I’m Baaaaaaaaaaaack

Oh my faithful readers.  How I have missed you.  I literally feel like I have come back from the dead.  In the past 2 years I have:  moved states, and 2 houses, husband graduated MBA school, new job, had a BABY (GIRL!!!!!!!!!!), bought a house, and been through a very difficult life-altering trial that maybe I can open up about sometime.  Wow.  It’s been a complete whirlwind and let me just say…going from 2 kids to 3 is R-O-U-G-H.  Lots better now, but it literally took me a year to recover from that change (not the labor part.  That was great).

Here’s some topics that are about to burst out of me that I have been sitting on for 2 years:

+ Pregnancy nutrition

+ Breastfeeding WOES

+Hypnobabies (oh yes I did)

+ Finding time to provide healthy stuff for 3 kids without being in the kitchen all day, every day

+ Lots of mental/emotional health stuff- this is a completely new concept and one that has CHANGED MY LIFE

+ Eating Disorders (have I mentioned this before?  Used to have one BAD and BIG TIME)

+ Oregon.  I am in LOVE

+ Keeping it Real (no pun intended, but I’m talking about vulnerability and letting go of perfection)

+ Some awesome books I have read

+ Exercise/being active/listening to what your body is telling you

+ Mindfulness <– game changer right there.

+ Connection, love, and a solid group of girlfriend support

+ And of course lots and lots of recipes!

What kinds of things have been on your mind and what would you like to hear more about?

In the meantime, please feel free to follow me on instagram @projectgranolamom.

Our family now!! Can you believe how everyone has grown????

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I’m Back!

Happy Late Thanksgiving to all of you!  I hope yours was as wonderful as ours was.  We were in beautiful Oregon with my in-laws and it was sooooo relaxing.  Overcast rainy days make me feel so cozy, and we did our fair share of snuggling up by the fire and falling asleep watching movies.

Here’s a pic of the fam on Thanksgiving before we all gained 10 pounds. 🙂

 

I guest posted over at GrainMill again today.  Check it out here.

Did you know you can make cornmeal from grinding popcorn kernels?  Wild!!

Back tomorrow!

Happy {late} Halloween

We went to SIX Halloween Parties this year.  SIX!  We had a 7th one on Tuesday but I had to turn it down out of sheer exhaustion.  It was making me loathe Halloween!  Next year we are getting dressed up 1 time.  🙂

We went to a couple of parties as a Mechanic and a Wrench, but then The Mr. couldn’t get the grease out of his hair for 3 days so we had to switch it up.

So The Mr. had this great idea to go as Lance Armstrong and Steroids.  Kind of a rude costume, don’t you think?  But we won 3rd place in the costume contest!

And these cute kiddos were a monster and a (scary) giraffe.

At first The Wild One asked me if he could be a “Grasshopper Monster”  and I couldn’t talk him out of it.  Luckily when we went to the thrift store to find green items from which to make a grasshopper, we spotted this Monster (sans grasshopper) and he was sold.  PHEW!

Hope you all had a happy and safe Halloween!!

Book Summary: Disease Proof Your Child, by Dr.Joel Fuhrman (part 1)

Folks:  I read this book in one day.  Mostly because the library told me it was due the next day, but STILL!  It was a good book, and I’m so glad I checked it out.  I’ve been hearing all kinds of great things about Dr. Fuhrman, and when we were in New York I set out to read this.  Unfortunately there was a 50 year wait at all 44 branches of the libraries in Manhattan.  I guess that proves this guy is legit.  So I was lucky enough to get it back here in Utah pretty quickly.  A great read.  He’s also got a book that I am going to read next called “Eat to Live.”  So glad I found this stuff when I still have young kids (and maybe more to come) when I can give them the best shot at staying disease free.

Lots of this book was review, but I’ll share some of my notes on the things I found interesting/new.

Disease Proof Your Child (found here)

Intro

  • Problem: children are chronically sick with ear infections, colds, allergies, etc.  These lead to chronic adult problems like Lupus, Ulcerative Colitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, etc.
  • The modern diet most children eat causes a fertile environment to house cancer in the future.
  • Most parents do not know what to feed their children (YES!  This was me a few years ago!)
  • Kids love healthy food, and healthy food loves them back.  We have to give it to them!

Chapter 1: Understanding Superior Nutrition

  • Low consumption of fruits and vegetables before and during childhood causes many childhood cancers (!!).  pg. 8, “Junk food isn’t cheap.  We pay a steep price for it years after consuming it.”
  • Instead of eating better, many parents turn to supplements.
  • Allergies to nuts comes from early exposure/misuse of antibiotics, brief/lack of breastfeeding, introducing solid foods too early, and roasting nuts.
  • Intelligence is greatly influenced by nutritious eating (he spent a lot of time on this.  Interesting stuff).
  • You can enhance a child’s health in the kitchen by:
  1. Stocking the home with a variety of fresh fruit, raw vegetables, raw nuts, and seeds
  2. Replacing animal foods with plant foods: bean burgers, vegetable/bean soups, fruit centered desserts.
  3. Using only white meat poultry, eggs a few times weekly, and other animal sources infrequently.
  4. Limiting sweets.  Remove white sugar, salt, and white flour.
  5. Reducing dairy, and using nut milks.  Cheese should not be kept in the home.
  6. Serving cooked vegetable main dishes every night.

Chapter 2: Preventing and Treating Childhood Illness Nutritionally

  • In medical school, Fuhrman learned that all drugs have toxicity.  Patients should first be treated with lifestyle and dietary modifications.  It seems very few of his colleagues follow this advice (That has been my experience too).
  • Symptoms of illness are a body’s natural response to deal with causes of disease: A fever promotes interferon production in the brian, which activates white blood cells to fight the virus; Coughing aids in expelling mucus and ridding the body of it;  Don’t be so quick to treat symptoms.  Rather let your body ride it out for a few days.
  • When you or your child has a virus, rest, drink water, avoid cooked food, eat produce when hungry.
  • ADHD can be greatly treated with diet.  One cause is excessive TV watching early in life.  He has seen up to a 90% success in his ADHD patients which he treats with diet modifications.  He goes into great detail about this, including an anti-ADHD plan.
  • Antibiotics are bad!
  • Childhood ear infections are a multibillion dollar industry.  Most are viral, and should not be treated.  In the US, patients are almost always given antibiotics.  This makes the next infection more likely to be bacterial.  It is a cycle.  We are given antibiotics, which decreases the good bacteria in our bodies, which causes another bacterial ear infection.
  • Milk, cheese and wheat are frequent partners in crime (for ear infections).  I’ll insert my own commentary here – This is infuriating to me!  How many of our pediatricians are almost violently adamant that we are giving our children several servings of dairy a day, and then raise an eyebrow and give you a lecture if you try to push back a bit?  It’s making our kids sick!  Ok done. 🙂
  • Dairy is the leading cause of food allergies in children.
  • Childhood diabetes is linked to cow milk consumptions.  Babies given formula are 52% more likely to develop diabetes.
  • The following disorders are strongly linked to milk consumption:  Allergies, Anal Fissures, Type 1 Diabetes, Chronic Constipation, Chron’s Disease, Ear Infections, Heart Attacks, Multiple Sclerosis, Prostate Cancer

Chapter 3: Understanding Causes of Cancer/Illness

  • We need to stop treating symptoms and start treating causes of illness.
  • Saturated fat, refined sugar, white flour all contribute to cancer.
  • Root vegetables and whole grains provide minimal protection.
  • Unrefined plant foods prevent cancer.
  • p. 81 “Childhood exposure has the largest impact on adult health.”
  • It takes 10 lbs.  of milk to make 1 lb. of cheese.  Cows are given bovine growth hormones.  Their milk contains: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, prolactine, and other natural cow hormones.
  • Pesticides: Are they a serious health hazard?  Yes, especially around the home, lawn, and plants. There are links between farm workers who are exposed to large amounts of pesticides, who have higher levels of brain cancer, Parkinson’s, leukemia, lymphoma, cancer of the stomach, prostate, and testes.
  • What about pesticides on food?  It is unclear how hazardous they are, but eating produce with pesticides is better than avoiding produce all together.
  • Basically the younger you are, the more your cells are susceptible to damage from toxins.  It seems wise to try to feed young children organic whenever possible.

Stay tuned for part 2 coming soon!

 

What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Homemade Spaghetti Sauce from Frozen Tomatoes

Did you know you can freeze tomatoes?  I thought it was frowned upon, but I saw (here) the other day that you can totally do it!  We got a bag of free tomatoes a few weeks ago that were about to bite the dust, so I threw them in the freezer.  Today I dumped them in a crockpot with a few seasonings and by the end of the day I had homemade spaghetti sauce.  Voila!  It was a little bit runny, but that’s my only complaint.  Anyone know how to fix that?  I heard that if you make spaghetti sauce from scratch, you are supposed to de-seed them first.  Maybe that was my problem.

Anyway, here’s how you do it.  (Originally from Superhealthykids.com)

 

 

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce from Frozen Tomatoes

 

  • 3 frozen, whole tomatoes
  • 3 cans diced tomatoes
  • 3 Tbs Italian Seasoning
  • I also added a bit of salt to taste

Dump it in the crockpot and cook on low for 5 hours or so.  After the tomatoes defrost, the peel comes off really easily. Just peel it off and throw it away.

The tomatoes just break apart and form this lovely mush.

After it’s done cooking, put it in a blender for a few seconds, and it’s ready to go!

 

 

Mediterranean Mojo: Lentil Pilaf with Zucchinni

So I recently asked my posse what they wanted to eat for dinner and the consensus was Mesiterranean food. Did I mention that The Mr. is 1/4 Lebanese? I love me a tall dark man. So I did some quick googling to find something that didn’t have lamb in it (had lots when I lived in New Zealand and don’t care for it much, thanks. Plus, lambs are cute).

Anyway, I stumbled across this gem of a recipe. I really like lentils but forget to make them very often. I was nervous about the kids’ reactions, but Tornado went buck wild on it! The Wild One reacted as expected and only ate the one bite I made him take. BUT it was a hit with the rest of us, and with our cellular health as well (that’s code for “this is a healthy recipe.”).

Here it is:

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Lentil and Bulgar Pilaf with Squash (original recipe from Eating Well Mobile)

Ingredients:

• 4 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
• 1 1/4 cups brown lentils, rinsed
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1 bay leaf
• 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
• 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
• Freshly ground pepper, to taste
• 3/4 cup coarse bulgur
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
• 1 small yellow squash, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, or dill

Directions:

Combine broth, lentils, onion, bay leaf, salt, allspice and pepper in a 3-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Add bulgur and cook until the lentils and bulgur are tender and the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes more. Remove the pilaf from the heat, discard the bay leaf and stir in lemon juice.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini, squash, garlic and lemon zest; saute for 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and cilantro (or dill). Season with pepper. Stir into the pilaf. Serve hot.