I would love to introduce you to Lucy. She is a kindred spirit I am lucky to call a friend. Lucy lives in the heart of the Mission District in San Francisco with her partner Robert, and sons, Leo and Taj. The Mission District is the one of the hottest neighborhoods in San Francisco. It is filled with locally-owned stores and restaurants on the forefront of the culinary scene and is still rooted in it’s Latin history. It is filled with energy, culture and life at any given moment and is right at her families’ front door. In between the demanding moments of motherhood, you can find Lucy growing her business supporting San Francisco families through her foreign language tutoring company, Vis-a-Vis.
I am thrilled to interview Lucy and share her wonderful ideas with other families.
Describe what you do: I run my own foreign language tutoring business. My husband is a graphic designer.
Name(s) and age(s) of children: Leo – 6.5 & Taj – 3.5
Tell us about your family: We are a close knit family who likes to cuddle, be in nature, listen to all sorts of music, have dance parties & eat yummy food.
Are there any unique challenges your family faces and what are your strategies for working through them? Finding time to eat together. As a tutor, my hours are mostly in the afternoons & evenings and being self employed, my husband often works late. As the kids get older, I recognize the importance of meal times together & try my best to prioritize it.
How would you describe your philosophy about healthy living? (Almost) everything is ok in moderation. We try our best to eat whole foods, eat balanced meals & to eat organic but sometimes, we allow ourselves to cheat.
What does healthy mean to you? To me, healthy means knowing where my food comes from. Sustainable meat, fish & veggies are a priority. I’m trying to minimize the amount of processed food in our diets as well.
What does healthy mean to your children? All of the colors of the rainbow on their plates.
How do you balance healthy living and the rest of your values? We believe that healthy living not only includes eating well but also, getting outside, getting dirty, acting silly & expressing our feelings openly and freely.
What is a favorite food your family can not live without? There are so many but right now, I would say eggs and greek yogurt!
Living a healthy lifestyle is not only about eating good food, it can be nurtured by a variety of things such as; play, sleep, exercise, managing stress. What else does your family do to prioritize their health? We try and get outside and run around each day. We also put the boys (and ourselves) to sleep at roughly the same time each evening during the week to ensure lots of sleep for everyone. We give the kids probiotics and try to eat our vitamins with fruits & veggies. We also check in at the end of each day, discussing parts of the day that made us smile and parts that made us feel frustrated. Being emotionally healthy is just as important to us as being physically healthy.
What are your kid’s favorite quick and easy snacks? Roasted Seaweed, gluten free date/walnut bites, cheese.
If your family could eat one meal over and over, what meal would it be? Sushi.
Favorite family activity? Going to the beach
One of your fondest memories as a parent? There are so many that its hard to choose just one but I think I will say that bringing home Leo’s little brother, Taj from the hospital was a pretty special moment. Witnessing the 2 of them meet for the first time was magic and now, 3 years later, seeing how they are becoming one anothers best friends (and worst enemies at times!) makes my heart soar.
What has been the greatest challenge when feeding your children? The phase of picky toddler eating! My youngest is currently experiencing this and it is so frustrating! Foods can’t touch each other on the plate and he has spurts where he will love brocolli one week and want nothing to do with it the next week! Since I saw this same phase come & go with my eldest, I am trying to surrender to the fact that this too will pass & continue to offer him everything we are eating.
What has been your greatest triumph around feeding your children? Watching my eldest son Leo start to gobble up salad & really enjoy it! He partcularly LOVES this recipe.
What is your family approach and philosophy around treats and dessert? My husband and I are not big dessert people so we don’t always eat dessert every day. When we do, its usually ice cream or pie & the boys are thrilled!
Favorite family tradition? Before each meal, we practice a gratitude ritual where each member of the family lights a candle and expresses what they are particularly grateful for that day.
Any words of wisdom you have collected along that way that might help other parents with healthy eating and living with children? There is no need to spend hours of time you don’t have trying to make healthy gourmet meals for your family. I have found that with a few helpful tips, some prepping ahead and a fridge full of fresh fruits & vegetables, meal time prep can be less than 30 minutes with a delicious and nutritious result to follow.
Describe these typical meals for your family:
- Breakfast: almond butter & honey on a multi grain waffle. / whole milk greek yogurt & granola / berries / green smoothie. / eggs & english muffin. quinoa/apple/cinnamon bowl
- Lunch: leftovers / fruit & nut blend (dried mango, cashews, walnuts, dried cranberries etc..) / yogurt./ kale salad with protein / garbanzo bean burgers
- Dinner: protein, grain, veggie & salad. salmon,asparagus, roasted potatoes OR sausages, sweet potato halves (roasted with coconut oil & sea salt) and wild rice
- Snacks: guilt free/ gluten free chocolate chip bites / cheese / kind bars / pickles / fruit / kimchi
- Dessert: i love pies of all kinds. the boys love ice cream! And you really can never go wrong with the peanut butter & chocolate combination!
- Daily Drinks: green juice: apples, cucumbers, celery, spinach, ginger, lemon.
- Favorite Occasional Drink: delicious artisan cocktails. fancy Lemonade for the boys : )