The Quintanas, Week 17: Of Milk and Man (and the Rest of Us, Too)

Filed under: Healthy Families Challenge

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Look, it's 1-percent!! Credit: Nory Garcia

We started out as a crazy family of six, part "vegan," part vegetarian and part carnivore.

David, my hubby, was working out at a gym on a daily basis and I was clinging to any excuse I could find not to work up a sweat. The older kids were getting in some activity as they ran, swam and skateboarded. Chloe, my youngest, was a little too much like Mommy -- the only running she did was away from physical strain.

I was cooking: rice-heavy, sugar-infused, vegetable-free meals to make everyone happy.

Three months into The Healthy Families Challenge, it's time to give you a recap of the ups and downs, as well as the scoop on where we are at. So, where are we?

Well, I am no longer a vegan, but a vegetarian. A strict vegan diet was impossible for me to keep up with, due to the fact that even the majority of packaged vegetarian products, like the Morningstar and Boca brands, have eggs or milk in them. My hat is off to those who can.

Nobody else in my home is a vegetarian these days. I even convinced David, who had given up animal products in support of me, to go back to eating meat. Unless it's your own personal conviction, it is just too hard to stick to. Su-Nui Escobar, our nutritionist, has helped me come up with ways to cook for us all and not have to make two meals. For example, when she made turkey burgers for my family, she swapped in a Spicy Black Bean Burger for me.

I adore my yoga classes at Pranoga with Aditya Gir, and have now added a Saturday session to my repertoire. I keep saying I'm going to hit the treadmill at my community gym, somewhere in between all the other activities, but, somehow, something always comes up. In all honesty, I have not gone once. Maybe that is why the pounds snuck up on me. I currently weigh 140 pounds -- five under my starting point, but not the eight I had originally lost.

David continues to be steadfast in the fight. He attends American Top Team Doral for a Muay Thai class on Mondays and Wednesdays, and started a cardio class on Tuesdays and Thursdays with Danillo Villefort. David holds steady at 228 pounds, a whopping 39 pounds under his starting weight of 267. His commitment and discipline inspire us all.

Ah, the children. Aaron, my oldest, takes Adult No Gui Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at ATT Doral on Tuesdays and Thursdays, prefaced by the children's Jiu Jitsu class with Chloe and Christian, my youngest boy. Chloe continues her Saturday sessions at The Little Gym and can now run a full two laps around the track at school, despite starting the school year discouraged in her P.E. class, unable to complete a lap without doubling over in pain. Beth, my oldest daughter, still has a broken thumb; she is sticking to running with her new buddy after school.

Everyone's eating habits have improved vastly.

Can I get the younger two to eat everything I put in front of them? Absolutely not. They do, however, try each food before making a judgment on what permanent role it will play in their lives. The fact that Chloe, who hates peppers, tried a tomato, onion and pepper mix the other day and swallowed it (even though she did not like it) put a huge smile of pride on my face.

As for the older ones, Beth and Aaron have always been great, adventurous eaters.

In some people's eyes, we may seem to be slightly slacking, but they would not be people who knew the Quintanas before. The fact that I take a class that requires movement, not once but twice a week, is a miracle in itself. The fact that I will start using the treadmill will be another one. I used to see those things as medieval torture machines; the very thought made me queasy. Now, thoughts of exercising invigorate me.

Oh! And the moment you've been waiting for. David now refers to the over-sized mixing bowl as his salad bowl instead of his cereal bowl, and fills his glass with 1% milk! This makes me want to hug him all day long, and gives me hope that I'll get to hang onto him a few extra years.

As far as I am concerned we are winners all the way.

Where to next month? Definitely, moving forward! And I mean moving.

Who's the rest of the competition? Check out all the challengers' latest updates here.

How is the Quintana family doing? Check in on their progress!

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.