Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Just Letting Go on a Wednesday...

This week has been more hectic than usual and that is saying a lot...I got back end of last week from a trip to Atlanta...the onset of a cold imminent (infuriates me how not immune my body is sometimes for all my purported healthy living)...K1 left on Saturday for London and K2 and I had the weekend and more to drive each other crazy...just getting through my day - lunch box, snack bag, work deliverables,  single threaded kid duties and To-Do Lists have been hard and  today was feeling just a wee bit dejected and morose... ready to throw myself a pity party (Hello! Glass of Wine)  I see this post from one of the wonderful moms at school...Thank You R !!! Sharing it so that it helps more folks than just me...

She let go. 
Without a thought or a word,
she let go. She let go of the fear.
She let go of the judgments. She
let go of the confluence of
opinions swarming around her

head. She let go of the committee

of indecision within her. She let

go of all the 'right' reasons.
Wholly and completely, without
hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn't ask anyone for advice .

She didn't read a book on how to

let go. She didn't search the
scriptures. She just let go. She let
go of all the memories that held
her back. She let go of all the
anxiety that kept her from moving
forward. She let go of the
planning and all of the
calculations about how to 
do it just right.
She didn't promise to let go. She
didn't journal about it. She didn't
write the projected date in her
Day-Timer. She made no public
announcement and put no ad in
the paper. She didn't check the
weather report or read her daily
horoscope. She just let go.
She didn't analyze whether she
should let go. She didn't call her
friends to discuss the matter. She
didn't do a five-step Spiritual
Mind Treatment. She didn't call
the prayer line. She didn't utter
one word. She just let go.
No one was around when it
happened. There was no
applause or congratulations. No
one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing. Like a
leaf falling from a tree, she just
let go. There was no effort. There
was no struggle. It wasn't good
and it wasn't bad. It was what it
was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let
it all be. A small smile came over
her face. A light breeze blew
through her. And the sun and the
moon shone forevermore....
~ Reverend Safire Rose

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Tentative Parenting : What's Eating your Child?

Between tricky restaurant choices, finicky eaters, and the desire to provide healthy, nourishing food, taking the kids out to eat can drive any parent crazy!  Every restaurant that I go to gives me the choice of mac & cheese, some form of grilled cheese sandwich, cheese burger or chicken tenders for K2...YES! I am getting on a soap box son hangs on to the kid's menu for dear life and refuses to order from the grown-up menu and I refuse to let him order from the kid's menu...we were at impasse for a long time --- now it's a matter of negotiation and which one of us is more persistent than the whole premise is - A parent taking their child out to eat should not be put in such a predicament where they feel like the Kid's Meal is deficient in nutrients, unhealthy and quite plainly a rip-off. Here's a spotlight example of my son's kid's meal at Outback Steakhouse last week (white bread with fake yellow cheese)....even my son realized it was unhealthy -- he hid as I was taking this picture of the food :-)

I  always go back to Jamie Oliver's Ted Talk - Teach Every Kid about Food - he says we have blessed our children with shorter lives because we are not making them mindfully aware of real food. Over the weekend as an ode to the real food warriors I made my son a dinner chockful of vegetables and real food and was desi (indian) to the boot. It was Kid's Pav Bhaji.

If you want to try my recipe at home here's how -

You will need - I used up most of the veggies in my fridge ( 1 head of Cauliflower, 8 multi-colored Carrots, 2 Green Bell Peppers, 1 Large White Potato, 2 Red Onions,  3 Tomatoes, Cilantro, Ginger and Garlic ), Olive Oil, Everest Pav Bhaji Masala (found in the Indian Grocery Store), Amul Cheese (sent by my MIL all the way from India), Beckmann's California Black Bread ( my son's favorite bread which is whole-grained made with wheatberries and honey)

What I did - 

  • Clean and cut the vegetables - Cauliflower, Carrots, Bell Pepper and Potato. Pressure cook with a little bit of vegetable stock for 1 whistle (traditional pressure cooker). If you are cooking on open flame cook till you can mash all the vegetables together. Mash the vegetable and keep aside
  • Finely chop the onions, tomatoes, 5 cloves of garlic and a little ginger stick. Add 2 tsp Olive Oil to the pan and add (according to your taste) - cumin seeds and a little bit of hing. Now add in the chopped Onions, Ginger and Garlic. When the Onion starts browning  add in the tomatoes. Add the Everest Pav Bhaji Masala and cook till you see a little bit of the oil separating and it seems like a good cohesive mix (5-10 minutes)
  • Now add in the mashed vegetables and cook for a while (5-10 minutes). Add Salt & Chili Powder to taste (for my son's portion I added no chili powder). I then added some fresh lemon juice and cilantro.
  • Cut the Beckmann's Bread -- grated Amul Cheese on top and baked in my toaster over.
My son (the pizza and pasta loving kiddo) actually adored this meal. 

Notes to myself - My son will be mindful and aware about food only as much as I will encourage him to be mindful and aware of it - I take him to the Farmer's Market, I drag him grocery shopping, I teach him about Vegetables, Fruits, Spices....I also tell him about foods that are good for him and foods that are bad for him. Sometimes I let him make the wrong choices aware that he is making the wrong choice but with the hope that he will self-correct --- Do you have any thoughts on Kid's Meals and the meals you make for your Kids?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Healthy Eating : Beans Two Ways

"Beans...Beans...Healthy for the Heart,
The more you eat them...the more you fart..."
K2 sang this silly song as I was soaking a mix of  8 beans ( Adzuki, Cranberry, Pinto, Canellini, Navy, Lima, Black, Kidney) in the AM today. Yes, there was some vague notion in my mind to make something with the beans...only thing was I had soaked too much of it.

I  loved reading Dr. Fuhrman's  book - Eat to Live. It makes a lot of sense nutritionally -- I will be the first to admit that it wasn't Diet that made me lose the last stubborn 20 pounds but exercise. I love the idea of GBOMBS that Dr. Fuhrman talks about - an acronym you can use to remember the most nutrient-dense, health-promoting foods on the planet. These are the foods you should eat every day, and they should make up a significant proportion of your diet (these foods are extremely effective at preventing chronic disease and promoting health and longevity). I incorporate the GBOMBS pretty intensively in my everyday cooking.
In case you were wondering  GBOMBS are -
G = Greens (Kale, Spinach)
B = Beans
O= Onions (Garlic)
M = Mushrooms 
B = Berries
S = Seeds
This weekend was a little different - I was binge watching "The Good Wife" snuggled under my comforter with K1 thoughtfully supplying me with chai and take-out for almost 20 hours. I roused myself from one of the seven deadly sins (sloth just in case you were wondering...) and got around to cleaning, laundry and some cooking this PM. Of course, the soaked beans were staring at me (and there was too much of it) I ended up cooking 2 dishes with it.

Adai ( High Protein Beans Crepes)

  • 2 Cups Mixed Beans (soaked overnight)
  • 1/2 Cup Rolled Oats (soaked 1-2 hrs)
  • 1 Carrot Stick (large)
  • 1 Serrano Chilly
  • Handful of Cilantro
  • Pinch of Hing , 1 tsp whole Jeera and salt to taste
Blend the mix on Pulse till it reaches the desired consistency (I usually do this in less than a minute on my Blendtec ).

Bean and Sausage Stew

  • 6 Oz Greens (spinach)
  • Soaked Mixed Beans (2 Cups)
  • 2 Red Onions, 1/2 Head of Garlic
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes
  • 6 Oz Button Mushrooms
  • 3 Carrots (large)
  • Organic Chicken Stock
  • Worcestershire sauce
  •  Chicken Sausage (1 pack)
In the pressure cooker - sweat the  onions and garlic, when caramelized -add the Aidells Organic Chicken Sausage, cook for 3 minutes --- add the tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, carrots -- cook for 4 minutes. Now add the soaked beans, the Worcestershire sauce  and 24 Oz of Chicken Stock (more if you want it more soupy vs. stewy). Best eaten hot with toasted Beckmann's California Black bread.

I am back to watching "The Good Wife" and getting mentally ready for the work week. How has your weekend been?