Maybe you or your child has a food allergy, life threatening or not, and you don’t want to spend the next few
days hours feeling like you want to barf (or, even worse, in the hospital after an anaphylactic reaction).
Maybe you have a sensitive digestive tract, like me, and sometimes you don’t know why you’re stuck on the toilet in the middle of the night when you didn’t eat anything obviously offensive.
Maybe you’re just trying to eat healthier, and can’t figure out if the stuffed mushroom caps or the veggie tempura is better. Because they both technically have vegetables in them, right?
This week, I’m about to do something that I haven’t done in 7 long ass years … fly to a city that I’ve never been to.
That’s right, the hubby and I are going to Vegas, baby, without our baby! We’re spending 4 glorious days there, with a little business stuff for me, and some gambling for Ben.
Kind of like a mullet: business in the front, and party in the back.
I sound all excited now, but come the day before I’ll be an absolute nervous wreck. Why the paralyzing fear? It all stems from not knowing what I’m going to be able to eat when I’m there.
Now that’s out there, let me explain.
I’m part of a book club, full of loving friends who know that I’m
outspoken passionate about my opinions, talk dirtier than a sailor (usually with my mouth full), and constantly interrupt other people.
This group of women allows me the space to be myself, even when I go home after meetings wondering if I should have thought twice about telling them the hilarious comment I made on the operating room table before my c-section about overgrown hair down there.
Yes, I’m that person at the table beside you at a fancy restaurant talking too loudly about sexual favours, bowel movements (baby or adult), or some other equally taboo subject, usually with hand gestures to match. Complete TMI verbal diarrhea.
Anyhoo, our last book was “Daring Greatly” by Brené Brown, and I feel like it was written just for my “perfection driven/constantly comparing/giving away the best of me until there is nothing left” self. If this sounds like you, do yourself a favour and buy a copy now. Seriously, now.
In our culture when you can read on Facebook, blogs, online magazines, and TMZ about what everyone and their dog ate for lunch, it makes me feel like I’m about 5 steps behind the pinnacle of healthy eating that I think every other holistic nutritionist is at.
I see them writing on their blog about fermenting their own kombucha, soaking and sprouting beans, making their own nut milks, or bottling water straight from a free-flowing spring in a forest.
*SWEAR WORD ALERT*
For those of you who don’t know, I live in gorgeous Southwestern Ontario, Canada, which sits parallel with Northern California on an old-fashioned globe.
We get the same hot and humid weather during the summer as the deep Southern states. Right now, as I type this, it’s 27°C, but with the humidex, it feels like 38°C. For those Fahrenheit lovers out there, that’s 100°F.
Not to steal the words from the Wicked Witch, but “I’m mellllltttttiiinnnng” doesn’t seem to cut it.
Although I hate this weather, I love the fresh produce that it brings.
And you know what in season produce means to this frugal foodie? Cheap food!
I’m not going to bore you with other benefits of eating local, in-season food. Details like:
- you’re supporting your local economy and sending someone’s kid to summer camp instead of lining the pockets of huge corporations
- your food isn’t travelling 5,000 miles across the world to get to you, which means it has way more nutrients and uses a fraction of the fossil fuels
- it freaking tastes 1,000% better. A few experts called my tastebuds conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled scientific study, and they concur
It pretty much benefits everybody and your wallet when you eat fresh, in season, locally grown fruits and veggies.
Then one tiny little detail stops you in your tracks: you don’t know what half that stuff actually is.
Eat More, Cook Less Series Part 4 of 4: How to stock your pantry so you can cook healthy when sh!t hits the fan
It’s been one of those weeks.
Aleks started going to daycare for two afternoons last week. Inevitably, we’re both sick this week with a cold. His first one. AWESOME.
I know that when a child starts daycare, they’re sick for pretty much the entire first year. To be honest, the fear of Aleks getting sick with his condition, especially anything GI related, is at times paralyzing. I know he can’t live in a bubble … but why can’t he just live in a bubble?!
I don’t know about you, but when I feel sick, I’m not in my kitchen whipping up a loaded salad. I’m lucky if I even feel ambitious enough to make a bowl of cereal (gluten free cereal with dairy free milk of course). Not as horrible as a Big Mac, but a meal like that isn’t going to give my body the nutrients it needs to fight any superbugs.
It’s times like these when I thank God that I stocked my cupboards with some healthy, ready-to-go pantry staples that can be made in 30 minutes or under.
Eat More, Cook Less Series Part 3 of 4: 3 ways to use your freezer to cut your cooking time in half!
What I didn’t expect once we got settled at home with a newborn was how quickly the freezer became my new best friend for keeping my sanity during meal time, snack time, and anytime in between.
We connected during sleep deprived nights, when freshly pumped milk had to be frozen at 3 am.
We had special moments during blood sugar crashes, when I remembered I had some black bean brownies that I could reach for anytime.
We bonded as much as an inanimate object and an overwhelmed new mother can. Kind of like the relationship that I had with my breast pump.
So when it got to the point that I had to choose my sanity over pumping (and sleep deprivation), I chose sanity. Suddenly, my strong relationship with our deep freezer seemed over, until we finally got home with our son from the hospital after 4 1/2 months, and meals weren’t magically made for me like they were at the Ronald McDonald House.
That’s when I started using my freezer so that I could have a hot, healthy dinner on the table without having to cook.