It’s my nifty little virtual suggestion box. I’m taking a little break today. Okay, actually I am working on a series about Real Food for Less and another that’s a surprise. Working is probably not the right word. More like researching for my own benefit ; – )
Anyway, while I’m out I left this nifty little box for you to fill. Do you want me to research the best prenatal supplement? Leave me a comment. Or perhaps you want to know how to make cheap, non-toxic household cleaners. I’d be happy to help! Just leave a comment with your suggestion.
The best topics come from your questions. Extended Breastfeeding Myth #3, which I’ll be posting tomorrow, is one of my favorites so far and, you guessed it, it came from a question. You guys are so curious and thoughtful I just love it (and you)! So . .. cloth diapers, toddler eating habits, meal planning, co-sleeping, vaccination, water birth, raw milk, whatever! Let me know what interests you and I’ll blog about it.
This is the patio to the gorgeous (and huge!) beachfront home we stayed in on our honeymoon. We are not here.
A few years later, Daniel and I listened to waves quietly lap the shore on this secluded beach. We are not here either.
When Katie came and changed our lives (and our lifestyles) forever, we went here. But not this year.
This year our precious baby is going to be born in the very month we’d planned to take our vacation. Sun lover that I am (Vitamin D is good for you!!!), I just couldn’t go a whole summer without playing in some water. Though I’ve given up my saltwater wishes, there is a great local waterpark around here that Katie simply adores. I hate chlorine pools, but this summer it is what it is.
For the past couple of weekends we’ve been spending a lot of time there, returning home in the evening only to play ocean sounds on our Homedics SoundSpa (to complete the experience). I’m so relaxed I can’t think of a proper blog topic.
Which is good, I think. Have a wonderful Sunday. See you tomorrow ; – )Read More »
I’m not sure whether to call it fitting or ironic that Café Modern, the restaurant located in the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, is throwing aside present food conventions in favor of the traditions of the past. Although Modern art “is usually associated with art in which the traditions of the past have been thrown aside in a spirit of experimentation,”¹ Executive Chef Dena Peterson is serving up anything but Food Noveau.
Just a few steps away from the kitchen you can stroll by Dena’s charming little garden, a living symbol of the “Circle of Responsibility” philosophy behind the restaurant. Bon Appétit Management Company, which runs this restaurant along with many others, is the first of it’s kind. It’s goal is to offer:
Food choices that celebrate flavor, affirm regional cultural traditions, and support local communities without compromising air, water or soil, now and in the future.
Here are just a few of their Kitchen Principles:
I find it really refreshing that a large company is making the effort to seek locally produced products rather than buying in bulk and shipping the same thing to every location. The menu prices were not outlandish, proving that it can be done affordably. Check out their website for more info on their innovative approach.
Okay, art might be too lofty a term, but I’m trying to keep with the theme here ; – ) How about artisanal? Yes, that fits nicely. Many of the ingredients used at Café Modern come from local farmers and artisans. Here’s the short list:
When I asked Dena about their eggs, she told me “All of our shell eggs are cage free, certified humane (usually Phil’s brand). (My produce supply company and broadline distributor both carry them) Though I am interested in getting local, free range eggs – I raise chickens at home – and there is no substituting the flavor of a farm fresh egg!”
Regarding produce, Dena told me:
I buy as much as possible from the Cowtown Farmer’s Market each week. I also utilize my produce company that provides various produce from local farms which changes weekly. I also grow a bit in my garden here at the restaurant and a bit at home. There is nothing better than knowing exactly where your food has been!! At the moment, I am purchasing Tomatoes from Scott Farms, radishes, lettuces, asparagus, herbs, strawberries, turnips, etc.. As the season changes I will be buying more and more fruit such as peaches, melons and plums.
I like this woman!
Oh yes, the food! Sorry, I am such a sucker for good ingredients sometimes I just go on and on. Daniel ordered “Susan’s Duck PB&J.” Yes, a duck peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Shredded Smoked Duck with Cashew – Peanut Butter, Mild Jalapeno Pepper Jelly and
Grilled Red Onion on Toasted Multigrain Bread.
I’ll admit I was very skeptical, but it was delicious. The jalapeno jelly was the clincher for me. If you stop in don’t be afraid to give it a try.
I vacillated between the Grass-Fed Cheeseburger and the Lobster Pot Pie. I went with the pot pie, but if I’d known Daniel was about to go on a 21 Day cleanse I would’ve gotten both. I sure did miss beef during those three weeks. I loved the flavor of the pie but wished the sauce was a little creamier. That may be a pregnancy thing, though. I would probably drink cream if I could get my hands on the raw stuff for a good price!
Personally, I would avoid the chicken. It’s “produced without the routine use of antibiotics as a feed additive,” but more than likely fed GMO corn and soy.
Overall, I would say that Café Modern is a lot like Tillman’s Roadhouse. The food is delicious, and both are headed by chefs that are passionate about local, organic ingredients and sustainable practices. The menu is still a work in progress when it comes to implementing these ideals fully, but I would say it’s pretty easy to walk in and order something that easily qualifies as real food.
¹Wikipedia, Modern ArtRead More »
People often ask me how I can afford to “eat organic.” It’s so expensive, they say. And they’re right.
Thanks to heavy government subsidies, foods produced by cheap corn and then trucked all over the nation are often less expensive than locally produced goods. Corn is everywhere, even though you can’t see it. As Michael Pollan wrote:
If you are what you eat, and especially if you eat industrial food, as 99 percent of Americans do, what you are is “corn.”
. . . Take a typical fast food meal. Corn is the sweetener in the soda. It’s in the corn-fed beef Big Mac patty, and in the high-fructose syrup in the bun, and in the secret sauce. Slim Jims are full of corn syrup, dextrose, cornstarch, and a great many additives. The “four different fuels” in a Lunchables meal, are all essentially corn-based. The chicken nugget—including feed for the chicken, fillers, binders, coating, and dipping sauce—is all corn. The french fries are made from potatoes, but odds are they’re fried in corn oil, the source of 50 percent of their calories. Even the salads at McDonald’s are full of high-fructose corn syrup and thickeners made from corn.
Thanks to documentaries like Food, Inc., people are becoming leery of high fructose corn syrup, pesticide, MSG, and GMO laden foods . . . and they’re changing their buying habits. Unfortunately, companies have capitalized on this and begun offering organic versions of fake food (highly processed foods with minimal nutritional value).
Organic corn dogs, pop tarts, and imitation Oreos are both expensive and unhealthy. Yes, they are healthier than the original, but not worth the price. People that simply want to take everything in their junk food pantry and replace it with an organic version are headed for two major letdowns: They won’t feel much better and it’s going to cost a fortune.
. . . but less expensive than the diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol medication you’re going to need if you stay on the junk. Whatever your budget, you can afford to buy real food. Here are some of my favorite blog posts on how to do just that. Check them out!
First up is Kristen, the genius behind Food Renegade. I can say genius because I knew her when she was an undergrad in the Philosophy program at DBU and she is extremely intelligent.
I feed my family of four nourishing, real foods on far less than the federal food stamp allotment for a family my size ($668/month). It takes a lot of thought, planning, and detective work to eat this way, but I do it.
Food Renegade, Eating Real Food on A Budget
This one is a MUST READ for anyone interested in getting the most bang for your buck. Ann Marie (aka Cheeseslave) does a fantastic breakdown of the per ounce cost of nutrient dense foods that is very eye opening. And her case for pastured eggs as a budget food is really good. My favorite part though, are the Trader Joe’s egg cartons. Don’t miss that.
It’s true that pastured eggs cost more. But isn’t it obvious that it is worth it? You’d have to eat 5 supermarket eggs to get the same amount of vitamin D from one pastured egg. You may be able to buy a dozen eggs for a buck or two at the grocery store, but you get what you pay for. The national average for pastured eggs is about $4-5 per dozen. However, they are worth that in terms of nutrient density.
Cheeseslave, Pastured Vs. Free Range Eggs
Kelly the Kitchen Kop has put together an index of all her money-saving ideas. This woman is my hero, ya’ll. She rescued Chinese food from never-never land and put it back on our family’s real food table. If you’ve never tried her egg roll recipe you’re missing out. Check out her post: Nourishing, Frugal Healthy Meals for cost cutting and recipe ideas.
Also, don’t miss The Nourishing Cook’s “Bang For Your Buck” recipes. In the coming weeks and months I will be posting more tips for how to save time and money without compromising on nutrition, but I need your help.
Congratulations, random.org picked commenter #27, Maggie G! You are the Boppy Total Body Pillow Giveaway Winner! Make sure to check your email and reply within 72 hours to claim your pillow!
If you didn’t win, don’t worry! I have another giveaway just around the corner ; – )Read More »
Last week I covered Myth #1 in my series about extended breastfeeding misconceptions, so it’s time to move on to #2. Here’s the email I received that inspired me to write these posts:
What are your psychological reasons for continuing to nurse Katie? I’m asking because we were discussing this topic last week in my women’s group and a couple of my friends shared some stories about their friends who did extended breastfeeding. One of their daughters showed signs of homosexuality at an early age and did grow up to in fact become a lesbian. The other grew up to have much resentment for her mother because she actually thought it was strange and embarrassing that she breastfed her for so long.The third had separation anxiety issues until he was an age where that should not have been happening anymore. It was an absolute challenge to be able to leave her with anyone for a date night or even when he began school. It put a strain on that couple’s marriage.
Fact: Your kids will probably resent you for something no matter what. . . . at least a little bit for a little while. It could be that you drop them off at school in a big ugly brown van or wear a tube top when you’re painting pottery in the Texas heat (Gigi I’m looking at you!). No matter what you will probably embarrass your kids and they will resent you for it. But if your relationship is healthy they’ll get over it.
Growing up with a hippie mom brought me in contact with non-conformists of all types and this is what I learned: People make similar decisions for very different reasons. A women who has deep needs that are not being met may become overly-dependent on her relationship with her child. This may express itself in the nursing relationship but will certainly continue beyond that. To me, it sounds like the daughters resentment of being “weird” indicates there could be other unhealthy dynamics underlying their relationship . . . breastfeeding and otherwise.
Here’s what I mean: A few years ago I remember reading about this group of high school girls that started a pact to get pregnant together. They wanted babies so they would have “someone to love them.” In my opinion this is a terrible reason to get pregnant. Children are not born into the world to fulfill our emotional needs. We are there to fulfill theirs. In many ways it is a feedback loop . . . fulfilling my child’s needs meets some of my needs for purpose in life, emotional growth, et cetera . . . but the loop begins and ends with the parent.
Do all women choose to have babies to fulfill their own unmet love needs? Of course not. To imply that women choose extended breastfeeding to meet their own needs is just as silly. There may be a small percentage of women that are overly-dependent on their children for some reason and extended breastfeeding can get wrapped up in how that is expressed, but that’s as far as it goes.
Or my theory about the girl in the email could be totally wrong. The emotion that girl expressed is a snapshot in time. Maybe her relationship with her mom is fabulous and that she was just feeling awkward about herself at the moment. Who knows?
Today Katie tried to give Maxwell (our kitty) a hug and ended up with her first real scratch. It was a bad one very close to her eye. Obviously there were many ways to comfort her but Daniel brought her to me to nurse. As we sat there I watched her transition from terrified and hurt to calm and soothed in just a few seconds. There is no doubt in my mind that she will not resent me for meeting her needs in this way as she grows up. Did it benefit me to waddle away from the dinner I was making to nurse her? No, but I was glad to do it.
For the record, I try not to highlight that Katie is still nursing in situations where it is not considered appropriate to avoid future embarrassment on her part. She’s at the age where I can tell her no and redirect her to something that interests her. Her life is not a political statement for me and I try to honor both who she is and who she will become.
Truthfully, though, I am not raising her to fit in anyway. I am raising her to shine. She is one of my greatest gifts to the world. This is how my mom raised me and although I have been labeled weird all my life I just don’t care. So maybe the girl from the email didn’t like being weird right then, but end the end she might realize it’s not the worst thing in the world. She might discover the beauty of being an original and thank her mom for putting her on that path.
“Research reports on the psychological aspects of nursing are scarce. One study that dealt specifically with babies nursed longer than a year showed a significant link between the duration of nursing and mothers’ and teachers’ ratings of social adjustment in six to eight year old children (Ferguson et all 1987). In the words of the researchers, ‘There are statistically significant tendencies for conduct disorder scores to decline with increased duration of breastfeeding.” — Sally Kneidel, Nursing Beyond One YearRead More »