Happy Mothers Day!!

Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers out there!! If you are a mother, it means you are blessed. And hopefully you are blessed with extra thoughtful people like I am!!!

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I got to sleep in past 10 am this morning!!!! And was woken up by a lively performance from my family, my husband playing the ukele and my kids singing a mothers day song, that they had obviously practiced all together behind my back 🙂

My daughter, the oldest, showered me with 4 (4!!!) different mothers day art projects that she had made and managed to not tell me about! That, in and of itself is a surprise! She never manages to keep her excitement from me, so the fact that she has managed to not only make me things but not tell me about them, shows me how much my almost 7 year old is growing. Thoughtfulness is sinking in and she is understanding the power of personalized gifts and emotions. I love her.

And they made me breakfast in bed. Pancake cutouts made by all the kids with a very special honey fruit sauce made by my daughter. That beautiful paper bouquet is from her also 🙂 While it was the not the relaxing breakfast in bed experience one would think of, as the baby was crawling all over me wanting to breast feed and the middle child was eating all my pancakes as quickly as my daughter could manage to pour the fruit mixture on them, it was MY perfect breakfast in bed, with all of them being themselves as the full expression of the art that my husband and I created together.

This day is a bitter sweet one for me. Feeling so incredibly blessed to be a mother myself, to have 3 gorgeous children with an incredibly caring and loving husband who also happens to be a kick ass involved father. At the same time I am filled with sadness that I do not get to celebrate my own mother, who died when I was 7 years old. Wishing she were a phone call away, so I can tell her how much I love her. Wishing she was in hugging distance to comfort me when I am struggling at my own mothering. I have had a tumultuous life starting at a young age. I have experienced more death and sorrow at a young age than most people have in their adult life. I have endured more challenging life situations than one would think capable of. Yet at this point in my life, I am realizing one of the hardest things I have had to do, is be a mother without the guidance of my own mother. From what I remember and what is often said to me, she was a goddess. She had 5 children, me and my 4 brothers,  and was an incredibly devoted and loving mother. She sang and danced and cooked and gardened. She was lively and friendly and loved by many. She was charismatic and beautiful. Spiritual and grounded. She was all the things I strive to be as a mother and I wish she were here to give me insight and direction, to allow me to melt in her arms when I am feeling weak, to hug her fiercely with love when I feel powerful. While her energy and spirit are very much present, nothing can replace a mothers physical presence, the look of love in her eyes as she watches her children, the gentle comfort in her touch.

Yet with all this sadness filling my heart, I would not be half the woman I am today if my life had been any different. All the struggles were necessary for me to live such a happy and fulfilled life today. Living in the dichotomy that all this pain was a necessity to be proud of who I am now, that I would not love myself as I do had it not been for all the loss and challenges I experienced. Not wanting to be anyone else than who I am now comes with the acceptance that I needed to loose some important people along the way, shed too many tears and have my heart be torn appart, my spirit crushed. Life is perfect. With all its imperfections and its pain, life is perfect. And I am perfect as I am, living with purpose, with love and intention. Showering my children with everything I wish I was given today by my own mother.

Happy mothers day to all you mothers out there. If you do not have your mother, I hope it gives you insight on what you miss by not having her and how that can empower you in your own mothering.

We are all blessed as we have children of our own.

Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

It’s spring break for my daughter this week, so we get to sleep in, stay in our PJ’s late and take our time with breakfast! I love these kinds of days as the pressure of getting somewhere on time is taken away and we can all just relax and enjoy each other’s company. And what better way to do that than a kitchen activity! I had been wanting to make these cookies since I saw Peanut Butter and Ellie post them. Hers look divine and I wish I would’ve checked out her recipe one more time before making my own as I would have added more PB, but they cam out great and chewy and delicious nonetheless. Her cookies looked soooo easy and delicious and filled with awesome breakfast fuel that I just had to get my hands dirty with the kids and have fun in the kitchen making them!

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So I did. The kids and I made these this morning and it was really quick as well as super kid friendly to make. I wouldn’t make these with them on a school day but it’s perfect to kick start our week off 🙂

As you can see they all had a great time mashing all the ingredients together. This is the most fun for kids! They get to squish and mash and play with food and then end up with cookies that mom says it’s okay to eat for breakfast!? Win!!

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Ingredients (per bowl, which means I doubled the recipe so that each of my two oldest had their own bowl):

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup small oats, regular oats will do fine, i just prefer the small oats for texture
  • roughly 1 TBS peanut butter (could’ve used more)
  • roughly 1/4 cup raisins (my daughter preferred to use my homemade chocolate chunks)

Steps:

  • preheat oven to 350*F
  • put all ingredients in a bowl and mash them real good!!
  • shape them in which ever form you wish
  • bake for about 15 minutes
  • devour with a nice cold cup of homemade almond milk

Each bowl made about 8 cookies.

Garden Love and Gomassio

I finally started up my garden again this year after a couple year sabbatical. It feel so great to be playing in the dirt again, planting little seeds watching them grow, feeding our bodies directly from the earth and bringing awareness to my children of the importance of where our food comes from.

Growing up on an organic farm, we ate mostly from what my parents grew. And as a kid I took it for granted. That’s just the way it was! Food grows outside, we pick it, we eat it. During the summer time and school was out, we had to participate in the upkeep of the garden. It was a chore. All my friends were out playing and I had to stay back and put in my two hours before I could do anything. I didn’t like doing it. I complained often. But boy am I happy my parents did that! It is definitely one of those moments where my parents said “You will thank me later”, and I did 🙂

Having ma parents show me what real food was at such a young age, got me to grow into a food conscious adult, as well as bring awareness to the planet and living things. Now with my kids when we are out in our little city back yard, they observe bugs and ask questions about why I grow certain things and not others and talk about edible flowers. When having children, gardening becomes so much more than just eating from the source. And while I do not have the capacity to grow enough food to feed my family all the vegetables we require, it is still enough to have fresh greens daily and to involve my kids in something I find so important: Health and our Earth, and how the two are connected.

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We have been eating a variety of greens and herbs from the garden for several weeks now, but this is our first batch of radishes, and the kids were so excited to pick them!! Radishes are such a great vegetable for kids to grow because they are so easy, grow fast, are easy for them to pick,  and are cute and pink! Although they have a little spice to them, my kids didn’t seem to mind. I think the excitement of eating from the garden took over the slight spiciness 🙂 I remember loving radishes as a kid. When we ate them at my grandmas house we would put some fresh organic butter on them and then dip them in gomassio, this powder thing that my grandma would buy. For many years I reminisced about how tasty that was, thinking it was a childhood memory or that i had to be at my grandmas house to eat radishes that way. Until I found out that Gomassio was essentially just sesame seeds and salt. So I recreated this childhood memory with my own kids and it was perfect 🙂 We had some leftover gomassio and my daughter being the awesome little creative chef she is decided to use it to make a vegetable stir fry 🙂 I unfortunately have no pictures of that dish. IMG_2495

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup raw sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp himalayan sea salt, or real salt

Steps:

  • smash them together until fine enough to dip radishes in it!
  • A mortar and pestle would be ideal here, but I broke mine a while ago and never bought a new one, so we used my daughters mini food processor

Pre-Party Smoothie

We had two birthday parties to go to yesterday. Which means there would be a lot of unwholesome eating in one day. I try not to be too strict with my kids with that stuff. I don’t want them to form a negative relationship with food because “mom never let us eat “junk””. At home I feed my family what I believe to be the highest quality foods and nutrient dense meals, and when we are out, while I still try and make sure they don’t spend the whole time gorging themselves with sweets, I let them eat what is offered.

I do put a limit on things such as “You either get a piece of cake OR a cupcake. You get the juice box OR the ice cream”. They are still just children and need a little bit of guidance, no? For the most part they are on board with this. And if I do catch my 6 year old daughter sneaking an extra piece of cake, or juice box or cookie (or anything else, because this happens, often) I try not to make her feel bad about it. I use this as an opportunity to check in with her and ask her how it makes her body feel, or if it makes her happy to eat sweets, or any other question that comes up that will allow me to have her be in touch with a deeper part of herself versus just the immediate palate satisfaction. While eating just for pleasure is fine sometimes, when it happens too often, it is not just for pleasure anymore. If it were up to my daughter, she would have it all, 3 times. My son can easily have his piece of cake and go right back to playing. The baby, well since he is only 15 months, has not really been exposed to sugar yet. Holding off as long as I can on this one. With two older siblings its just a matter of time.

So while I want my kids to be exposed to other peoples way of eating so they can make their opinions about food, their health is still very important to me. That is why I make them a Pre-Party Smoothie before we leave the house. The Pre-Party Smoothie allows me to make sure they get a good dose of healthy fats, fiber and protein in order for their little bodies to function properly not only to be able to play and have fun with their friends, but also so they can handle what ever foods they might eat that their bodies are not used to digesting often. And, if done right, they might not even be that hungry to have pizza AND cake AND ice cream. *wishful thinking* 

While I get my kids to drink their smoothies and juices regularly, they still sometimes put up a fuss. The Party Smoothie is easy because they know we are not leaving until their cup is empty. I make sure to remind them that this smoothie will give them lots of energy so they can play for along time.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 TBS hemp seeds
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 2 cups fresh greens (this time it was spinach)
  • Optional: a handful of sprouts because I had some handy.

Steps:

  • Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth
  • this made enough for 3 small servings

For some of my thoughts on eating at parties, you can check out my post from a few months ago:

https://anaboreal.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/tips-to-avoid-over-eating-at-parties/

Weaning from Mothers Milk

I have had several people ask me about how I weaned my kids from breast feeding. So I thought I would share it here in order to make it easier access for those who asked and also, hopefully, in order to help mothers who are in the process.

I have 3 kids. The baby is still nursing full time. My daughter self weaned at 2 1.2 years old. And my middle child had to be weaned about 9 months after his baby brother was born. So I have experience with both self weaning, and “assisted” weaning. For the purpose of this post I am sticking to “assisted” weaning, what I did with my son, what worked for us.

I am by no means a lactation consultant. I am just a mother who has her own experience with her own children. Every mother will have her own ways of doing things and what worked for me might not work for another, but I still feel compelled to share in case what I have to offer can help ease the stress for some.

Firstly, if you are looking for my tips and advice on night weaning, go here. I wrote about how I night weaned my two older kids at around age 10-12 months.

This post is intended to focus on the last daytime feedings of an already night weaned child.

The first piece of advice I want to give is: make a plan and stick to it. If you are really committed to weaning your child, make a plan, and stick to it. From what I experienced, being too flexible with dwindling down the nursing, just extends the time it will take for the nursing to stop. At first I was pretty vague with my son. I just said I would “slow down” or “limit” the feedings. If that  sounds vague and confusing, its because it is. Imagine a child trying to figure out what it means? I would say “Not now buddy, we will do gougoutte (french for booby) later”. When is later? After a coupe days of doing that with him, and him having fits because he wanted the boob now, I realized I needed to be more clear. For both of us. That’s when I decided to put him on schedule. It’s pretty known amongst parents that children in general thrive with routines and schedules. Children like to know what is coming next, it helps them handle situations more easily. I experienced the reality of this with weaning my son. As soon as I implemented a schedule, he was on board and within less than two weeks I managed to not only slow down the daily nursing, but I eventually cut it down to just the early morning feeding which was the hardest.

A little more detail. When I decided it was time to wean him, I stopped offering him the boob altogether. I waited for him to ask for it. Within just a few days I wanted to cut down even more and that’s when I tried saying no, later, but that didn’t work so well, so I implemented the schedule. I decided that he would get milk first thing in the morning when he woke up, and right after his afternoon nap. I told him this. I reminded him of it regularly. So when he would ask for the boob and I would say no, it wasn’t foreign to him.

Once I felt like he was doing well with this, I cut out the afternoon feeding. A very important note here: BEFORE he would go down for his nap I would tell him that when he wakes up, he is not getting gougoutte, he can have a banana or some water, or an orange, etc…. If I ever forgot to tell him this, he would freak out upon awakening. This seemed like a deal breaker for him. So I tried to never forget to tell him before he fell asleep that he was not getting the boob once he woke up. He would definitely ask after his nap, but didn’t get too bent out of shape when I would say no. I honestly think it took less than a week for him to get to that point. And about 2 weeks for him to stop asking altogether.

The last feeding to go was the early morning one. It was the hardest. Mainly because he would crawl in to bed where his baby brother was sleeping, demanding the boob and if I didn’t give it to him he would freak out and wake up his brother. So it took a bit longer to stick to my words as I didn’t want to wake up the baby. I essentially did the same thing as for naps though. Before bed time I would tell him that when he wakes up in the morning and he comes to my bed, we can snuggle but we aren’t doing gougoutte anymore. Little by little it caught on until he would just come into our bed and ask for a snuggle. Pure bliss. For real. I didn’t expect that stopping to nurse him would lead to such amazing snuggles. Here is a more emotionally charged post about this 🙂

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Although I had to wean my son, he still nursed until he was almost 2 1/2. I truly love nursing and he might still be nursing today if he didn’t have a baby brother. But I have noticed a growth spurt happen after the weaning. It’s like breast feeding him was the only thing keeping him in the baby stages. He is so much more verbal now, more independent. I feel like I can talk to him and have him understand me better. His brain doesn’t go into baby booby land just seeking comfort when something bothers him. He is just 2 1/2 now, I weaned him last october. And for a 2 1/2 year old he is pretty communicative and understanding. Although he still acts like a baby sometimes, for the most part, it seems as though the weaning has allowed him to start opening himself up to self soothing, or just needing a hug, which in a lot of ways is a relief for me.

So there you have it. My path to weaning my children. If you have any questions, I am more than happy to answer them. Again and always though, as a mother, follow your intuition and your heart, and do what feels best for you and your baby. We all have a unique bond with our children and it is important to stay connected and in touch with that bond in order to make intuitive choices.

I hope this post helps. Happy weaning!!

Sleeping like a Baby

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Who ever decided that this phrase was to be used as a positive comment? I mean babies, generally, aren’t great at sleeping. New borns wake up every couple hours to eat. If I were to get up every couple hours and go to the kitchen for a snack I doubt I would feel like I was getting good rest, (not to mention the amount of pounds I would be putting on). If you are one of the lucky one’s whose baby just decided to sleep through the night at just a few weeks old (I hate you), you are very lucky.

I have 3 kids, one of them is still a baby. And in my world, sleeping like a baby means you don’t sleep enough, at least from a parent’s perspective. My daughter was a decent night sleeper, but a terrible napper. I couldn’t put her down. She slept well on me but as soon as I tried to lay her on the bed she would wake up. I didn’t mind too much as she was my first and I had nothing else to do but to carry her around, go for walks, clean the house and such. It was extra cuddling time. It was just frustrating when I wanted to get a workout in or take a shower. My first son, had digestive troubles for the first few months, so nights were awful. I would have to walk him around at 2am trying to help sooth his aching belly. He was a great napper though. I could put him down and he would stay asleep for at least an hour. Which was awesome. Since him and I would spend so much time together in the middle of the night, I welcomed the hour long break in the day. My baby now, is a terrible sleeper all around. He wakes up frequently at night, and I can rarely put him down for naps. He naps on me during the day, and is snuggled by my side at night, frequently waking up for a snack or just to make sure I am still there.( God forbid I went to the bathroom during one of his wakings.)

I’ve learned to adapt to this. I do a lot with him sleeping on me during the day. Heck, I’ve even figured out how to workout! (yep, that’s me in the video). But he wakes up easily if one of his siblings is too noisy.

I’ve learned ways to make my life more manageable on intense sleep deprivation. I would even say I’ve become quite good at it. There was a time I would wake up resentful, not feel like doing anything at all, just zombie around all day and couldn’t get the older kids to bed fast enough at night just so I could lay down myself.

But now, I feel like I live a life full of awesomeness. I am not getting any more sleep than a few months ago. My baby still wakes up several times a night. But I’ve adjusted and just like most things in life, it takes on average 6 weeks for our bodies to adapt to any new routine. So I guess you could say that I have hit a sleep deprivation plateau, where my body has gotten used to the amount of sleep I am getting and I can now sustain the lifestyle that I have without too much struggle.

For the most part, I have accepted the fact that my life right now is not powered by sleep. But there are days when I get frustrated and just wish he would sleep more. So when I see or hear the phrase “I slept like a baby”, and I think, “wow you must’ve had a crappy night”.

“I slept like a toddler”. Now there’s a phrase that makes sense to me!! Both my older kids sleep great. And as soon as we night weaned them, they started sleeping through the night and haven’t gone back. It. Is. Wonderful.

I live a very full life on very little sleep. I have never been so tired and so happy at the same time. Although I do not get that much sleep, I have stopped resenting that. Letting go of the thought that I NEED more sleep, made it that I have been able to allow myself to function at whatever level I can each day without judgement. Sure I regularly want more sleep, but I don’t believe I always need it. Some days I feel like I am awesome and I get so much done, and some days I can barely get myself dressed and out the door for school drop off without wishing it was 7pm already. But everyday I am accepting. And that acceptance has taken away a lot of the frustration, the annoyance and the short temperedness. These early days with the babies are the ones that go by the fastest. It won’t be that long before the baby sleeps through the night. And soon enough they will all be in school all day long. Finding out who I am right now, in these moments of sleep deprivation, is an interesting process to me. As long as I don’t make it about other people and lash out at my family, then all is good.

So there are my thoughts on sleeping like a baby. The eternal optimistic that I am has found many positives in my sleep deprivation to make me not hate life, but I won’t hide that I am looking forward to the day I get more than 2-3 hours of sleep in a row. I am not ready for night weaning yet, and that is why it hasn’t happened.

If you have a sleep deprived life, please share your experience and what you do to deal with it. I hope most people have a better experience than I do, because truth be told, it does suck to not get enough sleep.

 

Think Ahead, Lazy Parenting

Advance meal prep is where it’s at when trying to be a lazier parent. Although I truly love being in the kitchen and can spend hours creating, cooking, mixing, etc…. There are days when I don’t have time, or I just don’t feel like it. I started doing serious advance meal prep when I was pregnant with my first child, almost seven years ago (!!!!) And I have since done that at the end of each pregnancy. As the due date approached, I would start cooking like crazy and freezing a bunch of stuff so that we would have an abundance of wholesome foods to eat once the new baby arrived, without me having to spend much time in the kitchen, therefor having more time to snuggle with my new baby 🙂 Combine this with the generosity of friends dropping off food, we always had a very easy and healthy first 6 weeks postpartum. I did this with all three pregnancies, and for some reason, once we ate all the food in the freezer, I would go right back to cooking everyday from scratch. But not this year! I have already started filling up my freezer and will keep doing it.

I am sharing this post with you for two reasons:

  1. Maybe you haven’t been doing this for your family, and I can help inspire you to start making big batches of food and freezing them for future meals, therefor easing your stress around meal prep at times.
  2. To share with you some of favorite go-to freezer meals that we eat throughout the “winter”.

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This was my freezer last year at this time, since I was about to give birth to my 3rd baby. There are several batches of muffins: carrot muffins, zucchini muffins, blueberry muffins. There are several soups: carrot soup, butternut squash soup, lentil soup. As well as some veggie stews, and chili. There are some curries in there and some apple sauce. As well as my go to raw energy bites. I had also made huge batches of raw granola, that I kept in the pantry.

I cannot share enough how nice it is to have a freezer full of nutritious wholesome meals. If I have time and energy, I truly like prepping my meals fresh, but I also like to be able to stay out an extra hour if we are having a good time somewhere without the worry of having to go home and cook a meal. Or if I know ahead of time that I will be out late, I can take one of the pouches of food out and let it thaw in the sink all day so that when dinner time comes we will have a meal just waiting to be heated.

And I love having a variety of muffins ready to be grabbed for my daughter’s school lunches and snacks.

I use a vacuum sealer. It keeps food fresh longer, without the unfortunate layer of ice that can form in jars. And it also saves so mud space. The soups and stews can be stacked, avoiding the clutter of too many jars.

I hope you find this post useful. What do you do to make your life easier in the kitchen? Any tips are greatly appreciated!  I truly value eating nutritiously, and I also value having fun, being lazy and living in the present, which a little bit of thinking ahead can help me accomplish 😉

Night Weaning

Since there’s been some interest on night weaning after I wrote my post about fully weaning my second child, I will share how we successfully night weaned our two older children. (I am writing this post with the thought that who is reading it is the person actually breast feeding the child.)

First I would like to share how much I love breastfeeding. It is one of the most amazing things about being a mama to be able to feed my child, while  bonding and snuggling. For that reason I breast fed both my older kids until well past 2 years old. That said, night nursing is a different story in my book. I definitely did it happily with all my children for the first several months. But come around month 7 or 8, I start feeling the exhausting coming on and start to resent the middle of the night feeds. With my daughter, I was over it and that’s why we night weaned her. With my son, I found out I was pregnant with our 3rd, so I wanted to make the shift in order to feel ready to welcome the new baby in our bed without an older sibling already in there.

First things first, let me make this clear: I wouldn’t have been able to night wean our kids without the help of my husband. If your husband or partner isn’t on board with helping out, or if you are a single parent, than this post is not for you. I wouldn’t know how to do it.

If your partner is fully committed than here we go:

  • if you don’t already use them, buy some earplugs. It will make it less difficult to put up with the cries and you might eventually be able to fall back asleep faster.
  • now just brace yourself, and resist the urge to get up and help your husband/partner. (I know the feeling, “I can do it faster/better, I’ll just go in there and do it myself so we can all go back to sleep”)
  • if you are co-sleeping, you will have to stop doing that. I tried co-cleeping and night weaning and it doesn’t work. If my baby knows I’m there, we cannot soothe him or her back to sleep without the boob.
  • if you aren’t co-cleeping, keep doing that 🙂
  • when your child wakes up at night, your partner needs to go in and soothe the baby back to sleep. (It is the same scenario as trying to night wean while co-sleeping.) For us that means, holding, snuggling, carrying, until the baby falls back asleep.
  • the first few nights our kids woke up a bunch, wondering when the milk was gonna get there “I know who you are and you are not the milk lady! Where is the milk lady!!! She normally comes in here and gives me something to suck on!!!”; “You again?? What the hell?!?!? Where is the milk lady??”; “Dang, is the milk lady really not coming? Even if I keep crying like this she won’t come?”; “Wow, she really isn’t coming. Ok then. I’ll go back to sleep”. That’s what I imagine is going on in their cute little head over the nights.
  • eventually our babies got used to my husband coming in and not me that their realized within about 1 or 2 weeks that it was much better to just sleep through the night.
  • if the baby stops waking up at night, congratulations, you did it 🙂

Your partner might not feel thrilled to be the one who has to wake up every night, but remind him/her that you have been doing it for months, that you need a break too and that once the baby is night weaned you will both get some sleep. If you’ve been night nursing for months, surely your partner can suck it up for a couple weeks 😉

I want to remind you that everyone is different, and we all have different ways of doing the parenting thing. I just know that this is what worked for both our older kids, and this is the technique we will use when i am ready to wean my youngest.

Since we night weaned our kids, they sleep through the  night. At first they would occasionally wake up either because of teething, or a soiled diaper, or some other thing that was bothering them, but there hasn’t been a challenging night situation with either the older kids since we did it.

I hope this post helps some of you. If you are someone who has successfully night weaned, please share your comments! If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Halloween Smoothie!!

It’s Halloween. For most families that means trick or treating and eating way too much sugar. Our family will definitely be ringing doorbells and filling up buckets with junk. The kids love it. It’s a really fun tradition and I don’t want to take that away from my kids when everyone else at school is talking about it. That said, their health still really matters to me and eating too much sugar is just bad. So I have come up with a solution: I make green smoothies. I do this when I know we will be going to an event where the kids will be eating way too much junk food. The kids are used to this by now, but I tell them we do not leave the house until they are done with their smoothie. They choose: “drink your smoothie and go out (trick or treating in this case), or don’t drink and stay home.” We’ve never stayed home 🙂

On Halloween night it should be even easier to get your kids to drink this:” It’s monster juice!”;  “It’ll help keep al the scary things away when we go to haunted houses!” Get creative!

The reason for a green smoothie is simple: they fill up on a really nutritious meal so that their bodies can handle what they are about to throw at it with more ease.

Fiber is huge in helping keep blood glucose levels from going out the roof. Fiber traps sugar as it passes through the intestines, therefor slowing down the rate at which your body digests it which helps reduce the amount of insulin your body needs to handle it. So eating lots of fiber before eating sugar, is one of the best things you can do if you are committed to eating sugar. This is one of the reasons why eating whole fruit is so different than just drinking the juice, which is void of fiber, therefore is just sugar. Protein has a similar effect.

I add fat to the smoothie in order to help feel full longer, in order to feel satiated. Fat triggers the pyloric valve between your stomach and small intestine. That valve is what slows down digestion and allows you to feel fuller longer as well as reduce sugar spikes.

When making a smoothie for good nutrition keep these things in mind. Does it have fiber? Does it have healthy fats? Does it have protein?

I don’t do this every time I make a smoothie. I do this when I make a smoothie before going to an event where I know we will be eating foods that I do not believe to contribute greatly to my health.

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups packed of greens. I used all kale here. Make sure to use fresh greens, not frozen.
  • 2 1/2 cups almond milk (or any milk you prefer)
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 small apple with skin, cored
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 dates
  • 1 small chunk ginger (optional)
  • 8 ice cubes (optional, I just wanted the smoothie cold)

Steps:

  • Put everything in blender and blend on high until super smooth
  • Drink up!

This made about 40 oz. Enough for my little family of 5.

Daily Multi Vitamins for Kids

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In a post a couple months ago I had mentioned how I was determined to keep the green yukky thick goopy noses at bay this year once my daughter started school. Well it has been 2 months now, and I am happy to say that so far, so good!! What I have been doing differently this year from previous years, is that I committed to giving my kids a daily dose of multivitamins. Not the store bought, industrialized, incapsulated, who-knows-whats-really-in-them-anyway?, and does-your-body-even-assimilate-all-this-stuff?, multivitamin. The real kind. The kind of vitamins you get from eating, or in this case drinking, fruits and vegetables. Every morning for the past 2 months, I have been making our family a green juice before I drop my daughter off to school. They drink it first things in the morning. It’s not always easy to get them to drink it. Some days it goes down fine, others I have to hold the cup for them, or sometimes make up games to get them to drink it. But it’s been SO WORTH it. By this time most school years, my daughter has brought home some gross runny nose. No other symptoms, just that nasty stuff all over her face that she wants to kiss and hug us with. Then she sometimes gives it to her brother. Not this year. I love kisses and snuggles too much to have them be ruined by excessive mucus. Up until now I have been making a juice that consists mainly on the stuff you see in the picture. Ingredients change a bit depending on what I find at the farmers market, but up until now it’s been pretty green pretty cleansing and detoxifying, as well as immunity boosting and all around just amazing. I really love having this kind of juice being the first thing I put in my body, and although my kids aren’t aware of it just yet, I am really happy that they get to experience such goodness too.

Here is a not exact recipe of what I have been making:

  • 4-5 cups of greens ( I rotate my greens weekly, you should too)
  • 1 cup herbs (I rotate mainly between parsley and cilantro)
  • 1 big chunk of ginger
  • 1 lemon, with peel
  • 2-3 stalks of celery
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 green apple, or 1 carrot, or 1 beet

Juice everything and drink it immediately!!!

I am about to switch up this juice recipe as I am feeling the need to get into more fall vegetables and I feel like our bodies could use some other nutrients than the ones we have been getting through so much green. But I am definitely committed to continuing juicing for my kids (and my!) health. Without a doubt, they are the reason I am keeping this up everyday. If I were juicing only for myself, I know I would have skipped a bunch of days or even would have taken a break from it by now. But why take a break from taking vitamins daily? Which is what juicing essentially is. While smoothies are great since we get a good dose of fiber in them, we tend to add other things in them as well and they are a little heavier to digest. And we cannot put nearly as many greens in a smoothie without feeling full as we can in a juice. Which makes it that we don’t get as many vitamins and nutrients. As the weather cools down and I have built up a good immunity for us up until now, I will be adding more smoothies in our diet and more colors to our juices. Stay on the lookout for those recipes coming soon 🙂