Monday, February 15, 2010

serious talks about food

Starting out on the lighter notes, the quiche is delicious if you let it dehydrate-which was not in the instructions-and sit for a day. Yesterday, the consistency of the filling left something to be desired although the taste was ok. Today I re-heated in the dehydrator and the filling really did taste almost cheesy. I have to say that one quiche is SO filling. ugh. Next time I would add more spinach. The rawkin fudge is a nice treat and one piece will do ya for awhile. I made more apple cinamon cookies and the cinamon raisin balls...both are a big hit. My son whipped up a nori roll for his lunch today and my daughter made a sandwich out of flax crackers and almond butter. Everyone is quite happy.

As a family, we had a discussion at dinner last night that went on and off until bed. My daughter started it by saying she just wanted to eat the sweet treats of raw food and didn't really like the "entree" parts. We talked about the benefit of the yummy sweet treats, mostly offering protein and some offering fruits but I posed the question: where are the vegetables. Her face went blank as she tried to make dates a vegetable with no success. We talked about all of our favorite sweet treats and couldn't find a single vegetable in one. I talked to my kids about their choices and how they need to find balance. There need to be fresh vegetables and even fresh fruits. While the dehydrated yummy stuff is good and all, it doesn't offer quite the same as a cut up apple or a fresh orange.

My son asked me if most kids were taught to think like this because when he is in school and friends see his lunch or hear him talking about delicious meals they get all grossed out or insulting. I did not know exactly how to answer him. Sometimes I question my own parenting for teaching my kids the way I do. Should they know SO much. Maybe I should just boss them around, prepare their food and lunches and teach them not to question. Maybe I am making life harder for them by teaching them to question so much of their world. I know that some times I would love to be ignorant. In the realm of food alone, I would really love to eat something delicious and processed and loaded with bad things and not know it and believe it is really good for me because it says "vitamin fortified".

Later, my son came to me and asked why he misses processed food SO much. He admitted to all these time where he would sneak food and how he just couldn't stop eating it and he never felt full. I did not shame him at all but instead just asked him to think about that. How much control that processed food had over him. His father got up to almost 400lbs before he had surgery, his father's parents and brother all had to have stomach surgery and some have even gained back ALL the weight they had lost from the surgeries. Unfortunately, he needs to be aware of this, I think. He was a healthy eater for the longest time until we tried a medication for his autism and ocd stuff. The medication helped him so much but seemed to trigger something in him that has never been reversed. He ballooned up and became obsessed with food, only bread and sugary foods.

I want him to grow up healthy and aware without shame or even fear of food. It is such a fine line to walk. Leading by example is one of the best things I can do and I know I struggle with my weight. I always have struggled but I can find a stopping place. My ex husband once pulled 13 bagels out of the freezer and while toasting some ate the rest-all 13 in one sitting. I am not like that. I do eat when I feel overwhelmed or lonely as admitted in prior postings. I am working on finding alternatives to this behavior. I think it is the right thing to do to educate my kids, give them information and help guide their choices but not make them ALL. As they grow older I am supposed to make less and less, let them try their wings while still under the security of my care.

As babies and toddlers, I made all their choices. As young children I made most of their choices or limited the options. As they grow older, they go to friend's houses, they go out with friends and are accountable for themselves. They need to learn to make choices and understand the consequences. If you go to a friend's house and they offer donuts for breakfast, this could cause a consequence of sugar rush and sugar crash. In a child with autism, this is rough and more extreme. In a child with immunity challenges, this has almost always lead to cold sores breaking out. How far did that donut carry you and what are the ramifications beyond the immediate. I try to get them to notice what their choices mean.

Leading by example, I can go get a pizza and drink some soda and be quite happy-temporarily. The next day I feel gross, sluggish and out of sorts. For days I jones for similar jolts of wheat, cheese and sugar. The urges are intense at times and it is hard to get my head clear. I talk to my kids about how I feel and what I go through in order to help them feel less crazy about their own cravings. I can eat that stuff but I have to be willing to face the consequences. I think it's the right thing to do for me and my kids. I also talk about when I am raw and feeling good and when my vision seems clearer and my head seems clearer. I talk about how my body starts to crave what it really needs instead of tastes of processed junk. I talk about my better energy and easier days as well as how much clearer my sleepiness comes at the end of the day signaling to me when it is time to find a stopping point.

It is not easy being a parent. I think we always question what we do, say, teach, etc. I have many who criticize the way I do and some who compliment my process but the truth is, nobody knows how to do it right. I realized LONG ago that no matter how I parented, my kids were going to require therapy. If they never watch t.v. then they would require therapy about how mean I was for culturally stifling them. If I let them watch ALL the t.v. they wanted then they'd go to therapy and talk about how I let them zone out and disconnect. It is all shades of gray. I have NO idea what I am doing but I am doing the best that I can. I think that when it isn't easy and mind numbing it probably is in the right direction but when it feels like it is a constant battle then I might have over shot. Somewhere in the middle? Somewhere in their intelligence, listening to them as much as I want them to listen to me. Hoping for the best turnout possible.

So we have agreed that we will EACH chose a recipe for the beginning of the week that involves vegetables and again for the second half of the week. We have lots of books and on line resources so we can look and plan. They have to HELP prepare their choice and be willing to experiment. The only way we are going to branch out is to try new recipes. We also have to give the recipes more then one try...don't throw it out immediately. Like the quiche, for example, it took a day or two of re-trying to find how much I like it after it set up a while. The sweet treats are easy to like. We also have to find new ways to enjoy the fresh fruits and vegetables. On with the adventure.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Rawkin Fudge

Well, I finally got around to making the quiche filling. It really is pretty good as a combo with the shell and filling together. My daughter did not like the shell alone but together she says it reminds her of the pesto stuffed mushrooms. I might try it again and add basil. The kids are more interested in me making the sweet stuff rather then the other "meal" kinda stuff. I know that the sweet stuff isn't bad for them but it just seems wrong in my head for them to eat banana crepes for breakfast, apple cinnamon cookies for lunch and rawkin fudge for dinner with a salad or some veggies thrown in here and there. I must say that I LOVE the rawkin fudge, though. It is very filling and doesn't suck you in like regular chocolate does. One piece feels so good, maybe two is all that a person can handle. Instead of nuts or frosting, I sprinkle cacao nibs on top because I LOVE them and can eat them in handfuls.

I am prepping for the upcoming week with some more flax crackers and some onion bread crackers. I made the falafels (beanless) and got a great zuke for spaghetti. I bought more pre-made cheezy kale. It's a great snack in the car. I know I can make it myself but it is SO nice just having it there and ready. I have a lot of parsley and cilantro left from the falafel so I am going to try to find something to do with it. I need more of those apple cinnamon cookies and am going to try to make these cinamon raisin balls. They look yummy, too. Oh yeah, my son requested Nori rolls for his lunch so I have the goods for that, too. Off to another week. Happy Valentine's Day! Today I practice self-love with a walk and some yumy food that loves me as much as I love it!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Late Nights

Well, I finished making everybodies desires last night but it took awhile...I worked until 9pm then started on the apple cinnamon cookies for my son's bake sale, the banana crepes for my daughter and the quiche for me. When I read the dehydrator time for the quiche shells I nearly fell over, they want it dehydrated for 36 hours. One should read ahead. I had all the ingredients and I was going for it anyway. I have to say that it was almost midnight when I started the quiche shells and the process was not hard but MAN was that some serious onion juice!!! The recipe is 3 large onions, 3/4 c ground flax and 3/4 c ground sunflower seeds with some nama shoyu but I forget the exact amount. eyes were burning. To take THAT much onion and slice and grind it means lots of that awful gas comes out and makes the eyes BURN. Then I had to mix it...burn burn burn Then I tried to put it on the sheet and shape it into a was too wet to do anything. I did the best I could and left it until morning. I went to bed with lots of skepticism about this recipe but when I got back to the dehydrator this morning the shells were easily shaped and I felt much better. It even smells SOOO good. Unfortunately, I won't be able to enjoy a quiche until tomorrow as there is more dehydrating time required but I am anticipating something delicious!!! All in all, despite the awful tears, this might be a pretty yummy and easy thing. Could make a nice cracker or bread. Foiled by the long dehydrating time I am not sure what to eat today. May have to go exploring. I like to save the salad stuff for dinner, it just feels best. Kids have wiped out my crackers-need to make more of those oer the weekend and I am not in the mood for crepes. Hmmmm. My body continues to drop size although I refuse to get on a scale but clothes are loser and more comfortable. My face looks brighter. With only four hours of sleep I don't feel so energetic but I don't feel awful either so maybe that says something. I probably need to eat soon or it all might back fire. I will post a pic of the finished quiche once I get that far. Reviews to come soon. :) I have high hopes!

The Bake Sale

My son's class is having a bake sale on Friday (of course he told me today without proper time to plan). I asked him if he wanted me to make cookies or muffins - yep, I was hoping to have an excuse to make me some chocolate chip cookies - but he started begging me to make the apple cinamon rawkin cookies. These take at least 6-8 hours in the dehydrator not to mention that I am busy the next couple of days and now need to go buy the ingredients and prep it all. I looked him in the eye and asked why he wanted those cookies. He replied, "because my friends think that raw food would be gross without trying it but I bet if they ate these and we did not tell them they are raw food then they would love it and learn that healthier food can still taste good." How can I turn down THAT reasoning. I am off to the store to buy more apples. I figure if we make them small so that they feel more like a cookie then kids will be more apt to try it. I will let you all know the feed back from the bake sale.

I am also going to make the quiche things I found. They look really yummy and my mouth is finally beginning to tire of the spinach potato latke's. Both kids are pretty much raw now. Here's my daughter's lunch menu: orange, apple cinamon cookie, veggie flax crackers with avocado, banana flax crackers with almond butter and raw honey, carrots, and sprouted almonds. How cool is that! My son's looks similar but he was being a pre-adolescent lazy snot head and didn't want to put almond butter and honey on his crackers - said he was too tired but was really busy texting his friend so he can go without. Had apple cinamon cookie, an orange and cheesy kale today so far. I need to eat something more but haven't decided what yet. Salads are our dinner tonight with sunflower seeds, tomato, carrots, olive, corn and spinach. I'm trying a new ranch dressing I found. I need to make almond milk, though so it may not happen with the ranch dressing. I have to say, I don't feel like I am "doing" rawkin, just that it is more natural and easy this time. I think that's helping the kids, too.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

empty vs full vs satiated

Feeling conflicted today over feeling empty and wanting to feel full. I've been doing good rawkin, feeling so much more energy and natural in my body but today I am feeling the desire to stuff and be "full". I don't know if it is a level of anxiety that I would like to numb or just feeling overwhelmed a bit with regular life stuff and wanting to distract myself or even reassure myself with feeling "full". Not really desiring a specific taste-not cheese or cereal or anything which is probably one of the only reasons I haven't acted on it. I couldn't decide what to stuff myself with. How odd it is to live life more aware of the "feelings". The stuff to numb and empty means stuff again mentality is hard to get rid of. I liked that unconscious part of eating. I'm not sure what to do about it. I guess awareness is the first step. I wonder if I can handle staying fully conscious today.

I don't say that flip or glib, it is a great coping mechanism to check out once in awhile. I kid you not, there are times that it is safest for me to go a bit numb. After a rough IEP meeting for my son, after some intense medical testing on one of the kids or an ER visit or even after one of my son's bad days where he is unmanageable, I thank the higher power for coping mechanisms. Right now, my son accidentally whacked his friend and sent him to the ER, I smell something dead in my garage but there are no rats in the traps, my daughter found a worm on the maple syrup this morning, I have a book's worth of paper work for an upcoming medical specialist visit for my daughters unresolved issues that she claims are getting worse, it's a short month with less clients and I'm not sure how I will make rent (but that's projecting too far forward), got a weird phone call last night that I think is a scam but is the second time it has been tried on me for money-could be possible identity theft involved, I need to do my taxes, the school district is working on setting up my son's tri-annual IEP testing and life is just dishing out some regular ole crap. Nothing life threatening. Just one of those days where there are no clients this morning to distract me and I would rather stuff then feel. PHEW...writing helped. I may eat one of those mint chocolate truffles and see if it helps. Chocolate is good for you, ya know. I will just keep breathing...that helps too.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Conversion Complete

Well, my daughter has agreed to go "all raw" as soon as the groceries are gone in the house that are not raw. We still have some vegetarian chicken patties, some shredded cheese and other things lying around that she would like to be responsible for so as not to waste anything. I blame it all on those apple cinamon cookies. She LOVES them. It has restored her faith in rawkin food. She keeps wanting whatever I am eating and when I deny her more then a taste so as to preserve my supply for truly rawkin meals, she gets very offended. I am looking forward to getting my head into some more rawkin recipe's again. I am glad we are all converting back to raw. Leaving one in the "cooked" world is more expnsive and more confusing to us all. It's great that the whole family will be on the same page.

Today was much of the cinamon cookie for breakfast with my yummy latke sandwich for lunch and a big yummy salad for dinner. Easy day, really. I still have probably six more latkes left so I can't imagine the need to make anything new yet. I will probably need to make more flax crackers soon for the kids and the fruit leather is a big hit for packed lunches so I may have to make more of that soon, too.

Friday, February 5, 2010

One Down One to Go

Showed my kids the movie Food Inc last night and my son was as affected by it as I was. He is now swearing to go raw with me completly. It just makes more sense. It doesn't mean that it isn't hard sometimes but it is SO much better. Again, I am not swearing off of regular food and I think I should make sure that my children do not swear off regular food but it should be eaten much less and only once in awhile. As my son SO passionately stated last night, it is so much better for us, so much better for our environment and so much better for our society medically and mentally.

My daughter is still digging her heels in that she is NOT going raw. I am trying new recipes that are making her jealous as she calls me "lucky" when I sit and eat my yummy rawkin food. Today I made these delicious apple cinamon cookies and she is wanting to eat them ALL but I told her if you are not rawkin then you can only have a taste because this is more of a meal for me then a snack. I got to hear the quintessential kid whine of, "ahhh". She followed her moan with, "maybe I will just do like 50% raw then. Yep, she's going to be crossing over soon. tee hee I have lots of bananas for some yummy crepes to be made this weekend, she'll be beggin for it soon!

So, I am still really enjoying those potato spinach latkes with sprouts, spinach, lettuce and tomatoes and a little honey mustard dressing. I made the walnut carrot patties but they seem very salty to me in comparison, I think it's just my taste buds are wanting the mix of flavors I have created with the latkes, so I am saving the carrot walnut patties for later. I bought ingredients to make the falafels but don't want to make them yet until my latke suppply gets low and my taste buds start to tire of them. I created the apple cinamon cookies, like I said earlier, and I have to tell you that they are absolutely scrumptious. This might be my new breakfast treat. It is simply 2lbs of peeled apples shredded with tons of cinamon, ground up almonds, raisins and agave. Holy cow are they delicious! I made some new fruit leather with strawberry, blue berry and kiwi with flax and sunflower seeds ground up in the mix. They smell dleicious too.

I splurged yesterday at my local Whole Foods and bought some chocolate mint truffles-all raw. It was well worth the splurge! The date people can't place my order until next week so I can't make my fudge yet and I needed the chocolate hit! One is very filling and satiating. On the horizon is a new recipe for mushroom quice but not ready to make it until this weekend. The book says it is freeze-able so I might freeze some for later. With my son joining in, I may not have any to freeze. :) All good! (I'm not sharing my truffles with him, though)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

For What This is Worth

I will warn any readers that I am coming off of watching the movie Food Inc. Obviously, by going raw, I believe that food is a key factor to health. Books and movies have impacted me as I increase my learning of what and how food does to our bodies. I enjoyed the film Super Size Me and some others like it and am always reading books on nutrition and wellness. In so doing this reading and watching it has also impacted me the cost of "industrializing food" on our economy, our environment and our health as well as our health care system. While I know this blog is about rawkin food and the journey of my family, I am begging the permission to comment briefly on this movie and it's impact.

What concerns me is how it seems that our multi national corporations seem to think it is okay to play "russian roulette" with our food. In my opinon, this is the failure of "the American Way" as we tend to thinki generalities,that if we spread only a little feces in the meat or the impact of one soy bean being genetically modified or that in one hamburger there is only a small amount of anitbiotics or hormones then it won't hurt the average person. It honestly blows my mind. When the movie stated a fact that the average person eats 200lbs of meat a year. If all of that has a "trace" amount of hormones, anitbiotics, pesticides or carcinogens then how much is in 200lbs? Then add in how much is in the milk, the cheese and in the processed food? How much is in the packaging that is not even accounted for in the levels measured? What are we doing? How can we really numb ourselves into believing this is really okay?

I was raised believing in the american dream. I was raised on the food pyramid that has been preached to us through our educational and medical system. I was raised believing that a food stamped meant it was carefully regulated and monitored-that it was SAFE. I brought that belief system into the raising of my children. With all that in mind I am opening my eyes more and more to the awareness that the american dream is antiquated and void. Our food pyramid is absolutely wrong and truly not created for the true health system of the body. I no longer believe in stamped or "regulated" food or that monitored food is anything more than a possible pay off. I open my eyes and I see growing cancer rates. I open my eyes and I see auto immune disease growing in all ages. I look around to see respiratory problems, allergy problems and unexplained health issues as well as psychological issues growing beyond measurement. I see autism on the rise from within my own family to my friends and beyond. I see mmy daughter shaking without control or reason known to doctors. I see degenerative disease taking us over as our system degenerates and fails the people it was intended to serve.

Please note that my disheartened opinion of what I thought was my american dream does not make me a communist or anything nor do I wish I lived somewhere else. I believe strongly in the values of America. I believe it is the greatest country in the world. I believe that all the best intentions were there but that they have gone wrong. It is this strong, heartfelt belief in myk country and it's values that causes this heart break. My GOD, I just want to help my country. We are crumbling in front of our very own eyes.

It seems insurmountable to change. The problem has gotten so huge that I can't imagine how to tackle changing anything. Apathy seems the best coping source. Perhaps that is why we have numbed ourselves into spending higher then we could ever afford. Have we spent our health, our food, our best intentions away as well? I look around at all that needs addressing from education to healthcare to food to consciousness and I become exhausted. Just looking around in my tiny family of three exhausts me as we seem to be spinning our wheels in all of those directions with a fight necessary in each direction I move. Denial does not work. How much longer can we shut our eyes or look away or convince ourselves that because the news anchor said it then it must be true? How much longer can we pretend we trust what we are told when deep inside us "something" is nudging us that this is all wrong. We KNOW we just don't want to know, right?

I get idealism raging in my head to go extreme and pure. I have friends and teachers who have made great steps in these directions. I am so impressed with them. I struggle between being impressed with them and selfishly holding onto that doctrines I was taught as a child about the American dream. I always laugh and say that I wanted McDonald eating Disney watching kids. More honestly, I just wanted to stay ignorant and think that it really was okay to feed McDonalds and teach my kids Disney morals. Sometimes I wish I didn't see so much. Perhaps that is why I have blind spots growing in my eyes. Sometimes I wish I could just poo poo all of this documentary stuff, research books and natural perspective away. Damn, ignornace was bliss. It's gone now.

So what do I do about it. I can tell you that I am going to make my kids watch Food Inc as I made them watch some of the other movies. I am going to keep letting them listen to books on tape about the environment, our health and nutrition. I am going to tell my kids that they are as responsible for I am to finding their truth about it all. I am going to keep trying to do better in my own nutrition, my own environmental consciousness and my own health. It seems so ginormous at times but I am going to just take it one day at a time, I guess,and hope for the best. It's all I have, really. And while I won't preach (except for maybe in a blog or so) I will try to live as an example of more conscious living-maybe not perfect but MORE conscious then I used to be every day and if asked why, I will offer the same resources that are enlightening me to wake up. I will hope that others awaken. Perhpas if more swim upstream with me then we will release the true seeds of change and regeneration. Maybe?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Still Rawkin...

It has been a busy week and I feel like I am still struggling to catch up with my life after our crazy weekend. I need to find some good and yummy dates so I can make some rawkin fudge because chocolate cravings are gnarly. :) My potato latke's were good except that I made them too thin and dehydrated too long. They taste okay but they have the consistency of flat bread or cardboard. I decided to make them into bread and now I put a couple of slices of tomatoes, some alfalfa sprouts, some spinach (always spinagh...mmmm...spinach) and some honey mustard dressing in between two latkes and it is absolutely scrumptuous! Next time I make them I will make them thicker and I think that will be better.

My kids keep stealing my rawkin meals and I end up under supplied for my needs. This next week of grocery shoppipng will reflect this situation as the cooked menu drops some more and the rawkin ingredients pick up. My daughter is so resistent to it that she doesn't even realize what is happening as long as once in awhile I give her something cooked. She is the first one to beg for a bite of my meals though which makes me secretly very proud. I love that my kids crave such healthy foods. It really does go to show ya that modelling healthy behaviors changes how our kids behave.

I just watched a DVR'd Oprah about where food really comes from and her plea for everyone to eat more conscious. It was said that the best foods are fruits, veggies and grains. It's interesting how much controversy there is to grains. I know my body feels 100% better when I eat raw so I can't imagine what would happen if the whole population woke up and started to eat real food. I think I'm going to buy the book from the person Oprah interviewed called "Food Rules". He sounded right on target for me. Rule number one: Eat Real Food! I like it.

I made some carrot walnut burger patties today which smell very delicious. I am planning on making some apple cinamon cookies tomorrow morning with my brief spare time. I need to get some more almonds last batch was DELICIOUS! One of my clients is going to try sprouting almonds at home because of watching and tasting mine. I think I am going to have to buy ingredients to make falafel's again. I like that fresh taste and the protein is very energizing without having to invest in a whole sandwich type of experience. Falafel's you can just grab one or two and be on the way. I found a recipe for some yummy lemon stuff, too. I'll be looking at that for maybe next week. Cross your fingers that I find some good dates. Must have fudge soon!!!

Today I had my latke sandwich (actually two-one was sooo yummy) a banana and a caesar salad. I finished the day with a handful of popcorn. No yummy snacks because the kids wiped out my supply of flax crackers and fruit. Headed to the store again tomorrow. BTW, am lovin' that my pants are starting to feel loser and loser! Yay!

Monday, February 1, 2010


What a weekend! Busy days as I try to keep up with it all and prepare for a busy week ahead. It only takes a split second to throw things off track and mine ended up in the Emergency Room with my son. He was being a boy and hurt himself but thankfully nothing is broken except my time crunch. Thank goodness for the prep of flax crackers but I had not prepared any recipes for eating something really really substantial. I really need to get my head together and start amking some food for safe keeping. I am on the last of my fruit leather, too.

Feeling the crunch of time and low blood sugar I ate some cooked food. It wasn't awful or anything but it sure did have a different affect on me. Wow, did I feel sluggish for the rest of the day and even into the next day. UGH! It made me crave fake energy again. I wanted the kick of sugar and caffeine. I also got overwhelmed by life events-daily life events- but that just might have been the fall out from thinking your kid's back is broken. LOL My body was glad to see the fresh rawkin food I had for it and I have learned to get my act together and start thinking ahead.

I am trying a new recipe for potato spinach latkes. Seems like something that would be good for me and the children. I cut out some of the onion in order to make it more kid friendly. I will be making some walnut carrot patties later today (hopefully if I can make the time). I love those and so did both kids. I need to order some dates from The Date People. They have the BEST dates for fudge and such. I bought a NEW book called "RAWVOLUTION" which had some interesting recipe's in it but most of all had this delicious cinamon looking thing and yummy apple cookies. I'll let you know when I get time to try some. Those sound really good for breakfast. MMMMmmm.

Can't remember all the specifics of what I ate over the weekend but I knowthat besides the slice of pizza from Whole Foods, there was a lot of salad involved because it was easy and quick. I made some guac and flax crackers at one point and lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Today started out with a banana and have moved into my banana flax crackers with raw honey and raw almond butter. I cut up strawberries (2) and ate them with some raw almond butter, too. The latkes won't be ready until tomorrow so I will probably be doing flax crackers and salsa for lunch with olives-God Bless the olive! Probably salad for dinner with spicy ranch dressing. My son is moving more into the rawkin with a fresh fruit breakfast and the packing of some flax seed crackers, sprouted almonds and olives for his lunch along with a regular sandwich. My daughter is reluctantly joining in-loving the sprouted almonds and the strawberries.