African Peanut Stew…

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

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.