Tuesday, July 29, 2008

More Yoga Ramblings! ~Yes again!

This is a few weeks in a row..... Today yoga as usual was an amazing experience. I can't say positive, but eye opening. Today we did an energy releasing move, I can't remember the name, However, I am just going to call it, Opening the Flood Gates! Teach came in today and I would have thought that she has been a fly on my wall, reading my email and my mind. (Haven't I said this before) She said that sometimes we just have to be with whatever it is we are feeling, we don't always practice yoga to feel good. Really?!?! ;) I managed to get through class and actually did feel pretty focused. Then, after class she gave us an article you can read here. This really hit home with me, because what I am experiencing right now in my life(and have for many many years). Then I got home and started reading Pema Chodron's article, my first instinct was to flee.. find something anything to make me feel better. However, as I read the article Pema wrote of allowing yourself to 'be' with whatever it is you are at the moment, so you see, I didn't dial up the nearest shopping website, or hit the kitchen or anything else. I sat in quite and allowed myself to feel the rush coming from the flood gates. Humm.. this I must say is much different than anything I have ever done before. My first instinct is to find something to avoid this 'uncomfortable hurt' and move on. For today, I just allowed it to be. I didn't fight it. I felt it (as Pema said 'feel the itch') it was not easy, it didn't feel good, but amazingly enough, I made it through, and I have lost nothing that I thought I would except a bit of the 'weight' (not on the scale I am sorry to say) I have been carrying for many, many years! I have had a realization that I don't 'need' anyone else to find peace with this sitituation, I just need to be with it, make it my friend instead of fighting it. Today I am merging with 'the flood gates' and perhaps I have reached a turning point. No dwelling, just being, me!

Friday, July 25, 2008


What in the world is Trekking?! Trekking is a true interval class.(straight out of the mouth of the instructor) In trekking class, we utilize the equipment in the fitness center (in my case at my local YMCA) Spin Bikes, Recumbent Bikes, ARC trainers, Elliptical trainers, rowers, steppers etc... some days we pick a piece of equipment, some days we rotate equipment. We always start class by meeting on the track, usually just walking or slow jog, then a quick warm-up with the group and then into the fitness center we go. The best part is that not only do we exercise our bodies, we exercise our minds. The instructor brings us on a journey... Today we traveled across the US, a few weeks ago we went to college, and before that to the Kentucky derby. The addition of the trek, makes the time go fast, and makes it more interesting. For example we may be exercising on a RPE (rating of perceived exertion, on a scale of 1-10) of 6. Then we increase speed and ramp for a designated time period. Usually the instructor is reading the facts or asking triva type questions about the topic of the trek, then we return to recovery for a few minutes until the next interval. Today was a bit different, we were in teams rotating equipment, if it was our turn and we got the question right, the other teams had to speed up or increase their ramp. If we got it wrong we had to speed up. This made it fun and challenging in a new way. I was also dripping by the time I finished. Today we were answering questions from Brain Quest, for 7-12 yr olds. I learned a few things, knew a few things and came to the conclusion: 'I am not smarter than a 5th grader.' At least I got a good workout!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Calories in vs. Calories Out

I just can't seem to stop thinking about weightloss today. While at the gym during Trekking class some of us were talking about weightloss, why and how it happens. Also, why it doesn't happen, when I do everything I should. This has been a common theme amongst women(and even some men, though less rarely) as long as I can remember. Then I really started thinking about: Calories in vs Calories out- This rings true most of the time. If you create a deficit of calories you will lose weight. (I hear you, why am I NOT losing weight) Lets consider the possibilities, each person is an individual, out bodies each work a little different, so if Liz lost weight doing something doesn't mean you will. *Are you exercising? Could you possibly be building muscle, replacing fat? Have you taken measurements, there are other ways to tell, do you feel better and have more energy? *Are you really being 100% honest with yourself with what you are eating? Did you know that each bite you eat while cooking, the handful of little fishes you eat when you give your kids a snack, the two bites you eat off the kids plate that they didn't eat, they all count (meaning they have calories). Put that stuff in the compost and feed your garden instead of your hips. And birthday cake, so sorry but it has calories, not to mention that it is depleting of nutrients. I challenge you to be REALLY honest about what goes into your mouth. *I was born with a slow metabolism! Well do something about it. Eat healthy WHOLE foods, leave the boxes and bags at the store. Walk whenever you can, exercise, park further away from the store, take the stairs, take your bike, get off the couch! Only you can control your metabolism. Feed your body natural foods, the foods that it can digest! This will help really! Genetics is only a small part of how things inside your body really are. So lets go to it! *Muscle Weighs More than Fat: Ugh! This statement makes me cringe! A pound is a pound. Period! I have seen this printed in books by highly respected people in the field of nutrition, and even one of my favorite trainers said it(sigh). The truth is, muscle is more dense, therefore, a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat. Which one do you want? It takes energy (calories) for muscles to work. Fat, well it doesn't burn up any energy it only drains it out of you, Building calorie burning muscle is important to weight loss, and maintenance. So get out those weights no excuses. Your body needs water, so drink it! Not soda, not coffee, or kool-aid or whatever else you may have, Our bodies need clean water. I am not telling you to only drink water, just drink enough of it to keep yourself hydrated on top of whatever it may be. Being only slightly hydrated can slow your metabolism down immensely. With this statement I will finish up for today. Weightloss is hard, I know I have been there,(you can read a little more about my weightloss here.) So please never give up and always believe in yourself that you are capable of doing anything you want. Maybe not in your own time, but if you plan and persevere you will find success.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Good Juice Recipe

Orange Zinger 1 orange peeled and quartered 3 carrots scrubbed 1 1/2 in piece of ginger root 1 apple juice and whisk, serves 1 From The Juicing Bible by Pat Crocker and Susan Eagles

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More Ramblings after Yoga Class

Don't you just love it when you go somewhere with one intention and then get something competely unexpected out of it? Have no idea what I am talking about? I just love Tuesday's. I have Zumba which I love and then after, I have yoga class. My Yoga instructor, brings so much more to class then just teaching asanas(poses), this is why I love it so much. I can and do yoga at home when time allows; however, my instructor always has something more profound to say... today it was letting go of being 'in control of the universe' her words may have been slightly different, the meaning the same to me. This has rang so true... first my daughter broke her arm on a trip two weekends ago, I have been extremely busy with school and there have been interesting developments in family as well. So once again, I have been practicing the art of letting go and letting the universe do it's job. I rolled out my mat for yoga, and my head was reeling. I was excited about getting my grades from my first assignments for school(I got 100%, sorry I had to add that in), family things, school projects, and my poor little brain just wouldn't stop thinking of everything all at once. I really couldn't imagine how in the world I was ever going to make it through that class. Then Yoga class began. My instructor started with the class and talked to us, about not ruling the universe. (this has been VERY apparant to me in the past two weeks) How do I just come to grip with the fact that I have already been experiencing this feeling of I have no control. So she told us that we were going to be focusing on forward and backward bends(I love the term used in the East, heart openers) It never ceases to amaze me just how focused I was able to become. My mind stopped for 45 min. I was able to turn inward without thinking about everything I had to do, dishes, kids, scouts, school work, doctor's appointments you know the drill, it felt so good to take that time to slow down. It felt so good to just stop and breathe deep and energize myself for another round of life. I love how I feel when the class is over, and I roll up my mat and can feel the difference in how relaxed my muscles are, and how the concentration on my breathing has brought me new vitality. I realize that everyone has their own 'yoga'. I would like to encourage everyone to pursue thier own 'yoga.'.. slow down, enjoy what life has to offer. Give purpose to why you work so hard and do so much.


Thank you so much to all of you that volunteered to help with my study. I am no longer accepting any more volunteers, I have a great selection of people! I will be sending out the details by email this afternoon! I look forward to working with all of you!

Friday, July 18, 2008

She Got It!!

Well here it is.... Ariana got her Hot Pink cast! This photo makes her arm look huge! The cast is also waterproof! She is very excited about that. Unfortunately, insurance doesn't cover that, but we gladly paid the extra to make bathing especially easy. Covering up her temporary cast with plastic to bathe her was really hard! She will also be able to swim in clear water. no lakes. You can see the tip of her little brothers head as he really loves to be in every photo I take!
Ariana is doing pretty well. She had a hard time with itching earlier though. It really bothered her to feel so itchy and not be able to scratch it.
I also wanted to say that I sure appreciate all the support that everyone has shown. It sure has made it easier for Ariana. Thanks so much!

Orangic Foods Article...

I don't know if this is right or not.. but I just have to share this article as SO many people I talk to say that they can not afford to eat 'organic' or even fresh produce.. Here's some great info, and the link that I found it: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2005/02/16/organic-food-part-four.aspx Your Family Could be Eating Organic Food for the Same Price as Processed Foods -- or Less By Colleen Huber, Naturopathyworks A common perception is that whole organic food is so expensive that it is out-of-budget for the average family or even for the average single consumer. It is also commonly perceived that the average grocery purchase of processed foods at a neighborhood supermarket, using the store discounts, makes the processed food diet within the budget of most families. If you go along with those who accept the above hypothesis on faith, you may be quite surprised by what you find in this article. Knowing what I spend on groceries in an average week for my all whole-food, mostly organic-eating family, I had to test the conventional wisdom for myself. So one day in January 2005 I went to a typical supermarket right around the corner from me to see how the other half lives ... Health Nut Stalks Supermarket Aisles With Notebook in Hand Jotting down in my notebook many processed foods as well as their weights and prices, with all the store savings, I prepared a long list of foods from which I could construct a hypothetical week's worth of processed food for a family of three. Below you will find a menu of all processed food items for a week, and a list of prices for all the groceries that I hypothetically bought. Then I assembled my hypothetical purchases into a meal plan for a family of three, which you will see below, along with the price list. Following that, you will find a week's menu and price list for mostly organic, all whole-food meals for the same family of three. Ground Rules For the sake of simplicity and realistic comparison, I stuck to the following constraints: There are no leftovers from before the beginning of the week, nor saved at the end (empty refrigerator beginning and end, and no throwing out food; everything purchased gets eaten by the three hypothetical family members). Unless specified otherwise, all beverage consumption is water. There are no separate snacks, except for Sunday afternoon, unless an individual saves part of a meal to snack on later. Neither the cheapest generic brands, nor the most expensive brands were chosen, but rather a brand in the middle, especially if it was on sale. Portions are listed per family member of a three-person family, although the heartiest appetite in the family may consume some part of the portion left by the smallest appetite. It is assumed that everyone eats the same food at the same time everyday, and that the six ounces of soda at every lunch is either carried in a thermos to work or school, or that this family is on vacation at home, eating every meal at home together and pouring their soda directly from a large bottle kept in the refrigerator. It is assumed that no family member is deliberately restricting calories, or is otherwise restricting any type of food. The cold bottled coffee at breakfast may seem a bit extravagant, but consider that this replaces visits to coffee shops or any other form of coffee or tea or recreational beverage. Also, the all-processed food family does not get milk with their cereal, but rather cold, bottled, sugared coffee. The Processed Food Menu(per person, for one week) Sunday Breakfast: 3 pancakes with syrup7.5-oz. cold bottled coffee Lunch: 13-oz. canned ravioli6-oz soda Snack: ice cream sandwich Dinner: 3.5-oz. frozen breaded fish4-oz salad with dressing6-oz sodaice cream bar Monday Breakfast: 4-oz. bagel with 5 oz. jelly Lunch: 9-oz frozen lunch6-oz soda Dinner: 8-oz ground beef patties w/ ketchup, relish 6-oz french fries ice cream bar Tuesday Breakfast: 3-oz sugared cereal 7.5-oz cold bottled coffee instead of milk Lunch: 3.5-oz frozen breaded fish6-oz soda Dinner: 7-oz frozen corn dogs2-oz frozen potato pancakesketchup, relishice cream bar Wednesday Breakfast: 2 toaster pastries7.5-oz cold bottled coffee Lunch: 9-oz frozen lunch6-oz soda Dinner: frozen TV dinner, individual1 serving flavored riceice cream bar Thursday Breakfast: 2 toaster pastries7.5-oz cold bottled coffee Lunch: 9-oz frozen lunch6-oz soda Dinner: 8-oz ground beef patties w/ ketchup, relish 6-oz frozen french fries ice cream sandwich Friday Breakfast: 3-oz. sugared cereal7.5-oz cold bottled coffee Lunch: 9-oz frozen lunch6-oz soda Dinner: 7-oz corn dogs2-oz potato pancakesketchuprelishice cream sandwich Saturday Breakfast: 3 pancakes with syrup Lunch: 9-oz frozen pizza6-oz soda Dinner: 6 oz frozen pork chops with gravy1 serving macaroni and cheese6-oz sodaice cream sandwich Price List for theProcessed Food Menu 17 oz pork chops with gravy $6.99 3 lbs ground beef patties $8.99 13 oz potato pancakes $4.19 2 lbs frozen french fries $2.79 2.67 lbs corn dogs $5.99 27 oz frozen pizza $4.99 12 ice cream bars $2.99 12 ice cream sandwiches $2.99 6 toaster pastries $2.00 6 frozen pastries $2.00 16 oz small jar of jelly $1.99 12 oz Bagels $0.99 1 lb TV dinner $3.89 1 lb TV dinner $3.89 14.5 oz TV dinner $2.50 21 oz. fillets frozen breaded fish $5.79 68 oz Soda $0.99 6 pk 16.9 oz Soda $2.99 40 oz canned ravioli $2.99 1 bottle Ketchup $0.99 1 bottle Relish $0.99 1 sm bottle salad dressing $1.99 17 oz sugared cereal $3.89 12 bottles of cold coffee with cream $13.47 1 sm bottle Syrup $1.50 20 pancakes pancake mix (add only water) $2.39 3 svgs flavored rice $1.49 12 oz packaged salad $2.99 12 oz frozen lunches $24.00 Total: $123.64 How do Whole Foods Compare? Now consider a menu prepared entirely from whole, organic and free-range foods. One might consider such a diet to be extravagantly expensive. Yet the cost for a week's worth of organic whole food groceries for a family of three is about the same as for the "cheap" processed food. The same rules apply as with the processed food. No leftovers from the beginning of the week or saved at the end (empty refrigerator beginning and end, with no waste). No restaurant eating or take-out. No beverages other than water. No snacks except for what one person may save for later from his/her apportioned meal. No deliberate calorie restriction, and everyone eats until full. All meals are listed for one person only of a three-person family, assuming that those with larger appetites may have more, and those of smaller appetites may have an equal amount less, in order to balance out to the average portions listed below. A significant difference is that the processed food eating family gets a dessert of an ice cream bar, while the whole food eating family gets no dessert. The whole food eating family, however, generally gets much bigger meal portions. The reason behind this is partly demographic realism: those who eat denatured food are missing nutrients that they seek in desserts and other denatured foods, whereas whole food eaters feel completely full when eating in proper proportions for their metabolic types. The Whole Organic Food Menu(per person, for one week) A typical week's menu at our house would look like the following: Only the sliced bacon, sliced cheeses, cream cheese and goat milk are pre-packaged. Every dish is prepared at home from scratch. Sunday Breakfast: 2 eggs cooked in butter2 slices bacon Lunch: salad: spinach, romaine, bell pepper, 2 oz. muenster cheese, cilantro, sea salt, olive oil Snack: 8-oz apple Dinner: 16 oz chicken stew: part of whole chicken with potatoes, onions, celery, carrots, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, water, sea salt and curry powder Monday Breakfast: 12 oz apple slices with 2 oz. almond butter Lunch: 16 oz left over chicken stew5-oz orange1 oz pumpkin seeds Dinner: 8 oz curry: eggplant, potato, onion, bell pepper, butter, curry powder, salt4 oz cooked brown rice Tuesday Breakfast: smoothie: 10 oz goat milk and one banana and 3 oz raspberries Lunch: 16 oz leftover chicken stew2 oz cashews 2 oz carrots Dinner: 3 oz salmon with ground dill Salad: spinach, romaine, 1 oz muenster cheese, cilantro, salt, olive oil Wednesday Breakfast: 12 oz apple slices with 1 oz cream cheese Lunch: 8 oz left over eggplant curry2 oz cheddar cheese1 oz pumpkin seeds Dinner: 4 oz acorn squash 5 oz broccoli raab sauteed in olive oil Thursday Breakfast: smoothie: 10 oz goat milk, 3 oz raspberries and one banana Lunch: 2 oz leftover salmon, 4 oz acorn squash and 5 oz broccoli raab3 oz cashews Dinner: 16 oz crockpot roast: beef, potatoes, celery, onions, carrots, sea salt4 oz cooked brown rice Friday Breakfast: 12 oz apple slices with 2 oz almond butter Lunch: 8 oz leftover eggplant curry2 oz cheddar cheese2 oz carrots Dinner: 16 oz leftover roast beef stew Saturday Breakfast: 2 eggs with 1 oz cream cheese and spinach, cooked in butter2 slices bacon Lunch: 16 oz leftover roast beef stew5 oz orange Dinner: salad: sardines, romaine, 1 oz muenster cheese, cilantro, salt, olive oil Price List for theWhole Organic Food Menu 1.88 lbs organic oranges $1.86 8.27 lbs organic Fuji apples $12.32 3.23 lbs organic bananas $2.87 2.47 lbs organic potatoes $1.95 2.65 lbs * organic onions $3.42 1 lb organic baby carrots $1.39 1.91 lbs * organic acorn squash $2.46 1 organic bell pepper $1.05 1.4 lbs * organic eggplant $2.79 1 bunch * organic cilantro $0.99 2 bunches * organic broccoli raab $4.08 1 bunch organic spinach $1.99 1 head organic romaine $1.39 1 lb organic brown rice, dry $1.29 1 lb raw cashews $4.29 6 oz * pumpkin seeds $1.54 12 oz almond butter, fresh ground $5.25 1 whole organic free-range chicken $9.79 1 lb copper river salmon $12.99 2.25 lbs organic free-range chuck roast beef $11.23 One package hormone-free bacon $3.49 1/2 gal goat milk $4.78 1/2 lb organic butter $1.79 1 dozen organic free-range eggs $3.49 8 oz hormone-free cream cheese $2.29 12 oz sliced muenster cheese $3.99 12 oz sliced cheddar cheese $3.99 20 oz. frozen raspberries $3.18 1 can sardines $1.79 1/2 pint organic olive oil $4.99 2 oz sea salt $0.20 1 oz curry powder $0.34 1 oz dill powder $0.17 small bottle balsamic vinegar $2.99 Total: $122.42 We made no attempt to quantify the salad ingredients. Fresh plants and salads are such anarchy of ingredients, they defy standardization. Cooking large meals with whole foods is a little trickier to quantify than packages of pre-weighed processed foods. The difference is made up in the leftovers. For example, the large crockpot chicken stew at the beginning of the week, the eggplant curry in the middle of the week, and the roast beef at the end are massive enough not only for everyone's dinner, but also for two days' lunches as well, with generous one-pound portions. The one-pound portions of stew are about half added water by weight. Both the salmon dinners and squash-and-broccoli raab dinners are small enough that the leftovers put together make just one lunch for the family. The advantage to cooking enormous crockpot or Dutch oven meals, with subsequent leftovers, is that although it is more time-consuming to prepare whole food from scratch, it is easier just to do it in fewer larger amounts during the week. If this still seems daunting, please see my article, Cook Whole Food from Scratch, and Keep Your Day Job. The Bottom Line You will notice the savings of $1.22 with a mostly organic, whole-food diet. In fact, our organic food price list shows higher than realistic prices in two ways: The prices shown are at retail health food stores in the Phoenix area. But also in this area, there are at least three organic food-buying groups, with prices for organic produce at about $1.00 per pound. To find organic food buying groups, co-ops, health food stores, local retail farms and farmers markets in your area, see localharvest.com. Furthermore, if you have a backyard, especially here in the Southwest, you can save further in ways that processed food eaters can't: Almost all year we grow salad greens, herbs, braising greens of some kind and/or various squashes. (The salad herbs oregano, thyme, mint and parsley never quit here in any season!) Subtracting the prices of what we are currently pulling out of our backyard garden from what is on the sample menu: Organic cilantro: $0.99 And organic broccoli raab: $4.08 We save an additional: $5.07 Which means we spend only $122.42 - $5.07 = $117.35 in an average week for a three-person family, which is $6.29 less than the family eating all processed food. Of course, gardeners in colder climates tend to have really prolific harvests in summer and fall, which is when they will realize much better savings. Processed food eaters are entirely dependent on commercial supply, no matter what the season. However, the biggest savings of the whole-food eating family has yet to be calculated, as we consider the difference in medical care needs between whole food eaters on the one hand, and those who will continue eating for decades such chemicals as MSG (a.k.a. hydrolyzed wheat protein and several other names), carcinogens or nerve poisons (a.k.a. pesticides), sugar, aspartame and other sweeteners, as well as margarine and other trans-fatty acids, to name some of the most infamous processed food ingredients. As a wise saying goes, the best reason to eat organic is that pesticides don't know when to stop killing. Now answer honestly: Can you afford NOT to eat whole organic food? Colleen Huber, 46, is a wife, mother and student at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Ariz., where she is training to be a naturopathic physician. Her original research on the mechanism of migraines has appeared in Lancet and Headache Quarterly, and was reported in The Washington Post. Her double blind placebo controlled research in homeopathy has appeared in Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy, European Journal of Classical Homeopathy, and Homeopathy Today. Her website Naturopathy Works introduces naturopathic medicine to the layperson and provides references to the abundant medical literature demonstrating that natural medicine does work.

YUM-O Juice!

Just had to share quickly, Mamamia left a comment on my post More Adventures in Juicing that her favorite juice was apples, carrots and ginger. So I took her lead, I didn't have ginger so I used a granny smith apple, a gala apple, few carrots and about 4 grapes(for a little extra sweetness) and boy is it good.... Thank you! I will get some fresh ginger next time I go to the store. I have lots of recipes that call for it. I am still thumbing through the book, The Juicing Bible by Pat Crocker. Seems like a great book. Two of my three kids like the carrot, apple juice and I am so glad. I will slowly add more veggies to the juice the more I make and they get used to the different texture and taste. I don't give so them much in the way of juice or other sugared drinks we just don't buy any of that.... so it seems like such a treat to them. My oldest wouldn't even try to juice.. it's orange! Have a great and healthy day!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Here's a photo of Ariana, she is a real trooper. Tomorrow she goes to the Orthopedic and she is hoping for a waterproof, pink, glow in the dark cast? A girl that knows what she wants huh? I am sure that she will be SO excited to get that, 1000lb temporary cast off..... Who wants to come and sign her cast?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More Adventures with Juicing!

I can't express how excited that I was when my hubby came home with this juicer for me, (for my birthday after the fact), but still, I am so excited(thank you, honey). The kids and I made our first juice, really really simple, we just threw in grapes, and a granny smith apple for kicks. And wallah... I was really impressed with the juice. I haven't drank juice for a long time because it is so full of garbage(additives and sugars) that I just don't buy it and really do not find it healthy. My kids were so excited they couldn't believe how it turned out. The juice had a very interesting texture. Not at all like, some of the market bought stuff. It was SO fresh and tasty. The juicer is the Breville Ikon, it's a five speed operation. I was so impressed with how easy it was to use. I still need to read the instructions, I couldn't help myself I just had to put something through it. It was also very quiet considering I put the grapes in there stems and all. The same with the granny smith apple, I had to cut it in half because it was so big. The shoot is quite large and made with stainless steel, the whole unit is really sturdy. I was very impressed with the quality, but for the price it better be good! It was also very easy to clean. I rinsed everything in hot water and then washed it out. Presto.... I have to really read my juicing book now to get some ideas for more recipes. My hubby also got me a smoothie book, I will be reading that now too. I imagine that with Ariana's arm broken, we will not be doing much swimming, so cold smoothies will be wonderful in these hot days!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sad part of the Weekend

We were up at the Adirondacks this weekend. I celebrated my 40Th birthday!(that's not really the sad part). However, my beautiful Ariana took a fall and broke her arm! Poor little thing. She is really being a trooper considering all she's been through. We have been able to keep her pain to a minimum. Although as a mom, it is so hard to see her going through this. It really stinks for her in the middle of the summer, she loves to swim and play in the water. I am sure that as she is feeling better we will find other fun things to do. She is already learning how to do so much with her left hand (yup, she's a righty) and I am so proud of her for being so brave and learning to do these things. Usually, with a smile on her face. She will still have to go to the orthopedic doctor, and get the real cast put on. The saddest part of her not having the real cast is that this temporary one is just so darn heavy. It's been hard to get her dressed and such. I just hope in 20 yrs, I will remember my 40Th birthday not with the usual black balloons, but with the strong spirit of my little girl, that always inspires me. It's hard to not feel sad right now, but I know still I am blessed that she is going to be just fine!

Adirondack Mountains

We went to the Adirondacks this past weekend. These are photos from the Museum. I was quite beautiful there. Above is my husband and kids, in an enormous Adirondack chair. Here is one amazing view of Blue Mountain Lake, although it was only a weekend trip is was absolutely beautiful. We were so far out we couldn't even get cell phone service. Ariana LOVES horses. She was just pretending to touch this horse, although the camera tricks you into thinking she is really touching it. The kids really enjoyed seeing all the carriages and sleds from "Little House on The Prairie". Here is the kids sitting on an old sled. The Barn behind them is an authentic barn that was moved to the museum it was the blacksmiths shop. There were all sorts of horse shoes and tools of the trade inside. The kids are trying on the old hats. Ariana asked if she looked like Madeline.
Here Brian helps Ariana try some 'old fashioned' toys. Another beautiful view of the Lake. View of the lake with an old school house. This schoolhouse was moved from Ohio Town, NY.
Zachary tries his hand on the stilts. He did pretty good! Nikolas and Zachary go for a little ride in the row boat before getting to help feed the fish.
Nikolas poses with the boys from the old days. Does he look like he belongs?(except for the color) So does Ariana. The kids got to sit in an authentic sled from the Lake Placid Olympics.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Update on Baby Basil

Well, here's Baby Basil. Starting to finally grow. I have a feeling that before to long one of two things will happen. One: The ants will come back and baby basil will never make my yummy pesto. Two: Baby Basil will get so big no one will recognize him anyore. Sad thing happened a few days ago. I went out to water and baby basil, and cousins(oregano and parsley, they are in identical pots on my deck rail) were infested with ants. Oregano is no more, there is not even a little seeding to speak of, all that's left today is a few pupae from the ants that thought my organic gardening soil was a great place to call home! Well, I lost most of the parsley but there is still a chance some parsley may grow yet. Baby Basil got lucky I guess, still going. I completely covered the soil in both pots with Cinnamon( I have used it to chase away ant piles in other places outside the house) It always smells like apple pie at the front door. So now I wait, to see if my herbs will survive. Anyone have any other non-chemical ways to get rid of ants?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Ramblings after Yoga Class

I had a great morning. Going to the gym has been tough with the kids out of school. However, I love my Tuesdays I get to go to Zumba and then Yoga. My yoga instructor said something at the beginning of class that really hit home and I wanted to share about it. She has been talking the past few classes about what we can bring to our yoga practice, instead of what do we get out of it. She says, "sometimes it's just our full focus for that hour, maybe something else". Then today, she tied it in with learning to put aside the 'chatter on the surface of our brains', at least for our practice. Not to forget these things that are on our minds, but to learn to set aside our thoughts and focus on now, what are we doing and what do we need to be doing in that moment. It's a great lesson as I find myself to be always thinking about what's next, instead of living for here and now. How is what I am doing right now benefiting me, or what can I appreciate about this very moment? Reminds me of people eating their junk food so fast they don't realize that it really doesn't taste good! (I just had to throw in the plug about nutrition!) When I finished final relaxation in yoga, I did feel a bit different. I wasn't feeling as harried as I was before. It wasn't until now that I started thinking about, writing a paper for school, what's for dinner and so on. As you see, I have plenty of things to be doing. For that hour, I was able to stop my brain chatter and enjoy my class. I feel better, more relaxed, and ready to face the rest of my day. So for today I am challenging myself, that whatever I am doing, to be there with it.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Politics of Food and Feelings

In writing a paper yesterday for school, and then reading Red's post and Permission to Mother's sugar free post I really got thinking. ( I am always thinking about nutrition) I was writing about my own dietary system. Why I eat the way I do and if it has changed. I can't even say how much different my dietary system is now. I started with an omnivorous diet, then to a vegetarian diet and now to a vegetarian diet focused on whole foods. There are big differences here, even from the way I used to eat as a vegetarian. The one thing that really hasn't changed is the way that people react to the way I choose to eat.

First, I have to say that all vegetarians do not eat healthy. I know this because I lived it, but over the many years, I have discovered whole and organic foods and this has really made a difference in my life.I just wish I had more diligence with some food related choices, which is where Denise's post really got me thinking. A new goal I have for myself is to be more diligent with my choices. Not having 'allergies' it's just too easy to say; oh I am tired, let's just order something or grab something quick. This is where at times I fall short. It's fewer and farther between, however much improved from years past. So for today, I have focus on planning and improving my choices beyond what I have. Sometimes the local support just isn't here. I have to dig deeper into myself and gain the strength.

Then I think about the everlasting, "Can't you just pick out that, _____."(Fill in the blank) . Can you take the refined white flour out of the Wonder bread, or the fry out of French fries? I don't want to eat that stuff. This is where the politics comes in, tolerance may be a better word. It feels awful to have people disrespect your inner most choices.

Food is the basis of life, it's our energy, medicine, and it’s our driving force. I read a quote once, "It's is easier to change ones religion than to change one's diet." So if we know how much one is convicted in the belief's, food belief's and pattern's are even stronger. Sometimes this is not a positive thing. There is so much pressure to enjoy and be grateful for food when someone else prepares it for you. I can't help but think how hard it is to respectively get through these moments.

Tolerance would be the beginning of getting through these awkward moments without insulting or hurting one's feelings. I do get tired and frustrated around other people sometimes, I generally go to great lengths to make sure that all my guests are able to eat something nurturing to them. (And with our family that is not easy) Most people don't even think of it that way. Most people only care if it tastes good, and don't even really slow down enough to know if the food they are eating does taste good. I know I have done this myself, much do my disappointment. Problem with most of these refined foods is that they throw off our chemical balances and make us crave more. (That could be covered more in another post)

I guess what I am saying here is that we can all be more tolerant of each other’s choice's. Some of us have taken the path to wellness, through whole nurturing foods, and other's are just not there. I am working on balancing my own passionate feelings, with the fact that most people just have not reached this place in this journey, to my own sadness some may never reach this. I am working to know, that the best I can do is to continue to search out those that are, to set precedence for wellness and be a strong example of how much one can accomplish in life with a sound mind and healthy body.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

What a Bummer.....failure in cheese making....

Sigh.... so excited yesterday when I got a hold of a gallon of raw goat's milk. You see I really wanted to make cheese with it. I have made both mozzarella and ricotta with cows milk with great success, and kept being told I should really try it with goats milk and it would be even better. So you can imagine my excitement when I finally had a gallon of fresh from the goat milk. The mixture that never formed was very acidic and I can only imagine that perhaps the milk was acidic and the citric acid balance was wrong. Oh well, I will not give up, I will do my best to get more and try, try again. I read the problem solving section and there are a few possibilities, colostrum in the milk, to much acidity, or the rennet went bad. I will try with cow milk again and see what happens. Unfortunately, now I really don't want to cook dinner and that is never a good thing!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Another Yummy and Healthy Supper!

This was dinner tonight! It was very delicious, even the kids gobbled it up! It's Brown Crusted Tomato Tart. The crust is brown rice(cooked) mixed with an egg and a bit of cheddar cheese. In I had cut roma tomatoes in half, pladced them on a baking stone cut side up and roasted them in the oven with whole unpeeled cloves of garlic. I brushed it all with oil. After roasting I put the tomatoes on top of the rice crust, sprinkled some feta cheese and poured a mixture of 3 eggs and 1/4 cup of milk. Put it back in the oven to bake until it was set! We served it with a green salad and cut up fruit(watermelon and pinneapple). I know it's a keeper when all the kids eat it up! They even suggested that I make 2 pies next time instead of just one, so we can have lunch the next day! The original recipe is from The Essential Vegetarian, however, I changed all the spices and such to my liking. I really use recipes for an idea instead of exact. I only follow recipes to a 't' when it's baking and I am not sure how it will turn out. It certainly works for me, and I am happy that I have come a long way from the college days of ramen noodles!

My Little Horticulturist

Ariana just had her 8Th birthday, she got this Garden Girls set for her birthday from her Uncle, Aunt and Cousins. The set is made with a donation to National Arbor Foundation and you actually grow seeds in the little sections at the bottom. She was very excited to get this going, and has done a great job remembering to spray the water in the little sections, believe it or not, you can actually grow seed(grass and baby bean stalks) in what appears to be cotton batten(probably polyester) amazing! yes?! So here is a close up of the 'garden'. She must take after her Florida Grandma, because all my grass has weeds! She is so proud and asked me when I was going to blog about it! Well here it is my sweetie! Funny coming from the little girl that wouldn't help me plant the cucumber plants because there was worms in the dirt! I wonder if we can grow vegetables in the batten? Then she would help because there wouldn't be any worms and bugs! This is a great start though, I am proud of her for taking such good care of it thus far!