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Raising Gaybies: From Fat To Fit.. Family Style!

Close-up of young couple eating vegetable salad from glass bowl

Raising Gaybies:
From Fat To Fit.. Family Style!

When I was in college, many young women and some chubby “soon-to-be hubbies” would purchase these over-sized sweatshirts, with the university logo emblazoned on their chest. The interesting thing I noticed is that the sweatshirt always hung down well past that fleshy part of the body we all sit on – the derriere. The reason – to cover up the “freshman 10”;  the weight gained during your first year in college.

Fast forward 25 years, I was scrambling to find my old college sweatshirt – and I hadn’t even given birth! As a gay parent of twins, food and therefore calories are very important in our house (Side note: they were even more important when I was single and starving myself into a pair of Lucky Brand jeans and a Versace shirt. Side note #2: it’s a fallacy that gay people are excellent cooks – we just have more disposable income to get liposuction. KIDDING!).

As many parents will tell you, it’s so easy to get trapped into eating what you feed your kids. So how do you make the separation — especially with a toddler? Having no appetite for baby food is easy but when they grow into toddlers and discover chocolate and see sugar cereal and corn dogs – how can you avoid it whetting your palette?

For me it was a cholesterol test. My numbers came back from the lab resembling the speed of a small jet plane. Fact is we must, as parents, take care of ourselves.

Related: Raising Gaybies: Out Of The Closet And Into Full-Time Fatherhood

In our house, I am NOT a short order cook. There is one sitting and one menu – period and it needs to be healthy. For example, Michael will smoke a salmon (or you can buy it at the store if you don’t own a smoker), the kids will eat the salmon, rice and grilled asparagus. If they don’t eat that, then they don’t eat. It’s healthy for us and them. Instead of tuna salad -(which some say mayonnaise-mixed tuna is a violation of some sacrosanct Italian law),  I use hummus and spread it on toast – and squeeze some lemon juice in the tuna.  It works, is  much healthier and everyone eats it.

gregory and lilliana

The Twins

At least once a week, I make it a point to have a meatless night; call it “meatless Mondays”. Everyone, including my colon knows that eating is not about the slaughter of Bambi but consuming fruits and vegetables. I roast an eggplant in the oven, mash it up with capers, olive oil, lemon juice and parsley – try it on toast – it is yummy. Soda is “verboten” in the house. We make fresh iced tea a few times a week –  which if you price it out saves you tons of cash every month.  The kids still drink milk – can’t get around that.

This week I found myself in the kitchen making baked kale – yes – baked kale. Don’t make the face — it was really good. Both of our kids ate it — all of it! It was is crunchy, dissolves in your mouth, easy and cheap to make.

Related: Guest Posting: 7 Ways I Got 5 Kids To Make Better Food Choices

The point is I went from 19% body fat and 182 pounds to 14% body fat and 162 pounds. It took 9 months –  but worth it. I hear about too many parents dying too young of cardiac disease – we all want to be our kids moms and dads. But sometimes I think we get complacent, I do  – after all–  being a parent is a 24/7 job.  Who doesn’t deserve a bowl of Ben and Jerry’s Mint Chip with hot fudge a few nights a week – I am just sayin’. Yes, I exercise but finding time to eat right – and teaching your kids to eat right too, is critical in parenting.  At least it’s better than trying to find your freshman college sweatshirt — I know you have one too.

How do steer your kids off the junk food path? How do you keep yourself away from it? Share with the rest of us..  Oh and here’s the recipe for the Kale Chips.. Try them and let me know what you think!



·        1 head of Kale (Good Quality Kale is always better)

·        1 tablespoon of Olive oil

·        Pinch of Kosher or Coarse Salt


Strip the Kale leaves off by running your fingers down the sides of the Kale ribs. Then rip them up into large pieces (they will shrivel up when you bake them) and wash them. Discard the ribs. The Kale leaves MUST BE DRY before you do the next step. Put the dried Kale in a large bowl. Take about a tablespoon  of olive oil (extra virgin is fine) and use your hands to coat the Kale leaves.  Then arrange them on a cookie sheet – and use — a “pinch of salt”  – don’t over salt or it will taste like seaweed – you can always salt later. (TIP: When you salt — hold your hand up high and sprinkle it over the Kale –  you’ll get let concentrated areas of salt). Then put the Kale into a pre-heated oven at 275 degrees for 20 minutes — turning over the leaves  1/2 way through (if you cook the leaves on a rack on a cookie sheet you can skip step to turn over the leaves). When they are done, let them cool for a few minutes. Enjoy them.


Bennett and family

Bennett Cunningham is a Bankruptcy Attorney licensed in Texas and is a former investigative reporter for KTVT (CBS station) in Dallas. Bennett has garnered 7 Regional Emmy Awards, including the Best Investigative Reporter in Texas 2 years in a row, as well as several National Awards for his exposés into the mismanagement of taxpayer dollars and government waste. Bennett is also admitted to practice in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas and the US Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Texas. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas, The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney’s and the American Bar Association – and most importantly, a stay-at-home dad.  



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