The Jacksons, Week 23: A Rutabaga Saves the Day

Filed under: Healthy Families Challenge

Rutabaga picture deidra jackson

There are few things better than the lush, orange flesh of a rutabaga served up just right on a plate. Credit: Deidra Jackson

When it comes to losing weight, some of us really don't stand a chance.

And I know some of our most ardent Healthy Families Challenge followers will lambaste me in a New York minute for saying so. They'll tell me that it's simply about being strong and having basic willpower. "Why don't you have some self-discipline about yourself?" they'll scold me in the comments section. "Just say no. It's easy," several might even contend.

Well, perhaps for some. But, as we know, for others it's not a cakewalk.

This week in the Jackson household, temptations unexpectedly were abound, and yes, I gave in. While I maintained my rigorous workouts and know that I didn't completely ruin my progress to date, sheer mental fatigue helped derail my efforts at minimizing my intake of sweets and other high-caloric foods.

In other words, some of the strands gave way on my self-restraint.

After a series of long, taxing days at work, who feels like cooking when you get home? Restaurants, with your tasty and cheap food, here we come.

My son Jackson received his shipments of food items that friends and family ordered for his school and church youth fundraisers. You could compare them to placing Girl Scout cookie orders, except there's much more variety and a bit more expense involved. We goofed. After Jack turned in his confirmed orders, we thought the company would mail them to the recipients. But no, we found ourselves responsible for sending the goods. With several pounds of refrigerated goods to send, it became too costly to mail the perishables out of town. The orders that were left over -- glazed donuts, frozen pizzas, tubs of refrigerated cookie dough and chilled boxes of cheesecakes -- let's just say that we didn't give all the food away.

pizza box picture

Temptation squared. Credit: Deidra Jackson

And then, I'm rolling through a big box retail store and see something in the frozen foods section that gives me pause -- boxes of large frozen pizzas that also conveniently include one dozen bake-and-eat chocolate chip cookies. Really? This is what led to my "some of us don't stand a chance" motif.

No, I didn't snatch one of those cartons and throw it into my cart this day, but I wondered if I might have, in a different moment of weakness. I told Jack about the sinful pizza/cookies combo and he immediately asked me if I had taken a picture of it. Why, yes, I did, Son.

Amid my despair over my wicked lapses of sound food judgment, I'm almost forgetting to make part of the public record the times this week we were chaste. One word: rutabaga!

I bought a nice firm, waxy one, along with crisp green beans and fresh broccoli, when I was at the store that day. So at least one day, I cooked vegetables that we could feel proud about eating. Jackson can throw down when it comes to steamed broccoli with a bit of fat-free margarine. The rutabaga? I dice it into 1-inch chunks, boil them in lightly salted water for 25 minutes or so, drain, and then season with pepper, olive oil and bacon crumbles. I could eat its lush, orange, starchy turnip-like flesh every day. Jack? Not so much.

Though surrounded and tempted by sweet treats and convenience food, for me, a rutabaga saved the day.

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