Here is a break down of her family mealtime practices:
- Her husband is responsible for dinner for 4 nights a week. His meals are templated meals (stir fry, salmon with vegetables + starch).
- Gaby is responsible for dinner 3 nights per week. Her meals are inspired by New York Times Cooking and crockpot meals. Broccoli with crispy garlic and cumin seeds and a kale, apple & cheddar salad are common go to recipes.
- Their daughter is responsible for dinner 1 night a week and makes breakfast most days.
Togetherness at the table is another important factor of meal time. Electronics have evolved so much that we can be too connected at times. A device in our hands can take away from the experience that is happening in the present moment. Gaby expressed they do not keep their devices on the table. In her household this would be like putting your shoes on the table, they don’t belong. A way to keep meal time a “family time” would be to place phones in a basket or away from the table.
Consider the distractions in your environment and what you can do to reduce them and focus on the people around you. Cheers to being mindful and present!
To learn about creating your own simple, healthy meal planning system or find support to meet your health goals, schedule a free one-on-one Nutrition for Wellness Strategy Session with me!
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By Alicia Connor, MA, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Chef
Links to Alicia Connor’s Socials:
- Quick & Delish on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT0DBT0dF_qEeiePwcxamMw
- Quick & Delish on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/quick_delish/?hl=en
- Quick & Delish on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aliciaconnorrd/
- Join Alicia Connor’s email list: quickanddelish.ck.page/cheers-to-your-health
- Sign up for Alicia Connor’s Virtual Meal Planning Series: https://www.quickanddelish.net/workshop
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Alicia Connor is a registered dietitian nutritionist and chef who is passionate about encouraging lifestyle shifts with a focus on meal planning and simplifying healthy eating. Alicia built a career as a chef, including working at a top San Francisco restaurant. As a young adult facing hereditary vision loss, she took control and pivoted to another career as a dietitian to grow roots deeper than ‘just cooking.’ She has seen the impact of meal planning and nutrition in her clients over the years, often through their increased energy, empowered weight loss journeys, and freedom to pursue more of their passions due to increased confidence.
Moving away from the mindset of dieting, Alicia helps clients build a toolkit of strategies to reduce stress and increase peace of mind. She supports her clients through one-on-one sessions and a virtual meal planning program to build helpful habits and create actionable plans to meet their goals.
‘Quick & Delish by Alicia Connor’ is a video cooking series on YouTube where Alicia presents easy recipes with minimal steps for flavorful, balanced meals.
- Inspired by Togetherness: A picture of a family enjoying dinner together around a table without devices or distractions.
- An Image with words stating Unplug and be Present
- Author photo: Alicia Connor a pretty brunette with dark wavy shoulder-length hair wearing a denim jacket as she leans on a kitchen counter with assorted veggies in front of her.