The Quintanas, Week 22: Lunch Dates and Loudness

Filed under: Healthy Families Challenge

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Best friends forever. Credit: David Quintana

Every day around noon, I have a hot date.

Well, as hot as it can get in our company lunchroom, over home-packed meals.

My hubby, David, and I hang with our buddies for lunch. I am David's buddy, and he is mine.

We pals have the blessing of working in the same company. My position is in operations, and his is in shipping. Every day, we meet up midday and share a meal and just hang.

People often ask us how it is that we do not tire of each other. Our answer is typically some version of, "We got married because we love to be together."

In addition to allowing us these daytime dates, we have discovered that working together has advantages when it comes to the Healthy Families Challenge.

One of the biggest plusses has to be the level of accountability that we feel to each other. You see, every morning, I go through pretty much the same routine. I wake up at around 5 a.m. and, once I am presentable, I come downstairs and prepare our food for the day. I make David a breakfast that typically consists of coffee, orange juice and a flat-bread egg sandwich. I then pack myself some cereal, with a banana and almond milk. For lunch, I usually pack leftovers for David and a veggie burger or meatless "chicken" patty on seven-grain flat-bread for myself.

The advantage to our whole lunch plan, other than the obvious economical leverage, is that we know exactly what we are eating (as well as who we will be eating it with). This enables us to plan ahead and eat what's healthy for us.

Let's face it, without that accountability factor, I am sure that we would have a tendency to hit the fast-food joints for all the wrong stuff. You know, the stuff that got us feeling like this in the first place: Double Quarter Pounders and large orders of fries with Diet Cokes. My hubby used to joke with a huge smile on his face that he has the Diet Coke in order to counteract all of the other calories.

We do occasionally leave the office for lunch, but these days, we grab healthier options. Instead of the old choices of McDonald's or BK, we occasionally head to Subway for a low-calorie sub, Jared style, or to Panera for a half sandwich and a small soup.

The other great thing is that we get to sit and talk, just David and me, without any interruptions. Sometimes we talk about our challenges -- which typically translates into me complaining about how unfair it is that he is losing weight so quickly, but how happy I am for him. Sometimes, we just sit together in our car and enjoy the silence, which is not something we hear much of at home.

You know how at the beginning of a movie, they flash that reminder to turn off your cell phone, with the motto "Silence Is Golden"? I typically have to fight off the urge to stand up and tell the whole movie theater how true that is. There is rarely a silent moment in my life. Four kids and a very lively husband does not add up to silence. Ever!

However loud my life may be, I enjoy the moments that we share as a family. Sometimes it is lunch with my hubby. On Saturdays, it is that first moment after Chloe, my youngest daughter, runs out of her session at the Little Gym of Doral and asks if I saw what she did. Cool times are when my youngest son Christian lands that skateboard trick after so many tries, and begs me to go outside so he can show me; the occasional Monday when Beth, my older daughter, shows me up at yoga, because she is young and super flexible; or when my oldest, Aaron, shaves a half-second off his running time and doesn't stop talking about it.

Those are my moments, and to me they are the things that make me healthiest. They give me that extra push to take that advanced yoga class, because I know it's good for me and I want to be around for a long time to enjoy many, many moments just like this.

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