How Modern Moms Do It: Manisha on Home & Lifestyle

When I interviewed Manisha, I’ll admit I had selfish intentions. I wanted to know the secrets to her success since she stays fit, cooks amazing meals, and chases after a little one. She doesn’t do this in sweatpants. She wears an ecclectic combination of vintage clothes and trendy wear, and still finds time to be a writer. I wanted to share her insight with you, the readers since it’s not easy maintaining proper nutrition when you’re literally doing it all!

You’re a wife, a mother, a writer, and you have a big family. You are one busy lady! How do you find the time to cook?

Honestly?  My hair may not get that deep condition or my chipped nail polish may have to wait. Typically, I try to involve Arlowe, my 18 month old, as much as possible. He’s awesome at smashing things and mixing. Also, I like to buy staple ingredient items like onions, bell peppers and herbs in bulk.  I chop them all up the same day I bring them home, stuff them into freezer bags and store them in the freezer until needed. For garlic, I just chop it finely and store it in a glass jar with olive oil in the refrigerator. I also LOVE my crockpot!  This is probably a mother’s best friend because you basically ignore it all day and dinner’s waiting for you in the evening.

How do you approach nutrition as far as your son? There are so many cautionary tales; it is probably easy for a new parent to become overwhelmed.It’s definitely easy to get overwhelmed, especially for first-time parents.  Just try to remember that toddlers are probably not going to sit and eat three square meals per day. It’s just a fact of life!  Can you blame them?  There is just so much to see, so much to get into and not enough hours in the day. I follow the apple chart from www.wholesometoddlerfood.comto know how many servings of each food group Arlowe should be eating per day.  The chart is great because it breaks down amounts per serving your child should get at a certain age or weight/ height.  Examples of small meals and snacks are string cheese, rolled up deli meat, chicken sausage with cheeses & herbs (or tofu versions), smoothies, fruit/ veggie pouches (like Plum Organics tots), and homemade cereal bars.  

Following you on Twitter is always fun because I learn about so many neat tricks for food, and DIY projects from what you pin on Pinterest. What are your favorites?

Thanks! I love sharing food tips simply because I talk about food about half the time my mouth is moving, but also because they really work! I have recently really gotten into making EVERYTHING from scratch!  I can’t tell you how great it is to use your own homemade chicken stock, or  being able to control how much salt and fat go into your food and the pride you feel when your dough comes out perfectly for rolls or pizza!  I think my favorite food DIY so far has been making jams and sauces over the summer from the fruit in our back yard.

My favorite non food-related DIYs have been the pieces of home decor I put together for our new house.  I scoured thrift stores for weeks to found vinyl records featuring cover art of places my family has traveled which I’ve framed and hung on our living room wall.  I also made a simple mosaic from graphic iPhone covers left over from one of my husband’s engineering projects. That’s hanging in our hallway.   I’m really excited to decorate for the holiday season!
Last, any words of wisdom for someone trying to get their hubby to eat a little healthier?

You know, in my case it really hasn’t been difficult.  I don’t want to put my husband on blast, but he’s from the outbacks of the boondocks! [laughs]  So unless I try to feed him something like watercress sandwiches or a sparse salad, he’ll eat it without complaint!  My biggest concern is eliminating processed foods, sugar, sodium, and empty calories.  This means that I’ve had to educate myself, and I’ve had to learn to make a lot of things from scratch.  My husband briefly lamented the loss of his many-flavored Doritos, but with so many delicious alternatives I’m pretty sure he’s over it!

We eat a lot less red meat and, really important, adjusted portions of meat, veggies, and starch.  American plates tend to be half meat, a quarter starch and a quarter vegetables when they should be half vegetables, a quarter starch and a quarter meat.  That really put things into perspective for me. Another way we’re eating healthier is by eating at least one meatless meal per week. With the help of blogs like yours and the plethora of others out there, I’ve learned about other food sources of protein and healthy fats to turn into really delicious meals!

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