Pain Block Wearing Off…

Standard

Yesterday, I became acutely aware that the pain block Dr. Brukner injected into my hip is wearing off.  The la-la feeling I had in my hip, low back, pelvis area is now fading (BUMMER). Replacing it is in ache in my low back and some stiffness in my hip.  The incision pain is also becoming a little more intense (especially when Leif or Sochi sit, kick, or jump on it).

Leif spent Tuesday night at Grandma and Papa’s again and I slept well, other than my anxious mama dreams about not being able to feel/hear Leif next to me in the night. I got to lounge on the couch all morning and then get my hair done by my lovely friend and hair dresser, Carina (seriously, if you live in Tacoma–she’s your gal).

Yep. Mindy Project, My pup, tea, and a good book.

Yep. Mindy Project, My pup, tea, and a good book.

unnamed-1

Carina’s handy work and my pretty new earrings made by a local Tacoma gal.

Leif spent the day with Papa John, Auntie Megan, and Lily at the zoo before coming home to spend the night with us.  Sort of exhausting but so so sweet to have my little within reach at night.

He's so great!  Love my dad!

He’s so great! Love my dad!

Challenges/Updates:

Low back pain.  As mentioned, this is not so great.  I decided to take an oxycodene to help me sleep.  It took the edge off.  I hope to not need it tonight.

Yeast Infection.  Symptoms continue to get better with the garlic treatment and Yeast Arrest.  I think I’m on almost in the clear!  Going to continue the treatment for a few more days.  Maybe keep up with the garlic for a full week.

Awesomeness:

People have been bringing us all sorts of yummy meals and snacks!  I love getting to try other people’s cooking!

Yesterday morning and afternoon were so relaxing!

In between the toddler chaos– I get the world’s greatest snuggles.

This was after dog food was dumped all over the kitchen, crumbs spread on couch, shoe basket emptied, and a wrestling match in which I obviously won.

This was after dog food was dumped all over the kitchen, crumbs spread on couch, shoe basket emptied, and a wrestling match in which I obviously won.

Everyone wants some mama love.

Everyone needs some mama love.

Unpleasant Side Effects of my Surgery

Standard

unnamed-4Its Day 4 of recovery and I am ridiculously tired.  My mama heart could not stand another night away from Leif so he stayed home last night and I was alone with him from about 7:30-10:30 this morning.  Being alone with an 18 month old when you can only hobble on crutches is a terrifying thing, my friends. He emptied every cupboard within reach and then took the party to the back yard and climbed on anything that was semi-climbable.  I was so so happy when my dad arrived to help out and we were both still alive! And then Leif later gifted me with a nap! Thank heavens.  He is back with grandma and papa tonight and I hope to do some serious sleeping.

Pain Level:

Remains pretty low.  Really it is my incisions that hurt when they get bumped or kicked or jumped on by a little human or an excited Sochi.  I am beginning to feel it a little more as I move around and the morphine, cortisone block begin to wear off a little.

Challenges:

Exhaustion. Exhaustion. Exhaustion.  I decided to ride along with my mom and Leif to the grocery store.  We were only there for 20 minutes or so and I could have curled up with the bananas and taken a nap.  Because my pain level is so low, I keep having to remind myself that I just had an invasive procedure and my body has to recover.

Itchy, witchy lady parts.unnamed-3  It seems that somewhere between antibiotics and cortisone during surgery and the stress on my body, I developed a yeast infection.  That’s really no fun.  I’m working with Dr. Krause to try to take care of it using garlic and a homeopathic formula called Yeast Arrest by Vitanica. You insert both.  The garlic leaves a pretty strong scent and you’ll probably taste it (which I don’t mind because I love garlic).  The Yeast Arrest is very soothing. I’m alternating between the two (garlic during the day, Yeast Arrest at night).  Hoping it clears up in the next couple days and I can avoid buying the harder stuff.

What’s Awesome about all of this?

I don’t have a to-do list.  I am forced to slow down.  I can’t drive anywhere!  No errands.  Very few chores.  Naps with Leif!

Read. Set. Heal!

Three days out and feeling good!

Standard

Big News!  I got to take my bandage off yesterday and check out Dr. Brukner’s handy work.  Happy to say my scars will be very petite.  Almost adorable if I do say so myself.

Yesterday right after removing bandage

Yesterday right after removing bandage.

Today after my first post-op shower!  Yay for feeling clean!

Today after my first post-op shower! Yay for feeling clean!

I continue to be in very little pain and hit my nutrition goals. I’m off the oxycodene (for now at least) and my digestive system is starting to catch up!  Leif has spent the last 2 nights at my parents house which was really hard for me.

IMG_3884

I love this little face more than life itself! Can’t wait to be able to romp with him again!

I missed him a lot and my crazy mama brain was very anxious last night thinking about him being a whole 30 minute drive away from me!  I actually had the thought, “What if the Mountain goes and I won’t be able to get through the valley for months!” Wow, Melissa.  The second biggest challenge, after missing Leif like crazy, is going slow.  My pain is seriously so minimal for the time being.  I get frustrated with the crutches and can walk without them without pain (albeit slow). Dr Brukner warned me though that I might feel this way and that I NEED to go slowly and use the crutches the first two weeks!  Trying to keep my eye on the goal!

I also got to take a shower today which felt amazing.  I’ve been making an effort to put earrings in each morning and clean up a little so as not to feel too frumpy as I lounge around the house.

The other side of Surgery–Post 1.

Standard
I will once again feel the rush of flying down a trail once I've climbed--heart pounding, lungs burning--up the mountain.  Active healing is under way.

I will once again feel the rush of flying down a trail once I’ve climbed–heart pounding, lungs burning–up the mountain. Active healing is under way.

As mentioned in my previous post, I underwent hip arthroscopy this past Friday (like 2 days ago).  It was along time coming.  After a car accident last September, in which I was all sorts of twisted over Leif’s car seat in the back of my dad’s truck when the other vehicle collided with the bed of the truck, I started having pain in my neck, shoulders, low back, and hips.  The hip pain really only showed up when I began to return to my normal activities –hiking, running, and the sorts.  I started seeing a chiro and even went to my midwife thinking something was wrong with my baby birthing parts because my pelvis, groin, and hip were causing me so much pain.  I saw a woman’s health PT which helped with some of the tightness in my pelvis area but did nothing to relieve my hip, groin, and back pain.

After months of no improvement with chiropractic, my chiro referred me to the acupuncturist up the road.  She was amazing. I loved going to see her even when the acupuncture and prolotherapy were a bit intense.  After 7 treatments with no change, she started to suspect we were missing something.  She ordered an MRI/MRA which showed that I did have a torn labram in my right hip socket as well as extra bone growth the was limiting normal hip rotation (as she had suspected).  The doctor explained to me that during the accident, my hips tried to rotate in a direction that was limited by my bones and the extra growth tore into my labram.  Oh Yay!  Not great but thankful to finally have had answers for my pain and a solution!

Bottom Left hand is a diagram of the extra bone I grew--um--way to go me?

Bottom Left hand is a diagram of the extra bone I grew–um–way to go me?

Diagram of a hip labral tear--what happened during the car accident and what caused the onset of pain.

Diagram of a hip labral tear–what happened during the car accident and what caused the onset of pain.

x-ray of my right hip--showing my irregular hip socket.

x-ray of my right hip–showing my irregular hip socket.

The Physicians Assistant's drawing of my hip when explaining to me what was going on.

The Physicians Assistant’s drawing of my hip when explaining to me what was going on.

I’ve been talking to Dr. Krause, my acupuncturist/naturopath, about pre/post surgery diet and therapy. I’ll outline my plan below:

The Diet– Higher than normal protein, plant based, whole food, high omega-3, high anti-inflammatory 

Upon Waking– Water, a kiwi for anti-inflammatory properties, coffee because its what keeps be happy and hopefully regular

Breakfast: Green Protein Smoothie:

Making Wellness Happen Here, folks.

Making Wellness Happen Here, folks.

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1 cup mixed frozen fruit (papaya, mango, berries, pineapple)
  • 1-1/2 scoops of my healing mix I made–Sunwarrior Raw protein powder, spirulina, chia, cinnamon, nutmeg
  • 1 TBLS Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate for Anti-inflammatory properties
  • 2 large handfuls of mixed power greens (kale, arugula, and other powerful greens)

Snack:

  • 1/4-1/2 cup pineapple, kiwi, or papaya for anti-inflammatory

Lunch:

  • Large  Salad
    • 5 cups greens
    • I cup beans
    • 1/2 avo or 1/4 cup walnuts
    • mixed veg
  • Sweet Potato or Squash with 1 TBLS Anti-imflammatory spice mix (turmeric, pepper, paprika, cumin, coriander)

Snack:

  • Fresh homemade juice
    • green apple
    • cucumber
    • greens
    • carrots
    • ginger root
    • lemon juice
    • dash of turmeric because I can’t find fresh this time of year

      Healing Bombs!

      Healing Bombs!

  • 1-2 homemade healing bombs:  dates, figs, chia, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon all processed into mush and formed into balls for a bomb of omega 3’s, iron, potassium, and anti-inflammatory goodness

Dinner:

  • Curry or add 1 TBLS of spice mix to whatever dish
  • whole grains–brown rice, quinoa, amaranth
  • cup of beans or tofu
  • small salad with seeds or nuts and balsamic vinager

Pain Management:

Quite honestly, my pain has been very minimal.  Of course I’m not bearing all my weight on my leg and using crutches to hobble around as directed by my doctor.  Here are the drugs I am taking to keep my pain minimal and help with healing:

  • Before stitching my incisions back up, the doctor injected my hip socket with morphine and cortisone. The effects of these drugs could last up to 2 weeks–making me feel a whole lot better than I should give that my bones were just shaved and cartilage removed.  My right thigh is also numb from the drugs.
  • oxycodene as needed.  I’ve just taken this at night to help me sleep but don’t really feel it is necessary for pain management at this point.  I hope to be totally down with it by tomorrow.
  • 600 mg Ibuprofen 3 times per day to fight inflammation.

I also have some homeopathic pain management lined up for this week.  It includes:

  •  Traumameel/Arnica gel
  • Traumameel tablets
  • Papaya enzyme tablets for anti-inflammatory

The Challenges:

Having a very active 18 month old that is still nursing.  Poor Leif doesn’t understand why mama can’t pick him up and walk around with him.  The first night was rough.  I couldn’t nurse because of the anesthesia in my system.  He was pretty bummed about that.  My aunt when out and got some vanilla and chocolate almond milk to give him as a treat to get through that first 24 hours of not being able to nurse.  We decided it would be best if he spent the second night at my parents house.  This was our first night away and it caused some tears on both sides but everyone did okay!  My parents are great.

Engorgement and pumping issues: last night I realized that I had not nursed Leif in over a day and that my milk makers were rock hard and painful.  I couldn’t get my pump to work at first (I have used it so infrequently that I forgot how to work it and I was kind of in a panic).  I had to hand express which is pretty awkward but it helped and I was later able to get the pump to work once I had some relief and could think straight to trouble shoot the problem.

Constipation:  This, as my readers know from my poop stories, is rarely an issue for me.  I remembering reading about this being one of the hardest parts of people after this surgery.  I suppose I am a lucky one because its been less than 48 hours since I woke from surgery and I have been able to go a little bit–but it was painful and quite scary.  As I lesson my use of pain meds and the anesthesia leaves my system, I know this will get better.  My diet is very high in fiber and the coffee is helping.

I’m super slow and it takes forever to do things:  this is a blessing and a curse.  I have time to write, read, and take care of myself…and dress up as a pirate.

AAARRRR...Mate!

AAARRRR…Mate!

David, our house mate, when I complained about how long it took me to get back across the street from visiting the neighbors told me to think of it as a practice in zen meditation.  I’m used to running everywhere.  I even run when I am cleaning the house…so to move slow is challenging for me!  But David is right, going slow is good for me and I should really focus on the mindfulness that recovery demands.  Dr. Brukner, knowing that the hardest part of recovery for me would be not doing too much, used scare tactics with me. He explained that if I tried to do too much too soon, I would end up with tendonitis in my hip flexor which would take about 18 months to recover from.  I don’t know what gave him that impression.  It may have been when I tapped my fingers together and said “challenge accepted” when he told me I couldn’t do anything that I can’t do on crutches for the next two weeks…or when I joked that I might try for a marathon next weekend while the morphine is still in my hip…

Rehab:

I have my follow up with Dr. Brukner on September 25th.  We will discuss my exercise plan then and see how I am healing (which I plan to shock him with and give credit to my diet and self-care routine as well as my incredible community that is taking care of me, my kid, my dog, my goats and chickens, and my garden and making sure I eat healthy delicious healing foods).

I have acupuncture treatments already scheduled: 2/week for the first two weeks ( starting after the 25th) and 1/week for the following 4 weeks and will also be going to a PT that specializes in gait analysis and athletes and will help me get back into the grove of running while making sure my gait is normal.  I should be able to get on the recumbent bike after the 25th and work towards the elliptical before easing into running in 3-4 months.  Wouldn’t it be lovely to treat myself to a Christmas morning run?

Ready. Set. Heal!

Spring and Summer (because its been that long)…

Standard
Spring and Summer (because its been that long)…

Well, helloooo there.  It has been a while.  It has been a long while.  Today, I’m writing you from my bed as I recover from hip surgery.  I hope to write about my recovery and my return to running over the next few weeks and months.  But before I dive into the hip story, let me provide you with a quick list of all the (wonderful) mayhem that has proceeded over the spring/summer.  Where to start???

1) Goats–we adopted two goats on Easter weekend.  Jack and Jill are their names.  They are playful, curious, and quite naughty.  I have become a pro at trimming hooves (while nursing Leif) and even learned to give vaccinations.

Jack

Jack

The Kids (well, they aren't really kids anymore but I still like to say, "hey kids" to them.

The Kids (well, they aren’t really kids anymore but I still like to say, “hey kids” to them.

Vaccinating Jill with the help of our friend's Michael and Kevin (and of course Sochi wanted in on the action--or the grain we were feeding Jill)

Vaccinating Jill with the help of our friend’s Michael and Kevin (and of course Sochi wanted in on the action–or the grain we were feeding Jill)

2) Gardening, gardening, and more gardening.  Our garden exploded over the summer, bringing us kale, lettuce, peas, beans, beets, carrots, squash, and more.  It was an explosion of yumminess.

Zucchini Chips.  We had a lot of Zucchini!  I made chips, bread, dips, stirfry, and froze about 60 cups of shredded Zucc for the winter.

Zucchini Chips. We had a lot of Zucchini! I made chips, bread, dips, stirfry, and froze about 60 cups of shredded Zucc for the winter.

Holy Buddha!  That's a big zucchini!

Holy Buddha! That’s a big zucchini!

Cabbage patch kid

Cabbage patch kid

Love chasing the girls around.  They are so patient with him

Love chasing the girls around. They are so patient with him

3) We went on a 5000+ mile road trip through Canada to Alaska.

Buffalo crossing on the highway!  They came right up to the car!

Buffalo crossing on the highway! They came right up to the car!

A walk through Denali.

A walk through Denali.

Sour Toe challenge--a shot of Jack Daniels with a real human toe in it.  We became honory Sour doughs!

Sour Toe challenge–a shot of Jack Daniels with a real human toe in it. We became honory Sour doughs!

Ferry across Yukon River in Dawson City. Way the heck up in the Yukon.

Ferry across Yukon River in Dawson City. Way the heck up in the Yukon.

The go to upside down play.

The go to upside down play.

Gorgeous light at 11 PM at this brilliant lake in Northern British Columbia..with a couple of gorgeous guys

Gorgeous light at 11 PM at this brilliant lake in Northern British Columbia..with a couple of gorgeous guys

4) I turned 30!  I’m pretty stoked about my 30’s and thankful for all the incredible things…and really ridiculously hard things…that happened in my 20’s.  To a new decade!

30 is lovely!  I have a healthy and delightful little boy, a beautifully supportive community, a home to create as I wish, my family is healthy, and I feel more confident and grounded with each passing moment.

30 is lovely! I have a healthy and delightful little boy, a beautifully supportive community, a home to create as I wish, my family is healthy, and I feel more confident and grounded with each passing moment.

5) We became host parents to a 17 year old boy from Vietnam!  His name is Son and he is an absolute delight.  We are enjoying having him as part of our family!

Son on his first day of school in America.  I was feeling like a proud host mama.

Son on his first day of school in America. I was feeling like a proud host mama.

This kid is so great.  He's been helping out while I'm recovering from surgery.  Yesterday Leif bonked his head on the corner and Son came running to comfort.  So so sweet.

This kid is so great. He’s been helping out while I’m recovering from surgery. Yesterday Leif bonked his head on the corner and Son came running to comfort. So so sweet.

6) I had the honor of attending the birth our dear friends’ baby.  It was truly an incredible experience and I had to include it in my list of major events in the past months.  It is not every day I get to hold a friends hand while she brings new life into the world.  It was beautiful.

Sweet Elliot Pax.  Love.

Sweet Elliot Pax. Love.

Kevin, Annie, and their perfect little bundle--Elliot.  Thank you guys for allowing me the honor of being present at Elliot's debut into this crazy world!  You are already top notch parents and Elliot has already captured my heart!

Kevin, Annie, and their perfect little bundle–Elliot. Thank you guys for allowing me the honor of being present at Elliot’s debut into this crazy world! You are already top notch parents and Elliot has already captured my heart!

7) I had my hip socket shaved down and my torn labram cleaned out. Kind of a big deal.  After chiropractic, PT, acupuncture, and massage…my sweet acupuncturist suggested I get an MRI/MRA to look for a torn labram… And finally, after almost a year of worsening hip, groin, glute, and low back pain (and almost zero running)  I am on the other side of surgery and hoping I’m running in 4 months!  I will devote an entire post  to this in the next day or two with many more to follow.

I was hungry and dehydrated but mostly in good spirits before and after surgery.  Enjoyed joking with the nurses and my surgeon about child birth/pain/tricks I could do on crutches/ how the bag they put my clothes in reminded me of a bag I'd put my extra clothing in at the beginning of a race.  It was all fun in games--minus the part I was unconscious and had cameras and surgical tools inside my hip.

I was hungry and dehydrated but mostly in good spirits before and after surgery. Enjoyed joking with the nurses and my surgeon about child birth/pain/tricks I could do on crutches/ how the bag they put my clothes in reminded me of a bag I’d put my extra clothing in at the beginning of a race. It was all fun in games–minus the part I was unconscious and had cameras and surgical tools inside my hip.

That's my hip socket, guys!  Technology is amazing.  Thanks, Dr. Brukner for helping me on my journey toward running 100 mile race and running into my 100's!

That’s my hip socket, guys! Technology is amazing. Thanks, Dr. Brukner for helping me on my journey toward running 100 mile race and running into my 100’s!

Recovering with my girl--felt way better than I expected after surgery.

Recovering with my girl–felt way better than I expected after surgery.

Of course a lot of other stuff happened in there!  Leif is growing up much too fast.  Changing every day.  He is all sorts of active, fearless, and passionate about life.  He loves his animals–Sochi, the chickens (we call them “the girls”) and Jack and Jill.  They are all so patient with him and his roughness.  Life feels full, sometimes overwhelming but mostly wonderful.  My 30’s will be great, I’m going to heal well and come back strong.  I’m going to focus on loving myself, my family and my community in a way that enriches life.  Stay tuned for recovery posts!

Make Your Own (Vegan) Dog Food

Standard
Leif, Buddha, Sochi, Michael and our 3 new feathery friends (we're loving us some sweet hens)

Leif, Buddha, Sochi, Michael and our 3 new feathery friends (we’re loving us some sweet hens).  Love that my dog and my boy both are learning to love all beings (they both love to watch the chickens–Sochi is very gentle with them).

When we first adopted Sochi, I ran out and bought the sweet potato and salmon Costco dog food they recommend. Its normal to feed your dog dog-food, right? That’s what dogs need to be healthy, right? However, I felt a little guilty about it. How could I justify supporting an industry that is on its way to depleting our oceans fisheries–or in the case of farmed fish, that creates unhealthy conditions for fish and creates pollution. Not to mention, I worry about the pollutants in our fish supply and the risks associated with consuming animal products.

I began to do a little research–was it possible for a dog to thrive on a plant based diet? Of course I wanted to make sure that I was doing it safely and keeping Sochi’s best interest in mind. I began reading and talking to a few people. Josh’s co-worker told me that his last dog had died of kidney disease–the vet suspected it was from a diet rich in animal proteins. His vet suggested he put his other dog on a vegetarian diet. I read of other accounts of this online.

Dogs evolved as omnivores. They need a diet that is about 20% protein to thrive (compared to humans 8-12%) and of course need a healthy dose of fatty acids. This is totally do-able on a plant based diet (just as with humans) but special attention needs to be given to protein requirements, fats, and of course a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. I ordered a supplement called Vege-dog that I sprinkle on Sochi’s food to ensure she’s getting all she needs with her home-cooked goodness.

Also to note, we eat a TON of plants in our family and our food bill is quite high. I was worried that feeding another mouth would make this super expensive. BUT, fortunately, we are seasoned bin inspectors and a trip to our local produce bin (ahem- veggie dumpster) really off sets the cost. Also to note, there are several foods you should never feed your dogs as they can be toxic for your furry love bug–

Never feed your dog:

Grapes/Raisins

Garlic/Onions

Chocolate

xyitol (found in sugar free crap)

Alcohol (duh)

Raw Yeast/Bread Dough

Macadamia Nuts

Avocados

I’m posting this knowing full well that there will be people out there that think I’ve gone coo-coo. There is no doubt that dogs LOVE meat. I’ve had to wrestle Sochi for chicken wings thrown in the parking strip before (because I don’t want her to choke on bones/there’s crazy ass people out there that try to poison animals–true fact). I’m not going to freak out when she gets a hold of safe animal products. There’s a lady at the farmers market that sells home made doggie treats that Sochi is like head of heals in love with (she thinks the market is a place where people feed her delicious goodies). I’ll probably crack one of our hen’s eggs over her food for a treat every once in a while (our friends and family collect the rest).  Also, so you don’t think I’m depriving my sweet Sochi, I give her peanut butter treats I bought at Back to Nature pet shop down the road from us and I’m working on making our own PB treats for her.

Simple Plant Based Dog Food Recipe:

3 cups cooked whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, oats, millet, wild rice)

3 cups cooked lentils or beans (switch it up to provide variety)

2 medium cooked sweet potatoes

1 cup chopped greens (spianch or kale work great!)

1 cup other veggies (I use carrots or zucchini often)

1 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup flax oil

Preparation:

I chop all the veggies, cook the grains, lentils and sweet potatoes and then mix it all up in a big pot. Sochi eats about 1 1/2 cups 2 times a day (it seems like a lot but because its not as calorie dense as store bought food containing meat, it seems to be the right about for her. I sprinkle on a spoonful of vege-dog supplement once a day!

20140416-084657.jpg

20140416-084716.jpg

20140416-084727.jpg

 

 

Supa-dupa Green Smoothie

Standard

Image

On Thursday afternoon I got a call from Jeff at the Humane Society. Jeff asked me how our adoption is going and I said, “GREAT!” There was a pause and I instantly knew something was up. He went on to tell me that Sochi’s previous owners had contacted them and it turns out they wanted her back. Sochi, or Ruby rather, had been a farm dog and wandered off for some reason. She was picked up as a stray on the boarder of our county and hers and brought up to our shelter. Her owners only checked with the shelter in their county and so never came across her. It turns out they hired someone to help track her down and they discovered she had been adopted out of our shelter. They understood that she legally belongs to us now but thought maybe there was a chance we would sell her back to them.

As you can imagine, my heart broke into a million pieces. I was sobbing on the phone with Jeff, telling him how she sleeps in our bed, goes everywhere with me, and how much our son loves her. I told him I needed to think about it. I cried all afternoon and talked to various people about how to handle the situation. In the end, I told Jeff we could not let her go. She is now part of our family and she has accepted us as her pack. I am truly heart broken for her previous owners and would love to write them a letter. Of course Jeff was very understanding and acknowledged I had been put in a very difficult situation. Commence stress eating. I ate way too much food in way too short of time. Today has been about loving my body through cleaning smoothies, walking, and yard work.

Supa-dupa Green Smoothie

Image

In the blender:

1/2 avocado

2 stalks celery

3 cups mixed greens of your choosing

1 cucumber, peeled if not organic

1 green apple

2 dates

juice from have lemon

1 cup of water

African Peanut Stew…

Standard
Green smoothie, blueberry buckwheat pancakes with PB for breakfast--no one is deprived here.

Green smoothie, blueberry buckwheat pancakes with PB for breakfast–no one is deprived here.

Before I share the stew recipe that was such a hit at Leif’s birthday party, I want to share a few new bits of information that I learned this week via Cornell Plant Based Nutrition Course and the book I’m currently reading–Disease Proof Your Child by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. The information is actually quite depressing but instead of crawling in a hole and crying, I feel it is a call to action and also a reminder to continue on a whole foods plant based diet for myself and Leif–even if people think I’m a crazy lady who is “depriving” her child of food-joy.

First– I learned in my lecture today that most American children have evidence of heart disease by the age of 12!!!!!!! THIS IS RIDICULOUS and it is not a natural human process.  We are created this with our diet.

Second– According to Dr. Fuhrman, there are many adult onset cancers that are correlated with nutrition in the first 10 years of life. He also states that American children eat less than 2 percent of their diet from natural plant foods such as fruits and vegetables.  I’m going to go ahead and be a disease preventing ninja mama and feed my kid a truck load of veggies and fruits (and other whole plant sources) and avoid the cancer causing bad guys (animal products, processed crazy gunk).

Third–I knew this already but was reminded with incredible angiogram graphics from patients who had reversed blockage by switching to a whole foods plant based diet.  That’s amazing. AMAZING!

So,  I suppose I will let them call me crazy but I honestly believe that to have this knowledge and not act on it would be neglectful. As we teach Leif how to eat to protect himself against disease, we are also helping to protect our grandchildren as he will pass on his food knowledge to them.  We are also protecting his future children from losing their dad at too young an age.  It might seem strange to think this way but this how I think now that I’m a mama. Its super weird.

So if you want to know the key to good health–just take a cue from this guy–

veggies

Eat Your Veggies

play hard

And Play Hard (preferably in your fire truck jammies)

Okay, now for the soup recipe.

African Peanut Stew

served with home made whole wheat bread, spinach salad, and grapes...and a glass of vino because its a celebration, folks!

served with home made whole wheat bread, spinach salad, and grapes…and a glass of vino because its a celebration, folks!

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBLS olive oil
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger root, minced
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • I can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup peanut butter (no crap added) or almond or any nut or seed butter of your choosing
  • 2 cups beans of your liking (I used garbanzo)
  • 2 cups peas
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 bunch greens (I used kale), roughly chopped

Directions:

1. Saute garlic and ginger until garlic begins to brown

2. Add onion and crushed red pepper and saute until onions begin to turn translucent

3. Add sweet potatoes and water and bring to a boil

4. Reduce to a simmer and cook until sweet potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.

5. Add in beans, peas, peanut butter, and tomatoes and stir

6. Add in greens

7. Serve and Enjoy!!!!

 

 

 

Leif’s First Birthday

Standard

Yesterday we celebrated Leif’s first birthday! And as cliche as it sounds, I really can not believe how fast the year went by. I once heard someone say that when you have children, the days go by so slowly but the years fly by. I feel like our days go so quickly as well!

famThis year really has taught me more about love than I could have ever imagined. There are places in my heart I did not know existed before bringing Leif into the world. His existence has altered my understanding of love, pain, and joy more than any other experience in the world. While the year went quickly, it also feels like I’ve know him forever.

My ideas about life after giving birth have been shattered in so many ways. From a birth that did not go exactly as planned to a recovery that has taken a lot longer than expected, this year has taught me so much about letting go of expectations for myself. A year postpartum, my hips are all sorts of wonky (this is my term, the PT made it much more scientific), my vagina is tight in all the wrong places, and my foot still aches after a long day (which I now attribute to my wonky hips). I’m not running and not doing the circuit class that normally keeps me going strong. I’m now seeing a PT, chiropractor, and massage therapist to get my body straightened out. I was so thankful this week when both the massage therapist (who was new to me) and the PT commented on my athletic body–I really am feeling like a blobby broken down old lady (and the massage therapist asked me if I am still in school!!! yeah! She thought I was in my early 20’s–or she was trying for a bigger tip!).

Something interesting happened last night though that really brought me back to my body. Everyone was asleep and I had FINALLY settled Leif down after a day of family and birthday celebrating. I got up to use the loo, and for the first time since my postpartum bleeding stopped, there was a bit of blood. Now, I’m not particularly anxious to start menstruating again but I thought it was amazing that of any day, the 1 year anniversary of birth was the day my body would let a little out. It was like a beautiful reminder from my body, nature, the powers that be of the blood, screaming, fear, excitement, wrenching, universe altering joy I experienced on March 8, 2013. It was truly as though I was being told, “Look Girl, you brought new life into this world. It was the most painful and exhausting experience of your life (and you are no stranger to painful and exhausting things). Your body literally opened up and ushered a new human into existance. Its okay that you’re not exactly where you wanted to be. Just be. Be right here.”

 

blocksgifts

bday cake

And so here I am. With a TODDLER. He still thinks I’m the greatest thing in the world. He still lays slobbery kisses on me, wants to snuggle all night long, and loves to look into my eyes while he nurses. This moment will not last forever. One day he won’t need me anymore. He’ll be busy pursuing life and my body will be (mostly) healed and I can run run run. I’ll have all the time in the world without a baby on my breast or a diaper to change. So I’m just going to be right here.

Buckwheat Freezer Pancakes

Standard

ImageWeek day breakfasts in our family have typically been as simple and quick as possible–oat meal, cereal, toast or a smoothie.  Pancakes and other fancy things (yes, I think pancakes are fancy) are mostly reserved for special occasions.  But, in an effort to create delicious and nutrient packed breakfasts for Leif that I can easily take with us to our early morning job, I’m venturing out.  Last week it was muffins, this week–pancakes.  I made a big batch and froze them on a cookie sheet before transferring them to a freezer bag.  This way, I can take one or two out in the evening, spread it with some type of nut or seed butter and its all ready to be sliced up for Leif when he’s ready for breakfast in the morning.

Buckwheat is actually a fruit seed (not wheat!) which means its suitable for people with gluten intolerance.  Its also high in protein!  I feel pretty stinking good about giving these pancakes to Leif!

Ingredients:

3 cups buckwheat flour

1/4 cup ground flaxseed

2 cups dairy free milk (I used soy because I was out of almond)

2 cups pitted dates

4 tsp vanilla

3 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon 

2 TBSL black strap molasses (iron baby)

juice from 1 lemon

dash of salt

Directions:

  • Blend the dates and milk in a blender (take of sip of this magic, its gooooooood).
  • Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl
  • Pour in milk and date mixture along with other wet ingredients and mix well
  • Preheat non-stick skillet on medium heat
  • When skillet is hot, pour about 1/4 cup of batter per cake and flip once the the top side stops bubbling.
  • Transfer to plate when both sides are cooked!  
  • Serve and enjoy or allow to cool before placing them in the freezer on a cookie sheet. Transfer to freezer bag once frozen.
  • Enjoy!  

In other news:

Image

This man loves being naked and loves smoothies!

Image

Valentine’s Day hike at Squak Mountain– I think we get to keep her!

Image

Home! This girl is content. Welcome to the family, Sochi!