Sunday, January 25, 2015

Paleo for The Pre-School Chef

Paleo...I've always been a little anti fad diet, but this one intrigued me mainly because my weakness has always been carbs (and cheese) (and sugar). I'm in my 4th week now and I'm feeling great. It wasn't always this easy...

Week one-I hope no one looks at me wrong because I may snap. Bread. I just want bread. Chocolate. I would eat bread and chocolate and cheese together if you put it in front of me right now. I hate just about everything right now. I have a headache. Don’t talk to me.

Week two-I think I’m through the detox phase. I’m starting to get excited about all of these Pinterest recipes. I swore I’d never be a “pinterest person”, but I am a Pinterest Paleo Freak of a Person now. 

I have always hated grocery shopping mainly because of all the options. Paleo has made this process easier. 

Here is my Paleo Grocery List:
  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Avocados 
  • Cauliflower-(2-3 heads-organic)
  • Spring mix lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Celery
  • Green beans
  • Carrots
  • Mushrooms
  • Organic Chicken (this means GMO free)
  • Frozen mangoes
  • Bananas
  • Eggs
Here are my favorite EASY recipes:
Banana Ice Cream:
  • Slice 3 bananas into thick slices
  • Place on tray in freezer for 2 hours
  • Toss into blender and blend until it looks like this:

Cauliflower Rice-
o   Chop a cauliflower head.
o   Toss in food processor
o   Sauté on high heat with olive or sesame oil. It tastes just like rice, I swear.
Cauliflower Mash-
o   Steam cauliflower
o   Toss in food processor (with excess water from steaming).
o   Add a dash of sea salt.
Apple Glazed Chicken-
o   Put a couple chicken breasts in crock pot.
o   Coat in honey.
o   Juice 3-4 apples, pour over chicken.
o   Add one juiced lemon.
o   Add amino acids (if you have it handy).
o   Cook on low for 3 hours and shred.

One thing I’ve learned about this plan is I’m nuts, but also the importance of keeping actual nuts handy for energy. Raw cashews are my favorite. Second in line: raw almonds. And then pistachios. I’ve also picked up the ball jar salad trick and I’m impressed with the freshness.
Sweet tooth like me? Try this:
o   Chocolate chip peanut butter cookies
o   ½ C. almond meal/flour
o   1 scoop of peanut butter (smaller is better)
o   A dash of Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips
o   A little Honey
o   A little Maple syrup
o   Cinnamon
o   1 Tsp vanilla
o   A little coconut sugar
o   1 egg (you can sub water)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Record Player and The Theater

Our day wasted away listening to old records with our feet propped up on the dining room table. You asked me about the music.

"Is this Uncle Josh?" you asked.

"No, this is Miles Davis," I responded.

"Why isn't he singing?" you said.

"Because this is jazz, honey...some of the best music you will ever hear."

"Ok," you said.

"Check out my moves," you screamed as you body convulsed around the living room.

"Check out my moves," you said.

Where do you learn these awesome phrases? We got dressed up and went to your very first movie. "Annie." You smiled with a full cheeked smile and squinty eyes. Anytime we laughed, you laughed so loud it made other people in the theater laugh.

When we got home, it was back to old records and running around the house at full speed. These are my favorite things, honey...old music, new movies and the three of us.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Just a Few More Minutes

Your head once fit perfectly under my chin.

Your tiny body curled so tightly around my stomach.

Your hands would knead my arm as if trying to bring blood to the surface.

Your eyelids would flutter softly down.

Your tiny breaths smelled of sugar.

You squeaked like a little mouse.

I would pull you in so tightly and stare at the moon from the two story room of your freshly painted nursery. I would beg for time to pause, to slow this moment down. It was 3ish am. I was tired. I was begging for sleep, but in that moment it seemed to be just the two of us awake in the universe. We were connected in a way I never felt connected to another human, connected in a way that is unbreakable, breath robbing like pain and utter joy meeting at the exact same time.

Your head now towers over my shoulder.

Your toes stretch down to my knees.

Your hands fall roughly around my neck.

Your eyes fight sleep begging for more time.

Your breath smells of macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets.

You tell me to sing "Twinkle, twinkle."

And I do for the fifth time as you fade away.

You are almost 3 and here I sit rocking you staring at the exact same moon in a different nursery begging to slow this moment down, begging for a few more moments.

Monday, December 15, 2014

One Day

One day you will feel defeated. You will feel as though someone deflated the balloon you've been floating in for years. You will feel like beat up concrete with a pot hole and you may even pop a few tires just to make yourself feel better. You'll feel this way one day, I promise.

And when you do, think about matchbox cars on a Friday night. Think about your dad and I sitting on the tired carpet in our living room night racing matchbox cars through the tiny dining room.

"Again!" you scream.

We gather all the mismatched cars and we race again. Your dad reassures you even when your car barely moves 3 inches.

"Good job," he says. "You're doing great."

Think about matchbox cars on a Friday night. Think about ducks and the way your face used to light up every time you saw them. Go see the ducks. Think about your cousins and the undivided attention they gave you.

"Chase me!" you would scream. And they would chase you through the house giggling and screaming even when their legs were tired and their eyes were sleepy.

Think about ice cream on a hot summer day and hot chocolate on a snow covered night. Think about the basic simplicities that used to fulfill your happiness because that is all you really needed...your family. That is all you really ever needed.

And then stand up...brush the dust off your shoulder, wake up and own the next day. That's the beauty...the sun will always rise and you will always have a choice.

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Cheapest and Most Profitable Craft You'll Ever Do With Your Kids

My company sponsors a family every year at Christmas. It's just one of the many things I love about going to work. First on the list this year, the most basic life necessity: Toilet Paper. 

Here is a craft to inspire kids to give back.

Step One: Collect or purchase 3 Ball Jars-I'm guessing they are already in your cabinet.
Step Two: Create Tags with craft paper, chalkboard paint, cardboard, sticker paper, whatever you have on hand. Write Give, Save, Spend with white paint pen. 
Step Three: Attach tags to jar with hot glue gun.
Step Four: Share the life lesson...give a penny, save a penny, spend a penny. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Sand Monster and the Coffee Cup

We're sitting by the ocean. The air is crisp. Not too hot, not too cold. You are chasing birds and moving at rapid toddler speeds. You always move at this speed. We turn disposable coffee cups into sandcastle builders.

"Play with me!" you scream.

We oblige. How could we not? We build towers. You knock them down every single time. We call you the sand monster as you are starting to identify the good guys from the bad guys.

"Rarrrr! I'm the sand monster. I will eat you," you say with delight. You're the cutest little sand monster I ever laid eyes on. We continue these games until your eyelids look droopy and you are covered in sand. Heck, we're all covered in sand thanks to the sand monster.

This is it. This is the place I go in my mind on a day I've identified as stressful. This is it. This is the place I escape on a Monday morning over hot coffee cuddled up in my office.

This is it. My favorite family sand monster memory.  

Monday, November 24, 2014

You're Starting Not to Need Me

You're starting to not need me like you once did. You still NEED me, but in a different way. You're wiping my kisses, pushing away my hugs, covering my mouth when I sing, shoving my hand away when you walk down the stairs. 

You're starting not to need me.

And that's ok. This is how it's supposed to be: you growing independent from me while I cry in a corner. This is how it's supposed to be: you becoming you.

My sweet boy, I want you to know, no matter who you become, no matter where you land, I am always here when you're feeling like you need me. 

No matter what it is, I won't judge you. I'll listen. 

No matter how big the problem in your head, I will be present to hear you with an open mind.

No matter who you become, I'll be here when you need me and when you don't.  

You're starting not to need me and that's ok.