Organic

Banana Chocolate Chip (Paleo) Muffins

Banan Chocolate Chip Paleo Muffins

Banan Chocolate Chip Paleo Muffins Here it is you Instragramers! As promised:

It is no secret I've been experimenting with paleo meals.  No meat for me, of course, but eggs have snuck into our menu.  And it creates an opportunity for more nutrient packed, clean desserts.  These muffins are protein packed, organic, clean, mean, delicious, and the absolute perfect project for a snowy snowed in day.

Here's how I did them:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prep your muffin tins (this makes 12 big guys).

Put all of these in the bowl of you mixer in the following order: 4 ripe bananas (the riper the better...I may have just made that word up)

Put all of these in the bowl of you mixer in the following order:

4 ripe bananas (the riper the better...I may have just made that word up)

4 eggs

1/2 cup almond butter

1/2 cup coconut or almond flour

2 tblsp coconut oil (organic, virgin, unrefined, melted)

1 tblsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup chocolate chips (vegan grain sweetened if you can find it)

Fill your muffin tins.

Bake for 25 min.

Cool on racks.

EAT!

Paleo Brownies

Paleo Brownies

Paleo Brownies Soooooooooooooooo...this post can't come without a bit of a preface...explanation...confession:

I'm eating eggs...and sometimes fish...

My vegan diet was amazing for a very long time. It treated me well and took very good care of me. But as many of you know, before I had Bar, I had a few miscarriages which led to a number of blood tests which led to finding out that I have a problem synthesizing B vitamins. So eggs needed to be on the menu. Always cage-free, organic, local. Mostly from the farmer's market. And I felt good eating them, so I continued past my pregnancy. Then after recovering from Bar, most of you also know, I fell into the abyss of SoulCycle. And now I'm instructing. With all of the exercise in my life, I needed more protein. And though I believe that many people can get more than sufficient amounts out of a vegan diet, my body was telling me I needed more for proper muscle recovery. So fish (mostly salmon, almost always wild, Norwegian) is also on the menu.

Soooooooooo...paleo desserts are a fantastic option. And these brownies are nothing short of amazing delicious.  They are a variation of these, just a little less sweet and with more add ins!

Here's how I made them:

Ingredients:

1 jar of smooth almond butter (try to find organic if you can)

2 eggs

1 cup coconut nectar (dry or syrup)

1/4 cup agave

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup cacao powder

Optional add ins: 1 cup chopped walnuts, 1 cup gogi berries, 1 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Put everything into the bowl of a mixer (preferably wet ingredients, mix, then dry, but not necessary).

3. Mix until smooth

4. Coat a brownie pan with coconut oil.

5. Pour in batter

6. Bake for 25-30 min or until cooked through and just starting to brown at the corners.

7. Cool, Cut, Serve!

As Promised...Recipes! Cabbage Soup

Cabbage Soup

Cabbage Soup No need to reiterate I'm sure, but life has been crazy.  Crazy crazy.  Taxing emotionally and physically.  And time is short.  But I've been trying my hardest to spend time (quality) with the kids and cook more.

Now more than ever, when our adrenals are in danger of fatigue, when the season is changing and the cold is drying us out, when days are shorter and the list of things to do is just as song, when we find stronger sadness AND happiness, we need to make sure we are getting the nutrients we need.

And when I say we, I mean me.  That's what Richie says at least.  And it's true.  Mama Bear is the toughest job out.  Keeping everyone healthy is of utmost importance.  So I've been cooking.  Wholesome, whole foods.

This recipe is a mix of a "clean out the fridge" and my grandma's cabbage soup.  It is sweet and sour and hot and just hit the spot.  With a big hunk of sprouted bread it's the perfect cold  night supper.

Ingredients:

1/2 green cabbage, sliced thinly

1 yellow onion, cut in half and sliced thinly

3 tblsp olive oil

1/2 tsp sea salt

3 field roast apple and sage sausages

1/2 kabocha squash, large dice

1 carton No Chicken broth (or the veggie broth of your choice)

2 tblsp honey

juice of 1 lemon

-Saute the onions and cabbage in the olive oil and salt until soft.

-Break the sausage (with your fingers so that it has raw edges, not cuts) and cook it in with the vegetables.

-When the sausage starts to brown, add the squash and broth and bring to a boil.

-Once it boils, bring it down to a simmer and cook 45min-1hour.  If at any point the liquid gets too low, just add hot water.

-At the end, add the lemon and honey.

Breastfeeding: Organic at it’s Best and the Art of Relaxing Wrapped Up in One

Love Life and Lollipops- Nursing on the Couch

While I grew up in a house where gourmet was everyday and style ran rampant, there was not much emphasis on natural per-se.  My mom had an epidural both with me and my sister.  We were both bottle-fed and meat was on the menu from an early age.  There was not much thought to doing it different as their way totally fit. And though I’ve done so much of this differently from my parents, I still hold their opinions in the greatest esteem.  I am constantly looking for their guidance and approval and respect their opinions on any subject.  Nonetheless, I’ve decided to take a different path.  For me, health, wellness, and our environment take precedent, for them culture and luxury.

Starting a natural life on the right foot includes breastfeeding.  Breast milk is undeniably the healthiest and most natural option for infants.  It provides them with both nutrients and comfort.  Because of their inability to communicate, everything is visceral in the first year and the body-to-body contact necessary for nursing instills a automatic closeness between mom and baby.  Studies have shown that babies given high levels of physical contact in the first year demand less in the time after:

Bell and Ainsworth reported on the effects of early bodily contact between mother and infant. They found that those infants whose mothers had provided the highest levels of responsive holding during the first three months sought contact at 12 months with less frequency and appeared to find contact more satisfying.  Ainsworth, M.D.S., Bell, S.M., Blehar, M.C., & Main, M. (1971). Physical contact: A study of infant responsiveness and its relation to maternal handling. Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Minneapolis, MN

http://www.richardatkins.co.uk/atws/document/350.html

Many parents (including myself and Richie) believe in a philosophy of childrearing called Attachment Parenting.  Dr. William Sears and his wife Martha (a registered nurse) have written a number of fabulous books on all things baby.  Breastfeeding lies at the center of their philosophy.  Breastfeeding reinforces the natural bond between you and your baby and provides her with a sense of security in a new world that could, easily, otherwise be scary.  On his website, Dr. Sears writes:

Breastfeeding is an exercise in babyreading. Breastfeeding helps you read your baby's cues, her body language, which is the first step in getting to know your baby. Breastfeeding gives baby and mother a smart start in life. Breast milk contains unique brain-building nutrients that cannot be manufactured or bought. Breastfeeding promotes the right chemistry between mother and baby by stimulating your body to produce prolactin and oxytocin, hormones that give your mothering a boost.  http://www.askdrsears.com/html/10/T130300.asp

Anyhow, I was surprised how quickly I took to breastfeeding and fell in love with it.  I went into the whole experience with the thought process of: I wasn’t breastfed and I’m fine...  No one in my family ever breastfed their children, so if it doesn’t work out for me I won’t be too attached to it (no pun intended).  But the truth of the matter is after nursing for a year and weaning at that point only because my milk supply was dwindling, I was pretty sad that it was over (and possibly not ready regardless of whether she was).  Breastfeeding Avital definitely instilled a calm in her.  It was a cure-all for any issues in those first few months.  Breastfeeding gave me downtime, her a bit of tranquility, and both of us more sleep through the night (co-sleeping is a life saver, but that’s for a later post).

So basically, breastfeeding was my serenity, my maternal learning curve, and my crutch.  I nursed my way through her first year.  It fed her and put her to sleep, what better tool can you imagine?!?

I nursed her on the couch:

At the hospital when my niece was born:

By the pool (yes she’s under there;):

and basically everywhere else.  My first piece of advice I give to any friends who are having trouble dealing with the nighttime wake-ups, I tell them, nurse her in bed!?!  I can’t imagine doing it any other way.  When they’re so tiny, it’s so amazing to always have them so close.  I nursed Avi for her first year and wouldn’t do a thing different if I had the option.

(ps- I don’t know why my eyes are closed in all of these pics.  Weird coincidence…)