Wednesday, April 25, 2012


This new eating style rocks!  I'm up to so many fruits and veggies a day now, I can't even count. Some sort of fruits for breakfast, cooked veggies for lunch and a huge salad for supper, which includes 1 oz of nuts or seeds and lots of beans.  On the health train!

I am now obsessed with fruit smoothies for breakfast!  Lots of antioxidants and goodness in this glass.  In my attempt to add more and more fruits and veggies to my day, I'm having lots of them for breakfast.  Sooo good, and easy!  Give this one a try, I promise, you won't be sorry! (Also, great for my vegan friends!)

Morning Berries and Cream

1/2 c pomegranate juice (I use the one with blueberry added, made by POM)
1/4 c unsweetened almond milk (found in your health food section at the grocery store)
1/2 c frozen blueberries (or Wyman's makes a wonderful blueberry, raspberry and blackberry mix that's outstanding for this as well, just substitute for only blueberries)
1/2 c frozen strawberries
1/2 c frozen peaches
1 banana
1 Tbl ground flax seeds

Whip all ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy.  Enjoy!

PS...the kids LOVE them, too!

Something that I'm finding kind of funny is that before I started this new nutrition based eating plan, I had a couple bad habits.  I would got to the grocery store, and from time to time,  I'd be hungry when I went shopping.  I know, I know, we're not supposed to shop hungry, but sometimes it happens.  Well, when that would happen, I would get myself a little cookie, or perhaps a muffin...baked goods are my total weakness.  Then I would snack on that on the ride home.  I also might get a soda to go with it, cause I craved soda.

Now, something interesting has happened.  With the increase in nutrients I'm giving my body, my cravings for these things has been greatly reduced.  They aren't gone yet, but they are sooo much less then they used to be.  I went to the market yesterday, and I was STARVING because the all veggie pita I had eaten 4 hours earlier was gone from my system.  I walked the store picking up things I might need, and they included stuff like sesame seeds, B vitamins (with no meat right now, I need to supplement that), lentils, carrots and kale.  I found some of my newest favorite snacks...roasted seaweed in sesame oil and grabbed a Kombucha to go.  Since giving up soda, I still do want a fizzy drink from time to time.  Kombucha is a naturally fermented mushroom drink with tea added (I know, it sounds vile but it's so delicious, especially with ginger added, and incredibly good for you.  It puts back the good gut bacteria in your body, much like yogurt does).  I looked at my face in the rear view mirror on my drive home.  Stuck to my mouth was a little piece of seaweed and a huge smile.  Finding health is a wonderful adventure.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


For those of us that enjoy a less sweet, more grown up cookie...or just want to offer the kids something with a bit more nutrition then the usual rice crispie treat or fruit roll is a great recipe that I found in my King Arthur Whole Grain Baking Book.  I adapted it a little to suit our tastes, you should do the same. 

All Oats, All The Time

yield: 42 cookies
baking temp: 375 degrees
baking time: 14 minutes

2 cups quick cooking oats (I used old fashioned rolled oats and they were chunkier, but very yummy)
3/4 c coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts (I used unsweetened shredded coconut)
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbl unsalted butter
3/4 c packed light or brown sugar
1/4 c granulated sugar (I used applesauce as a replacement)
2 large eggs
1 tbl cider vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins (my addition, not on the original recipe, but I like raisins in my oatmeal cookies)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease 2 baking sheets or line with parchment paper.

Combine the oats, nuts, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a food processor.  Pulse until the nuts are finely chopped and evenly distributed.  (I don't own a food processor and used my blender instead.  It did not come out fine like flour, it was a little chunkier, and though a little harder to form cookie "balls", they did hold together so well in dough form, they combined fine in baking and came out a little crunchy and chewy and lent the cookie a more granola bar feel).

Beat the butter and sugars (and applesauce if using) in a large bowl until smooth.  Add the eggs, scraping the bowl and again beating until smooth.  Stir in the vinegar and vanilla, then the oat mixture.  Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets.

Bake the cookies, reversing the pans midway through (top to bottom, bottom to top) until the edges are barely browned, 14 minutes.  Remove them from the oven and let them cool on the pans for about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Note:  Substitute old-fashioned rolled oats for quick-cooking oats if you like.  Pulse them in the food processor (or blender) several times before adding the nuts and remaining ingredients, and then pulse again.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Happy blessings to you and your loved ones this Easter Sunday!

So far, one of the best things about Easter for me was saving the white eggs our Egyptian Fayoumis laid over the course of a week.  It was so neat for me to see the boys coloring our own white eggs instead of having to buy the factory farmed ones at the grocery store this year.  That was a moment of delight for me.

We did end up with a dozen, but the boys were so excited to get coloring them that I missed getting a picture of the full dozen before they were colored.

They had fun drawing designs on them this year...can you figure out which two were mine? 

This morning began with the Easter Basket Frenzy!  The boys were up at 7:15 looking to open their Easter baskets.  When I was little, we just got up and went at it, we didn't need our parents there...Music Man's family would wait for their parents to even go look at the baskets and that's what we do now. 

The Easter Bunny has toned WAY down on the candy and mostly does little toys because the boys do multiple egg hunts and end up with WAY more candy then they are allowed to eat.

The favorite of the morning seemed to be the bowling and soccer marble game.  Miniature everything and the most fun of all the toys. 

There were also make-your-own saiboats, a diving game (for when they go to someone else's pool this summer), tek deks (for those of you that don't know what these are they are all the rage with the 7-10 year old boys, miniature skateboards they ride and do tricks with their fingers), a few chocolate bunnies and jelly beans.

Then the egg hunt ensued...Maestro is so competitive that when Little Red got 8 eggs and he only had 7, he was upset.  Even for an Easter egg hunt he has to win.  I personally never knew there was a loser at the Easter Egg hunt, isn't getting the candy inside the point?

After all the festivities, we ate hard boiled eggs and in a few minutes I will be making some Belgian waffles for a brunch, then it's off to my sister house to spend the afternoon with her family and inlaws. 

Maestro and I also watched Joel Osteen on the TV.  Being Quakers, we don't have a meeting house anywhere near us, but I do feel a strong desire to hear the words of God on a day like this.  The boys haven't had a religious education formally, but we do talk about God and Jesus and what they mean in our lives. After we watched the show with a great positive message of hope, Maestro and I headed out to the garden beds to get them ready for the hoop house to be installed.  While we worked, we talked about the message on the program, how he can talk to God, and why unfair or challenging things happen to good people when it doesn't seem fair.  We've had a lot of experience with that the last year or so, and it was nice to hear his perspective on all this.  He's a thoughtful kid with a spiritual nature, and I really enjoyed that time together talking.  I even taught him the Lord's Prayer and explained what each verse means.  So far, that's been my very favorite thing about Easter Sunday, that connection and time with my son being able to talk openly about what faith is in my life.  Yes, very favorite, indeed.

How did you celebrate today? 

Wishing you a warm and fuzzy Easter, ~Peacemom

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sprouts are UP!

These are the seeds I planted about 2 weeks ago in my bay window in the dining room.  Total southern sun exposure and look at how happy they are!  I've got 2 types of cukes, zucchini, lettuce, two types of peas, kale, broccoli and cauliflower in there. 
Here are some happy cukes.  Music Man and I are going to be building a mini-high tunnel over two of the existing garden beds in the next couple of days (more on that later and as the season progresses).  For now, the seeds are doing very well.  Thank you, High Mowing Organic Seeds for the awesome stock, you never disappoint!

In mere weeks we will be eating our own homegrown peas, just can't wait!  A salad made with your own lettuce is never outdone.  What do you have planned for your garden beds?  If you don't have room for beds, how about a nice planter box full of lettuce on your balcony, or a some potted tomatoes on the fire escape?  Be creative and grow some food, however, whereever you can.  Your body will thank you for it (and so will your grocery bill!).

Until next time, ~Peacemom, Gardener