Friday, June 29, 2012

Update on the veggie-challenge

I realized I'd better do an update on how we are coming around with the veggie-challenge...

I have to say - trying out one new vegetable every day is really a challenge - just because of availability. I mean, it is 30k to the closest grocery store which has little bit more to offer than the normal stuff... And today I only went in to pick up pea soup cans (yes, our kids looove pea soup - fortified with bone broth and tumeric powder, haha!).

But yesterday we had Brussel sprouts. This wasn't a new veggie. I have tried to make it go down before - but it hasn't worked that well (except for hiding it in a smoothie, well mixed, otherwise the kiddo gets all upset about the green stuff in the drink). This time I took "Paleo Parent's" Dino-advice and gratinated the poor small heads ("they are so cute" - Kidone, while peeling them) in loads of coconut butter and some salt on the top. Into the oven for 30 minutes in 250 degrees and voilá - Kidones new favorite dish. She skipped the potatoes and the liver-minced meat burgers (which was more of Kidtwo's gebiet - this macho man didn't care for cabbage heads). A funny episode was that we had the radio on in the evening, and as you might have noticed there is an awful lot of fuzz about Brussels in the news these days - and yes my intelligent girl picked it up, she shouted "Mom, they are talking about our vegetables on the radio". Clever girl.

We also had a fresh salad of new cabbage, with frozen mango and cucumber chopped into small piece and olive oil on top. Fabulous salad. Highly recommendable!

Today, as we had the gourmet pea soup for lunch, and I was not in charge of the dinner, we kind of skipped the daily veggie challenge. Instead, we went to the local nut shop and bulked up on exotic nuts and berries for our own müsli (so much for buying local... but once local farmers start producing pecan nuts, coconut chips, and dried cherries with no sugar added, you can rest asure I'll be the first in line...). Correction: I went to the local nut shop - Kidtwo tried to accompany me but I had to carry him out of there quickly or else we would have been arrested for theft and vandalism...

 Both kids are starting to show some signs of concerns as we have been having a loose policy on both bread, butter and yogurt in the past week. Now we need to get them into the gluten- and milk-free mode again, or else our upcoming roadtrip might be in danger...(ear infections and daily temper tantrums, not welcomed). They tried my müsli with some rice milk and seemed to like it, but I still need to pimp it up a bit. I think I'll go with some Dino-advice again and poor coconut oil on the mix and bake it in the oven for a while. If I have time. Tomorrow...when it's raining... again.


Jag har hållit mig till endast engelska på den här bloggen. Patiperra som ursprungligen var trespråkig blir alltmer inriktad på den spansktalande publiken (av en helt strategisk och självisk anledning).

Nu vet jag ju att många av de som tittar in här egentligen är svenskspråkiga.  Hade tänkt mig en tredje blogg men "Söta drömmar" är redan upptagen och att lägga till 'från norr' blir ju lite missvisande då jag förtillfället är stationerad i södra Finland...Borde jag skriva på svenska ibland? Säg hepp i så fall...och ge mig gärna förslag på bloggnamn.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Food for thought from rainy days

This week has been rainy.  We are out on summer vacation and have had to resort to indoors activities, which means museums and libraries. Good thing we are at a location with an abundant offering in both of these two categories. The other day, we did the recently reopened maritime museum and the (best ever) local library. We took our time, its raining, we are on vacation, so what's the rush?

Anyway from both places I picked up some interesting new insights on food and we ended the rainy afternoon in the "ecological bistro" Palsternackan- loaded with information on organic food (although I asked myself how ecological the smoked salmon I chewed really was, or the cheese on the lamb-burger on hubby's plate...didn't ask the waitress, didn't want to ruin it all... but the owner is apparently half-Chilean, small world).

The maritime museum gave me food for thoughts on how international trade was organized less than one hundred years ago. I'll tell you, based on what I learned, there was not much space for inexpensive stuff being irrationally shipped from point A to point B to point C and then finally back to point A (check logistics of polished (!) apples or fish filets for further details on today's international food logistics). Sailing ships were expensive to build, dangerous to navigate and whatever transported on board had a looong delivery times. I guess the old pesticide free avocados or bananas would not make it to Europe in time for ripening... No, these ships were used to transport important stuff such as nitrates, cupper, and coffee and sugar. Which meant that the local communities up north had to rely on locally produced foods for survival (I do not count coffee, and most certainly not sugar, to survival foods, there might be those of you who have a different opinion).

Which leads me to the topic discovered at the libarary. You see, one of the books that I picked up at the library explained the local food culture in detail.  A book published in 1991 by the Martha Association on the Finnish Swedish  Food Culture across times and across regions (Finlandssvenska Matboken, Finlands Svenska Marthaförbund). The book had many interesting details on how people got food on their table in old times (going back to even 16th Centrury). The book also explains the difficulties in having enough food storage for the long winter, especially at times of war or when the weather conditions led to unsuccessful crops. Fatty foods were mixed with grain based boods. Long storage time was key for crops so that food would be available ... Food at that time was not healthy based on any standards - not the LCHF or the Low-cholesterol principles - it was high in fat, high in carbs and end of story.

I have been intrigued by foods from ancient times for a long time. I've been thinking of what is discussed in the paleo community on hunter gatherer eating habits and I've been thinking of just basic foods, preindustrial, preprocessed foods in the agrarian societies. This book gave me many answers and one of the most important one was that food some 100-300 years back was mostly just fuel. It was not about enjoying a nice meal - it was about survival, getting the most out whatever available so that you could carry on with your life. And life was a little bit different at that time. More muscle mass needed and never sure if there would be enough food throughout the winter, better fatten up, better store energy in the body, whenever available. Therefore: both creamy sauses and grain-based dishes highly desirable...

But did you know that there was an intense potatoe propaganda to get people to abandon their beloved "rova" (yellow typical Nordic root, used today mostly in soups) in Ostrobotnia in the 18th Century? Interesting. I'm just thinking of how people later on were convinced to replace butter with margarine - kind of same story there...

And did you know that our grain dominant countryside landscape is not a product of latitudes? Nope, it was the easiest way for the Swedish king to collect taxes... predictable and measurable harvest every fall... so now we know why our food culture is mostly grain-based and why we eat so much bread - blame it on the King!!! And ironically you could say some 400-500 years later, no wonder the state has no interest in restricting the use of all these grains (nowadays I guess the money flows in opposite direction though, from EU to the farmers) ... they have to be consumed in some way.

I've also read another book called "Stefans Lilla Gröna" (Stefan's Small Green), written by a Swedish musician on his attempts to become selfsufficient. This book was just a master piece, irony and severity mixed into one. I loved it! It also gave me inspiration to think what our countryside could look like if there wasn't powerful (potatoe) propaganda and state intervention (subsidies) on grain production.

Sweet dreams my friends, sweet dreams...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Reflections on gravity

I haven't really touched upon the (original) motives behind my switch of lifestyle. What got me moving? Really... was it the stomach ache? Nope, didn't bother me at that time. Was it my bad mood. Nope, had no clue that it could be connected to what I ate...well yes, the sugar dips I kind of figured, but all that other typical "women's mood" - no clue - thought it was my personality and both I myself and my surrounding would have to live with it (poor them). Was it the PMS? Nope, once again no clue that my monthly pains could be remotedly connected to what I was eating. Did I feel like I was eating unhealthy and that got me on the path of better eating habit? Nope, not that either... Mostly (when I could stay away from that chocolate) I ate pretty decent food - a salad for lunch, typical homecooked food in the evening - some bread in the morning or together with the salad, icecream once in a while...Typical standard food for a woman my age.

What really got me triggered was my annoyingly jumping weight. I mean, every freaking time I did one of my "patiperra-ventures" (read: lived abroad for an extended time), I returned home not only speaking another language fluently, but also a couple of sizes bigger (exception first period in Chile - I got hooked on salsa...). Then I got into the mood of loosing weight, ran some 5-6 times a week, lived my life in the aerobic and spinning classes and skipped as much junk food as possible. It worked fine, until Kidone... During that maternity leave I realized I would never have the time to loose the extra kilos as before. At the same time I heard about carb-detoxing and eating GI. Got myself detoxed, lost most of my extra kilos and continued with my life (read: avoiding carbs, still not cutting out all wheat/sugar of my diet). Soon I was back at eating the free dessert at lunch at work... second pregnancy, major stress in my life, later two small children, breastfeeding, and even more stressful surrounding, no time for myself, not to mention my eating habits - total, I mean TOTAL disaster for my body and particularly my body weight. I avoided the mirror and just bought some comfy clothes - after all, there was no time to think of such things as gravity.

So when the second breastfeeding period was about to finish, I got myself into the mood of carb-detox again. It worked the first time, it would work this time as well... But this time the Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) movement was becoming stronger. I came across Anna Hallén's books and I started to understand the importance of "sticking to it" and not only detoxing. I decided to take the change as a lifestyle change, not a dietary one. My original goal was to loose weight and stick to it but as the weight started to disappear, I suddenly realized that there is more to it than weight. My brainfog disappeared and without having to go out running all the time I started to feel lighter (yes I know, I still need to get into some sort of physical training...). Once I switched away from the creamy, buttery LCHF towards a more balanced 'no junk' policy (read: no refined sugar, no wheat, very little milk, lots of veggies and nutrient-dense food - inspired by 'Råsmart Familj') I had already lost some 5 kilos but since then I lost track of my weight. Six months later when I stepped on the scale I was shocked. What!! I was back in the weight from high school! How could this be?!?! Thorughout my fitness-frenzies I had never made it this far down the scale. Haha, I was almost below my comfort weight in high school, the one that triggered me to even start 'yoyo' dieting in those days...

Ok, I had noticed that even my "skinny" jeans were falling off, but with this busy life of mine I just fixed it with a belt. Nice to walk around in loose pants for once. Last fall people also started commenting how 'tiny' I had become. Friends and parents-in-law with a voice of admiration -'what's the secret?' . And then my own parents' comments with a notion of concern - 'was I not just starving myself?'. No, I wasn't. Ironically enough I was not even thinking too much of my new size. I only thought of it when getting dressed for a party (Sh*t, all my clothes are too big - I have no time to go shopping!) or in these moments of receiving 'feedback from the crowds'. Other than that I just counted the benefits of sticking to the plan in other touchable results (see the initial questions in this post).

Today we passed by the weekly flea market downtown. I came across a pair of good brand white pants, just the model I've be thinking of, not having had time to go shopping... Size - never dreamed of getting above my knees in my previous life. I asked hubby if he thought they would fit - he said yes, surely. The seller looked at me with a strange look and said - but if they fit her, then sure they will fit me as well. I looked at her hips, wasn't convinced. Ran off to a café nearby and what would I know - these pants were just perfect. You see, since I started to feel a balance between the mental me and the bodily me I kind of lost track of sizes. Today, I have a hard time identifying myself with the size I have become... Everytime I go out running I am also struck by the light feeling - where did all that extra cargo go? Is running really supposed to be this light? I am amazed. Maybe my mind will catch up one day - or maybe I will become fixed with my bodymass if it starts moving upwards again... but for now I just feel so overwhelmed by the feeling of balance that I just... stick to it!

So when I read blogsposts on weight - like this one in Swedish by Anne Hietanen:  You are so much more beautiful than you think - a post on weight, I just get inspired to comment (and yes, I did, the reason why I am now extending my refelctions). Whatever is on the outside has nothing to do with the inside. The worst thing you can do is artificially force yourself downwards the scale. It is just pointless - your body will trick you back up, with a vengence... The best thing you can do for your own mental peace is to LISTEN to your body (once you get rid of your food addiction, obviously) and let it to the work for you. Find your balance and stick to it. The rest will follow.

My own top priority is still to balance out the stress that my mind is forcing my body to put up with. Why do I do this to myself?!? I am painfully aware of the backfire risk that this might have on my overall health - so far I think my diet has saved me but I really need to figure out my limitations on time management and get some physical activity into the picture, or else I am sure this mental peace won't hold for long... cortisol and all that stuff - messing with belly fat and a good nights sleep. 

Cheers for breaking my promise on a web-free vacation. Such a sucker...At least I am not online 24-7.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Spinach soup and the right to good food...

This morning as I prepared spinach soup on the left over bone broth from yesterday, I was already seeing in front of me how I would be sitting down in the evening, writing a blogpost on the incredible success this completely milkfree (even coconut milk) dish had caused. I was wrong. Dead wrong. Hubby and I enjoyed the soup tremendously. Kidone ate it under bribery - she'd get some bread afterwards (yes I know, I have completely lost my principles while on vacation...). Kidtwo, well now, let's see.. he cried, shouted, begged for bread. And same rules for him: first soup, then bread. But no, there was no way he was about to eat the soup. He tried twice and spit it out. The lunch ended with Kidone eating her bread and Kidtwo watching. He never had any lunch and by dinner time he was so hungry that he ate all of my mother's fish soup (home made fish bone broth - I congratulate my mother!) - spines included. And as for evening meal? Well, ahum... kids had one "knäckebröd" each (with butter - although Kidtwo is coughing already), and half a loaf of sour dough bread bought tonight at the local market...with salty hams on top... Jeese, you'd think I'd manage to get back on track and avoid the wheat... but no, it is just so comfortable. And I know I will be in trouble when back home and they start nagging for bread...

Just today I read this blogpost  on the children's right to eat good food. Well, yes, she is talking about small kids being served sugary donuts and juice at 10 a.m. in the morning at the beach (she's active here on the island where we are right now, wonder what beach that was... it's been raining ALL day today, and yesterday). She goes on saying that this is parental neglect, which is becoming increasingly common despite her being convinced that no parent want to cause harm to their child. I couldn't agree more on this point. And I believe it is easy to agree on this one as the illustration she uses is a sugary donut at 10 a.m. But what about all the rest? When on vacation, how much junk are children allowed to have on a daily basis? An icecream every day? Cookies at the beach? Some juice to sooth the thirst on a hot summer day? I do not think most parents reflect too much on these issues, at least we didn't before I started to implement changes in our eating habits. While on vacation you get a coffee somewhere, and kids get a juice, maybe even a bun. If not daily, at least several times a week. Or why else do we have so many cafés up and running at touristy places?!? They would have gone bankrupt looong ago.

I recognize that my own standards on healthy food are 'somewhat' (understatement) stricter than most parental views. I mean, how many of you out there get a bad concious from feeding your kids bread, normal milk, or anything containing slight amounts of sugar? Still, I am totally exposed to the same nagging effect as everyone else. Hello, how much scream can one parent take? When the bread is there, in the cupboard, and the kid knows about it... how much do you think he really would like to eat that deep green stuff on his plate? Still, I am proud of both hubbby, myself and Kidtwo of how we handled the situation today. Noone lost really. We all held on to our beliefs and that is how it has to be. However, after one year in this game, I am still so overwhelmed by the difficulties of navigating in healthy foods for kids these days. You might have read EVERYTHING you could possibly find on the subject, and have a pretty good idea of what would be the right solution... but there is just so much parents can do. There is society, peer pressure, and all sorts of temptations lurking behind every freaking corner.

We have a new game with Kidone this summer - one new veggie per day. She has to taste at least. And ideally we select the veggie together, in the supermarket. Sadly enough the local grocerystore does not have an abundance on veggies...Anyways, eesterday it was sugar peas (she liked them raw, not cooked) and today we had fennel (which she has tried before but I continue to insist - no luck today either). Kidtwo gets to try as well but he is not completely into the game yet.  Let's see what we figure out for tomorrow - and what success factor it'll have. But tomorrow's lunch is the Dinosaur's Bunny Soup (carrots/bone broth) and in the evening another dish from the same book - I'll try to keep the bread out of sight... let's see....

Here's the recipe for the spinach soup - if anyone dares to take on the challenge!

Spinach soup
1 onion
1/2 zucchini
olive oil
1 package of frozen chopped spianch (organic preferred, didn't find it in our small grocery store)
0,5 l chicken bone broth

Chop onion/dice zucchini. Prepare these in some olive oil while heating up broth with spinach. Mix all ingridients together with a mixer. Add spices (nutmeg a good option, or fresh herbs) and salt if needed.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Good reads while on vacation

I am actually not here, virtually... I made a promise to myself to be disconnected... but then someone told me they have a mobile connection at the summer cabin and I just had to write down a few lines. But hey, at least I down graded my cell phone to a model anno 2006 - even textmessaging is a challenge on that one. I am completely cured from my constant web-surfing on the phone...

So, what I wanted to tell you is that I am reading two interesting books: one in Swedish, which made its appearance as my mom open up a box of books from her childhood home. Its called "Tell me what you eat- and I will tell you who you are" (Säg mig vad du äter- och jag skall berätta vem du är) by Inger Waerland. The first edition was published in 1941 (!), and the one I have here is from 1953, already several editions down the line... The book is actually VERY modern. It talks about the healing forces of green plants, about avoiding non-organically grown foods (didn't know pesticides were an issue in 1940s), and how to eat "local" (note: the book was written in Sweden just as the second world war was starting, although Sweden was not officially involved in the war, they did have trouble getting exports from the outer world, including foods). It is really interesting how she talks about the benefits of leafy greens, all the vitamines in green plants and how we can use all kinds of wild plants from the nature (nettles, birch, raspeberry leaves, pine tree flowers, dandelion etc). It has a complete section on the theurapeutical aspects of herbs and vegetables. I particularly enjoyed the explanation on raw onions, how it can cure almost anything. Haha, we used the onion trick just a few days back when Kidone was complaining of ear pain - she got half an onion tucked into a nylon sock next to her ear for an hour (later also both paracetamol and ibuprofen - I am after all surrounded by medical doctors here...). The next day the ear pain had gone away - victory - no need for antibiotics!

Well the books seems to be a classic in raw food diet. It is absolutely against all animal based foods and talks about the healing forces of plants (including grains... which is where I detect th time gap of 60 years to this date ). It also talks about the benefits of cultured (raw) milk. I was really excited to see a section on the benefits of the kefir cultured milk. Incredible - this book explain the benefits of Kefir, already 60 years ago. It also includes how to prepare the milk and how to get grains at that time (from the authors clinic in Stockholm).

I also learned that you should not combine eating fruits with drinking cold water. It will slow down digestion and possibly transform the sugar from the fruit to harmful substances in your gut (interesting... would the same have to be said about sweets in general?). Fruits are best to be enjoyed in the afternoon, alone, or together with a glass of cultured milk (kefir/piimä).

The other book is of much more recent decent. Its the book "Cure Tooth Decay" by Ramiel Nagel. This book is about how you should eat to actually cure any desease affecting your teeth. You could say it is quite the opposite to the first book, it is focusing on the Weston A. Price findings from aboriginal communities, where meat and fish were important ingredients in the traditional food diets. The book claims that by restoring homestasis (mineral balances) in your body you can actually reverse cavities. To do this you have to follow a strict diet based on nutrient dense and high fat food sources. Staples are: bone broth (love it!), fermented veggies, cultured milk, lard/tallow, some important (cooked) vegetables such as carrots, coliflor, broccoli. The author does in detail also list harmful substances (sugar and fruits are obviously first in line), particularly foods containing phytic acid, which have a profound (bad) impact on how the gut can absorbe minerals from our food. Phytic acid is abundantly present in legumes (chickpeas, beans, lenses), grains, and normal potatoes. These must be prepared in a certain way to avoid the harms from phytic acid (the book is all against normal bread but all for well prepared sour dough bread from unbleeched wheat.. I am intrigued...). Cheese is mentioned as a good source of calcium/phosphorus (these have to be ingested simoultaneously for the body to make use of calcium). Normal milk is considered almost worthless as a source of calcium, while raw milk is an excellent choice, particularly when the Kefir grains have had the opportunity to their job in it first.

It is quite astonishing that these two books that are worlds apart in their substance message (vegetable based versus animal based) still have many common features. The most striking is this thing about cultured foods. I think I will give the kefir grains another chance still this summer... if they are still alive that is. I have now asked my local contacts to find a raw milk dealer for me on this island....Shouldn't be impossible, after all, this is one of the forerrunning regions regarding locally grown organic foods.

Finally, I want to end admitting that right now I myself am my worst enemy. At night I read these inspiring books on how to restore health and how to deal with peer pressure regarding special diets in the family ("Eat like a Dinosaur" is also here with me). Then during the day I hand out bread with butter and cheese and normal natural yogurt to both Kidone and Kidtwo - knowing that this is not the way I want to go....But they do - and when the bread is there, the yogurt is there, there is really now way to say no to a nagging child, unless you want to ruin your vacation. So far though it seems like their bodies can handle it, so why am I stressed out?!? It's vacation time and I will allow myself to relaaax....Tomorrow I am preparing chicken stew, on bone broth! Hah! :-) But I will also endulge in a pocket book, best seller novel. Just to forget everything else...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sugar - once again - and this time with license to change!

Its funny. I have been going to a couple of conferences and courses this year and each time I return home not only having expanded my knowledge on my own research, (which is already by itself an incredible experience for someone this knowledge thirsty as I am) but also having expanded my network on like-minded people who are truly interested in food.

Last week I met pedagogics students up north and during lunch, what did we talk about? Yes, sustainable foods, the switch needed (and in progress) in the Finnish countryside, sourdough, nettle soup... you name it, all those fascinating things! It was far more intresting that the theories on teaching (although those are useful as well if you want to get your message through).

This documentary above was shown on BBC a couple of days ago. My Scottish researcher friend sent me a messages telling me this was going to be on telly that night and that she thought it would interest me (noooo, realllllly, how did she know?;-)). I didn't have access since it wasn't broadcasted outside the UK. Then the Diet Doctor posted the link to Youtube some days later. This is truly a well-done documentary on food industry, eating, obesity epidemic, sugar and what it does to our bodies. This is a documentary that needs to be spread out ALL OVER THE WORLD!

Just today there was a Facebook status update by my favorite radio program (Familjeliv)- they are about to do a program on sugar in the daycare diet!!! Somebody had requested it. Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you that parent who brought this up. This is such and important issue. Heh, I even have dedicated almost an entire blog to this topic (blushing). Sugar to kids - deadly - and we let them have it every single day at daycare while we the parents are somewhere else. Well, the documentary above is a starting point for the program makers. I think you kind of get the picture of what sugar is all about ... but hey, with or without this program, we all knew this didn't we? We were just kidding ourselves to keep calm and carry on (with our sweet addictions)! It's easy to convince yourself that sugar isn't bad when fat is made the vilain - and afterall if you let your sweet tooth decide. Butter or the white powder - what do you choose?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunflower seed muffins - best in town

I thank the dinosaur book for this delicious recipe (originally called Mini nut butter cups, p. 195)

2 eggs
1 ripe mashed banana
1 cup sinflowe seed butter (I made my own from sunflowers with water - dunno how it should be, but this worked out fine).
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate (I used 86%)
1/3 cup chopped pecan nuts

Prepare the sunflower butter by grinding sunflower seeds for a good while in a mixer, add a little bit of water and grind until it is butterish.

Then mix eggs and mashed banana together and add the sunflower butter & salt. Chop the chocolate/pecans and stir into the dough. Place dough in muffins forms (silicone, do not stick) and bake in oven on 200 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

I am not kidding, we ate these muffins in less than 5 minutes. Three each, if we were that lucky. Kids and hubby were mad at me that I had not done more. But we were out of more sunflower seeds and eggs...


Saturday, June 16, 2012

This worries the shit out of me

The Worst Place to Store Your Cell Phone

- We have wifi. I used to turn it off at night. Not anymore... going back to old practices here.
- I used to breastfeed while surfing on Internet... particularly with kidtwo... felt I shouldn't but I did....scares the hell out of me now.
- I do not have an alarm clock... I use the telephone... I am getting an alarm clock next week. Seriously.
- How good is it to use a laptop with wifi all day long? My head is spinning. Should be go back to cable? Maybe even good old desk computer.

I guess we can start discussing this seriously now in this country as Nokia is going down the drain....

Dinosaur pizza

I made Dinosaur-pizza muffins tonight. Kids kind of liked them - although they were so tired that they were almost falling asleep before the muffins came out of the oven. Still - I'd say it was a good one.  Have to admit - kidone had one, kidtwo had two, just as usual... and mommy had....ahummm... 4... hubby none, his away and will have none since they include bacon - 6 more for me and the kids then! :-)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Apps and this and that.

This week I have traveled across the Swedish spoken landscape of Finland. It has yet again been an interesting week but very little time for thinking about food. Before I left on Monday morning on a three day course up north, I made sure the family had some chicken dinner for the days I was gone: thai-chicken a la wise choice and then some chicken nuggets. It was nice to still have some thai leftovers on Thursday when I was back in the loop (with way too much to get done outside the kitchen).

Today after having spent the day in the soon-to-be-local-food-mecca-of-Finland (Ekenäs - it's da shit for those interested in locally gown food), I prepare my own version of the Dinosaur-cauliflower-risotto: cauliflower rise, salmon and organically grown corn. Spiced with a lot of coconut/olive oil, salt and some lemon. Oh yes, this was good. We have some left for tomorrow's lunch. Let's see if it is still good then.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Spunky dinosaurs

I am listening to this podcast right now: Spunky coconut meets Paleo Parents.

It is a great podcast to listen into. Especially if you are a parent of children with allergies or behavioural problems, listen in!

I am amazed by the Paleo Parents story. Partly because it just confirms what I have witnessed here at home as something that is really real. Touchable. Because as I have said many times, the improvements in our family are a lot more subtle. Maybe it is because we never had that big issues or because of the daycare meals, we have never had this kind of complete turnaround in our health. Although what we experienced last summer was quite revolutionary....

But it is these kind of stories that keep me going. It is this information that keeps me true to my conviction although the pressure from the immediate environment (not the virtual one) is something completely different. As you might have noticed, I always enter into this denial stage once in a while, just because I want an easier life... and I want the kids live a normal life. But then... I read or listen to these kind of stories and I am all back on my freaky track of avoiding all sorts of unhealthy things...and shutting my ears to the conventional messages out there.

After listening to this, I am sooo waiting for the Spunky Coconut cookbooks, and I'll be sure to make use of the Dinosaur cookbook in the next weeks!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Coping strategies for hectic days

This week has been another hectic week, but in a different way than previous weeks. It has now been ages since I made a week menu and sticked to it. This week has been even more simple - I have rushed to the grocery store to buy stomething on the way to pick up the kids or together with the kids. Planning on the spot... Yes I know, I would save time by not going to the grocery store everyday, but there is only so much you can do with your head at the same time...

So the coping strategy has been to mix in nutrition into the dishes I have prepared. Like for example, the other day we had pea soup for dinner. Yes, that is right, the canned pea soup (which by the way does not include anything strange, only peas, lard, pork meat and some salt - only if the can (read BP-A) is toxic would I consider this a bad choice). To make the soup a little bit more nutrient dense I used bone broth instead of water and I added some tumeric powder. Kids ate two plates!

The other day we had reindeer with mashed potatoes. I added organic spinach to the potatoes, and instead of milk and butter I used bonebroth and ghee. Once again. Success.

Soemtime things do not need to be that difficult...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Provoking trouble...

Yes, today was the BIG day. The day Kidone has been waiting for since middle of March. She FINALLY got to try to eat WHEAT. We went to the clinic to try out whether it would give her an allergic reaction or not. As I suspected, there was no immediate reaction, not after one spoon of wheat porridge, not after three, and still not after a whole bowl of porridge. We spent all morning there, eating and waiting for rashes or some signs to appear. But nothing, absolutely nothing. Yet another sign that its her mother who has flipped, its all in my head... Well, luckily the personnel did not think so (or at least not show it) and I now have clear instructions on how to continue provoking some reaction in the next few weeks. Actually, at the moment I really hope that there will not be any reactions at all. Not any mood swings, no stomach problems, no apetite loss... That would mean that maybe these 2,5 months have served to restore the functioning of the intestines and that would mean that she can live a normal social life again.

Let me be clear; wheat is not entering this house again. Or correction, after this period of provoking trouble, wheat will not be entering this house again. I do not see any point in going back to what we used to eat - there were so many drawbacks for us as a whole.  And I am a believer of Wheatbelly and all the Paleo/Low Carbers that say that wheat is TROUBLE, big time. I would also prefer to keep her off wheat at daycare, because it would automatically mean higher quality food and less of blood sugar jumps. But, I also think that the children have the right to a normal childhood, not having to feel different. When they grow up they should be able to make their own choices, not feeling that their hysterical mother forced them to eat in a certain way (which the mother is obviously proud of having done...). This is why it would just be so much easier if Kidone could tolerate a tiny bit of wheat, and it Kidtwo could have some milk products. So that is what I am hoping to see - that serving a little bit of bread/pasta doesn't thrwow us right back to square one.

For the rest of the day, we had a lovely day out shopping second hand summer clothes with my girl. We went out to eat lunch and she even had a ball of icecream (and me a coffee that didn't turn out to be a very smart choice). After a tough spring diet, with many disappointments regarding food, she truly deserved a bit of spoiling.

And when we got home, my birthday gift had finally arrived (Eat like a Dinosaur cookbook by the Paleo Parents). And how the kids liked the book - Kidtwo immediately noticed that the pages numbers had a small dinos to highlight them, and Kidone was into the chocolate chip muffins (go figure...). Well, due to this enthusiasm, the three patiperros joined in and made some cookies from the book. Here's  (less than half of) the result (sorry too tired to start reciting the recipe with the modifications right now):