Have you ever met someone and felt an instant connection only to find out you’re totally different . . . and then discovered that you like them anyway? That’s what happened when I “met” Anni Daulter, author of Organically Raised: Conscious Cooking For Babies and Toddlers.
When Anni emailed me about the opportunity to review her book I was star-struck. Gywneth Paltrow, Gwen Stefani and Ricki Lake are just some of the big names that have given glowing reviews. Not that I am really into big name endorsements, but maybe I would be if they were for my book (that I haven’t written)!
When it arrived Katie tore open the package and together we pored over the vibrant pages. Warm colors, beautiful food and photos of little faces mixed in felt like an invitation to see cooking in a whole new light: To let love for those we are cooking for be our inspiration.
It was an invitation I wholeheartedly accepted.
Before I tried the recipes I read through each chapter to better understand Anni’s nutritional philosophy. She started off by gently introducing the idea that breastfeeding should remain the central focus up to at least a year, and then went further, saying:
The average age worldwide for weaning a baby from breast milk is between years 5 and 7. Mothers around the world choose to wean at different times; breastfeed your baby as long as both of you feel comfortable.
What an unexpected and welcome way to start a book on feeding babies! But then things got sticky. For example, if breastfeeding is not desired/possible, Anni recommends using DHA enriched formula. I disagree. DHA and ARA obtained from natural sources like a mother’s milk and/fish oil are vital to healthy brain growth, but the substances made in labs can be toxic. A recent report, Replacing Mother: Imitating Human Breastmilk in the Laboratory,
details research questioning the alleged benefits of adding “novel” omega-3 fatty acids, produced in laboratories and extracted from algae and fungus, into infant formulas. The additives raised health and safety red flags during preapproval testing while aggressive marketing campaigns by some infant formula manufacturers appear to have encouraged new mothers to give up nursing for the questionable infant products.
“When I worked in the hospital’s neonatal ward, the nurses all called it “the diarrhea formula”,” says Sam Heather Doak, LPN, IBCLC, from Marietta, Ohio. “We’ve seen infants, tiny little humans, with diarrhea that just wouldn’t stop after being given this formula.” For infants, virulent and long-term diarrhea is considered a serious and life-threatening medical episode. Source
I don’t want to blow one little statement out of proportion. My reason for even bringing it up is this: While I don’t agree with every aspect of her nutritional approach (more details below), one thing is sure: Anni knows flavors. She’s a culinary genius. Of the handful of recipes I selected to try with my family, two shot straight to the top of family favorites that we will be making again and again. So this is my disclaimer: If you buy (or win!) this book, please substitute ingredients and methods where you feel it is appropriate. If you’re interested in what adjustments I would make they are listed at the bottom of this post.
But rather than review the outcome of each recipe we tried, I’ve decided to share with you our absolute favorite. Hot weather, cold weather, rain, sun, or monsoon. It doesn’t matter. I will always love this soup!
This is one of those meals Daddypotamus couldn’t get enough of. In fact, he was eying the leftovers greedily while I typed this post. He’ll eat this one again and again, because it feels like comfort food! That’s what I’m talkin’ about!
Are you still reading? Fantastic, because now I get to tell you that Anni has generously agreed to give away not one but TWO Organically Raised cookbooks! The goal of the contest is to make new people aware of the Mommypotamus blog, so…
“Hi there! [Your Name] just introduced me to Mommypotamus!”
This Sunday, I’ll draw a name from the new people who have both liked and commented on the wall, and if your person is picked, you will BOTH win a copy of the cookbook!
For more information on Anni and her passion for food, check outwww.consciousfamilyliving.com and http://www.organicallyraisedcookbook.com.
Here are the ways I would adjust recipes to fit my nutritional philosophy:
[info_box]This contest is now closed. :)[/info_box]Read More »
Ahoy matey! This here is Blackbeard, Captain of the Splash Pad and Fearless Marauder of the Fruit Bin. Today the Captain is helping me finish up a baby/toddler cookbook review. As you can see, the kale-infused popsicles did NOT have to walk the plank! Check back soon for a giveaway!Read More »
If you read I Kissed Toothpaste Goodbye and couldn’t get the Toothsoap coupon code to work, here’s your second chance. I emailed the company and they sent me another coupon code. To get 40% off your order through August 8th, use the code FAMILY.Read More »
All you mom’s who have asked me “How do you have time for all those complicated recipes?” will be glad to know that I have finally seen the light. Cooking with one extremely helpful toddler is a breeze. Cooking with said toddler while eight months pregnant? Not so much.
With the thrilling but inevitably exhausting arrival of our newborn just ahead, I’ve been tweaking my kitchen techniques to save time/hassles AND testing new, no-fuss recipes that deliver nutritionally. I’ll be sharing new recipes soon, but let’s talk techniques today.
Anyone that has ever attempted a Nourishing Traditions lifestyle will probably tell you that soaking grains is inconvenient. It’s Saturday morning and you’re hit with the urge to make a huge pancake breakfast for your family? Too bad. Whims and cravings must provide 12 hours advance notice so that proper milling and grain soaking can be done.
Is it really worth the effort? When Katie at Kitchen Stewardship began hosting debates on the value of soaking grains it got me wondering. Sure, our family has noticed a dramatic improvement in the digestibility of our grains, nuts and beans since we began soaking them, but it appears there are even more benefits to sprouting them.
One study out of the University of Minnesota found that the nutrient density of sprouted wheat was in some instances hundreds of times higher than in whole wheat, specifically in vitamin C, folic acid, niacin and riboflavin (vitamin B2). (source) These studies have also demonstrated a significant increase in various enzymes, including amylase, protease and lipase. (source)
Impressive, huh? About a month ago I decided to give it a shot and the results surprised me.
One of the awesome but unintended consequences of making the switch is that life got MUCH EASIER. Here’s why: I used to soak my grains, nuts/seeds and beans in small batches, using one recipe for pancakes, another for tortillas, etc. Almost every single night before going to bed I had to think of what I would make the next day and get it ready.
Now, I sprout a huge batch of whatever I’ve got and then dehydrate it for later use. When I wake up on a Saturday morning craving pancakes I can easily mill the spelt/wheat/whatever into a ready-to-use, nutrient dense flour. No planning required!
Plus, (this is probably my favorite part), with my new Excalibur Dehydrator I can sprout 2-4 weeks worth of grains, nuts/seeds and beans in less time that it used to take to soak just a few recipes.
If you’re interested in learning more about sprouting check out this Dietary Seed Sprouting Guide. Or skip it and use this process to soak and dehydrate larger amounts of what you’re already using to build your well-stocked pantry.
Was that boring? I kind of think it was, but give it a try and I promise you’ll love me ; – ) Don’t forget to check back soon for some quick, yummy recipes!
I can’t sew, or knit, or crochet. The only creative endeavors that don’t completely wither under my care are food, words, and photography. Yes, food is a creative endeavor. At least it is in my house.
Today, in honor of my lack of crafty-type skills (and because I stayed up too late watching LOST with Daddypotamus. Don’t tell us what happens, please!), I have made something that required no skill whatsoever!
Happy Friday, everyone! It’s a good day.
If you feel the creative itch, you can make a free 30 second video slideshow at animoto.com ; – )Read More »
Yesterday’s post received more first-time visitors than ever before in Mommpotamus Land. You know what? In one way I felt relieved and in another way sad. Relieved because I was thinking to myself “It’s okay, they’ll probably never come back.” Sad because I knew that if they didn’t it would be because I failed to connect with them and communicate something that is vitally important. Even worse, it might drive away some blogging friends that I have truly come to care about. Women who are passionate about breastfeeding, attachment parenting, and real food, but who likely do not believe exactly as I do.
What’s vitally important to me? It’s not issues or advocacy, I’ll tell you that. Of course, I like writing about issues. Somewhere around the seventh grade I learned that if you think differently than the mainstream, keep your mouth shut or be ridiculed. I have never thought like the mainstream and have therefore spent the last two decades keeping my thoughts to myself.
To my surprise, my most popular posts come from the secret thoughts I have kept private for so long. They are the ones I am both proudest of and most ashamed. Proud because they are the ones I “dig deep” for. They reflect the oh-so-fringe parts of who I am, and when people graciously embrace that part of me it floors me. It’s humbling and exhilarating. There’s nothing quite like having dark parts brought to the light and loved.
But there is shame, too, because as I have revealed more and more of myself here something has begun to bother me. The deeper I dig the more incomplete I find I am. Yesterday I agonized over the one element that seemed missing from my post: Love.
I couldn’t find the words to express one thing to the many types of visitors — those who are on the pill, those who support abortion rights, those who have been on the pill and felt guilty while reading my post, those who didn’t, and many others — and that one thing is love. It seems too sappy, or too simple, just to tell you that no matter who you are or what you believe I care about you. But it’s true.
It’s going to take a lot of work (more than I really want to think about), but when it’s all said and done I want the causes and the soapboxes to fade into the background. When people come here, I want them to feel loved, supported, and understood.
I don’t know if it is just that I’m not a naturally warm person or what, but it is painfully obvious that I’m better with issues and ideas than with love. I am an incomplete person. This blog has shown me that in very uncomfortable, public ways. But if you’ll come back I’d like to stick with it, because it is only when I’m trying to reach you that I am willing to do the work on myself that really needs to be done anyway.Read More »
For the most part we enjoy the same books, T.V. shows, etc. We both LOVE the Caribbean and go there as often as we can. We agree on how to parent our children. We share a common background of faith and pray together often(ish). There is this one thing about kids though: We have never agreed on birth control.
I was already insanely attracted to Daniel when it first came up that he didn’t believe in using any kind of birth control whatsoever.** Pretty sneaky of him, because if that had come up earlier I would have been OUT. OF. THERE.
I thought he was CRAZY. Twenty-one year old me wasn’t sure I ever wanted to become a mom. But six, eight, or ten kids? I told him no way.
But as I said before we are MFEO and stuff, so I began looking into other options. You know what surprised me? It didn’t take much digging for me to discover an ugly truth I’d never heard before.
[Before I go on, I want you to know that I feel a little bit like throwing up as I type this. This is probably similar to what policemen feel like when they have to knock on someone's front door and tell them that their husband and the father of their children has been in a serious car wreck. I don't like to drop life-changing information on unsuspecting people. But I would be seriously angry if the messenger decided just not to tell me. Because as much as I don't want to be told, I know I need to know. So I'm telling you what I would want to know]
Despite the fact that they are referred to as contraceptives (Latin for against conception, meaning that it prevents conception), birth control pills cause abortions.
My goal in saying this is not to stir up controversy about whether abortions are morally permissible. Others have made arguments on both sides that are much more persuasive than anything I have to say. Since it will be painfully obvious when I start using words like baby to describe a fertilized egg, I should go ahead and say that I believe life begins at conception. But even if you don’t believe that, read on. At issue here is whether or not people are being mislead regarding what the Pill actually does. Everyone has a right to informed consent, and that is not what is happening.
There are three mechanisms that give the Pill its high rate of effectiveness. First, it suppresses ovulation most of the time. When that fails, the second mechanism kicks in. The second mechanism involves thickening cervical mucus so that it is difficult for sperm to migrate to the fallopian tubes and join with an ovum.
When THAT fails and sperm reaches the ovum and all the magical right things happen, a woman becomes pregnant. Unfortunately, the birth control pill has one last hand to deal and like all gambles, the odds are with the house. The fine print that comes with birth control pills invariably goes something like this:
Combination oral contraceptives act by suppression of gonadotrophins. Although the primary mechanism of this action is inhibition of ovulation, other alterations include changes in the cervical mucus, which increase the difficulty of sperm entry into the uterus, and changes in the endometrium, which reduce the likelihood of implantation.
The Physicians Desk Reference, 1995, 1775
In plain English what this means is that the pill alters the uterus from an environment that is designed to nourish and protect new life into one that is essentially barren of the necessary nutrients to sustain a child. Typically, a uterus needs to be between 5 -13 mm thick to sustain a pregnancy. The average thickness in pill users is 1.1mm.¹
Now maybe you’re thinking “People get pregnant on the pill all the time and carry their babies to term, so I don’t think that third mechanism is real. If a woman gets pregnant on the pill she’ll stay pregnant.” It’s tempting to believe that, but consider this: The first two mechanisms are real and sometimes fail. The same is true of the third. In his book, “Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?” Randy Alcorn says:
It is significant that the “morning after pill” is in fact nothing but a combination of several standard birth control pills taken in high dosages. When the announcement was made, the uninformed public probably assumed that the high dosage makes birth control pills do something they were otherwise incapable of doing. But the truth is that it simply increases the chances of doing what it already sometimes does – cause an abortion.
Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?, pp 65-66
We have assumed that the pill’s failure rate accurately depicts the number of times a woman conceives while on the pill. Unfortunately, because of the third mechanism there may be many more pregnancies that women are never aware occurred because they ended prematurely. Of course, no studies have been done to determine how often the first two mechanisms fail (who would fund them, the drug companies that have a vested interest in selling them?). Here’s a helpful analogy;
Imagine a farmer who has two places he might plant seed. One is rich, brown soil that has been tilled, fertilized and watered. The other is on hard, thin, dry and rocky soil. If the farmer wants as much seed as possible to take hold and grow, where will he plant the seed? The answer is obvious – on the fertile ground.
Now you could say to the farmer that his preference for the rich, tilled, moist soil is based on the “theoretical,” because he has probably never seen a scientific study that proves this soil is more hospitable than the thin, hard, dry soil. Likely, such a study has never been done. In other words, there is no absolute proof. The farmer might reply to your skeptical challenge based on his years of observation: “I know good soil when I see it – sure, I’ve seen some plants grow in the hard, thin soil too, but the chances of survival are much less than in the good soil.”
Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?, p. 51
Words evolve. Did you know that according to The Mad Logophile “apology once meant to defend against an accusation”? It’s from the Greek word apologia, meaning “defense.” If someone time traveled from ancient Greece to now, can you imagine their confusion when someone tried to apologize to them? What if you traveled to a future where people spoke English but the meanings had changed? Believe it or not, you already have.
Historically, when a sperm and egg joined to form a fertilized ovum with completely unique DNA, that was defined as conception. When a woman has conceived she is pregnant. Duh, right?
Not exactly. In 1976 the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists redefined conception to mean the point at which a fertilized ovum implants in the mother’s uterine lining. That’s six days after the egg and sperm have joined. For six days that the child has been growing, but according to this new definition any chemical which prevents a fertilized ovum from being able to attach to it’s mother for nourishment has “prevented conception/pregnancy.” What?
So if your doctor tells you that the pill prevents conception and is not abortifacient, he or she is correct according to the new definition, but probably not the definition you were thinking of when you asked. Ironically, according to a former drug rep for Whitehall-Robins, a sister company to Wyeth-Ayerst (one of the top producers of the pill), your doctor is probably unaware that he is being misleading.
In company meetings information on the Pill was covered in a totally different way than other products. Our training had always been open and relaxed, and we went through detailed instruction on how every product works; we were expected to explain how they worked to physicians. But the approach to the birth control pills was completely different – the approach was, “don’t worry about how they work, the point is they do; don’t ask questions, just give out the samples.”
Testimony of Karen Witt as documented in Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?, p. 54
Those that are not fully convinced by Karen’s testimony can do what Randy Alcorn did: Contact each pill maker directly and ask if the pill prevents implantation. Although reluctantly, each company confirmed in one way or another that the Pill is designed to prevent a six day old embryo from implanting in its mothers uterus. The trick, it seems, is to ask exactly the right questions. When Alcorn called Wyeth-Ayerst he was read to from a script and then offered information via mail.
It was clearly a form letter designed for those expressing concerns about abortion, and contained the precise contents that Adrianne [the customer service rep he had spoken with] had quoted to me. Also enclosed was a colorful booklet entitled Birth Control With The Pill. In the section, “How the Pill Works,” it states, “The pill mainly prevents pregnancy in two ways.” It then speaks of only the first two mechanisms and makes no reference whatsoever to the third, the prevention of implantation.
The detailed, fine print “professional labeling” was also enclosed, and as reflected in the PDR [Physician's Desk Reference], it states “alterations include changes in . . . the endometrium (which reduces the likelihood of implantation).
It struck me that virtually everyone receiving this information would read the large print, attractive, colorful, easy-to-understand booklet (which makes no mention of the abortive mechanism), and almost no one would read the extremely small print, black and white, technically worded and completely unattractive sheet – the one that acknowledges in the fine print that the Pill sometimes prevents implantation.
There is a mountain of evidence indicating that the Pill is both a contraceptive and a contra-implantive.*** I believe that the public is being intentionally kept in the dark about the third mechanism and that people who believe life begins at fertilization have unknowingly participated in chemical abortions. It is wrong of drug companies to obscure facts about their products in a way that causes individuals to unknowingly violate their own conscience.
I wish I was wrong about this, I REALLY, REALLY do. Other than barrier methods and Natural Family Planning, there are no options that do not have an abortifacient component. Norplant, Depo-Provera, RU 486 and the Mini-Pill are all confirmed abortifacients. There is some debate as to whether the IUD is an abortifacient, but so far the evidence indicates that it is.
For this reason, along with the fact that I don’t like putting chemicals in my body, Daniel and I have practiced Natural Family Planning throughout our marriage. Honestly, it has been inconvenient and frustrating at times and I wish there was an easier way. Daniel and I have never fully agreed on what that way could or should be, so we’re sticking with this for now.
So, if you haven’t run across this research before I’d like to know: Are you convinced? If so, does it change anything for you?
¹ Postfertilization effects of oral contraceptives and their relation to informed consent by Drs. Walter Larimore and Joseph Stanford
*Made for each other
** Both of our views have changed. I used to be fully supportive of all kinds of birth control and he was completely against them. Thorough debate and the experience of actually having children has caused us to reexamine our convictions. There’s too much to say on the subject for this little footnote, so I’ll just say that Daddypotamus is much more comfortable with taking an active role in stewarding our fertility through natural family planning and I have baby fever
***Most of the data cited in Randy Alcorn’s book comes from doctors, scientists, researchers and the pill manufacturers themselves –not prolife advocates with an agenda to push.Read More »
I’m not sure how I managed to grow up in the South without discovering chicken salad. I guess it’s because even before I went “healthy” I wasn’t a big fan of over-processed mayo. It tasted fake to me.Read More »